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School Uniform - First time tips

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Hello, as the title says I am buying uniform for the first time this year as DD is moving to a pre-school that requires it. I can purchase polo shirts and/or sweatshirts with the school logo, but these aren't compulsory. Otherwise its just school colours (navy and white).

Does anyone have any tips (not necessarily on particular stores/brands) but what items to buy that will see me through till next summer without looking scruffy. I want her to look smart each day but be practical for her to wear too. Skirts, skorts, pinafores, trousers? Polo shirts or blouses? Sweatshirts or jumpers or cardigans.

Also, any tips for keeping uniform looking good through to the end of the school year.
We Made-it-3 on 28/01/11 with birth of our gorgeous DD.
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  • notanewuser
    notanewuser Posts: 8,499 Forumite
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    First time for me too (DD is 3). I've bought 2 pleated skirts and 2 sets of shorts from M&S. Both have adjustable waists and storm wear (whatever that is).

    Went for an embroidered cardigan from the approved uniform supplier. Offered DD choice of jumper or cardigan, and she opted for cardigan as she thought it would be easier for her to put on and take off.

    Have ordered an embroidered polo shirt in 2 sizes from Tesco to see which is the best fit. Soon as she's tried those on I'll order another 4.

    6 pairs of cotton rich grey tights from next. 10 pairs of white socks from M&S.

    Pair of black shoes from startrite.

    2 tshirts and shorts for games, plus basic daps from Tesco.

    Even doing it with voucher codes and offers it's over £100, which seems very expensive when you consider it shouldn't even be compulsory!
    Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman
  • building_with_lego
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    The way to view uniform is that it protects your child's clothes from paint/glue/glitter/mud/lunch etc.

    Presumably your DD is 3. I'd go with navy polo shirts, if you can (H&M sell them), and navy bottoms as there'll likely be a lot of paint/glue/glitter/mud/lunch etc :D.

    If your DD wears skirts get her skirts; if she wears trousers buy trousers. (I've made the mistake of thinking I "need" to buy summer dresses for a girl who only ever wears trousers...) Ditto jumpers/cardies.

    I used to soak white polos in the vain hope that they'd stay white. Now I assume that the children'll grow out of them before they look too dreadful, else I'll dye them navy! If you wash and dry the darker items inside out they fade less.

    I'm sure there are loads of tips I've not come across yet but there's my two penn'orth
    They call me Dr Worm... I'm interested in things; I'm not a real doctor but I am a real worm. :grin:
  • building_with_lego
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    First time for me too (DD is 3). I've bought 2 pleated skirts and 2 sets of shorts from M&S. Both have adjustable waists and storm wear (whatever that is).

    Went for an embroidered cardigan from the approved uniform supplier. Offered DD choice of jumper or cardigan, and she opted for cardigan as she thought it would be easier for her to put on and take off.

    Have ordered an embroidered polo shirt in 2 sizes from Tesco to see which is the best fit. Soon as she's tried those on I'll order another 4.

    6 pairs of cotton rich grey tights from next. 10 pairs of white socks from M&S.

    Pair of black shoes from startrite.

    2 tshirts and shorts for games, plus basic daps from Tesco.

    Even doing it with voucher codes and offers it's over £100, which seems very expensive when you consider it shouldn't even be compulsory!

    The same PE top did both of mine through a total of six years of games, with no real evidence of wear. Two sets is probably excessive. I agree about the value daps (you're from the South West I take it?:D) although even M&S are under £5 per pair
    They call me Dr Worm... I'm interested in things; I'm not a real doctor but I am a real worm. :grin:
  • notanewuser
    notanewuser Posts: 8,499 Forumite
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    The same PE top did both of mine through a total of six years of games, with no real evidence of wear. Two sets is probably excessive. I agree about the value daps (you're from the South West I take it?:D) although even M&S are under £5 per pair

    They came in packs of 2, hence 2 sets (£5 for all 4 items). No idea how often they do PE, and I don't do washing every day so didn't want smelly kit hanging around.

