Starting to think about uniform. Any veterans?

(50 Posts)
RedDenmanBrush Sun 01-May-16 23:26:00

I would be so grateful if anyone could recommend the best/ most hardwearing shops. And how much of everything do you buy?

DD starts school in Scotland in August. I've ordered two sweaters from her school and the most adorable little tartan pinafore which matches their ties (couldn't resist!).

How many other bottoms will she need? Trousers for P.E. days? Are blazers a waste of money?

Voodooloolooshithead Sun 01-May-16 23:49:08

All of mine came from good old Asda with a few Marks and Sparks bits thrown in if I was feeling flush.

One for wearing, one for washing and one in the cupboard. Don't spend a fortune, it will get ruined. Mine preferred pinafores at that age, just try and practice the buttons/zips over the holidays. Trousers are probably better but for love nor money they wouldn't wear them.

I got a couple of school coloured cardigans for spare as well until we changed to purple uniform which is like unicorn hair to buy.

Label label label, don't be surprised when your previously beautifully dressed DD comes home with someone else's tights on, backwards, underneath her pants with her blouse untucked grin. .

The uniforms sound adorable. My eldest is soon to leave primary, I remember those early says fondly.

HPFA Mon 02-May-16 06:56:19

Check out secondhand options - most schools have some arrangements for this. Do you have a nearby car boot? Seriously, you'll be less annoyed about things going missing when it only cost 50p anyway.
And I agree about the labelling thing. We ordered the old-fashioned sewing in labels - best decision we made. It was a pain sewing them on of course but made it so much easier to find DDs things in the lost property box. And other parents returned things to us as they could see the label. Smudgy pen names all look the same after a couple of washes!

Winifredgoose Mon 02-May-16 07:00:18

Buy it for her to grow into. We bought uniform that fitted my son perfectly at the end of July. We had to replace it all before Christmas, after a massive growth spurt.

cece Mon 02-May-16 07:12:49

How much to buy? Depends on your child. DD had one skirt and a couple of jumpers and t shirts. However, she has always been neat and tidy. She was able to wear hers more than one day.

DS1 on the other hand had 5 clean sets - so I didn't have to wash mid week as I work.

Leave shoe buying till quite near the time to start as their feet will grow if you buy too early. You can book an appointment with Clarks so you don't have to stand and wait for hours.... also if you know her size you can order in various styles into store so she has a choice of shoe.s

dementedpixie Mon 02-May-16 07:22:55

My 2 have a skirt/trousers/shirt for each day so I don't have to worry about not having clean stuff. Only have 2 cardis /jumpers as they rarely wear them. All stuff bought from supermarket (tesco/asda) apart from jumpers which were from uniform shop

sportinguista Mon 02-May-16 07:48:46

I tend to go for John Lewis, as they size big, they wash well and so you can get often more than one years wear out of them. On average DS jumpers have lasted around 2 years. The trousers are tough and hard wearing and the polo shirts wash nicely. Yes it does cost a bit more than the supermarkets but when you even out that they last longer it's about the same. I bought an Asda jumper and it hardly lasted anytime and washed really badly.

I have bought shorts from Aldi as well and they are quite nice, again they size big so you can often get more than a years wear.

Shoes as cece says leave till the last possible moment. I use an independent shoe shop as it avoids the bunrush at John Lewis at that time. I would recommend Startrite and Geox, both well fitting and look good for ages.

I didn't bother with the logo jumpers as the only one I bought didn't wash particularly well and DS said it made him sweaty.

TheSuspiciousMsWhicher Mon 02-May-16 07:59:45

Make enquirers as to whether school will be having a second hand sale. DDs school arranges one every term and has a special one for early years coinciding with the visit day for new Reception pupils. Before DD started I managed to get 4 cardis with school logos on for a tenner (they cost £12 each from the school uniform shop). Bargain! They were in excellent condition, meant I had enough for a wash, a wear, one in the cupboard and one left in the classroom somewhere. And at that price I didn't stress if they got covered in paint.

Do pay attention to what other pupils are wearing on your visit day. At DDs school, everyone wears the logo sweatshirt or cardigan rather than generic ones even though the school doesn't insist upon it. I was a bit surprised by this but I always make sure I have enough of the logo ones as DD doesn't like being the only one without the 'proper' cardigan.

In Reception, pinafores are great for helping polo shirts last longer - they act like a sort of overall! I like John Lewis and Next if I'm feeling flush but I've also had some really good quality stuff from Tesco and Sainsbury.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 02-May-16 08:18:13

We have 5 sets for each child so that we don't have to wash and dry mid week if it's difficult.

I get second hand jumpers/cardigans from the school; my twins have grown through 2 sizes during reception, and my budget doesn't stretch to 20 new jumpers in 9 months! Second hand ones at our school are £2.50 each compared with £9.50 for a new one.

