And so it begins! The Summer Holiday makes it rapid descent as we hurtle ever closer to the beginning of term and it all began this week with our inevitable trip to Tesco for Back to School Uniform Shopping. I might be ever so slightly crazy but I do quite enjoy back to school shopping! I think it’s the new year kind-of-feeling – a mix of excitement of new beginnings, fresh starts, limitless possibilities but also tinged with a little sadness – uniforms outgrown and another notch on the height chart means my little kiddos are growing up so fast! This year’s back to school shopping trip was particularly special – it’s Orla’s first as she heads into the big wide world of reception this year. She was so excited to be buying her first school uniform, she felt so grown up to be choosing the same clothes that she’s watched her brother and sister choose year after year. Here begins Orla’s school adventure and she’s a little nervous but in the same breath – she’s keen to tell me she’ll be a Doctor in a hospital and she’ll fix people in the future!
But 3 children now in school means – oh my goodness – isn’t school shopping expensive! We’ve always shopped in Tesco for our school uniform – it’s one of the cheapest but also great quality. We tend to do one big school shop in the Summer Holidays and this lasts us all year (and this is with a boy who cannot walk anywhere and plays football at every available opportunity!) It’s school policy to buy our jumpers and cardigans from the specialist school uniform shop with the logo – oh how I wish we could buy all of our uniform from Tesco as it lasts so much longer. The Tesco F&F uniform range is Mumsnet rated* and they’ve guaranteed their uniform for 100 days which we’ve pledged to try out this year – our kids are very much up for this challenge and promise to run around, be active and get stuck into everything (including their lunch) to properly try out the stain repellent technology! Tesco are so certain of their guarantee, they promise to exchange their uniform if they wear it out – Finlay is most excited to try out this challenge – he’s committed to football every lunchtime to test out the reinforced trouser knees!
So, off we marched (on a SATURDAY I might add – I don’t know what possessed me to buy everyone uniforms on a Saturday whilst little Archie complied in the trolley but only when I fed him grapes – oops!) But it was relatively stress free! Orla was most excited about purchasing cute socks to match her uniform and pretty blouses that have heart shaped buttons – oh and she is in love with her patent belt on her pinafore! Elodie moves into Year 5 this year and CAN NOT WAIT to get back to school. She is bursting to see her friends and invite them to her Harry Potter themed 10th birthday party! Elodie loves all of her school uniform (it’s been so neatly organised in her wardrobe in a shop display fashion) and she almost refused to try it on for the obligatory back to school photos! Elodie heads into Year Five and she is very tall for her age so I love that Tesco skirts have adjustable waists as what fits Elodie in length will always need to be adjusted in waist. Finlay is about to start Year 3, he is keen to be a veterinary surgeon and has asked for a pet by exclaiming – ‘if we get a pet and it gets sick, I can surgeon on it!’ Needless to say – we won’t be getting a pet anytime soon. Finlay loves his holidays and is probably the least happy to head back to school into Year Three but was so happy to choose a new PE kit having kept the last one for the last two years (he didn’t grow that much to warrant a new one last year – he doesn’t have Elodie’s height…..yet…..)
My tips to make the whole Back to School Uniform Shopping process simpler would be…..
- Have a trying on session before you go – to make sure you know what fits and what needs to be replaced!
- Make a list – this may seem obvious but it was a lifesaver in a busy shop.
- Use a local supermarket – uniform branded shops are always more expensive and not necessarily any better quality
- Buy things like PE bags, lunchboxes, pencil cases etc…. from supermarkets. We picked up a lovely unicorn PE bag for Orla – it has small unicorns on but is still black so will pass the school rules!
Tesco has a whole range of school uniform in different colours and suited for all schools – all come with the 100 days guarantee, there’s lots of local stores – find your shop here.
Well, we’re now 100 days in (oh my goodness, how ridiculously scary is that?! It seems like yesterday we were taking these photos in our sunny garden!) and it’s safe to say- when it comes to school uniform, Tesco knows their stuff. They just knew that I would be collecting our little 4 year old at the end of the day and could guarantee that they will be covered in stains – be that the meatballs they had for school dinner down their white shirt or muddy knees from skidding whilst playing football! Or there’s the time Orla came home covered from top to bottom in paint and Finlay in green food colouring from a Science Experiment (All true stories this half term!) Oh, Tesco knew I would face all of this and that’s why F&F uniforms have stain-repellent trousers and shirts and, even better, they guarantee their uniform for 100 days so us parents can have confidence that the children’s uniforms will last and we won’t be forking out again! I can report that we haven’t had to use our 100 day guarantee and that the uniforms are still going strong. Finlay’s uniform has survived football at lunchtimes and looks as good as new! Orla’s pinafore has survived a regular serving of school dinners poured down her front every lunchtime and hasn’t stained yet. The only mini issue we’ve had is holes in one of the pairs of Orla’s tights but this is in the seam and was easy to sew up and most likely caused by Orla’s excessive dancing moves at breaktime!! Well done Tesco, I really think these uniforms might last all year and we’ll most certainly be back next year.
So another school year. Another school uniform. Who knows what adventures these crazy kids will have along the way?
*Disclosure: This is sponsored content. Our uniform was purchased with vouchers from Tesco but all words, opinions and photos are my own.*
*Mumsnet Rated means 262 Mumsnet users tested the Tesco F&F school uniform range and 82% would buy again and 75% would recommend.