FASHION INSPIRATION, TRENDS & ADVICE
WOMEN | MEN | CHILDREN | HOMEWARE
Starting school in style
You may have just found out which primary school your child will be attending. It’s never too early to start
stocking up on their school uniform. Kidswear editor and mum-of-three Maggie Davis offers some helpful tips.
Like most other parents I know, I can’t think of a more nerve-wracking moment than my eldest’s first
day at reception. That mix of pride and anxiety. Will she like it? Will she hate it? Will she make friends?
All normal stuff. With the rollercoaster of emotions, the last thing you want to be worrying about is
what they are wearing. Ensuring they are well-presented in the correct (and comfortable) school
uniform is crucial. In my case, I’d mistakenly dressed her top-to-toe winter uniform when they are
meant to go back in summer kit. Who knew? Everyone else apparently.
Here are my ten tips to help you buy that first school uniform:
1. Start with the basics
Talk to other parents, read the school uniform requirements in the school prospectus
or on the website and write a list of exactly what you need. Even if it’s a school that
wears ties, children might not be required to wear them until year one.
2. Get the right season
Most school start in summer uniform which may be gingham dresses for girls and
short-sleeved shirts for boys (often worn until October half term) so ensure you are
stocked-up in season-appropriate gear.
3. Make a list of everything you'll need
Work out which items you need to buy from a specialist local school uniform shop
and which you can by from the Next uniform shop. You may have to buy a certain
blazer or sweater with an emblem from a particular shop.
4. Think PE kit
Some schools have a very precise sports kits and others don’t. Either way, ensure
you have the right items. At the very least, they’ll need trainers, shorts, a t-shirt and
tracksuit which you can pick up from our sportswear shops for boys and girls.
5. Don’t forget the details
Think socks, vest and underwear that fits. I always say go for cotton (for maximum
comfort) and ensure it’s not too big and baggy or too tight - something as simple as
an ill-fitting item of clothing can cause much anxiety for kids. Our school
accessories for boys and girls have it covered.
6. Bag the right bag
It’s funny but your child’s school bag becomes a real extension of them. It needs to be
big enough to home their school books and a pencil case but also all the bits and bobs
they accumulate like objects for show and tell. Check out our bags for boys and girls.
7. Don’t buy too much too soon
As tempting as it is to stock up on everything now, remember that you child will
probably have a growth spurt over the summer.
8. But don’t leave it too late
Things do sell out in the two weeks before September. A good rule of thumb is
to buy as much as you can just before the summer holidays. That way you get
to relax all summer too.
9. Leave shoes till last
It's crucial that kids start school in shoes that fit perfectly. Ill-fitting shoes are miserable
and will add to any anxiety your child has. Ensure you get them fitted in store or use our
helpful print out size checker. With half-sizes and special widths, we've got everything
from classic formal styles to more playground-friendly trainers in our boys and
girls school shoe shops.
10. Let them have a say
School rules permitting, let them decide if they prefer skirts or trousers, a pinafore or skirt,
wide or slim-fitting trousers. Let them choose the trimmings like pencil cases and bags.
It’s really important your child feels like they have a say over what they are wearing.
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