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School uniform - what to buy, what not to buy, marks and spencer quality better than the supermarkets?

(60 Posts)
Snappyteabread Sun 07-Jun-15 10:23:23

I'm about to do a big shop for starting school. Will probably do this beginning August. There are so many different ranges, not quite sure where to start. Is Marks and Soencer better quality better than the supermarkets?, thinking of jumpers and trousers in the main. Is their "storm proof" stuff good? I'm going to be buying for a wild boy who I know will "wear" his school clothes a lot and I don't want to be buying cheap, paying twice, so want to know what you more experienced mums suggest.
Also, does marks do a 20% off school uniform and if so when is it normally?
What about Tesco and Asda? Is their stuff any good?
School shoes I'm thinking probably clarks or Startrite. Have read too much about people buying supermarket shoes then just having to replace more often.

So top advice from you seasoned school uniform buyers?

TwartFaceBeetj Sun 07-Jun-15 10:32:18

I might be in the minority, but I find the m & s school shirts very poor quality. They are so thin and see through! The school trousers and jumpers are good though,

The jumpers from supermarkets are normally as good as m&s.

Clarke 's shoe quality is rubbish now, stick with startrite

If you only need polo shirts, rather then shirts. I think they are ok.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 07-Jun-15 10:36:47

M&S polo shirts shrunk in length

The best ones I found were Sainsburys
I buy Tesco shirts (white short sleeved) because bith wear ties and DD collar needs to be shirt not blouse collar

All the skirts seem to be barely-bum-covering hmm
I buy M&S trousers for my ultra skinny tall DS because I can get 'long' with the waist adjuster

John lewis are good (is a bit 'dated' )

MrsHathaway Sun 07-Jun-15 10:39:53

M&S trousers ok but polo shirts rubbish. Morrisons and Sainsbury good.

What do you have to have a logo on? Here it's only the jumper.

MrsHathaway Sun 07-Jun-15 10:41:03

Re trousers, patch inside the knees when they start to get worn. That lasts brilliantly.

mummytime Sun 07-Jun-15 10:41:36

I'd buy from supermarkets (keep M and S for when he grows and supermarkets don't have any/much in eg. Christmas).
Don't buy too much, trousers tend to be pretty tough.

Shoes I always did Clarks or Start rite - I know MN prefers the later but both ranges fit some children's feet better than the other.

I would put off buying as long as possible (or too much anyway) because they can shoot up over the summer.

Don't expect anything to last more than a year - because they grow too fast usually.

mappemonde Sun 07-Jun-15 10:43:37

Sainsburys polis were as good as M&S IMO. The m&s pinafores looks lovely bit dd preferred supermarket ones cos of the zip details etc. Apparently Next stuff is good. Asda has good colour co ordinated stuff.

HidingFromFred Sun 07-Jun-15 10:44:12

Our JL stuff wore well.
Next was the worst I ever bought.

This year I'm going to have to find some that wears well and comes in Age 2 somewhere....

BornToFolk Sun 07-Jun-15 10:47:37

DS has had shirts (white polos) from Tesco, Asda, BHS and M&S. He's had both the bog standard M&S ones and the StainAway ones. I can't see any difference between any of them...they all get stained but other than that wear pretty well. I will probably continue to buy M&S because I think they are more ethically produced than supermarket ones (especially the 75p Tesco polos!)

DS usually has Clarks school shoes which for the past couple of years have lasted about 5 terms hmm He had some Hush Puppies ones last year that were worse!

Trousers get wrecked no matter what. A couple of good knee slides on the playground will tear the sturdiest of trousers! They have to have adjustable waists though. DS is not particularly skinny but I've made the mistake of not buying adjustable waists before and they hang off him.

ihearttc Sun 07-Jun-15 10:52:40

I think you are going to get varying opinions on what is good and what isn't.

We have all Next Uniform here mainly because they are the only trousers that go small enough for my very skinny little boy. The M&S slim fit ones were huge on him.

Carrie5608 Sun 07-Jun-15 10:53:15

M&S is good but only the better quality stuff like ultimate non iron shirts. The basic range is no better than Tesco and some of the cheaper trousers are thin and hard.

Sainsburys are good for polo shirts and hoodies. Next are best for older boys trousers with slim fit and plus fit waists.

