The school uniform secret

I don’t tend to share tips on this blog. I’m all about the anecdotes – the funny stories, the irritating behaviour, the things that make me proud. But today I’m going to share a tip with you. It’s my school uniform secret and I’ve been doing it ever since our first summer holiday, way back in 2006. It’s not rocket science, it’s really very simple. It’s just this…

Sort your school uniform in the first week of the holidays.

Go through the wardrobes and see what is too small and what is worn out. Drag the kids away from the TV/ Xbox or out of the garden and make them try stuff on if you’re not sure. Remember, if they’ve been wearing shorts and gingham dresses over the past few weeks, they may have grown out of their winter uniform.

Then get rid of it!

Either put it aside for charity or your school’s thrift shop, if they have one, or put it aside to pass down to a younger sibling. (My daughter has never had a new school shirt in her life and the school PE shorts my eldest had in reception have been worn continually since then.)

Once you know what’s gone, you can think about what you need.

For me, that’s two pairs of trousers for both boys and one pair for my daughter. My eldest also needs new shirts, a new blazer and a new PE kit. I’ve already got the badged school polo shirts and jumpers for my younger son and the badged cardigans for my daughter.

Buy it early and there will no last minute stresses when you realise there are no age 13 trousers in the whole of town. Because if you get to town (or order online) and there are no age 13 trousers, you’ve got plenty of time to order a couple of pairs.

PicMonkey uniformCollage

Once you’ve got your uniform, label it! I find it incredible that there are people who send their kids to school without labelling things. If 400 kids are wearing the same jumper, or over 1,000 are wearing the same blazer, it’s very easy for it to vanish and never be seen again. Yes, labelling is a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it when weighed up against the cost of replacing an expensive blazer.

There are lots of ways to label, but I find iron-on labels work best for me. I don’t sew and pen washes off too quickly (but is OK for emergencies).

Then put away your new uniform and relax! Feel smug that you’re ahead of the game and you’re not going to suddenly realise on 31st August that you’ve got nothing.

The one thing I do leave a bit later is shoes – we usually do those around 20th August. Kids’ feet grow fast – especially in summer and especially if they’re in reception/ year 1 or approaching puberty. As all three of mine are. I don’t want to be feeling smug that I’ve bought shoes on 20th July only to find they’ve grown half a size by  1st September.

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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40 Comments

  1. Or, reduce stress by moving to Canada where there are no school uniforms 😉

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    • Ha ha, result! Bet there’s still clothes stresses with girls when they get a bit older!

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  2. I have to say that I completely agree! It seems crazy to be thinking about going back to school before they’ve even broken up but it’s the only way!

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    • It is! Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that!

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  3. Totally agree! It’s the best way to do it! Ours have all been purchased and the shoes I leave until nearer the time. Great post! X

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    • Thanks very much 🙂

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  4. Well done, I am already thinking about the kit we need and will get some bits each week. I also wait until just before they go back to get their shoes, my three’s feet grow so quick!

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    • Oh yes, can’t take a risk with buying shoes too early!

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  5. Would you believe there is not a single shop in my town now selling school uniform, even MandS have stopped stocking in store which is a pain as had to order then send back and order a different size rather than just popping in and trying on!

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    • That’s so annoying! We’ve got a few places, although I always rely on good old M&S for school stuff.

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  6. I’ve got all of mine sorted. Even the shoes but we go back in three weeks LOL. It’s such a chore isn’t it?!

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    • It is! It felt like it took all day to clear out and sort through the old stuff this time.

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  7. Always used to organise the uniform early here as well, despite protests from both daughters. Loved to get it all bought and then get on with the rest of the summer!

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    • Exactly! Stops it hanging over you all holiday.

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  8. I sorted out the school uniforms yesterday….My youngest girl has never had a new school jumpers or polo shirts either….Well apart from the ones we got sent to review!….My friends and I keep passing them around as we all have kids ranging from 3 to 15……
    I just have shoes and new coats to buy 🙂

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    • That’s great that you have so many people to share uniform with! My boys rarely manage to pass trousers on as they tend to wear them out, but saving on the polo shirts is good!