    South Wales. ;)
    Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman
  • flea72
    flea72 Posts: 5,392 Forumite
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    The same PE top did both of mine through a total of six years of games, with no real evidence of wear. Two sets is probably excessive. I agree about the value daps (you're from the South West I take it?:D) although even M&S are under £5 per pair

    We have separate indoor and outdoor PE kits in our school, so you need two of everything. It only comes home at end of term for a wash too
  • Make-it-3
    Make-it-3 Posts: 1,661 Forumite
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    What are daps?

    As far as I know she doesn't need a games kit - but I will check that out.

    I have noticed some kids wear all navy, but does paint/glue/glitter/lunch come out of that any easier?
    We Made-it-3 on 28/01/11 with birth of our gorgeous DD.
  • Mrs_Soup
    Mrs_Soup Posts: 1,154 Forumite
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    I find school uniform quite good value for money and quite hard wearing even buying the logo items from school. They do wear it a lot and I have found the range of other clothes they need to possess reduces significantly when they are in uniform most of the time. My son has gone through the knees of one pair of trousers so far and that is in three years- otherwise he just has new each september. Currently he has two trousers, 3/4 polos and three sweatshirts plus one set of PE kit. The PE kit stays at school for half a term then comes home to be washed and goes back again. Small children don't have smelly sweat so I don't feel teh need to wash it more frequently at the moment- might do by year 6. He refuses to wear shorts so has long trousers all year round.
    I have the younger one going to school this year and he is wearing hand me down polos as we had 5 in Reception so they got much less wear, but new sweatshirts and trousers (he needs smaller trousers than his big brother did but would probably have got new anyway as they get a bit battered. I think as he mmoves trhough school I will get him new stuff and keep his brothers cast offs for emergency use
  • Janepig
    Janepig Posts: 16,780 Forumite
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    Make-it-3 wrote: »
    What are daps?

    As far as I know she doesn't need a games kit - but I will check that out.

    I have noticed some kids wear all navy, but does paint/glue/glitter/lunch come out of that any easier?

    It's Welsh for trainers! :rotfl::rotfl:

    Jx
    And it looks like we made it once again
    Yes it looks like we made it to the end
  • troutyjo
    troutyjo Posts: 55 Forumite
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    If your little one is in nursery/reception I would go for more than one cardigan/jumper - mine generally comes home at the end of the day covered in paint and her lunch, you'll find yourself constantly washing and drying.

    Most in our school seem to buy the embroidered ones from local stockists and also have plain bought from elsewhere as a (cheaper) back up. Some shops around here offer an embroidery service which does work out slightly cheaper, don't know if you could check for any in your area. Check to see if there's a school facebook page or similar where you could check to see where other parents go for their uniforms.

    I would also ask what she would prefer - skirts, trousers and pinafores, pointless buying if they will not wear it.
    Unless you don't mind ironing - keep away from pleats in the skirts etc, nightmare to iron lol. Also any fleece jumpers or joggers wash inside out - tend not to bobble so much.. I use Dr Beckmann glowhite sachets for polos and blouses on a high temp wash, seems to avoid the grey discolouration.

    Don't go overboard - you'll probably find that she'll outgrow the lot by Christmas - Good Luck x
  • Janepig
    Janepig Posts: 16,780 Forumite
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    DS basically has DD's hand me down polo shirts - they've got the school badge on and I find they're quite hard wearing. Although if DS had got them first I'd never be able to pass them on!! She hasn't got sweatshirts to pass on as she's had hoodies with her name on the back for the last few years.

    I'm not a fan of adjustable waists, particularly at this time of year as I find the buttons rub the skin. It's not so bad in the winter when they've got the polo shirt or a vest tucked in. Luckily DD loved summer dresses so we got some good wear out of those, teamed with a white or navy cardi (their summer dresses were pale blue check).

    I find H&M are very good for PE items - their jogging bottoms and shorts (in the same material) have proper pull in waists so they fit even the skinniest kids. I always found the non adjustable ones from the big stores were enormous and wouldn't go near my two. They are also reasonably priced in H&M so when DS gets holes in the knees I don't mind replacing them.

    I've also found over the years that the hems on M&S trousers always seem to come down after a short time and need wonder webbing! I don't know if that's just me but I never seem to find that problem with any other makes.

    Jx
    And it looks like we made it once again
    Yes it looks like we made it to the end
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