Best cheap school uniform 2023 UK; including affordable options for primary and secondary school | The Sun
KITTING your kids out for the new school year can be a financial nightmare – and most of the time it’s unavoidable – which is where much-needed shopping advice for cheap school uniforms comes in.
Even if the clothes and shoes themselves are still in pristine condition, chances are your son or daughter has outgrown them. Who knew kids could grow so much in just six weeks?
Happily for mums and dads, supermarkets have come to the rescue recently with cheap school uniforms that look anything but. It’s also generally durable, withstands the rigours of the playground and washes well.
High-street retailers too, have upped their game when it comes to value for money, with many running back-to-school discounts on everything from blouses to trousers.
It’s worth checking online and keeping your eyes peeled when you’re out and about to keep abreast of the latest offers to ensure you don’t miss out.
Shoes have to be one of the most expensive uniform items we have to buy (besides the school blazer, badge and tie that’s only available from one school-sanctioned retailer) and they only last a few months before bigger feet necessitate new ones.
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For kids who tend to grow out of their shoes every term, rather than destroy them with wear, this is a cost-efficient option for financially stretched parents.
Read on for our round-up of the best cheap school uniforms.
Best cheap school uniform at a glance:
- Best polo shirt: Fruit Of The Loom Polo Shirt
- Best place to buy for PE: Tu at Sainsburys
- Best polo shirt pack: Matalan
- Best for primary and secondary school: John Lewis school uniform
- Best quality school uniform shop: Gap
Fruit Of The Loom Polo Shirt
- Fruit of the Loom polo shirt, multi-packs from £14.50 – buy here
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You can never have enough polo shirts in your school wardrobe – for both regular school wear and PE.
These great value shirts from Amazon come in a pack of three and they’re available in 12 colours, including white, red and pale blue, so they’re a great match for most uniform colour schemes across the country.
Washable at 60 degrees to shift those stains, they’re made from poly cotton fabric, have a polo collar and cute cuffed short sleeves.
One happy customer said: “Great quality for the price and true to size. Would buy again.”
While another commented: “The polo shirts were great quality. They are lovely material and wash very well.”
Tu at Sainsbury's school uniform
- Tu at Sainsbury's school uniform range, from £3 – buy here
Helpfully arranged by section, Tu at Sainsbury's has a large selection of colours and styles, from unisex polos in a variety of colours (a five-pack of white short-sleeved polos is £7.50), as well as trousers, dresses, sweatshirts, PE kits and jumpers in all hues (a two-pack of V-neck jumpers will set you back £7).
You'll also find school shoes (starting at £14), school bags and stationery.
Parents rave about the quality, saying Sainsbury's school uniforms wash the best.
One happy shopper who has bought the 2-pack of unisex polo shirts in white said: “Great value school polo shirts, wash well, great fit.”
Another said: “Bought for my son's PE lessons. Really happy with such a good quality at such a reasonable price.”
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Matalan school polo shirts
- Matalan school polo shirts, from £4 – buy here
Matalan’s polo shirts start from just £4 for a pack of two, but if you go for the 5-pack you know you’ll always have a clean shirt, one for every school day – and they start from an incredible £10.
Available in blue, red, yellow and white, they fit with many schools’ uniform policies as to acceptable colour and style, and they are sized to suit infants to secondary pupils.
Comments from shoppers include: “True to size, durable and washes really well” and “Excellent value for money lovely shirts and good sizing”.
John Lewis school uniform
- John Lewis school uniform range, from £4.50 – buy here
John Lewis' school uniforms aren't the cheapest-cheapest, however, you can bag a bargain off-season when all of the staple items are reduced.
Currently, you can pick up polo shirts from £5.25 for a pack of three, girls and boys short sleeve school shirts from £6.75 for a pack of three, a 2-pack of boys’ trousers from £8.25, a 2-pack of girls’ skirts from £6.75 and sweatshirts from £4.50.
