First off getting two small children to put on their school uniform in them middle of the school holidays just so Mummy can take photos is not easy . . .
Would you believe that having finally managed to convince bribe them into getting dressed up in their school uniform (and confusing them both in the process that they holidays were over) we got ready to go outside and take photos and it absolutely belted it down! Good old British Summer there!
So anyway. . . Matalan school uniform. I’ve not had school uniform from Matalan before and the first thing I was really impressed by was the price point. For around £30 I was able to buy 6 polo shirts for Ben, 4 polo shirts for Chloe, a pinafore and school socks for both of them. Although Matalan do sell a range of coloured sweatshirts, cardigans and jumpers to fit in with most school colour schemes, our local primary school has it’s own badged sweatshirts and cardigans that children are expected to wear.
Ben is hard on his school t shirts – I think most boys are – hurried school dinners spilt down his front and whiteboard markers played havoc with his white t shirts and drove me nuts trying to get them as clean as possible. Of course part of the point of school uniform is that it will take the hammer of the day to day school life rather than their “nice” weekend clothes. Bearing this in mind Ben needs to have at least 5 t shirts – there’s no way he can get away with wearing a t shirt twice and I can’t keep on top of the washing enough to ensure his school t shirts are getting washed mid week. Matalan sell basic polo shirts, in an array of colours, starting at just £4 for three t shirts. The fit is true to size, not too baggy but with growing room (yes I am that Mum that sends their kids to school in clothes that drown them . . . I blame my own Mum for that one!!) The collar sits nicely over his school sweatshirt. Ben said his t shirt was comfortable and I think he looks pretty smart!
When I was buying Chloe’s polo shirts I spent quite a while deliberating over size. She has been comfortably wearing 3-4 years for a while now but the Matalan girls’ polo shirts start at “age 3” and then “4-5 years” which I found a little odd – in my experience “age 3” is equivalent to 2-3 years which I wouldn’t dream of buying her now but on the other hand 4-5 years was surely going to swamp her? I stood comparing the two tops for a while before eventually plumping on buying both sizes to try on at home and swap. As it turns out the “age 3” is good fit, there isn’t as much growing room as I would like but at £5 for two polo shirts I don’t suppose it matters too! Alongside this she is likely to get so grubby at Nursery they would want replacing sooner rather than later anyway. (Any child who doesn’t get filthy at Nursery isn’t enjoying themselves enough in my opinion!) I chose to spend a little more and buy Chloe the girls’ polo shirts rather than the standard unisex ones – the main reason for this was I just think they’re really cute with their little scalloped collar detail and puff sleeves but also from a practical point of view having two children in very similar blue school tops those details will make them much easier to sort when putting the washing away.
Her grey pinafore was a bargain £6 and I love it – she looks smart but super comfy in it. It doesn’t look too grown up either. The details are cute – the cross over back, the tiny pleats at the waist, the chunky buttons and pockets all make this pinafore look decidedly more expensive than it really is. The style will also be really easy to iron – no awkward pleats or creases to be aware of.
I have high hopes that these pieces of Matalan school uniform will wash and wear well to see out the new school year!
UPDATE January 2015
I just wanted to come back and update this review after a full term or so of use. Chloe’s dress is still in great condition, it looks really smart and everyone always compliments us on it. She does complain that the straps tend to fall down when she’s running so it’s a shame they’re not more adjustable but I’m confident the dress will last her the rest of this school year and beyond.
Ben’s t shirts sadly are a saggy, baggy mess. They’ve completely lost their shape and he gets really cross with them as they just never seem to sit right and the collar looks scruffy. They will have to be replaced by the end of this half term I fear. (Chloe had to have new ones just before Christmas as she had already outgrown hers – needless to say I didn’t replace them with Matalan ones and went back to my tried and trusted supplier!)
So really – Matalan is great value for school uniform if you’re careful about what you buy! I would certain buy more skirts / dresses for Chloe, trousers for Ben but just avoid the t shirts in future.
*I was provided with vouchers to purchase Matalan school uniform for Ben and Chloe for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions are my own*