As a mum, I know that life isn’t uniform. Grace is now 11 years old and I have seen many items of school uniform put to the test! M&S have recently announced their latest campaign and invited me to share my thoughts and experiences with you.
My School Days
I can still remember my school days…just! I went to Goldsworth First and Middle School in Woking, Surrey and we had the most awful coloured uniform. A yellow polo neck and bottle green pinafore was the order of the day. Of course, it was also the era of vest and knickers for P.E.! I am SO glad Grace doesn’t have to deal with that one!
Then I attended Horsell High during my teenage years. Thankfully the uniform wasn’t quite as bad there. It was black and white and much more my style! Add a prefect badge and it all looked pretty good – as you can see below… (I am on the back row, third from the right).
…and again here (front row, far right).
Life Isn’t Uniform
I have always been a big supporter of M&S uniforms. They don’t just make uniforms with the children in mind. They also take the parents into account. This is because, life isn’t uniform, and accidents – and mistakes – happen. I often wonder what a uniform really does go through during it’s time.
One of my uniform memories was on a walk to school one day. It was pouring in rain and, just as I went to walk into the school gates, a bus drove past through a huge puddle and completely soaked me! For the rest of the day I was resigned to wearing my P.E. kit. Thankfully the vest and knickers was out at that point, although I never really felt that comfortable in my kit.
I still have two of my school shirts – one white from my Middle school and one pale blue from my Secondary school. Both are covered in the scribbles of the girls and boys I went to school with. I occasionally dig them out of the box in my loft and fondly remember the bittersweet feelings of the euphoria of leaving school behind but the sad realisation that I would no longer be spending 5 days a week with my friends. A whole exciting but scary big wide world was waiting for me. But I still had the memories etched all over those shirts.
Grace’s School Years
Roll on 30 years and Grace went through similar when she left her junior school two years ago. Her friends signed her white shirt, writing around the collar, on the cuffs, shoulders and arms. I know that she too will treasure her shirt – and I have no doubt there will be more signed shirts to come yet.
One of the biggest issues I have to deal with when it comes to Grace and her school uniform is her P.E. kit. For some reason this is regularly the ‘forgotten bag’. I am trying to remind her regularly now that she needs to make sure that it is brought home on a consistent basis so I can wash it! A couple of weeks ago, she went on a residential with the school and took her school trainers with her. They are still in her room with some special odour killers in them – they got very wet when she did some of the water activities and the smell emanating from them is ‘interesting’!
Grace starts Year 7 in September and, I know how much more conscious she is becoming about her appearance and what she wears. Her morning routine consists of her getting up, having breakfast, making her packed lunch and then going upstairs for at least half an hour to make sure that she looks her best.
M & S make uniforms that are built to last and stand the test of time. I can remember that my mum used to buy many of the staples from them such as shirts and skirts and, for Grace, I have done the same. The fact that they are so hard wearing and easy to wash is a real life saver.
M & S Back to School Uniform
Marks and Spencers provide a great range of uniform for all types. These days, I give her the computer and let her choose what she wants (within reason of course!). She opted for the 3 Pack Girls’ Pure Cotton Polo Shirts which retails at £12 (a complete bargain in my opinion). She looked at other Polo Shirts but decided that these were the ones which looked most comfortable. She isn’t wrong either – they are a soft jersey fabric which help to keep you cool. Heat rash is something that Grace regularly suffers from so I have no doubt that she will appreciate that.
The shirt features a stylish scalloped trim detail to the turndown collar. They are built to withstand the daily trials of school and use the StayNEW™ technology to prevent the usual signs of use from continual washing and wear. These cotton polo shirts are crafted from a soft jersey fabric designed to keep cool against the skin for schoolwear that can keep up with active kids.
She also chose the Girls’ Skirt with Permanent Pleats. Special technology means that the pleats retain their original shape through each washing cycle. There is also a metallic buckle with an adjustable waistband which makes a stylish design and a comfortable fit. It also incorporates the M&S Stain and Weatherproof technology, as well as Crease Resistant material. All to help make life a little bit easier.
For more stories about mums and the trials they face with school uniform, take a look over on the M&S website at their latest campaign, Life Isn’t Uniform.
Comfortable yet hard-wearing, I confident that Grace’s new uniform pieces will last at least one school year. I also believe that one day her polo tops will have pride of place in joining my school shirts in a box in our loft.
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I received compensation in return for working with M&S on this campaign. Please note that all words, images and opinions have been formed by the owner of this blog. They have not been influenced in any way. Please do not reproduce any of the content or images on this post without prior agreement from Verily Victoria Vocalises.