Also, the quality is brilliant, so you know you're buying items that will last, especially if they need to go through several children.
Another bonus with John Lewis is that you can shop by specific schools, which often have end-of-cycle items reduced to clear.
Gap school uniform
- Gap school uniform, from £10 – buy here
Gap’s school uniform is more expensive than you’d buy elsewhere, but it has a style that older kids especially love.
Their short-sleeved polo shirt is £10, but it’s made from 97% organically grown cotton, which is grown without pesticides and fertilisers. It also contains 3% elastane so it has a bit of give, which increases the comfort factor.
Their 3-pack polo shirts are also made from organic cotton and are available in white and navy (£35), the pull-on joggers cost £18 and are available to fit ages four – 13 years, and the long sleeve organic cotton polo shirt comes in indigo blue, red and grey, and costs £12.
Shoe Zone school shoes
- Shoe Zone school shoes, from £2.99 – buy here
School shoes can be the priciest part of the school uniform, especially if you’re looking for leather uppers.
Shoe Zone has a good range of leather, faux leather and fabric shoes for boys and girls of all ages, from cheap plimsolls through to designer brands like Kickers.
Parents will be impressed with the array of shoes you can snap up for less than £15, including slip-on pumps, Mary-Janes, Velcro-fasten shoes for younger children, trainers, brogues and even Wellington boots.
Shoe Zone also sells a range of accessories just right for school, including PE kit bags, and backpacks for boys and girls.
Morrison's school uniform
- Morrisons school uniform range, from £4 – buy here
Morrisons has your school uniform needs covered – but you’ll have to go in-store to buy it as it’s not available online.
There’s a great range for both girls and boys, with a 2-pack of white T-shirts starting at £4 and a 3-pack of polo shirts from £4.95.
Made to fit kids from three to 15 years, all sizes cost the same price, which is a welcome feature in these challenging times.
Also in the range you’ll find trousers at £9 for two pairs, pleated skirts £8 for two, joggers £8 for a pack of two and a zipped black hoodie for £6.
George at ASDA school uniform
- George at Asda school uniform range, from £2.70 – buy here
Asda has an incredible selection of school clothes and is probably one of the best value-for-money ranges you'll find online.
A five-pack of boys' short-sleeve polo shirts costs from £6.75, a girl's two-pack of short-sleeved school shirts costs from £4.05, pinafore dresses start from £8.10 for a pack of two and girls' cardigans from £5.40 for a pack of two.
Trousers are from £5.60 for a two-pack and pleated skirts are from £6.30 for a pack of two, while smart school blazers start from £12.60.
The range of styles and colours is impressive: for example, girls can take their pick from pleated, pencil, A-line, tube and skater skirts, and parents consistently give the clothes five-star reviews, praising the value for money, quality and attention to detail.
You can also stock up on footwear, stationery and more, and the site is straightforward to navigate, whatever you're looking for.
Where to buy school uniforms?
Plain school uniforms can be bought from supermarkets and high street stores. For specific school jumpers, sweatshirts and blazers with school logos you will need to buy directly through your school or from school suppliers – your school will be able to advise you on this.
Many stores make uniforms available online as well as in-store.
We found the school uniform items in our round-up at:
- John Lewis
- Shoe Zone
How much do school uniforms cost?
It depends on where you buy school uniforms from, but George at Asda has packs of two polo shirts for just £2.70 while at Sainsbury's they start from £3.
If you shop in Gap or John Lewis it will cost you more, but even John Lewis school wear starts at less than £5.
How to apply for a school uniform grant?
According to Gov.UK, parents can apply for grants for school uniforms by applying to their local council.
The website offers a tool to help parents ascertain whether their local authority has such an offer.
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What are the benefits of school uniforms?
The Schoolwear Association says that school uniforms are linked to improved behaviour, a sense of pride and better wellbeing in children.
Children associate wearing a uniform with working and, while they find them exciting, it has been shown that non-uniform days see a drop in academic performance and poorer behaviour.
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