It’s that time of year again, the time to shop for school uniform. We need absolutely everything. My eldest was last at school in March, due to Covid19, so the winter boots I’d bought her in January didn’t get much use .
I’ve updated the information below from last year with Covid19 updates. We’ve built up some useful information and advice amongst Mumblers in the Doncaster Mumbler Chat Group over the past couple of years including What to buy, where, labels etc. A lot of it still relevant and I hope it’s helpful, especially if you have a little one starting school for the first time.
Remember your mask if you go shopping.
What to buy?
Your School will have specific guidance about the uniform that is acceptable for students, so make sure you know what options you have (this is often sent out in the new starters pack, or may be available on the school website). Some schools offer quite a variety of colour choices making shopping much easier, if your school if quite specific about what to wear then it may be that only certain shops stock that option, so definitely worth checking before heading out to the shops!
Most schools allow the bulk of the uniform to be purchased without the logos (ie generic from supermarkets etc) this is much cheaper than buying the official uniform with logos from the school (once again check what’s acceptable). Some people buy just one ”official” top with logo from the school to wear for school photos trips etc, or in my case a tie to wear on those occasions, so you have that option if you wish.
For the bottom half: Trousers / Skirts / Culottes / Shorts
For the top half: Polo shirt / Shirt / Jumper / Cardigan
Dresses:Pinafores / Gingham dresses / playsuits (yes, these are a thing and we embraced them in the summer – great for little girls who like handstands and cartwheels!)
For the Feet: School socks / Tights/ School shoes
Coat Ok, so not technically uniform, but definitely required!
PE Kit Top / shorts / socks / trainers or pumps
Tie Not sure how many schools still make tie’s obligatory, ours doesn’t, but I do buy one as I like to see them on photos!
Bags/Stationary Our school has a book bag, which we bought from the school reception. You may also need a PE Kit bag and or lunch bag.
How much to buy?
This ultimately comes down to how often you want to be doing the laundry and how good your child is at bringing home what they took to school (see labelling section below!)
Advice from the Mumbler Experts:
5 polo shirts, 2 jumpers, 3 pairs of trousers, 5 pairs of socks. (Mumbler MW)
5 polo shirts (coloured rather than white if that’s an option), 4 trousers, 4 shorts, 3 jumpers. (Mumbler RN)
It will depend on how messy your child is. If they can eat their dinner without getting it down them, you can manage on 2 jumpers. If not, you’ll need 3 (one wearing, one drying, one in wash. Polo top or shirt for every day. Usually come in packs of 3s so 2 packs are great. (Mumbler HH)
Where to buy from?
Of course you can mix and match from different shops, here are the most popular school uniform suppliers:
Marks and spencer or next for shirts and trousers/skirts. My son plays football every day and his trousers come up immaculate every wash. There’s no tears or holes. It pays off to spend a bit more. (Mumbler JM)
Covid19 Update Reopen in Doncaster Frenchgate, Meadowhall, Wheatley Hall Road, Lakeside Village (Outlet), Scunthorpe Gallagher Retail Park.
My cousin has been. She said Meadowhall was very quiet. Everyone had masks and security were making sure of it. There’s a one way system and she was able to visit Clinkard easily for new shoes (EM)
Clarks at Cortonwood was easy for school shoes (LL)
Clarks guarantee 2020 – Buy Early with confidence.They guarantee that the Shoes from an infant size 10 upwards will remain the correct fit for your child or children’s feet from the date of purchase to 28 February 2021 and Infant sizes 7-9.5 will remain the correct fit for your child or children’s feet from the date of purchase to 30 November 2020 (the “Guarantee”) or they will give you an exchange in accordance with the returns policy.
Stationery, bags and other bits
I always remember how nice it was to get a shiny new pencil case with which to start the school year! Some schools don’t allow children to take their own pencil cases, but others do.
Direct from the school: The official school uniform with logos is usually available via an order form through the school.
Uniform shop: Cliffs on Printing Office Street, Doncaster (Worth checking if they stock your school uniform before you make a trip)
Second Hand uniform: It’s worth asking at the school if they stock this, or the PTA may do a sale. Otherwise, list your second hand items this weekend on the Doncaster Mumbler News Page and you might pick up something second hand from another Mumbler.
This is a MUST DO task! We have mainly misplaced PE tops this year and as much as I enjoy my regular trips to lost property to rummage through the clothes mountain, it’s much easier when the teaching staff can see the label and pop it back on the child’s peg or in their bag for them. There are plenty of options: labels (stick on / iron on / sew on), stamps or writing on with pens. Pick one and get busy!
Stikins from Amazon…they are amazing (Mumbler DR)
Boyes iron on ones are amazing lasted 3 years so far. So easy and cheap 59 for £2. (Mumbler NP)
Sharpie easy and quick to do uniforms and it does not wash off (Mumbler AS)
My nametags, they have a FB page. Don’t fade or come off and are lovely (Mumbler JS)
Stikins are fab stay stuck wash after wash and stick to anything from fabric to plastic – absolutely everything in between. (Mumbler AS)
Stikins. Fab and so easy /no ironing etc (Mumbler KC)
Black biro! Lasts well. Cheap. Simple. No messing (Mumbler EI)
Stamptastic! Stamp your labels in no time at all! I’ve used pens, stick/iron on and fabric and so far the stamp was the easiest by a mile. Apparently it lasts the year too (Mumbler MM)
So, I was a bit late to the party on this one, but thought I’d share in case anyone else didn’t know about these playsuits. Sooooooooo much more practical than school dresses and no need to wear cycling shirts under them anymore.
My daughter loves them (and it appears I’ve wasted money on her school dresses as I suspect she’ll just be wearing these now!) (Mumbler KK)
Jersey polo tops are the most comfy and far less rough. Pinafores protect the white under and don’t show the marks as much. (Mumbler GH)
Always trousers on PE days because they can’t wear tights for PE so have to take them off, so trousers are easier. (Mumbler RM)
Pinafores keep tops clean and look smarter than skirts (tshirts always hanging out). (Mumbler HH)
Keeping those white polo shirts/socks white!
I bleach my boys whites.Hot water in my mop bucket and a good slug of household bleach. (Mumbler JM)
Soak in sink in small amount of bleach or vanish then hang on line in sun to dry before a normal wash (Mumbler DF)
I use Ariel bio liquid and a scoop of vanish gold for whites on a normal wash and they come out good as new. My mother in law gave me that tip! (Mumbler CS)
We bought white socks for our daughter in Reception. All absolutely filthy, binned and navy socks it is from September! (Mumbler LH)
Wow – that’s a lot to take in!
Hopefully you feel well informed by the marvellous Mumbler Community and fully prepared to emabark on the mission of school uniform shopping.
None of us know quite what to expect come September, but good luck! We’ll be uniform ready!