M&S polo shirts have washed better than Sainsbury's for us, and Sainsbury's were better than Tesco. Having said that, I suspect each store sources their shirts again each year, so I am not sure lessons learned can necessarily passed on.

For girls, dresses are the way to go in reception smile Get the ones with zips not buttons and your DD will be able to do it herself in the morning/evening and for PE. We had summer dresses for the start of school and used them on and off until October half term; we had two and used pinafores if I hadn't washed the summer dress in time. Now we're in to the summer term, we have four summer dresses and rarely have to use the pinafores unless it looks cold!

SellFridges Mon 02-May-16 08:30:05

We have 6 changes, plus 4 summer dresses. I work full time and don't always get chance to get washing done mid-week. A friend in similar circumstances advised 6 - one for every day and a spare for when you go away for the weekend and still don't get all the washing done!

M&S seem to be the best quality dresses and skirts. We've had sainsburys polo shirts and blouses which I've just replaced. Summer dresses are from Next.

Friendofsadgirl Mon 02-May-16 08:35:37

Just to add - if you plan to walk to school then get a couple of pairs of trousers if the uniform policy allows them. We're in Scotland too and DD usually only wears trousers in winter but we needed them back last week sad

Oreocrumbs Mon 02-May-16 08:55:11

IME the amount of uniform needed varies wildly from child to child, some of my friend's dc can wear the same uniform all week and still look pristine... My dd needs a full change every day. I settled on 3 sets and I wash on a Wednesday.

I also find very little difference between the brands although I only buy shirts, the rest of her uniform has to be bought from school.

This year she has shirts from m&s, tesco and Matalan... They are all wearing the same.

My only real tip is... If you do have shirts as the uniform, don't buy long sleeved. In the early years with all the painting and in/outdoor play and generally grubbiness of being 4/5/6 it is impossible to get the stains out of the cuffs. Dd had them in reception and they were disgraceful blush. So we have bought short sleeves since and now only have to battle the gravy and bean juice on the front!

idontlikealdi Mon 02-May-16 09:00:18

DTs are in reception this year, we have 8 school jumpers, 6 pinafores, 2 skirts and ten polo shirts so almost enough for a change every day.

They have five summer dresses each.

They get filthy although they are generally sort magnets and I dont want to be washing every day.

Most from M&S and JL but polos from tesco and asda because I just binned them when they went into summer uniform.

Second hand sale was good for picking up some more official school jumpers / cardis.

unlucky83 Mon 02-May-16 09:01:02

yy to lots - especially in the early years as they get their lunch down them - also white board marker and PVA glue. You will likely need a clean set every day - especially jumpers/tops. And I tend to keep a school jumper and polo shirt for 'best' - one that can be used for days when they have public performances - choirs/assemblies etc.
I do the bulk of the washing on a Sunday ...so have 5 sets and a set of a size bigger (which can be worn in an emergency -if I haven't managed to do the washing for whatever reason).
Agree with labelling - and somewhere obvious - when I was replacing uniform that was worn out I found someone else cardigan that was labelled with a class 2 yrs before blush - no idea how long I'd had it as I don't generally check the names on the labels (I did apologise to the other parent)
I get uniform from Asda - they do stretchy trousers for girls which I find fantastic if your child is active and tend to be a more flexible fit - I had a nightmare trying to get trousers for DD1 until I discovered those. And they are easy for them to put on (tights are hard for them - even if they don't need help it takes them longer to get changed after PE so mine didn't like wearing them).
Mine both migrated towards trousers and now (youngest 9) don't wear skirts/dresses at all. Which is good if you want to try and avoid white (get so filthy they are more or less disposable) socks - they can wear black ones! Although when they did wear skirts I used to try and get darker school coloured based socks to wear with them (black socks and a gingham school dress just looks odd!).
Gym kit - I used to wash weekly ...but now it more like termly...but I would still say get two sets - as soon as it comes home put the clean set in their gym bag ready to go back -so you don't forget and have a last minute scrabble around on a Monday morning...(I do lunch money for the week on a Friday for the same reason - in fact I check their bag and deal with all notes/permission slips/requests for payments etc as soon as they come home, onto calender, take a photo of them and put them back in their bag)
I know someone who had a checklist in their cloak room in the early years - coat, packed lunch/lunch money, homework, gym kit, water bottle etc so they didn't forget anything in the morning rush!

Ilovewillow Mon 02-May-16 09:08:07

How exciting! My daughter always has a bottom for each day whether it be skirt or trousers. A top for each day and 2/3 cardigans (3 when she was smaller, one in, one washing and one in lost property)!

Our school doesn't have a blazer but unless they are an essential part of the uniform I wouldn't bother. You mention a tie, my daughter wears one which states dry clean which we did a few times but very expensive, cheaper to buy a new one! If you wash them on a jumper delicate wash they are fine.

