Schools have not yet finished but preparations for back to school have already begun. My little man is starting big school this year and I have to order his uniform next week! Up until now big school has been met with a mixture of anxieties and excitement but today when I got the letter he burst into tears telling me “its ok mum you don’t have to send me to big school. I’m just fine where I am and my friends will miss me”
I explained how exciting it is to be a big boy and meet new friends. We talked about visiting the school and James even suggested that we practice walking there, which I thought was a great idea. Throughout the summer I plan on making the transition as gradual and seamless as possible although I’m well aware that on the day nothing is guaranteed except for my tears.
The key to all change is preparation and if I take short cuts as a parent I do but my only rule is make sure they are worthwhile. James is a typical boy, even when he’s standing still he attracts dirt like a magnet, buttoning his shirt is like trying to button up a wriggly worm and every pair of shoes he has look old when they are new. I’m also a typical mum and I hate washing and ironing but it seems Marks and Spencers have been secretly living with me, as they have thought all of this through.
The new M&S Back to School Collection boasts three new innovations this year to make uniforms even easier to wear and easier to care for. Their trousers, skirts, shorts, blazers and coats feature Triple Action Stormwear, which is water repellent, stain repellent and makes washing a breeze. I think we can all remember rough and scratchy jumpers at school but thanks to Staysoft, a durable softener that keeps clothes soft no matter how many times you wash them, itchy scratchy jumpers are now a thing of the past.
I keep telling James to stop growing and he giggles telling me I’m a silly mum as that’s what kids do and as kids are always growing it can be frustrating if they have a growth spurt when you have just bought a new uniform but now you will be able to keep kids in their clothes for longer with Adjust-A-Cuff which gives an extra 3cm to blazer sleeves and Adjust-A-Hem trousers. Both hems and cuffs can be very simply altered without the use of a needle and thread. You simply unpick, alter and press. The magic of the Adjustable Waist also means that they won’t need a new uniform every time they grow.
In each age group there are also selected items in a wider or slimmer fit, and longer or shorter length, taking the guesswork out of buying schoolwear. We all know our kids best and how they grow so this is a great idea. Their Plus Fit is a generous extra 6cm through the chest, waist and hips and the Slim Fit ranges are cut 4cm smaller through the chest, waist and hips. You can also choose from Longer and shorter length skirts and trousers. There are 4cm longer or shorter Length options to match your child’s proportions perfectly.
Everything can be thrown in the washer and dryer and ironing is now a thing of the past. Their Ultimate Non-Iron shirts are crinkle free, fresh from the tumble drier and to make life even easier, their trousers have Supercrease technology which offers a permanent central crease even after washing while Permanent Pleats on skirts and pinafores ensure the pleats stay crisp and defined wash after wash. Even when they are wearing the clothes the Crease Resistant technology will stop the clothes from creasing and ensure creases fall out more easily.
From the first day of term to the end-of-year photo, Staynew ensures their uniforms remain bright and bobble free, while Colour Stay prevents clothes from fading in the wash. Scuff Resistant technology also makes sure their shoes stand up to playground rough and tumble so they look good for longer.
I have to admit my favourite feature is the Easy Close Neck, which has riptape instead of buttons and the Expandicuff (elasticated cuffs) on selected shirts and blouses up to age eight.
M&S has Sealed Hems on all boys’ and selected girls’ trousers to ensure the hems will stay up for longer, Engineered Seams on ultimate non-iron shirts to give a smoother appearance and Heat Sealed Buttons on blazers to save time spent on sewing.
A lot of kids can have skin issues like eczema or psoriasis and Skinkindclothing has flat seams, soft trims and no latex, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin. Their sportswear also allows the skin to breathe drawing moisture away from the skin keeping your child cool and fresh while Fresh Feet ensures socks and sports trainers stay odour free by combating the bacteria that causes odour!!
All of these features save time and money for parents. Investing in a good uniform at the beginning of the year leaves you with the comfort and confidence that you won’t have to do it all again till next year. Well let me tell you if anymore can road test an innovation it’s my five year old. So now that I can look forward to a wrinkle free future, all I need to do is think about how to fill all my free time.
Take the stress out of going back to school and purchase uniforms from the comfort of your own home at www.marksandspencer.ie the new M&S Back to School Collection was launched on June 3rd.