Showing posts with label Marks and Spencer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marks and Spencer. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Marks and Spencer's launch autism-friendly school uniform collection

The National Autistic Society in the UK teamed up with Marks & Spencer, a UK retailer, to support the development of their brand new ‘Easy Dressing’ school uniform collection. According to reports, the idea came out of a product development campaign called ‘Inventors Wanted’. M&S received suggestions asking them to do more for people who struggle with clothing – especially children on the autism spectrum.

The easy dressing line includes 3 basic items. The first is a pull-up trouser so kids don't have to fuss with zippers and buttons. There is no back pocket and the care label is sewn inside the pocket. The second item is a no iron shirt that has been modified removing the top 4 buttons and replacing them with soft velcro. Again, less buttons less fussing. The last item is the basic polo where they made similar modifications swapping buttons for velcro.

These modifications are brilliant.  They make it so much easier for students with sensory issues to focus on school work instead of the itchy tags.  It makes it easier for these parents to get these kids off to school each day so getting dressed is simpler.  If you are interested to try these items for your child, I have good news.  Marks and Spencer offers shipping to the US. And in case you would need to make a return, return shipping is to a US based address. M&S will also be donating 10% from every item sold to The National Autistic Society.

Monday, June 24, 2013

School Uniforms at Marks and Spencer - Retail Round Up

Living in the US, I don't have many opportunities to shop at Marks and Spencer, a British department store. I did get a chance to visit the one in London once and the one in Bermuda once while traveling on vacations.   Imagine my surprise to find Marks and Spencer brand school uniforms while digging through a box of  clothing at the Uniform Locker exchange event at our local elementary school in Northern Virginia.

That day at the uniform exchange, I found and purchased a pair of navy slacks and a white long sleeve button down shirt for my daughter. They were a dollar each. Bargain!

School Uniforms are much more common in Britain than in the US. Marks and Spencer carries full offering of school uniform items for girls and boys.  Their website is well organized and easy to navigate.  The prices are listed in British pounds, so you'll need to be aware of the current conversion rate and any fees that your credit card might charge to get a somewhat accurate idea on prices as you browse their site.And at least for a limited time, they offer free shipping to the US and Canada with no minimum to order. 

They carry a wide selection of items for girls and boys that can only be rivaled by a handful of US uniform retailers. I thought I was getting the hang of shopping at stores that size items in centimeters, but M&S's sizing is different.  It is labeled in sizes from 3 years to 16 year. I'd recommend you check the handy sizing chart to compare how their sizing compares. Especially since the site was light on details of how international returns are handled.   They also offer slim fit, plus fit and longer lengths in some items.

Below is a one minute video where they highlight their 2012 school uniform innovations:

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Normally for the Retail Round Up series posts, I list the items available in the current school uniform collection by gender and clothing type. M&S offers too many items to list.  Instead, I'll link you to the major groupings areas: 

  • UK students can shop the Personalised School Uniform site with details for specific schools.
  • The Boys Directory includes Polos and Shirts, Trousers, Sportswear, Bags and Shoes, Jumpers (In the UK, they call Boy's sweaters Jumpers.), Shorts, Blazers and underwear.
  • The Girls Directory includes Blouses, Polos, Sports, Skirts, Cardigans and Jumpers, Trousers and Shorts, Pinafores (These are what we, in the US, call Jumpers.), Blazers and Coats, Shoes and Bags, socks and underwear.
While navy and khaki are the basic colors in US school uniforms, I noticed that most bottoms at M&S are offered in black and gray in their collections.  If you're looking for school uniform items that will comply with the school dress code that not everyone will be wearing, then you should browse their selection.  I noticed selections that I hadn't seen in other school uniform collections.  Unique Girls Selections included 3/4 sleeve blouses, ruched polos, 9 different styles of pinafores, 25 different styles of skirts including straight skirts, tube skirts, pencil skirts and culottes and Blazers!  Plaid was noticeably absent.