I like someone else said would leave shoes to last minute to allow for any growing but check to see if you need an appointment at the shoe shop (think carnage)!

And again as others have said label, label, label! Also check throughout the yr the labels come off!! I use stuck on me iron on labels which are lovely!

RatOnnaStick Mon 02-May-16 09:19:16

I went for 5 polos, 5 trousers, 2 jumpers which was ok except DS mad a massive growth spurt during the autumn term and I had to replace all the trousers by christmas as they were swinging shock.

I like Next for trousers but the polos aren't very roomy so M&S or Tesco for those. TBH, white polos get disgustingly stained very quickly just from pen, paint, spag-bol at lunch etc so you might as well get cheap and lots.

RedDenmanBrush Mon 02-May-16 11:23:59

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate having MN; none of my friends' children are at school yet and they can't quite understand the agony of how many shirts to buy grin

Has anyone bought blue polos? Are they just as grubby as white?

DD is definitely in line for a growth spurt. The sweaters I ordered looked huge but the receptionist assured me that by Christmas they would be fine.

I like the idea of one for every day and one for smart things.

The school induction is next week so I will try and remember to ask about second hand sales.

ButtonLoon Mon 02-May-16 14:12:38

I got all-cotton jersey dresses from M&S for reception aged DD. No fussing with buttons or zips, and they are super comfy for her to wear. The hem tends to flip up which is irritating but I mostly don't care.

kippersyllabub Mon 02-May-16 14:25:26

Blue polos look better for longer. Dc3 is currently wearing blue polos which were worn for 2 years by both older siblings. Coming up to 5 years of wear and still looking good.

I prefer John Lewis trousers as I find the m and s ones too thin.

MumsKnitter Mon 02-May-16 19:17:48

Yes. A blazer is a waste of money. They are usually worn once by a tiny minority for the class photo, and then abandoned. I only made that mistake once!

toobreathless Mon 02-May-16 19:35:35

DD is in reception, also has a tie as part of uniform so has to wear proper button up shirts not polos.

We have:
4 jumpers (logoed)
4 shirts (2 x long sleeved, 2 x short)
2 ties
6 tights
5 knee high grey socks
2 pinafores
2 skirts

My advice would be:
- take her with you shopping and get HER to put on and off the pinafores etc. My preference was for the button across the front ones but DD could NOT do them up so we went with a zip up one.

- try each item on for size even in same shop. We have M&S 5-6 skirts but the 5-6 pinafores swamped her so 4-5 in that.
- long sleeved shirts were a DISASTER here, she can't do the cuffs up and they get filthy. Short sleeved much easier.

- but tights before the year starts even if she starts in socks. I figured I'd buy when the cook weather kicked in and it was impossible to buy grey tights ANYWHERE. Even online!

- they will ask for a change of bottoms at least (in case of accidents) in PE bag so look out for a cheap skirt or pair of trousers or hand me down for this. Ours have been in their all year and not worn once!

I like M&A but live in the middle of nowhere so lots of supermarket brands aren't accessible. M&S do a uniform event with 20% or was it 25% off approaching the summer.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 02-May-16 22:07:07

Blazers will depend on the school - no children at our school wear them, every child at the Primary down the road does.

Don't understand why you think you'll need trousers for PE days. PE days they just wear their normal stuff. Our P1 teachers ask that they wear poloshirt/sweatshirt on PE days rather than shirt and tie as it makes dressing easier and quicker. School will let you know what you need to send in for PE (usually shorts, plain tshirt and shoes).

I always get my school uniform from M&S and have had no problems with it at all.

smellyboot Tue 03-May-16 07:18:58

I have two DC and tons of uniform - I also get a lot of hand me downs. I must have 20 ish tshirts and just wash them all together (hot wash) when nearly all dirty. Mine change bottoms every day as both DS and DD get filthy every day. I work so tend to use do a huge uniform wash every week or so. Our uniform is cheap as chips and do set need to have logo so makes my like easy. Three summer dresses always been ample as some times my DD opts to wear boys shorts instead

Andbabymakesthree Tue 03-May-16 07:24:08

Dont skimp on the shoes. They are in them for so many hours. We have vivobarefoot but will be moving to black patent clarks when outgrown.

M and S have a uniform event 20% off in late may /june. We will get pinafores then.
Also Aldi end of July. Stuff is fab but goes quick

WordGetsAround Tue 03-May-16 07:30:56

My best advice is to get 5 sets of uniform - it is a great feeling to have everything washed / ironed and piled up for each day. Then midweek washing can happen if weather allows but no pressure.

None of DC1's has been trashed, so it has all been passed down. The worst wearing items were actually the school logo jumpers! I bought 100% cotton trousers from John Lewis and polo shirts and vests from M&S.

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