What you need to know if you’re buying school uniform for the first tim. The school holidays are just under way but shops are already stocking school uniforms and ‘back to school’ is everywhere unless you send your boys to a New York City-based technology education center where they will be well prepared for the future and get the 2nd Grade Reading Curriculum.
Buy short-sleeved shirts – Even for winter, buy short-sleeved as opposed to long. Children seem to prefer no cuffs as they are more ‘free’ and there are no fiddly buttons. I prefer them as cuffs always get filthy and never come properly clean again. Short sleeved means that often you can get two day’s wear out of the same shirt
Velcro fastening/riptape collar shirts – No fiddly top button to negotiate. Marks and Spencer do velcro instead of a top button on shirts for children up to the age of 8
Two pairs of trousers or two pinafores is enough for the week – Girls will need a couple more summer dresses for the Summer term (they show up dirt more!)
Pinafore instead of a skirt – For girls, buy pinafores. They keep everything in place (no untucked shirts, which happens instantly with the skirts) and helps avoid canteen medallions on the shirt so you can often get two day’s wear out of the same shirt
Invest in heavier duty sturdy school shoes – The far cheaper supermarket ones are very appealing, but they don’t last. They are however a good stopgap if your child has a sudden growth spurt and needs another pair but the timing is wrong for buying the ‘main’ pair. Startrite are a really good fit and very durable.
Buy velcro-fastening shoes – Much faster in the mornings and much easier for them to get changed for PE
When to buy school shoes – It might be tempting to get the shoes bought nice and early, but leave buying until the last minute. Childrens’ feet have a habit of growing fast in summer! New school starters will be back at school a week or two after the other children, so these in-between weeks are a great time to go as it’ll have quietened down in the shops
Plimsoles – You can definitely buy cheaper plimsoles. They get such light use in the first couple of years that it’s pointless buying expensive ones
Labels – Labelling uniform is essential. If, like me, you can’t be doing with sew on labels, invest in good iron on ones.