Little G starts Reception in just over a week, so I have been school uniform shopping over the past few weeks (months) in preparation for September. As it’s our first time doing the uniform hunting, here are some of the things I have learned about the process:
Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Start shopping for uniform early. We found out mid-April which Primary school G had been allocated a place at. So once I had that email (and after I had finished dancing about in glee that we had been allocated a place at our first choice school) I started shopping. Just little bits here and there. Polo shirts on the supermarket run. Socks when I was on a lunch break. This helped me be organised, make sure I had the pick of the sizes, and also meant I had spread the cost a bit. Because trust me, it soon adds up!!!
Know Your Uniform
This one is so important! After all I didn’t want G turning up on her first day with the wrong colour polo shirt on. Your school, if it has a uniform, should have a very clear guide on what the uniform is, and whether it is compulsory. For us, it is compulsory. But they are fairly flexible in the colours you can choose for skirts/trousers/socks/shoes/PE kit etc. The only real thing to stick to is white polo shirts and burgundy jumpers/cardigans. But even then, the jumpers don’t have to have the logo on (and this is worth checking, as most supermarkets do jumpers in all the main school colours now, so you can save a fortune). School shoes too – check the policy on these. As long as they are black or brown, our school allows the children to wear either shoes or trainers. So again, a bit of flexibility 🙂
I made a note on my phone of the uniform list, so I always had it with me – this really helped when I was out and about and saw something – as I could check if it would be allowed.
Make the Most of When Discounts/Sales Are On
This one kind of ties in with starting early. I tried to keep an eye on when discounts/sales were on – for example Sainsburys often have their 25% off TU during school half terms, so I got a few bits during half term. For next year, I’ll do the same, and keep a note of when the sales are coming up. Now I know what I’m buying (See uniform code) it’ll be easier.
I have to say, Sainsburys have been fantastic for school uniform for us this year – such great prices, and so much choice. I am really impressed. The only thing they didn’t do were the burgundy jumpers and cardigans, but I think everything else I bought from Sainsburys.
Look in Places You Wouldn’t Always Think Of
When you think of uniform shopping, it’s usually the same places… Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, and now the supermarkets. I’ve trawled round them all over the last few months. But it’s also worthwhile just keeping an eye out everywhere you go. For example, I got a fantastic school coat for G from Mountain Warehouse. I just went in without uniform in mind, and they had some great discounts on the coats. I only really went in to kill some time, but it was very much worth it!
Share Tips with Your Mum/Dad Friends
Ahhh everyone is all out shopping for uniform. Hurriedly looking for the deals and the right sizes and the right coloured jumper. If you find a great deal, or somewhere local that has the stuff in your kid’s classmates will likely need, shout about it! We have a Facebook group for parents of new starters, and also a Whatsapp group – so I would often post little PSA’s in case it they were useful to anyone else! And they would do the same, so I got some great tips too!
School Shoes Are Expensive!!
Need I really say more? The only thing I will say on this, is leave these until the end of the holidays; G’s feet had grown by the time we got measured last week so I’m really glad I waited!
Be Prepared to Feel Emotional
When we tried G’s uniform on, although I was excited, it made me tear up. My little baby has grown up so much, and seeing her in her new uniform made her look even more grown up but so small at the same time. It’s hard to explain. You’ll know what I mean when you do it. It’s a reminder that in just over a week, our lives will change forever, and she will no longer be completely mine. *sniff*
Buy Pre-Printed Name Labels
Honestly, these were worth every penny. OK, so I still burned my hand on the iron, but at least I didn’t have to faff about writing names on them all like I remember my Mum doing in a massive rush the night before term started. I bought a set of pre-printed stickers, that you just iron straight on. It was really simple, and the names won’t fade or rub off in the wash. As they are all typed too, there’s no chance of teachers realising just how terrible my handwriting is when G loses her shorts on her first PE lesson! Ha!
Getting school ready has been an interesting journey – and a pretty expensive one! But, a week before term starts and we are all done and dusted. All labelled up and ready to go. Well, the uniform is, and Little G is. Me however, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it yet….