During term time, children usually spend more time in their school uniforms than in regular clothes. Kids don’t always get it right when it comes to looking after and maintaining their uniform. So don’t miss our 10 useful hacks for school uniforms to keep you top of the class.
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These tips and hacks may help you prolong the life of your child’s school uniform. They all come from parents who have children aged from pre-school right up to college years.
Useful Hacks For School Uniforms
#1. All Change
My number 1 tip is to get your child to change out of their school uniform as soon as they get home. And teach them to hang it up!
They will be more comfortable and it avoids stains from spills at dinner and rips and tears from play. It also has the added benefit of helping keep their uniform fresher too.
If your child has after school activities or a play date, simply pack spare clothes for them to change into after school and teach them to fold their uniform neatly in their bag!
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#2. Label Everything
As all the children in school will be wearing the same uniform, put their name on every item of their school uniform as soon as you buy it. This includes coats, hats, PE gear, togs, towels, etc.
Whether you use a label or a laundry pen, there will be mix ups but having names on items reduces the chances of them getting lost in the first place and any item they do misplace can be easily identified and returned.
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#3. Look for Uniforms with Extras
When buying your school uniform, look for items with extras as standard. For instance at M&S many of their uniform fabrics are stain resistant, water repellant and crease resistant.
You’ll also find innovative sizes and fits including Plus fit (6cm wider in the body), Slim fit (4cm narrower in the body), as well as shorter and longer lengths on trousers and skirts. And clever design features like adjustable cuffs.
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#4. Personalise School Uniforms
At my daughters’ school they all have to wear the same jacket. To help her identify hers more easily, I added a small keyring to the zipper. You could also add a hair tie, a badge or even a piece of coloured ribbon to the zipper or hanging up loop, so they can see right away whether they have the correct jacket.
It is also a nice way of making their school uniform a bit different from everyone else and allows their individuality to shine through.
Another way to do this is the change the buttons on their school cardigan. You may have to stick to a specific colour, but you could change the style of them.
And if you get your child to decorate their school bag with key rings, badges or other items, it shows a bit of their personality without getting them into bother with uniform monitors!
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#5. Have a Specific Wash Day
Friday afternoon is wash day for all school uniforms and school gear in our house. This avoids a plaintive cry on Sunday evenings that they have no clean shirts/socks or that their gym gear is not washed.
By having your school uniform wash day on the same day each week it becomes a habit for the kids to place everything in the wash basket on time for that wash, so they have clean gear for the following week.
The following tips are really just common sense, but no harm reminding you of them.
- Check the care labels on all items before you wash them. Some items like jumpers will require a cooler wash than cotton shirts.
- Separate darks from whites, again this may seem obvious, and while it can be tempting to just throw everything in together, as the school year rolls on, you will notice the difference if you don’t separate.
- Use the correct detergent too. Some have bleach and are suitable for lighter colours, some have built in fabric conditioner and others are best used on darker garments.
- Wash anything with a school crest of embroidery inside out, this will help to keep them from catching or fraying.
- And finally, check care labels for ironing. Not everything will be suitable for ironing and strong heat could damage delicate fabrics.
It will extend the life of your school uniforms if you take care when washing them.
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#6. Buy Generic Uniform Items
Many schools have crests and school ties that you must buy from a specialist school uniform retailer. But you can often save money on other items such as skirts, shirts, trousers, socks & tights, polo shirts & gym gear when you buy generic items from stores such as M&S.
You may even be able to purchase the crest independently and add it to a generic cardigan, jumper or blazer.
#7. School Shoes
School shoes are often black or brown. To help prolong the life of school shoes and prevent extra scuffing, ensure your child changes out of them when they get home. And if they get wet, stuff them with newspaper and let them dry naturally, this will help them hold their shape.
Polish them once a week to add an extra layer of protection and keep them looking great.
M&S have a fantastic range of leather, scuff resistant footwear. And with freshfeet technology included too, you will have no worries keeping your child’s school shoes looking as good as new!
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#8. Try Before You Buy
Do set aside a day to go shopping for school uniforms with the kids. You may have to bribe them, but it will be worth it in the end!
It is best to try on their school uniform before you buy it. For instance they may want a larger jumper or cardigan than they usually buy or may want a slimmer or shorter fit on shirts and polo shirts, so getting them to try on everything once means you won’t have to return items.
Download the handy M&S Kids Footwear Measuring Guide
#9. A Place for Everything
Get the kids into the routine of laying out their school uniform the night before. That way they won’t be chasing around looking for stuff in the morning when everyone is trying to get out to school and work.
Getting them into the habit of hanging up or folding their uniform into a storage box or uniform drawer will help no end as it will always be in the same place then.
The same goes for shoes, jackets and school bags. Have a place for each child to leave theirs and it will cut down on morning stress!
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#10. Be Prepared
If your budget allows, I would buy school uniform extras of polo shirts, shirts and socks during the summer months when school uniform stocks are at their best. And even if your school cardigan, jumper, pinafore is crested, buy a spare generic one in the same colour, in case you have an emergency mid-week.
Also buy a spare size up on items like trousers, skirts, shirts & polos shirts and PE gear when there are good stock levels in stores.
This will save you having to hunt for extras when your child has a growth spurt half way through the year and school uniforms are not easily available.
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Have Your Say! Have we missed any vital hacks for school uniforms or do you have any of your own to share? Please let us know in the comments box below.