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It’s that time of year again! With the end of the summer holidays fast approaching, children’s minds are focused on making the most of their last few weeks of free time to play, while parents are thinking about shoes, shirts and school bags.
Yes, it’s time to shop for school uniform – a potentially pricey and time-consuming activity.
But fear not! These seven handy tips from mum Emily Leary should make getting through uniform shopping a breeze and allow you to kit out your kids with clothes that fit well, wash well, last long and look great.
Talk to those in the know…the kids!
Before you even set out to the shops, don’t forget to talk to the kids about what they want!
My eldest loves wearing a shirt, while my youngest is happier in polo shirts. No one wants to buy something for their kids only for them to refuse to wear it.
Look out for smart fabric technology
We’re all familiar with the pain of finding a multitude of stains on our children’s clothes not five minutes after putting them on, but thankfully fabrics are getting smarter all the time, making all our lives a little easier. From colours that look new for longer, to stain repellent tops, Tesco’s back to school range is really pushing ahead items that work that little bit harder for you. All jersey & knitwear feature ‘As New’ technology and there is a stain repellent finish on all polo shirts, as well as most shirts, trousers & skirts.
Quality check your garments
We all tend to check the quality of the materials used when shopping for clothes, but to find a really decent garment it’s also important look at its construction.
When inspecting a pair of trousers, for instance, look out for how well they’re stitched and if there are any loose threads. Perhaps the pockets or hems look like they’re going to come apart easily.
The best school uniforms will include extra elements in the construction to help them work hard for your children. For instance, Tesco offer reinforced knees in many of their school trousers so that kids can go wild in the playground without you worrying about holes in their clothes.
Get the right fit
It can be hard to find an acceptable middle ground between clothes the kids will grow out of in a week and uniforms so big they’re hanging off them.
One feature to look out for is an adjustable waist – perfect for those years when kids are growing at lightning speed!
The Back To School range from Tesco offers adjustable waists across a huge range of different styles, you can be confident that their uniform will fit perfectly even with the inevitable growth spurts.
Don’t buy more than you need
It’s all too easy to go a bit crazy and buy far more than you need, meaning children grow out of things before they get decent wear out of them.
Retailers will sell school uniform all year round, so make a list of what you definitely need from day one, and stock up periodically as things become worn or too small.
Only buy what you need from the official store
If your school has an official uniform provider, you might think that means you have to buy everything through them, but that’s often not the case.
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Have a look at what the official dress uniform states. Sometimes, official shops sell garments at a mark-up without the associated bump in quality, so it often makes more sense to only buy the items you absolutely have to (such as sweaters with logos) and grab your shirts, trousers and everything else from somewhere more affordable.
Don’t forget the extras
It’s not just clothes that have to grow with your child – you’ll probably find they need a bigger backpack over time too.
Aim to factor little extras such as lunch boxes, water bottles, backpacks and stationery into your budget from the start so that you don’t get caught out down the line.