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!
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?
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