School’s almost out for summer and the prospect of carefree days and weeks stretch out ahead of schoolchildren around the country. While
homework won’t be missed by parents or students alike, summer holidays hold a very different meaning for parents. Summer is about keeping the kids occupied, enjoying some family time and dare I say it – preparing for the return to school.
The world moves at a crazy pace and even though the school holidays have yet to begin, the shops are already filled with uniforms and the endless amounts of paraphernalia that goes hand in hand with back to school.
Recently Marks and Spencer approached me about a back to school collaboration. With five children in school and one in Montessori – this one was a no brainer!
All trousers have adjustable waists and adjustable hems for growing children
Free education is very expensive. There are endless lists and mounting costs, and it’s natural that we as parents look for savings wherever we can find them. I have to be honest – Marks and Spencer’s uniforms are a little more expensive, but when my order arrived, I came to understand why.
The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same. Children come in various shapes and sizes and the school trousers definitely allowed for that. The adjustable waist is a life saver with lean children and even more so as your children get older and taller.
Finding trousers to fit my teenage son can be particularly difficult. Tall and slender, a lot of trousers that are long enough for him, are far too wide in the waist. A little celebratory dance may have been done in my kitchen (ah the things that us parents are excited by) when I discovered that trousers in the older age category not only still included an adjustable waist option but factored in an “adjust a hem” in recognition of the fact that kids grow like weeds!
The promise of non-iron shirts won me over immediately, but discovering the velcro fastening behind the top button on the younger children’s shirts was an unexpected bonus. Anything that speeds us up in the morning is always welcomed!
The durability of their sportswear will be well and truly tested here. Both in P.E, and after school activities, my rather active children, like to get stuck in – there will be no tender treatment of their clothing! Again the tracksuit bottoms came with an adjustable waist and were really comfy according to my inspecting troops.
Another child wings his way to secondary school this September and like most mums whose children are facing a great change, my heart is in my mouth. Will he be happy? Will he make friends easily? Will he ever get to school on time?!!! – These are the questions that flood my thoughts, but
while parking my own personal concerns there is a need to recognise that he is growing up a little. While school uniforms may never be cool in the eyes of a teenager, he is a little more image conscious now and chose the school shoes himself. He, however, likes to be “comfortably cool” – looking good alone, will not suffice. These ones got a definite thumbs up.
Shoes from the Marks and Spencer “back to school” range
And probably one of the very few things that kids get excited about when it comes to back to school attire is the schoolbags. Herself, generally likes to be classically understated – often granted though, in that teenage, tangerine glow-like, kind of a way. She chose a black polka dot school bag. I think it’s probably more suited to primary school children to be honest, in terms of capacity. My daughter begs to differ, however, – I think we may have varying ideas about the amount of schoolbooks that will feature in her daily life!
The eight year old – named after a character in his father’s favourite film and equally fanatical about it himself, went for a Star Wars bag. The force is strong in him and he was very pleased with his choice.
The cost and all the expense that goes hand in hand with back to school is an undeniable factor for consideration. “You get what you pay for”, the claim goes, and that’s exactly how it appeared to me. The quality is there, the cut is there and the additional features are there. I hope that these uniforms will last my children the entire school year. In fairness, there’s few houses and families that will test them more!
Of course the early bird doesn’t just catch the worm, he catches the discounts, and at the moment, Marks and Spencer have 20% off their school uniforms. Taking some of the expense out of “back to school” and one less job for August!
*This was a paid collaboration with Marks and Spencer and Shopping Links. All thoughts and opinions however, are my own – and that of my troops.