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School uniforms 2016 on test | By Kirsty McCabe, and son, Ethan

Our weekly columnist's son, Ethan, is facing his second year at primary school. Kirsty trials school uniforms to help his first term back get off to a 'seamless' start

Posted: 4 August 2016
by Catherine Hudson

'Hands up who's excited to try on school uniform?!'

My son’s first year of school has flown past and at last the summer holidays are here. Forget phonics it’s all fun fun fun for him. For parents on the other hand, it’s time to get everything ready for the new academic year so let’s start with the biggie - school uniform.

It must be all the extra sunshine that makes children sprout an extra couple of inches over the summer holidays; so that those trousers that fit just right on the last day of term will be hanging at half mast seven weeks later.

These days you can kit out your kids from a host of high street shops or even the supermarket. And if you can’t face dragging your unwilling offspring to the store then you can order online. It’s as easy as A-B-C. Though uniforms are definitely much smarter these days with Teflon coatings standard fare.

Despite the scientific advances in crease-resistant, stain-resistant and water-repellant fabrics, not to mention perfect pleats, buying new school uniform won’t hurt your budget. Here’s a look at four of our favourites, George at ASDA, Tu at Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer, as modelled by my 5-year-old Ethan (who, it must be noted, had chickenpox and wasn’t in the mood to pose for photos). Of course, no uniform is complete without shoes so we picked a perfect pair from Start-rite.



For most parents this is the place to go and for good reason. M&S promises stain-busting, crease-resistant, size-adjusting and hi-tech innovations. No need to iron the shirts, just tumble dry and go. Always a winner in my book! The prices are slightly more than the supermarkets but there are plenty of options and the quality and designs are impressive.

As Ethan often stops his bike or scooter using his shoes rather than the brake, I’m a fan of the scuff-resistant coated leather school trainers. Ideal for running about outside and you simply wipe with a damp cloth to restore their original appearance.

How much for a polo shirt?

Prices start from £2.50 per shirt. But if you opt for the personalised polo shirt with your school’s logo, it jumps to £6.



A supermarket that has come up trumps when it comes to value for money, durability and quality. The multipacks come in greater quantities, definitely a plus when your child has a habit of losing items on PE days or manages to get dirty enough (due to their love of gravy) to require a fresh uniform every day.

The Tu blue V-neck jumper is super soft, and the perfect shade. What’s more, it should stay that way, thanks to Tu’s promise of long-lasting colour.

How much for a polo shirt?

Prices start from £1.17 per shirt.



We were impressed by the quality of the fabrics and the cost, you could easily get all the items you need, including the PE kit, for under £40, plus George offers a 100 day ‘no quibble’ guarantee. To help with online ordering there’s a measuring/size guide, a measuring tips video and a printable foot measuring guide.

Ethan was quite taken with the smart leather slip-on shoes (we’re not quite at the laces stage yet) and we both really liked the mesh-lined jacket. Waterproof and lightweight with reflective tags - the hood is perfect for drizzly days but if the sun is out you can easily pop the jacket into a school bag.

How much for a polo shirt?

Prices start from £1.20 per shirt.



As the offspring of a podiatrist, it’s no surprise that I am a bit of a stickler for quality, well-fitting shoes. Yes it can cost more, but you need school shoes that can cope with all kinds of weathers and exciting playground adventures day after day. Traditional British shoe company Start-rite isn’t just one of our favourites, they also have the royal seal of approval from Prince George.

Of course, the first step to good footwear is to get properly measured. These days you don’t even have to do this in a store, as you can download special measuring tools online to use at home.

Since Ethan hasn’t mastered laces yet we opted for the ease of the riptape fastenings on the scuff-resistant Aqua Warrior shoes. These waterproof leather shoes have a padded ankle for comfort and support, plus to keep his feet fresh the linings are breathable and the insoles can be removed. My dad would definitely approve.

Right, now that we’ve got the uniform sorted there’s just one thing left to do … tag it!

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news

"And, if you are in need of a little friendly, advice, have a read of some of my other columns...Kirsty McCabe

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Discuss this story

There are lots of great options for parents within varying price ranges in different places. The one thing that We never compromise on is the kids school shoes, we always get their shoes from startriteshoes.com, the kids love them and think there really comfortable which is important for school as have them on all day.

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 14:37

Wow. the uniforms are cool.

Posted: 24/11/2016 at 14:14

Wow. the uniforms are cool.

Posted: 24/11/2016 at 14:21

Just there are some glitches on the page and the comment is stuck. Hope it will be visible.
The quality of fabrics is really great. I remember the uniform for the students we discusses with Essay for College writers - they were just so wonderful. The girls in Germany don't wear skirts, did you know that? Weird, right?

Posted: 24/11/2016 at 14:23

Presently this is a surprise and a glad one at that! Like you I held up until the end of summer to get my kids their uniform a year ago, and we attempted to discover things in their sizes so needed to run with what we found dissertation proposal online. This looks like extraordinary esteem. Great post!

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 07:31

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