‘Back to school’ is an expensive time for parents. Thankfully, high-street stores and supermarkets are reducing this expense by offering staple items for cheap prices, and with added value technology to take the strain of playground antics and growth spurts, school uniform is now designed to make your life easier and your uniform bill lighter.
So what’s the most important thing to consider when buying uniform? Price? Size? Quality? Guarantee? All these factors are important considering 80% of parents replace school uniforms within the same year of purchase, and 60% of school uniforms are replaced within the first six months. From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, you want a uniform that is durable, stain resistant and will go the extra mile.
PROOF IS IN THE WEAR & TEAR
Stain-busting hi-tech innovations is what you want if you’re after playground proof uniform. Look for extra protection and treatments on fabrics that will make it last, no matter how many tumbles and muddy puddles your child encounters. Many brands on the high-street can offer you skirts, tunics, trousers and shorts with DuPont™ Teflon®, an invisible fabric protector that helps protect clothing from spills, stains, blemishes and everyday messy mishaps. Stains and spills clean up quickly and easily, and fabrics retain their colour and quality so they look better and last longer. Look out too for Triple Action Stormwear™, Stain Away™ and StayNEW™ technology.
Clever touches in school uniform make it easier to play the long game as ingenious design touches allow the uniform to grow with your child. The latest addition to the schoolwear market are adjustable hems and cuffs, adding 3cm onto blazers and trousers – say no more, and almost all trousers and skirts come with adjustable waists, (some with Supercrease™ technology), perfect for growth spurts and extra comfortable for active kids; and since all children are different shapes and sizes, you can now buy slim fit and plus fit trousers for girls and boys and generous size skirts and blouses, trousers and shirts.
IF THE SHOE FITS
If the shoe fits, chances are you’ll want more from a school shoe than just comfort. Say goodbye to scuffs with scuff-resistant finishes and hello to sweet smelling school feet with new Freshfeet™ technology that eliminates odours and prevents bacterial and fungal growth. Look for shoes with breathability; tiny permeated holes in the soles that allow moisture to be quickly absorbed so feet stay dry and healthy. Shoes that promote cushioned soles to support growing feet and waterproof and slip resistant soles are also great buys.
The latest innovation in school uniform will save time for you in the mornings. Look out trousers and skirts with no buttons or zips and shirts that are fastened with Velcro. Marks & Spencer’s new line of school uniform will make it simpler for children to dress themselves and includes buttonless shirts, zipless trousers and skirts and a long-sleeved polo shirt, which can be worn with a tie.
BECAUSE MULTI-BUYS MATTER
Whatever you are buying look out for multi-packs, buy one get one free, and buy one get one half price offers in-store. Great value packs of shirts, polo shirts and vests are pretty much available everywhere but the offers you really want are on trousers, skirts and pinafores, and cross departmental buys.
PEACE OF MIND & YOUR GUARANTEE
More retailers will guarantee their school uniforms, because quality matters. George at Asda gives a 100 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, your proof of purchase will allow for an exchange or refund, while Morrison school uniforms can be returned for up to 200 days under the “no quibble” guarantee. At Aldi, you can return goods up to 60 days after purchase if you are unhappy and 12 months for faulty goods. Lidl offer a 30-day guarantee and 12 months for faulty goods, Tesco is 30 days if you change your mind, 12 months if faulty and Sainsbury will guarantee your uniform up to 20 washes.