Help! Which School Uniform Should I Buy?

Which School Uniform Should I Buy?

A comparison of school uniform from high street stores and supermarkets

OK, forgive me for talking about school uniform when the holidays may have just begun for you, but believe me, organisation is key! Look around the supermarkets – the ‘Back To School’ sections are everywhere. Wall to wall school uniforms reminding parents not to leave it until the last minute. And woe betides those of us who do – believe me, I’ve been there! You’ll be struggling for sizes, there won’t be a matching pair of plimsolls, and you’ll be trailing around five or six stores to try and get everything you need.

In my defence, my kids are actually due back to school in just two weeks. Oh, praise be!! They’ve been off for four weeks already though, before you judge me! Scottish school holidays are different.

I don’t need to buy too much uniform as we bought a lot at Easter time because my boys move schools. Yes, we’re still using uniform from Easter (shock-horror!). I know some parents wait until the end of the summer to buy uniform in case their children grow, but really, uniforms should last at least one term, preferably close to a whole year, so a few weeks of summer shouldn’t make much difference. I hope!

Back to school - which school uniforms to buy
Back to school – which school uniforms to buy

Anyway, to the point – when I had to buy school uniform at Easter, I decided to use the opportunity to compare some high street/supermarket school uniforms for cost and quality, so you don’t have to. This included how they were after washing, and how much ironing they did or didn’t need. Mega important ironing avoidance!

I made a video for YouTube, and am now using this opportunity to update prices, and give you as much information as possible to save your shoe leather in trailing around the stores finding the best buys.

This is not sponsored or endorsed by anyone, it’s a truly independent Mum’s opinion and experience of buying school uniform, that’s all.

As you will see, I bought all boys’ uniforms because I have boys! I’ve added the girls’ prices too, but of course can’t comment on quality…


Trousers in 2-packs £8-10 in sizes 8 to 12 years. Prices increase with age, from £6 for 2.

Quality – really good. Our go-to trousers. Reinforced knees, coated against stains, non-iron. Wash and wash without degrading, come out nice and soft. Adjustable waists.

Polo shirts at Easter only had white colour, now many colours available. Packs of 2 £3.50-5 in ages 8-12. Again increase with age, from £2.50. Packs of 5 are (£12.50), from £5.50 but only in white and not the teflon-coated type.

Quality – good. White does eventually go a little grey.

Pinafore dresses from £5, pleated skirts from £3.50.


Polo shirts Pack of 2 £4 Trousers £8 for 2. Limited colour choice so we didn’t buy.

Trousers with adjustable waist, stain resist teflon coated 2 pack from £6.

Gingham dresses from £4, skirts from £4.


Again, limited choice at Easter so we didn’t buy. Much better colour choice in stock now for summer.

Polo shirts Pack of 3 £3.50 – £5.50 in large choice of colours

Trousers from £6 for pack of 2 £9-11 for pack of 2 in our sizes. Didn’t test.

Gingham dresses from £4, large range of colours. Pinafore dresses from £6.

Pleated skirts from £7

Pep and Co.:

Trousers £3-3.50 per pair

Quality – not good. They feel rough to touch, the coating is uneven and looks like glue has been spilled on. Not all have adjustable waist.

Polo Shirts – £1 each. Really nice actually, a bit of a big fit, but soft and washed ok (maybe faded slightly). Better than most supermarkets. Would buy again.

Gingham dresses from £4

All uniform has a 101 days return guarantee.


Aldi advertise a full school uniform for £3.75. They are only available in store.

Trousers – £1.25 per pair, not adjustable waists. Quite thin fabric but softer than the Pep and Co.

Polo Shirts – 2 pack £1.25 pale blue or white. It’s a while since we bought them, but again the quality was much lower. You could tell they were cheap.

Pinafore dress 2-pack £5.99. Skirts £1.25


Trousers – Large range of styles from £3 per pair depending on size & style. Our were 11-12 yrs £5.50

Quality – really good. Comparable to Tesco (almost identical). Non-iron, adjustable waist, coated against stains, reinforced knees.

Polo Shirts from £2.50 for a 2-pack, 11-12 years pack of 2 £3.50. 5-pack from £6.

Quality – not good. Very thin, washed stiff and creased. One developed a small hole after washing. I wouldn’t buy these again.