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  9. I don’t have any experience of school uniforms yet but I was so surprised to see how soon people buy them in the school holidays. Like the day after the holidays actually start! I will definitely try to remember to do this though.

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    • That’s me! Get it over and done with and forget about ti! Can get stressful if stuff sells out.

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  10. You have reminded me I MUST go and buy my girls pre-school top – I feel as it is quite a popular school and there is only one shop you can bloomin buy it in, in a few weeks? They will have gone. In fact? I shall do that today!!! #weekendbloghop xxx

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  11. we really struggled buying trousers for the boys once they reached the age of 13, had to buy mens in the smallest size possible then take them up every year. we did always leave buying new shoes until the week before they went back to school until they reached around 15 when their feet seemed to stop growing

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  12. Pretty much the way I do it. I already have all of the next size uniform purchased after the may half term. If my daughter needs it for september, so be it. If she still fits in her current uniform come September, then she’ll continue to wear it and the next size will stay neatly tucked away in her drawers til she needs it. No matter what time of the year, as soon as she’s in her next size, I start shopping for the next size up again. So basically always have have a new uniform stashed away x

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  13. I must admit we tend to work to a slightly different yearly pattern for some things because my son wears summer uniform up till October half term and the polo shirts he’s wearing are big enough to last till then. I think though I’ll be having to follow your trousers tip though as they are looking like they will be too short in September and I only have one pair in of a bigger size.

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    • My son’s school is very strict about summer polo shirts – they can be worn from Easter to July, but they have to be back in blazers for September. My daughter might still wear a summer dress in September, but she doesn’t usually need new uniform anyway!

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  14. I actually did this yesterday, threw out all the preschool uniform that was yuck and sorted out tights and trousers for sept, even better i bought Tshirts in next size up on the tesco sale at easter. Frozen school shirts for £1 each, my girls are happy And so am I. Just shoes to go.

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    • It’s so good to get organised! 🙂

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  15. I took a leaf out of your book and have done it all already. It shall be forever known as “doing a Sarah!” :). I’ve bought some extra big shoes as they were via a review and I get the feeling I might need to buy another in between pair at the end of summer. But ah well!

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    • Ha ha, I’ve heard of someone else calling it ‘doing a Sarah’ too! Those shoes you got are lovely!

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  16. These are very sensible hints. Im someone who always likes to get things sorted and out the way so I never left uniform buying to the last week xx

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    • Thanks very much! I always find it such a relief to get it finished at the start of the holidays! x

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  17. I always leave it until the last minute, I’m going to add it to my list of stuff to sort this week!

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    • Good luck! I find leaving it to the last minute is just too stressful!

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  18. Fantastic tips! Mine is not at school age yet, but this is helpful for when she is! xx

    #mondaystumble

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    • Thanks very much! It’s a lot less stressful this way!

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  19. So simple! I never do it though. With BP he tends to grow so much over the holidays that it’s pointless buying trousers at the start of the holidays because by the end of them he’ll have grown out of them. He’s already taller than me and seems to be growing at a phenomenal rate at the moment! You’re right about the shoes too. I’ll be doing my uniform buying at the end of August – and hoping I can get it all! 🙂
    #mondaystumble

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    • Good luck! My younger son is taller than me too, but very thin! I’ve bought him age 14-15 trousers in long and just hope we can tighten them up enough for him!

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  20. I so need to do this! Somehow he managed most of year one in his reception bits, with just a few additions along the way. He rarely wears a jumper so he’s had the same ones for 2 years. Not this year though, we need everything new!

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    • Good luck! Hope you can get everything you need. It’s so good when kids can wear stuff for a couple of years. It rarely seems to happen round here, although I think my son will be going into year 9 wearing some of the shirts he wore in year 7!

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  21. I have a stamp that I love and then I use the straighteners over it to make it colourfast!

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    • I’ve heard good things about the stamps! They hadn’t been invented when my eldest started school, so I just got into buying new iron-on labels whenever we needed to update, rather than looking for an alternative.

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