NotBeingUnreasonable Sun 07-Jun-15 10:54:07

I find uniform is easily wrecked and stained (I think whiteboard pens often to blame), and it looks worn fairly quickly due to constant washing. I tend to buy from supermarkets because it's cheap therefore not such a big deal if anything needs replacing. Shoes are different though, but only because my DD has shoe issues.

blink1552 Sun 07-Jun-15 11:02:43

My boy goes through the knees of trousers in nothing flat, whether they are asda or JL. We now buy shorts, or the cheapest adjustable-waisted trousers I can find (asda).

we have been disappointed with next and m&s jumpers which shrink lengthwise. DS prefers knitted v neck jumpers to school sweatshirts because they are stretchier so easier to get on and off, and not so tight round the neck. He likes tank tops but they are difficult to find. Next sells them.

fairyfuckwings Sun 07-Jun-15 11:03:08

I like the next jeans style trousers best as they're easy to iron. Not all schools allow them though as they're not tailored. Sainsburys are also good.

For my daughters I buy the skirts from all over and have found the sainsbury ones have lasted longest.

Polo shirts - same everywhere really and as they get stained easily I go for quantity over quality.

Shirts - my daughter only likes the asda tailored shirts. My son's I get from m&s - the no iron ones.

fairyfuckwings Sun 07-Jun-15 11:05:27

The only shoes that my son doesn't destroy in a matter if weeks are kickers. I get them from wyndsors world of shoes and they last 2 terms on average as long as he takes care of them and polishes them.

ClumsyNinja Sun 07-Jun-15 11:09:28

I second patching boys trousers. Even the better quality pairs will likely suffer knee wear from most younger boys. I keep an old pair of trousers for cutting up for patches the following year. Consequently, I don't think it's worth buying expensive trousers.

M&S are decent on the whole. I found the Tesco polo shirts shrank and didn't wash well. The collars started to look tired quickly.
I'm in Ireland and find Dunnes pretty good quality and value and a good mid-range between M&S and Tesco.

Luckily, my DS's school don't have a policy on school shoes so I buy Geox trainers as they're a good fit and sturdy.

I previously bought a jumper from BHS when I was in the UK which was a thinner cotton. It washed quite well and was actually better for providing a bit of extra warmth without getting too hot in the classroom. The M&S ones are good but of a thicker cotton mix.

Anyone else know when M&S are likely to run their uniform buying offers?

ShelaghTurner Sun 07-Jun-15 11:14:27

Always found M&S shirts wear better than any other. Annoyed now that they have a button instead of velcro on the age 7+ shirts. DD1 may be a year older but she still detests anything tight around her neck the same as she did last year.

dementedpixie Sun 07-Jun-15 11:17:45

The boys trousers I got ds from bhs had reinforced knees already. I like tesco trousers and skirts too for ds and dd

fatlazymummy Sun 07-Jun-15 11:22:05

All my daughter's uniform comes from Asda. It's very cheap, lasts well enough, fits her nicely and I like it.
I used to buy my son's trousers for senior school from BHS. I found that they suited him best, and they were good value and looked smart.

fatlazymummy Sun 07-Jun-15 11:24:20

Have bought Sainsbury and Tesco uniform in the past, can also recommend them.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 07-Jun-15 11:24:38

M&S for trousers, both boy and girl.
I used to buy M&S polo shirts as their cotton is quite thick, but our school seems to be boiling hot inside. Both dc prefer the thinner Asda polls, which last just as well.
Asda knitted cardis and jumpers are lovely, M&S are definitely the worst!

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sun 07-Jun-15 11:27:45

We get stuff from John Lewis and it washes great and lasts and lasts. So when DD1 started I got her quite big stuff which lasted her 2 years, it has been handed down to DD2 who has lasted 2 years. It's growing out, the clothes are all still fine. They don't wear trousers to school though so can't comment on that. When I've bought different brands eg I have bought tights from Next and M&S and also shirts from M&S they look worn and scraggy really quickly and are not as good quality eg tights lose their elasticity and shape.

Also I'm not an ironer, I hang stuff up flat as I can and let it dry, and they always look perfectly smart (to my eye). I find often that cheaper stuff looks clapped out quite quickly if you aren't up to putting in the time to iron it.

LucilleLeSueur Sun 07-Jun-15 11:29:01

Another vote for Asda! I usually buy everything in M&S but didn't find their uniforms any better and they are more expensive. You're better off buying earlier than August I would say - they tend to be all sold out by then IME.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 07-Jun-15 11:29:23

I buy for a girl so no idea on quality of boys trousers. but I rate sainsbury fir shirts and pinafores. reasonably priced, often reduced of you catch at right time and have lasted wonderfully which is more than I can say for m&s. I've had to return everything bought from there. socks are awful there too. I bought two lots, plain and one with butterflies. Both bobbled so badly I couldn't tell the styles apart! !!!

it is not worth the extra money!!!!!!!

I used to love asda but they seemed to have changes the material last time and it looked cheap. I know it is cheap but it used to look ok.

tesco belted skirts look nice. I'm. excited to Try the skater skirts fir both Dds this year.

Madamecastafiore Sun 07-Jun-15 11:29:36

Sainsburys t shirts are brilliant as are their jumpers.

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