Top 10 School Uniform Hacks

The new school year is looming, which only means one thing…it’s time for the last-minute school uniform shop! Follow our top tips to stretch your pennies and save money when shopping for your kids’ next school year.

1.      Supermarket uniform

Most schools have a crest for their uniform and specific ties that have to be bought from a school uniform retailer, such as Stevensons.

Whilst this specialist uniform tends to be more on the pricey side, you can buy generic uniform items such as shirts, skirts, trousers and sportswear from supermarkets including Asda, Tesco and Matalan to save some pennies.

School ties

2.      Multipacks

Look out for multipacks of shirts in supermarkets, ideally one shirt for every day of the week. Not only will this save you money, it will also prevent the need for a mid-week wash.

Most supermarkets also sell multipacks of skirts, trousers and socks which are worth buying.

3.      Hand me downs

Once your child has grown out of their school uniform and if it’s still in reasonable condition, remember to keep it for any younger siblings.

Whilst items like shirts are going to need to be replaced, jumpers and blazers can be kept for younger siblings to save you some money.

4.      Second hand uniform

If you’re looking for a real bargain, be sure to check with the school PTA to see if they’re selling second hand uniform.

Many items in the lost property at school never make it back to their rightful owner. Quite often the PTA will sell this second hand uniform on at a low cost.

5.      Label everything!

Research shows that children lose up to seven items per month. This can incur high costs so it goes without saying that every item of clothing you buy should be labelled.

Although sewing on name tags is a good way to solve this, they can be time consuming. Instead, go for iron-on labels. Iron-on labels are a great investment and will save you spending hours looking in lost property for your child’s misplaced jumper. You can even buy 50 personalised labels for just £5.99 from Amazon.

If you’re looking for an even cheaper way to label your kid’s clothes, just grab a sharpie. Signing your child’s name in bold letters on the label of their uniform is an easy and cheap way to identify their clothes amongst misplaced items.

6.      Help school uniform last longer

Constantly replacing school uniform comes with an expensive price tag but there are ways you can make school uniform last that little bit longer.

Your little ones tend to make a mess when they’re eating breakfast and brushing their teeth. Putting on their uniform should be the last task before you hit the school run to avoid their clothes being caked in this morning’s breakfast. Additionally, make sure your kids get changed out of their uniform as soon as they get home from school to keep their uniform fresher.

The washing care of school uniform can also help make it last longer. Be sure to follow the care instructions on your child’s uniform and turn each item inside out before it’s washed and tumble dried to increase its longevity.

7.      Stained school uniform?

Some top tips for battling with stained school uniform include:

  • Use hairspray to get rid of biro marks
  • Soak clothes with grease stains in Cola for 30 minutes
  • Combine white vinegar and baking soda to remove grass stains
  • Wash white shirts with a dishwasher tablet and your usual washing powder
  • Add distilled white vinegar to your dark wash to prevent jumpers, skirts and trousers from fading

8.      Outfit organisation

Now that the uniform side is covered, where are you going to put all these clothes? To help keep you organised before the busy school rush, as well as to encourage your kid’s independence be sure to be prepared and organise their clothes.

A great way to do this is by laying out your child’s uniform for the day the night before, or even every Sunday night before the week ahead. Pop to Wilko and buy a cheap organiser with a set of 5 draws and label each drawer with a weekday. On a Sunday night, fill each draw with your child’s uniform for that day. Come the next morning, your child can get dressed independently and is prepared for the week ahead.

Boy at school reading a book

9.      Shoe shopping

Next on the list is shoes. Shoe shopping can easily be the most expensive part of your school uniform shop, however its best to invest in a pair of high quality, durable school shoes as children are on their feet all day.

Clarks is one of the best places to buy school shoes but come back to school season, it is absolute chaos! Be sure to use their kids fitting booking system to make your shopping experience that little bit less stressful.

When buying girls’ school shoes, its best to opt for patent shoes as its more durable and easier to clean than leather. A top tip for protecting patent shoes is to coat them with clear nail varnish, and to top them up every couple of weeks. This helps to protect them from scuff marks and makes them last longer.

Additionally, if their shoes get wet during the school day, stuff them with newspaper and leave them to dry naturally overnight to make sure they hold their shape.

10. School bag

Unlike school uniform and shoes, your child will not grow out of their school bag!

Whilst school bags are an important part of your children’s school uniform, you don’t need to spend much to find a lightweight, comfortable and fun backpack. Sports Direct is a great place to search for a cheap yet durable school bag, with a range of colours and styles.

A cheap drawstring bag is also ideal for kid’s sports kit and Wilko offers a range of lunchboxes perfect for your children.


With our school uniform hacks in mind, start the school year off the right way. However, if you do find yourself short on money for uniform shopping this month, enquire about our short term personal loans.

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