Following on from the popularity of last year’s uniform lowdown, we’re doing it again! Welcome to the best school uniform of 2017. If, like me, you’ve a little one starting primary school this coming September a whole new world of clothing is ahead of you. There’s no fabulous Maxomarra and Smafolk prints (except for gym bags!), it’s all grey and gingham, unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to not have a uniform like Lu’s two…
You’ll see Back to School promotions everywhere you turn at the moment. If you’re not starting you shop now, do! There’s always the risk you’ll find the shelves half empty – I am already struggling on the maroon thin-cardigan front! It’s even worse if your school colours are not as easy to find.
On the High Street
Seriously, these little legged ones get through uniform fast and you don’t want to be replacing it before has been outgrown (or until it has served all of your children), so good quality is worth the extra few quid, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. When you think of how much it gets worn, you get a lot of use out of your buck!
Next – Love the adjustable waistbands and the quality is long-lasting. It washes well. They also sell girls’ uniform shorts which are surprisingly hard to come by but a staple in Lola’s wardrobe – skirts and culottes do not make the cut when you’re a ninja-in-training. Lola’s have lasted well throughout year 1 and year 2 and have been handed on in really good condition.
John Lewis – This high street favourite do packs including summer dresses that don’t have annoying hearts and flower details. Their dresses are good quality and a nice cut. We have opted for summer dresses and shirts from John Lewis this year because of the quality.
Sainsburys – Great quality and pocket friendly. Plus they do some of the more difficult-to-find colours (like jade, purple and brown) and all the extras you may or may not need – like ballet kit.
M&S – Gets the thumbs up for trousers that last and they’ve also developed a range in collaboration with The National Autistic Society – think shirts with Velcro instead of fiddly buttons and pull-up trousers which go up to age 16!
Matalan – Rated by our readers when we asked a while back. They do a good range and a good price and have 100% cotton tees, too. There’s a good range of boys trousers but not so good for the girls based on my local store.
If the idea of your child’s uniform being grown or made in unethical surroundings troubles you, then look out for Fairtrade alternatives. They cost a little more than the high street offering, but sadly, that’s how it is right now.
EcoOutfitters is a BG favourite and also check out Cotton Roots, an established supplier of clothing which has an emphasis on quality garments alongside strong ethical and sustainable manufacture. They can also embroider school logos. KoolSkools are definitely worth a browse too, they supply ethical school clothing and Fairtrade cotton uniforms for certain schools. Country Schools also has a good range of organic and recycled clothing including jackets.
This year I couldn’t find any high-street stores who were explicitly stating Fairtrade or Organic, so if I have missed something, please let me know, just leave a comment/link below.
Second hand if great for two reasons 1) price and 2) sustainability. Pop over to eBay and grab some uniform for a couple of pounds. Also check your local Facebook buy and sell groups. Our school sells unclaimed lost property at the year – last year I managed to get some practically brand new jumpers for £1 each! Also hit up the people you know with older kids in the school. Finn’s infant school has an active page where parents are giving away clothes as children move up to Junior school.
It’s not as bad as it was out there, and remember your kids are wearing these shoes for at around 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. They need to be comfortable and well made. A good pair will last you all year. We have purchased Kickers once again this year (the Tovi for Lola and the Disley Hi boots for Finn). We tend to stick with these because they easily last the year – good polish every few weeks and they’re all good. Anyway, back to shoes, we have done the legwork for you again, so check out our back to school round-up of school shoes for 2017.
Seriously. Label everything: shoes, clothes, lunchboxes, bags, everything! We always have things go missing and when I’m hunting through lost property I am shocked by the amount of trousers, skirts and shoes in there!
We are huge fans of an easy life and there are loads to make life easier for you. I am a big fan of Ooh La Labels and Stamptastic and can recommend both. This year I am using TinyMe for Finn and also recommend. Top tip. If you can, just use a surname. There’s not many Archbolds out there, so we can use the same labels, with my phone number on, for both children.
On the first day of term: take lots of photos, not least because it is the neatest they will ever look! It’s all downhill from day 1.
This list is by no means exhaustive – what are your top uniform tips?