School uniform - your tips and advice please?(22 Posts)
My PFB is starting reception in Sept and I need to buy her first ever school uniform. I never done this before and I'm getting confused already.
Can you uniform pros help me with any of my questions:
Where's best to buy uniform from?
Summer dresses - do I bother with these?
Some dresses have zips and some have buttons - which is best?
Some dresses are 100% cotton and some are polyester or viscose - which is best?
Skirts or trousers?
Do I bother getting the polo shirts with school logo or not?
Jumpers or cardigans?
Where's best to buy school shoes?
Tights or socks?
What sort of coat?
My DD is good at getting herself dressed, but a very messy eater. On nursery days she comes home with stained clothes and I can always tell what she had for lunch.
I hate ironing, sewing, and am all for an easy life.
I'm sure you'll have lots of different opinions but here's what I do:
Where's best to buy uniform from? M&S wears and washes well though I top-up from the supermarkets. I used to have to shop around for adjustable waists but these seem to be more standard now.
Summer dresses - do I bother with these? Yes, they wash and dry overnight so are much easier than the winter uniform! I have three but at a push you could manage with two.
Some dresses have zips and some have buttons - As long as your DD can do up buttons, doesn't matter just whichever you prefer the look of
Some dresses are 100% cotton and some are polyester or viscose - which is best? - I['ve never looked in this much detail. Unless you want to iron, and given that we dont' live in that hot a climate, I'd go for the synthetics
Skirts or trousers? Both...trousers best on PE days IMO (tights can be tricky) and if it is cold in the winter. I like the look of them too. My DD loves a skirt. Oh and we compromise with pinafores.
Do I bother getting the polo shirts with school logo or not? I did - they aren't so much more expensive (you dont' say if you are on a tight budget) given that they will be worn every day.
Jumpers or cardigans? I mix and match
Where's best to buy school shoes? not clarks!!!
Tights or socks? *socks under trousers/when it is warm; tights under skirts in the winter
What sort of coat? A lightweight mac for September, a proper winter one later on.
Labelling recommendations? Ones you can iron in
I am not a pro at all! my PFB is also starting in sept, however I have been
obsessing researching for months so heres what I have worked out:
Best to buy from - m&s (stainwear / stormwear)
I am going for zips on pinafores, even though DD is fine with buttons - I just think it will be quicker
I am going for synthetics
I am planning on mostly pinafores, but maybe a pair of trousers for PE days to
I was thinking of just getting 1 logo'd poloshirt - for school pics etc
Was going tights with the pinafores, socks for summer dress (if we get one) and socks if with trousers
I got a bumper pack of labels with all sorts in from www.labels4kids.com
sew a loop of elastic into coats to hang it up-the ones the shop put in usually break really quickly and then the coat spends the day on the floor being trampled on by 29 other children
I agree with suggestions of trousers or PE days-unless she's very good at getting herself dressed the tights will be very hard.
Where's best to buy uniform from?
John Lewis and Mothercare best for quality. Don't bobble and they retain their shape.
Summer dresses - do I bother with these? Yes
Some dresses have zips and some have buttons - which is best? Either as long as she can do bith. Zips quicker for PE days.
Some dresses are 100% cotton and some are polyester or viscose - which is best? Have never checked
Skirts or trousers? DD1 would only wear skirts until year 2 that made the choice easy lol. She had one skirt and 3 pinafores. We now do trousers on PE days.
Do I bother getting the polo shirts with school logo or not? Not.
Jumpers or cardigans? Cardigans, saves messing up their hair, can also wear them half way house.
Where's best to buy school shoes? John Lewis - as they do Clarks and Startright amongst others, and their fitters are v well trained.
Tights or socks? Tights looks gorgeous, and are warmer. Socks for PE days, either with skirt (pinafore) or trousers.
What sort of coat? Mine have a light weight waterproof for summer/warmer days, and a winter coat which is to the knee with a hood. Make sure they can fasten both coats without your help.
Labelling recommendations? Do you have siblings that you will hand things down to - if so just use your surname on labels (possibly not if it is Smith) to save relabelling.
Supermarket Uniform or M&S as good as any (value for money).
If she quite likes dresses one summer dress for the autumn would be nice. They wear them all year, not really just for summer.
Zips, faster than buttons.
100% cotton nicer, imho. But not a biggie if not available. And Teflon-coated pinafores clean up nicely.
Trousers if she'll wear them, girls get skinned knees too! My DD started school ONLY wearing pinafores (sigh).
Logo on polo shirt or not -- can probably get away without initially. See what you think after that (DD has never worn them, but DSs don't want to wear anything else).
tights with skirt or pinafore, socks for trouser days.
Any coat she likes is fine!
I write names in Biro on the care tag, and check tags obsessively. This is cheap & easy for me.
I suggest 4-5 tops/outfits if she's very messy (I have this with DC3).
You haven't mentioned cardigans or jumpers? DD only liked cardigans.
Shoes: depends what she needs, really. We walk to school in snow so DD now has waterproof boots costing 70 quid in winter. I didn't spend that much when she was in reception, we managed by walking in wellies & changing into school shoes at the door then, but do go for quality if you can afford it.
Oh, and get velcro or zip on shoes. DH bought buckles for DD's first shoes, she could just about do them up herself, but slowly, what a faff.
Just to let you know m&s have got a 20% off school uniform offer running at the mo with free delivery too
Have a look at their website if you are interested.
I brought a CD writer pen to write on drinks bottles, lunch boxes,wellies etc.
Thanks for your advice everyone Off to look at M&S website now...
You are too kind mummynoseynora <does a twirl>
ordered woop! Obviously tights and polos in DD's size were out of stock but I have got 3 pinafores, 2 cardis, a pair of trousers and some plimpsoles - all with the 20% off and free delivery, and
because I am stupid I even used the gift card I got for mothers day so shall only be spending about £20 on that little lot <preen>
I have been checking for the offer every few days and hadn't seen it yet!
a thought: If DD's new school uniform list in prospectus doesn't mention trousers, other than for the boys of course does this mean she can't wear them? - she's an outdoorsy one and the school encourages lots of outdoors play/class time - but if they insist on girls in pinafores or skirt then I can see a few bleeding knees coming home :-(
will put it on my 'list of questions' for the new starter visit me thinks
i bought M&S clothes- fab. Logo tops to wear with skirts and plain ones for pinafores as you cant see them anyway. I bought her lelli kelly shoes as her first pair £50- expensive but her first ones so thought i'd push the boat out! They were great and lasted 6.5 months - still in great condition just a bit tired looking. Bought Clarks after that for £35 which lasted 4 weeks before looking awful! Do not recommend clarks at all and thats the experience of most of the kids in my DD reception class. John lewis own brand (average £40) much better. Startrite are good but the styles are quite baby-ish i found for my DD whose tall and looks older than 5.
Matalan is good for pinafore dresses
asda has an offer at the moment 3 for 9pound
my daughter had two pairs of shoes that broke before xmas i bought a pair from asda in jan and they still look brand new
cardis always win too easier to get on/off
Pay the fee for your advert and put it in the right section
I like Sainsbury's girls stuff as well as M and S. Prefer Sainsbury's summer dresses. At our school, girls wear summer dresses with tights and jumpers in the winter too!! Looks ok actually. (red dress with red tights and jumper)
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