Gingham dresses from £4, 2-pack from £6. Pinafore Dresses from £4.

Skirts from £3, pleated skirts from £3.50

Marks & Spencer:

Trousers – lots of different choices.

Wool rich senior trousers. Full price £13, sale price £7.

Quality – very good. Adjustable hem and waist. Lovely thick fabric, although can feel the ‘scratch’ of the wool. Coated for stains and crease resistant.

Skin kind soft cotton trousers Full price £10, sale price £6

Quality – very good. Amazingly soft, no labels or rough seams. Great for allergy sufferers or sensitive kids. Adjustable waist. Look less like ‘school’ trousers, more like chinos. Faded a little on washing, creased so need ironing.

Slim leg trousers from £9. I bought them with a 20% off special offer. Adjustable waist and hem, stain & weatherproof, crease resistant.

Quality – again excellent, definitely can tell the difference. Fit is excellent, and Toby will take them out of the washing basket to wear as he likes them so much more than the others!

Polo shirts – pack of 2 from £5, pack of 3 from £7. Variety of colours.

Quality – excellent. Thick and soft, lovely thick collar. Slightly faded when washed, but felt soft and robust. Definitely the best for me.

Gingham Dresses from £9. Pinafore Dress from £10.

Skirts from £8.


Polo Shirts – 2 pack from £3

Quality – very good. Second only to the M&S ones. I was very pleased with them.

Trousers – many choices of styles from £6. We didn’t test these.

Gingham Dresses – From £6 in various colours. Pinafore Dresses from £6


Since publishing the video, I’ve had comments that John Lewis are very good for uniforms. Also Sainsburys (but wait for the 25% off says Laura at Tired Mummy & Zach Zone, who also agreed that Aldi weren’t as good quality).

I haven’t added sweaters, as quite often your choice is dictated by which stores provide the school’s badge. If you want to see this separately, please let me know and I’ll look into it.

Was this useful for you? I hope I’ve saved you some leg work!

Where do you buy your school uniform from? Would you recommend it or not?

Please pin this for later:

Help! Which School Uniform Should I Buy? Take a look at our comparison of high street stores and supermarkets to help you decide which is the best for you.
Help! Which School Uniform Should I Buy?


Cuddle Fairy

42 Replies to “Help! Which School Uniform Should I Buy?”

  1. Super guide Carol!! Really helpful
    Lauretta Wright recently posted…My blogging Month: JulyMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much!

  2. thanks for the helpful tips, my daughter starts school in September so I need to get her uniform sorted soon 🙂

    1. Oh great, I’m glad you found it useful. Good luck for September x

  3. This is so helpful! I’ll have a little one starting in September, but since he’ll be starting behind the others I don’t know what uniform to buy yet! Panicking now that they’ll be nothing left once school starts! Is it worth at least buying some trousers ahead of time? They can usually wear grey or black at most schools can’t they? Goodness I am clueless! Thanks for all of the tips, this is a great buying guide. x
    Rosie @ Little Fish recently posted…Living Arrows: 31/52 Through the TreesMy Profile

    1. Oh that’s difficult when you don’t know which school he will go to yet. I’m sure you’d be fine with a couple of pairs of tousers for now, until you know for sure x

  4. I have most of my children’s uniforms in too, I only need to buy shoes and socks now. We brought most things from Marks & Spencers when they had the sale on a few weeks ago. This is a really useful list x
    Newcastle Family Life recently posted…Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Baby FooteMy Profile

    1. Oh socks! I can’t remember if I’ve bought socks!! Will have to check when I’m home from France. Thanks for the reminder!!

  5. Individually everything looks really reasonably priced but it all adds up when you need loads of things x

    1. It certainly does, that’s why I always used to use my Tesco Clubcard vochers for uniform, but you can’t ‘double up’ on uniform now.

