Well? How much school uniform DO you need?
It’s the question all parents ask themselves when their little one is about to start school. Dorothy’s first couple of years have been strange as the children were off school so frequently with lockdowns and infections that some of her uniform still looks brand new – but having tackled the uniform shop for twelve years with Beth, I feel I can give some good advice to newbies. Don’t miss my tick- list at the end.
School branded cardigan/jumper. These tend to be the most expensive part of Primary school uniform. Get one of course but if you can afford them, having two will make life much easier because kids are grubby 🤣
Shirts/polo shirts. Most schools don’t insist on school branded shirts so don’t buy them. Buy cheaper ones and buy five of them! Trust me this is a sensible option that will save you time and stress. If you can find non- iron shirts in your price range then get five of those and save yourself a job. Short sleeves are much more practical than long sleeves – they dodge the arts and crafts mess and are more comfortable in warm weather.
Ties. If your school has ties, I recommend the elasticated type for little ones and buy two – they’re relatively cheap and frequently misplaced or spilt on.
Trousers. Many of friends mourn the loss of the knees in their children’s school trousers. We’ve always had skirts so I can’t recommend from experience but I reckon you should consider how boisterous your child is. If they’re likely to rip through the knees of their trousers then maybe don’t spend too much on them so that they can be cheaply replaced. Unless you’re a dab hand at patching! I would recommend three pairs though.
Skirts/Pinafore. You’ll need two as a minimum but three will make life easier – one to wear, one to wash and one as a spare. Consider that your little one will have to get dressed for PE and a kilt type skirt or pinafore may be tricky. So it might be best to have an elasticated skirt for them on PE days.
Summer dresses. I love summer dresses! They’re so cheap – you can pick them up for £4 in some places and they’re basically a full uniform in one garment. And happily they come out at the end of the school year when the children have usually had a growth spurt!
Shoes. I’ve always tried to buy good quality shoes for the girls and by and large I’ve been happy with them. I’ve only needed to replace them with a cheaper pair around May and mainly because their feet have grown. But I’ve heard stories from people who say that they’ve had better experiences with cheap supermarket shoes than more expensive brands. Go with what your budget allows and what you feel will work best for your child. If you think that you’re child is likely to destroy a pair of shoes regardless of quality then stick with the cheap ones and don’t feel pressured into spending more!
PE kit – Just one of everything!
Socks – if your house is anything like mine then you’re going to need about 39269926 pairs of socks for your little one because even the ones with little love hearts on them don’t escape the terrible fate of being borrowed by Daddy when he’s in a rush of a morning!
Labels – Whether you iron it in, sew it in or write in in Sharpie – get your child’s name in everything!
I recommend looking for school specific groups on social media to see if you can pick up any pre-loved uniform. Some children are pretty heavy on their clothes but others grow so quickly that their uniform is only lightly used by the time they can no longer wear it. Why not save money and do your bit for the environment by giving it a new lease of life.
My final piece of advice is to start as early as you can – the beginning of the Summer holidays if possible. If this is your first time, trust me you’ll be surprised how quickly things sell out!
Love Rachel ❤
* I’ve shared pictures of Dorothy in school uniform but don’t worry, she’s no longer at that school and the logo isn’t on show. 😊