A schoolwear specialist has put together a ten tips to help parents get maximum value from school uniform.
Carolyn Buddin, a director at YourSchoolUniform.com, said: “As a retailer and a manufacturer of school uniform we understand exactly what is required from these garments over the course of a school year.
“Our own-branded products, under the name Hubaco, are carefully designed so we can say with confidence that they are both comfortable and durable.
“We offer a range of different school uniform items for every household budget and because we understand parents have concerns about the cost of uniform, we have put together our ten top tips to help it last longer.”
1/ Right first time: “Buying cheap can mean buying twice,” says Carolyn.
“Work out which items you can afford to spend a bit more on and avoid paying again further down the road. One of the benefits of sourcing our own product is that we can offer quality garments at a range of prices year-round to help parents with differing budgets.”
2/ Size it up: “Children’s growth can be steady over a period of weeks, or sometimes they seem to get taller overnight,” Carolyn says.
“It is a good idea to use a size guide rather than choose clothes by age. The age guides in some uniform items tend to be based on height alone, which doesn’t take into account children’s body shapes. Our handy online size guides allow parents to measure for height, waist, chest and collar sizes.”
3/ Room to spare: “If you want to buy uniform which will last, make sure you leave some growing room,” says Carolyn.
“Look out for trousers and skirts with adjustable waists and if you’re handy with a needle – or can use iron-on webbing - buy them too long so you can turn-up the hem and then let it down again as they grow.”
4/ True colours: “If the school allows different colour options always go for the darker shade,” Carolyn warns.
“Spills, stains and marks are much more visible on lighter coloured clothing.”
5/ Cover-up: “One of the easiest and simplest tricks to help extend the life of school uniform is simply to cover it up,” suggests Carolyn.
“Aprons, tabards and wipe-clean smocks are ideal for protecting clothes while children tackle practical lessons – we even offer a lab coat for youngsters to help make sure their uniform doesn’t suffer while they conduct experiments.”
6/ All white: “To get rid of mud stains on white shirts and t-shirts, soak in a solution of water and bicarbonate of soda before washing,” says Carolyn.
“And remember – the quicker a stain is dealt with, the easier it is to shift.”
7/ Fade to black: “Turn dark coloured clothing inside out before washing and store away from direct sunlight to combat fading,” says Carolyn.
“Darks are best washed in cold water and dried inside. Purple in particular reacts to UV light, so drying away from bright sunshine will keep the colour better for longer.”
8/ Pen and ink: “Biro and ink stains are fairly common with schoolchildren,” adds Carolyn.
“A handy trick is to soak a biro stain in milk before washing. Not many children use fountain pens any more, but ink stains can be removed by covering with hairspray and then blotting with a paper towel.”
9/ Iron out: “Your iron can be a great tool in preserving the life of your children’s uniform,” says Carolyn.
“Iron-on patches are an easy way to make small repairs, while special webbing can be used to shorten hems using your iron. Iron-in naming labels are a popular method of making sure every item has your child’s name on it. All our Hubaco range of garments have a label inside with space to write a child’s name on for easy labelling.”
10/ Keep it clean: “Easy-care fabrics and Teflon coatings are great for busy parents,” says Carolyn.
“Teflon helps prevent stains while the easy-care fabrics tend to require less rigorous washing and ironing. It’s also best to hang clothes on hangers or fold them neatly to help keep them in good condition. Lots of children think their bedroom floor is the ultimate storage solution, but looking after their uniform will make it last longer.”
For more information visit www.yourschooluniform.com