For many families at the moment, the cost-of-living crisis is already putting a lot of pressure on the family purse without the extra worries of buying school uniform. Thankfully, the introduction of The Education (Guidance About Costs of School Uniform) Act will see some changes in the way schools are required to design and implement their school uniform policy, including making it a priority to offer a second-hand uniform provision.
Kathryn Shuttleworth, our managing director at David Luke, shares her money-saving tips for families, like your own, to help ease the costs that come with school uniform.
1. Audit the Old
How many of us shove uniform into a cupboard and forget about it until a clear out? Many items are likely to have a few months extra wear in them, believe it or not, and this could help you to reduce the cost of buying everything in one go. Wash, press and then lay everything out and persuade the kids to have a quick trying on session before you make a list of the essentials you actually do need to buy.
2. A Measured Approach
We can all relate to the cringe-factor of wearing an oversized blazer on the first day of school, but there is logic in sizing up to extend the wear of certain items. When you're shopping, look for school uniform pieces with adjustable waistbands and oversized hems so your kids can grow into them without feeling swamped.
Many of our Senior Boys School Trousers
and Girls Senior School Trousers
have adjustable waistbands, just check the style 'features' on our product pages to find these styles.
3. Swap Shop
There is still plenty of wear in school uniform even after a busy year. Perhaps your school runs a Re:Uniform swap shop? Or there might even be a Facebook group that encourages swapping? These can be a great place to find spare items such as cardigans, sweatshirts and P.E kits. Blending in some pre-worn items could save you ££’s not to mention the convenience of having spares when uniform mysteriously disappears (which always seems to happen)!
Don’t let a fallen hem or loose button be the end for a perfectly wearable piece of uniform. Quick fixes can breathe new life into skirts and trousers. And a hole here and there can be sewn up in a matter of minutes and look good as new! When you've only got a month or two till the end of term, make those pieces last.
Check out our tutorial videos to learn how to sew a button back on, sew a hem and repair a ripped seam. All are available to watch here
Did you know you can extend the life of trousers by turning them into shorts for the summer? With some simple hemming, ankle-skimming trousers can be given a new lease of life. Suddenly you've got a new fashionable item of clothing for your kids to style. You might not be a DIY expert, but think of it this way, if you were going to lose those clothes anyway then it's always worth a try! And hey, you might discover a skill you never knew you had.
Learn how to fix, extend the life of or up-cycle your sustainable school uniform with our simple tutorials made in collaboration with the Ministry of Craft. Check out our tutorial videos here
6. Spread the Cost
Buying uniform doesn't always have to be upfront, there are actually other options. If it's something you're interested in, ask your independent retailer about payment plans as it might be something they can offer you. And if you’re shopping online, look out for credit options such as Klarna and Clearpay. These are a lot more common these days so you may have the choice available to you. It's one way to help spread the cost!
7. Support Grants
Another thing that could be available to you is additional financial support. The additional support is usually available for families who are struggling with the cost of school uniform. If it sounds like something you might need, make sure to ask at your school office for details of discretionary bursaries that may be available via your local council or through uniform suppliers in the area. They'll always be happy to give you a helping hand.
Kathryn says; “We believe in the positive impact of uniform and have seen first-hand how it helps children to integrate, to feel excited to learn and be able to blend in with other kids without feeling different. A happier child means better concentration in studies, and helps with confidence. We hope that in sharing our expertise in the many ways families can save money we help to ease some of the worries they are experiencing so that they can provide replacement school uniform items with ease.”
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us via the contact page.