Any parent of a school-age child will have likely battled with uniforms at some point. Choosing the right items can be a nightmare, especially when there’s a minefield of options out there. From the easy-iron shirts that aren’t that easy to iron to the shoes with Velcro straps that gather every bit of fluff imaginable, or laces they simply trip over and never do up properly, uniforms can soon look like a mess especially if like mine they rarely take them off after school before diving off out to play, whatever the weather. It’s no wonder we have to update the kid’s uniform essentials throughout the year!
Luckily, there are plenty of valid tips and snippets of advice available that can help the process of buying uniforms that little bit easier. Here are some top tips to help you.
Don’t buy from a specialist shop unless you have to
While the school may expect you to buy a few items from a specialist provider, such as polo shirts with the school’s badge on them, or a school blazer with the right colour trim, you will likely also get away with buying these items from the high street too. Double check with the school first, but if you were to buy a school blazer from George, or a couple of shirts that are in the plain school colour, you’ll save money without affecting how the kids look. It certainly makes a difference for me with six to kit out.
Look at cheaper stockists
You don’t have to go out to expensive retailers straight away, you know. Opt for the cheaper stockists, such as the major supermarkets, because your money will go much further. The quality isn’t really affected either, and you’ll find that you’ll get much better value for money in the long run. I have been known to cut the school badge of an old school jumper and sew it onto a new George jumper saving myself £15 and never had it questioned by school.
Buy sooner rather than later
Ok, so we’re not even in Easter yet, but once Easter is over, you can start thinking about stocking up on uniform essentials. Remember that the closer you get to the start of school, the less likely you’ll be able to find what you want in the size you want it. One thing you should hold back on is the shoes though – you won’t know what size they are until closer to the time, and it’s one thing you shouldn’t guess at.
Stick to the checklist
Most schools will provide parents with a checklist of uniform essentials so try and stick to it and weigh up budget versus laundry frequency. For example, you may be recommended to buy a jumper or two, and a cardigan as well, but is this necessarily true? Or can your child wear one or the other?
Buy the same style socks!
This is aimed more towards the parents of little girls. While they will look adorably cute in frilly white socks with different coloured trims, you’ll eventually be faced with a stash of odd socks that can’t be mixed and matched. Instead go for plenty of the same colour socks, in the same style, so that when the inevitable happens, you can just pair them up as you go.
White socks may be preferred for girls and be part of the uniform, if you keep them plain then you can put them through a hot wash with the white shirts and keep them cleaner for longer, or try dark tights too which are warmer in winter.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.