The why, where, how, what and how many of buying school uniform online

If you’ve never bought school uniform online, but have decided that this year you’re going to try it out, don’t worry – our handy guide is here to answer your questions.

Why would I buy school uniform online?

Visiting the shops to buy new school uniform might be a rite of passage, but right now a trip to a retail park or even the supermarket is likely to be the last thing you want to do. Buying school uniform online means you can do it from the comfort of your own home. It’s convenient, with the items being delivered direct to your door and many suppliers offering free returns just in case any of the items you buy don’t fit.

Buying school uniform online also makes the whole process a lot simpler and stress-free. Rather than trying to convince your children to try on yet another pair of trousers in a hot, stuffy shop, you can get their measurements, log on and buy what you need in peace.

Where do I buy it?

Nowadays, there are a huge number of retailers selling school uniform – everyone from your local school uniform shop to national supermarkets. However, not all of them sell online and not all of them are set up to provide you with the excellent online shopping experience that makes your life easier and simpler. If you already have a trusted school uniform shop that you like to buy from, see if they have any options to buy online.

Alternatively, take a look on social media for which school uniform retailers are recommended by other parents – and which ones to avoid. Buying school uniform online isn’t just about having a fancy website; it’s about having great customer service, consistently high-quality products and reliable stock levels so you’ll be able to get what you need when you need it.

How do I buy school uniform online?

When you’re buying school uniform online, you don’t have the opportunity to get your child to try on the clothes there and then. This means you need to do a little extra preparation to make sure you get the right items in the right sizes and save yourself any hassle of returning garments.

Spend some time taking your child’s measurements. There are some key measurements you’ll need to take, whatever your child’s age or gender:

  • Height
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Hips

If you’re buying school trousers, you’ll also need your child’s inner leg measurement. For boys’ shirts, the collar measurement is handy, and for skirts you’ll need the skirt length your child prefers. You can take these measurements in inches or centimetres, and you don’t need to add any extra for ease as good school uniform suppliers will build this in.

A trustworthy retailer will have size charts for each of its garments, which you’ll be able to view through the product page on its website. Check your child’s measurements carefully against these size charts and buy the garment which best matches their size. If they’re in-between sizes, it’s best to go up a size. We also recommend that you always buy according to the largest measurement on any garment – for example, if you are buying school trousers and your child is particularly tall and slim, opt for the size which meets their inner leg length rather than their waist. After all, it’s easier to take garments in than it is to add extra fabric to them!

What should I buy?

Before starting to shop online for school uniform, we recommend making a list based on the uniform guidelines produced by your child’s school.

Be careful to note down what items are compulsory and which are optional as well as if the school has a suggested or preferred supplier. Another important point to note is the colours of different garments – it’s easy to get different shades of red confused when buying online, so note down the exact colour to help you.

You’ll probably be able to buy the majority of your child’s plain school uniform, such as polo shirts or school trousers, through a good supplier, and you may also be able to buy the badged or ‘logo-ed’ items as well. Speak to the school as they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

How many of each item should I buy?

How many of each piece of school uniform you buy depends on how often you’ll be washing the garment, how dirty it might get, and your budget. Little kids are much more likely to get their clothes dirty regularly, while teenagers mainly need to be reminded to put the uniform in the wash.

Items like blazers or jackets are more expensive and don’t see a lot of wear and tear, so buying one of those is fine. Trousers and skirts are more likely to get grubby, while shirts, blouses and school sweatshirts bear the brunt of a hard day at school. A good rule of thumb is one to wash, one to wear and one in the drawer; that way, you won’t spend your evenings slaving over a washing machine and your child will go to school in clean clothes each day.  

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