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LIFESTYLE

Starting school in style

26 April



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. 



BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHECKLIST

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.




SHOP SCHOOLWEAR

 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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