  6. There is so much choice when it comes to uniforms nowadays. I tend to go to a couple of places depending on what is needed – always M&S for boys trousers.
    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too recently posted…Keeping #HolidayMoments AliveMy Profile

    1. I’m a newbie to M&S uniform as I always used my Tesco Clubcard vouchers, but I’m really impressed!

  7. We aren’t yet at the point of buying school clothes, but buying early will dfinitely make it a less stressful experience. When I was younger we would always go at the end of the holiday and it was always a complete nightmare as everywhere had sold out by then.
    Emma recently posted…Creating stories with Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage Starter HomeMy Profile

    1. Oh I remember those days Emma!

  8. Thank you for your comprehensive list on pricing and where to get school uniform . This will be an ideal guide for my foster mum x

    1. Oh good, thank you, I hope you can pass it on to her?

  9. What a useful post! I’m sure this will be beneficial to lots of parents over the summer holidays. Like you, I like to be nice and organised so we’ve got everything all ready, some from last year which still fits. Just need to get shoes a couple of weeks before he goes back.
    Leandra recently posted…|REVIEW|Vac manMy Profile

    1. Thank you Leandra. Glad you’re almost sorted. I have a feeling I’m going to get home from France and find I’ve forgotten something major!!

  10. So many choices! you’re guide will definitely make is easier for people to know where to start
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

    1. Thanks Debbie. It can be complicated, can’t it?

  11. What an informative post. This will come in handy next year when the kiddies start big school.

    1. Thank you, hope it helps when you need it.

  12. What a great idea to put together a comparison post for parents with kids of school-going ages. There are so many shops doing school uniforms that it must be hard to find which one is the best one but you’ve done all the work. Going to share this post for friends who are getting ready for next year’s uniforms!
    Cath – BattleMum recently posted…Living Arrows 31/52My Profile

    1. Thank you so much Cath, and thanks for sharing x

  13. Really useful as Mia starts school in September and I literally have no clue what size I’m supposed to buy for her, let alone where to get things from and how many of each thing I need! I hope to go next week and get everything in one go so I can forget about it but with shirts, tie, blazer, pinafore, socks, shoes, PE kit and school book bag to buy, I’m worried! 🙂


    1. It does all seem daunting, but at least if you know the sizes are accurate, just get her normal size. I used to buy 5 of everything as my kids always drop something down themselves or get pen or paint on them, so have to change daily and saves washing several times a week! Not blazer though of course, and only 1 of each in the PE kit. Good luck x

  14. Wow! You certainly did your leg work didn’t you. I have never heard of Pep and Co. before and I really like that they do: “All uniform has a 101 days return guarantee.” I must look into that. Our closet store for uniforms are: ASDA, Sainsbury, Tesco and Matalan. I hate school clothes shopping! Such a nightmare as Ethan is ever so choosy. I feel like giving up sometimes. lol! Sound like you are so prepared for this. Well done Carol! xx

    Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…Big Family Festival 2017 ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks Su, hopefully it will help you a little. My two were so accepting of whatever I bought, but are starting to get more choosy!

  15. wow – I didn’t realise there was so much choice of where to buy from! We are home educating so it’s not a thing for us at the moment x

    1. It’s an immense choice, but I guess that’s a good thing! One less thing for you to worry about! Thanks for reading anyway x

  16. I grab ours in Tesco when I’m doing the food shopping! It’s such a good price 🙂

    1. Good idea. I used to use my clubcard vouchers to buy mine.

  17. I don’t have to worry about this myself as we are going to be homeschooling so no uniform here! I can save all that money and spend it on fun and interesting places to take the boys 🙂 #fabfridaypost

    1. That sounds like a lovely idea Jade x

  18. This post has been so useful thanks Carol – I have linked it in a school uniform post I am publishing next week.

    I tend to buy most things from M&S / Sainsburys.
    Sam | North East Family Fun Blog recently posted…Gateshead’s Great Outdoors | Derwent Walk Country Park FREE Sculpture Trail & Thornley Woodland CentreMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Sam, that’s really kind of you x

  19. What a fab idea. I don’t have any children but I think this is such a fab post to help. I also think this is indicative of the brands themselves in terms of quality!!

    Rachael xox

    1. Thank you Rachael. Sometimes you just want someone else to do the comparing for you, whatever the product!

  20. I remember my mum having to fork out a fortune for me and my brothers when we were kids but you really can find great value options in the supermarkets these days!

    1. You certainly can – and might as well after the way the kids roll around in them!!

  21. What an amazing guide! We only have Marks on Jersey but I am going back to the UK this Saturday to buy the girls uniform as it is far cheaper to pay for flights and get it in the UK. I will be using this handy guide to help!

    1. Thank you Emma. Have a great trip. Can you not get them delivered at a decent price?

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