WHETHER they're just starting primary or secondary or have grown over the summer, there's nothing like a smart, cheap school uniform to get them into that back-to-school spirit.
For once, we'd wager parents are feeling eager about kitting their kids out in new school uniforms.
It's easy to spend a fortune on school uniforms, but if you know where to look, you can find well-made separates that last on the cheap.
Supermarkets are a great place to start when you're looking for cheap uniform items.
For button-down blouses, polo shirts and PE-ready cotton tees, Amazon has a good selection of well-priced items.
Many high street retailers are running discounts already for savvy parents looking to stock up, so make sure you keep an eye on prices during the summer.
Cheap uniforms are cheaper than in recent years: this year's Aldi’s school uniform costs just £4 for two polo shirts, one sweatshirt and a pair of trousers or skirt.
Complete the outfit at Shoe Zone, where you’ll find a selection of school shoes for under a tenner.
Here are the best places to shop for cheap school uniforms.
1. Tu at Sainsbury's School Uniform
- Tu at Sainsbury's school uniform range, from £3.50 – buy here
Helpfully arranged by section, Tu at Sainsbury's has a large selection of colours and styles, from unisex polos in a variety of colours (a five-pack of white short-sleeved polos is £8), as well as trousers, dresses, sweatshirts, PE kits and jumpers in all hues (a two-pack of V-neck jumpers will set you back £6).
You'll also find school shoes (starting at £3), schoolbags and stationery.
Parents rave about the quality, saying Sainsbury's school uniforms wash the best.
2. Morrison's School Uniform
- Morrisons school uniform range for boys, from £4 – buy here
- Morrisons school uniform range for girls, from £2.50 – buy here
This is the place for school uniform multipacks: two long-sleeved button-down shirts from £4, two sporty dresses for £4, to name a few.
Parents recommend the gingham dress, noting that it "looks smart and washes well".
3. Peacocks School Uniform
- Peacocks school uniform range, from £3 – buy here
Whether you're shopping for siblings or want to have spares for when your child's uniform inevitably gets dirty, Peacocks has a range of options made from cotton, that are machine washable and tumble dryer safe.
There's currently a "buy one, get one-half price" deal.
Be sure to check out the accessories on offer – they have lovely printed backpacks and school shoes, including patent Mary Janes.
4. John Lewis School Uniform
- John Lewis school uniform range, from £7 – buy here
John Lewis' school uniforms aren't the cheapest-cheapest, however, you can bag a bargain off-season when all of the staple items are reduced.
Also, the quality is brilliant, so you know you're buying items that will last, especially if they need to go through several children.
Another bonus with John Lewis is that you can shop by specific schools, which often have end-of-cycle items reduced to clear.
5. Gap School Uniform
- Gap School Uniform, from £3.98 – buy here
Gap currently has all of its school uniform items, from polos to button-downs to skirts and trousers, on sale, so now is the time to find some pieces the kids will love and want to wear.
Bonus: Gap clothes are super comfy and look stylish enough that the school uniform bits and bobs can also be worn as regular clothes.
6. George at ASDA School Uniform
- George at ASDA school uniform range, from £2 – buy here
ASDA has an incredible selection of school clothes and is probably one of the best value for money ranges you'll find online.
A five-pack of boys' short-sleeve polo shirts is £6, a girl's two-pack of blouses is £3.50, pinafore dresses start at a fiver and a two-pack of girls' cardigans is £4.
Trousers are £6 for a two-pack and pleat skirts are £3.50, while smart school blazers start at £10.
The range of styles and colours is impressive: for example, girls can take their pick from pleated, pencil, A-line, tube and tulip skirts and parents consistently give the clothes five-star reviews, praising the value for money, quality and attention to detail.
You can also stock up on footwear, stationery and more, and the site is incredibly easy to navigate, whatever you're looking for.
7. Aldi School Uniform
- Aldi school uniform, starts from £1.75 – buy here
Both Aldi and Lidl are selling the whole school uniform for just £4.50 this year – a total bargain.
The budget-friendly package at Aldi consists of a two-pack of polo shirts, one sweatshirt, and either a pair of trousers or a skirt.
Of course, all the items are available to purchase separately, at low prices.
In addition, parents can snap up a PE kit for £12.76, with trainers, plimsolls, joggers and a T-shirt.
Just remember: be quick.
8. Shoe Zone School Shoes
- Shoe Zone school shoes, from £2.99 – buy here
School shoes can be the priciest part of the school uniform.
Shoe Zone has a good range for boys and girls of all ages, from cheap plimsolls through to designer brands like Kickers.
Parents will be impressed with the array of shoes you can snap up for less than £10 – Mary Janes, slip-on pumps, Velcro-fasten shoes, trainers, brogues and even Wellington boots.
9. Amazon School Uniform
- Fruit of the Loom polo shirts, multi-packs from £10.61- buy here
Top tip: if you're looking for multi-packs of polos, tees or colourful PE sweatshirts, Amazon brand Fruit of the Loom is cheap, cheerful and extremely comfortable.
10. Matalan School Uniform
- Matalan school uniform range, from £2 – buy here
For just £6 a pop, Matalan is the place to stock up on colourful gingham dresses for girls – parents say the quality is lovely – as well as button-down school shirts for boys and girls, which are £11.50 for a five-pack.
You can also snap up school trousers for a fiver.
Where to buy school uniforms
Plain school uniforms can be bought from supermarkets and high street stores. For specific school jumpers, which have logos on, schools or school suppliers will sell them.
Many stores make uniforms available online as well as in-store.
How to apply for a school uniform grant
According to Gov.UK, parents can apply for grants for school uniforms by applying to their local council.
The website offers a tool to help parents ascertain whether their local authority has such an offer.
What are the benefits of school uniforms?
The Schoolwear Association says that school uniforms are liked to improved behaviour, a sense of pride and good wellbeing in children.
Children associate wearing a uniform with working and, while they find them exciting, it has been shown that non-uniform days see a drop in academic performance and poorer behaviour.
How much are school uniforms?
It depends on where you buy school uniforms from, but places like Aldi offer skirts for £2.79 while TU at Sainsbury's has schoolwear items priced from £1.50.
In the past, Aldi has offered a full set of uniforms for £4, with multibuys from Amazon saving parents on polo shirts.
If parents opt to shop at Gap or John Lewis, they might see an uplift in price.
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For many parents buying school essentials is their single biggest expense when it comes to spending on their kids. Check out our recommendation for cheap school supplies to cut the costs.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.
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