With the children just breaking up for the summer holidays, I am keen to get the back to school shopping completed as soon as possible so that we don’t have to panic buy at the end of August. As I was writing a list of all the things that I needed to get the children for the new school year, I was chatting to Roo about when I was younger and how I would prepare for back to school with my Mam and my Granny –
I did try to find some photos of me in primary school to show her but I haven’t managed to find any as yet. Hold the press… I’ve found some…
Each year we would head to Marks and Spencer in Carlisle, one of the biggest stores in the city and still is to this day. M&S was the place to get school uniform. We’d head into the store in search of crisp white shirts, pleated skirts, and royal blue cardigans. There would be a queue of Mums with their children waiting to get into the changing rooms to ensure that they were buying the right sizes. Then you’d see the Mum’s that didn’t feel like tackling the queue so you’d see them holding up uniform against the back of their child to gauge whether it would fit them or not. I’m not really sure why they did this as I can always remember hearing ‘I’ll get you the bigger size so you can grow into it‘ which still makes me smile to this day.
As I continued writing my list, Roo started to grumble about how ‘boring‘ wearing a school uniform is and that she thinks it’s unfair (life is so unfair when you are nine years old). I did the typical Mum thing of explaining that she doesn’t know how lucky she is, when I went to school we had to wear a shirt and tie, knee-high white socks and pleated skirts. There was no option for trousers, skater skirts, polo shirts etc. Although I do count myself quite lucky as there was one school that had to wear brown! I mean brown, seriously? who thought that was a good idea? Needless to say, they were referred to by some awful names (sorry).
Nowadays shopping for back to school is a relatively easy task. For me, it has to be Marks and Spencer for school uniform. A part of my childhood that I am passing down to my own children, especially as they came to my rescue when Tigger started pre-school and needed a smaller uniform than other stores sell (even now the fit is just right for him).
The back to school uniform selection has grown over the years and whilst I had just a few skirts to choose from, Roo has a whole host of options open to her. From skirts (pleated, skater, a-line etc.), culottes (a current favourite, which I love too as she is an active girl), summer dresses and trousers. Crisp shirts and ties have been replaced by polo shirts which are much more practical. Even with socks, she has the option of short white socks, knee-high grey socks or tights. How can she say that her uniform is boring, she could opt for a different combination each day if she wanted.
Do you remember preparing for back to school when you were younger?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative campaign with Marks & Spencer