Buying School Uniform for Back To School can be a bit overwhelming especially if you child is starting reception class and starting school for the first time!
There are lots of things to consider when buying school uniform for a new term, budget, price, stock availability, sizing, suppliers. We are going to try and break it down for you.
How Much Should I Spend On School Uniform?
Your budget may well be the key factor in determining where you buy your kids school uniform from. Most Schools or School PTAs (if you are not sure what a PTA is click here to find out) run Preloved (Second Hand) Uniform Sales. If your child is about to start in reception and you don't already have kids at that school then contact the School Reception and ask them for details about Preloved Uniform Sales. It might be that you can go along and pick up some cheap school uniform at a fraction of the price. You might have friends that can sell or give you used school uniform. I must admit a long time ago I was a bit snobby about buying second hand uniform but I very quickly realised that it was a great cost saver and also it's kinder to the planet to send less clothing to landfill so it's a win win.
How Much Does School Uniform Cost?
School uniform can vary hugley in price, you can purchase items of pre loved school uniform for £1 or £2 or you could buy a brand new blazer for over £100. A lot will depend on your budget (see above), if your child goes to State or Private School and price can also depend on the size of your child for example a 4 year olds pair of navy school trousers might cost £5 but if your child is 11 years old they might be £7. In general Private School Uniform tends to cost more than State School Uniform and there is a lot more of it to buy.
When Should I Buy School Uniform?
We have been caught out by this a few times. It's a horrible feeling when you go into a school uniform shop or shop online for school uniform and see that everything in the size you want is sold out! Avoid that happening to you! As soon as you find out which Primary School Place your child has been given (which is usually in April in England) then start (if budget and time allows) to buy a few bits!
Your school will probably invite you and all the fellow reception September starters into school for a welcome evening or welcome afternoon where they wil run through all the things you can do to prepare your child for School in September and they will probably give you a list of uniform to buy as well. However, there is no need to wait to be given the list...there is probably a school uniform checklist on the school website so that is a great starting point and of course if you know of any one else that has kids at the same school ask them for their school uniform top tips!
A note on school shoes! Lots of people will tell you to wait until the last minute to buy school shoes. This is like playing Russian Roulette. Yes, we agree that your kids feet might grow over the summer BUT if you leave buying the shoes until the last minute you will regret it. Queues go out the door, tightly gripping your ticket so you don't lose your place, noisy, hot and sweaty and all the time trying to restrain your kids from escaping whilst you wait for your number to be called....and your child has a tantrum, hates all the shoes apart from one pair of really expensive patent shoes (which you know aren't practical and when you finally cave in and agree to buy them because you can't face the torture any more) you find out that they only have them in a size 4 or a size 8.
Take it from us....don't leave it beyond mid August...to get the school shoes! When you have got them you will feel a huge weight off your shoulder.
What Size School Uniform Should I buy?
We all love the beginning of term Back To School First Day photos with all the kids wearing their extra large school uniform and blazer arms dragging by their knees! Most people will tell you to size up but don't go crazy! If the school uniform is too big it will be awkward for your child. If you can get your child to try on the school uniform and if it's way to big then send ot back and size down. If budget allows you may want to keep hold of that school uniform even if it is too big because it saves you a shopping trip next year....just remember which safe place you put it in! Because sizing can differ according to where you buy the uniform that's why we recommend buying it as early as possible and TRYING IT ON as early as possible to you have plenty of time to return and exchange it if necessary.
Where Do I buy School Uniform From?
There are lots of different places to buy school uniform Independent School Uniform Suppliers, Supermarkets, Department Stores from the school directly or a combination of all of these.
Where you buy your school uniform might already be dicated for you, for example if your child is starting private school you might only be able to buy the school uniform from that schools uniform shop.
Or your state school might require you to have only the school jumper with the logo on and the rest of the uniform can be generic for example grey trousers. The school jumper with the logo will not be able to be purchased from a supermarket and your school will advsie you where you can buy it from. Usually an independent uniform shop or online. The grey trousers, it's up to you, you can get cheaper ones from a supermarket or go more pricey and buy in a department store. You can of course buy Preloved and Second Hand and we are big fans of that!
You have gone to the hard work of getting all that school uniform and probably have spent a good few pounds on it too so you definitely do not want your kids to lose it! And if they do lose it, which they will, you need it to come back to you! So where do you buy your school clothes labels or your school uniform name tags from?
There are lots of different options for school name labels and you need to find the system that works for you and your child. Some kids name labels require sewing in or ironing in. These take ages to do (especially the sewing ones) and they often come off and you will find them hiding away in the rim of your tumble dryer. You of course won't know which item of clothing has lost it's label so you have to check every item searching for the offending article!
Name tags for kids school uniform can be fiddly and many children (including our own) hated them because they were itchy against ther skin. This meant getting ready in the mornings became the most horrible ordeal and we ended up having to cut them out.
We would recommend buying the least stressful option of school labels and uniform name tags. We launched our super cool Stamptastic clothing stamp in 2011. Have a look at our amazing Stamptastic Personalised Name Stamp for Clothes here. It's the quickest way to label school uniform without the need to reach for a needle, thread or iron and there will be no fiddly school name tags to itch your kids skin! You simply stamp on the school uniform care labels. Our magic ink withholds 50 washes on care labels. That's it. Job done! All school uniform labelled in under 10 minutes!
Check out the Stamptastic White Fabric Pen too which is brilliant for labelling black PE plimsolls, school bags and sports bags.
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