To make it easier, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has created a handy guide to streamline the process, which should not only save you some money, but your sanity too!
#1 Check What's Still Usable
There's no point planning a uniform shopping trip if you haven't checked what still fits and is usable from the previous year.
And, we mean EVERYTHING! The uniforms, the socks, the correct coloured hair-bands- even the school-branded swimming cap you know is lurking somewhere in the back of the cupboard.
Take an hour or two to try-on, check buttons and inspect for obligatory pen/paint marks.
#2 Double-Check which Uniform You Need
Uniforms change regularly both in design overhauls and as children progress through school years.
Whether uniform shops aren’t always aware of the changes and/or want rid of old stock before selling the new, we've all heard the stories of parents who after spending AED 700+ arrive home to find its entirely the wrong outfit.
Check the school website, ask other parents and find out exactly what you need, before you go shopping!
#3 Shop Around (If You Have The Patience)
While it might be easier to get everything in your one-stop uniform store, it’s very unlikely that this is your most cost effective option. Socks, shoes, trainers and any ‘plain’ items can usually be sourced elsewhere at a significantly lower cost.
Ask mums with older kids if they're getting rid of any uniforms, and where they buy things like trainers and socks, you might be surprised by the hacks and bargains they've discovered over the years.
Check parent associations for secondhand sales and try and consider buying costly items such as school shoes while in your home country.
#4 Start Conservatively- You Can Always Go Back...
Let’s be honest, some schools produce lists as long as your arm of items they ‘think’ your child should have branded by the school (e.g. on top of the uniforms- school bag, book bag, PE bag, swim bag, swimming-cap, swim-wear, winter wear, sports-kit for competitions, etc.) Yet, how many items are really required?
Start small, both with uniforms and ‘accessories,’ you can always buy more if you find your child is the only kid minus the school's branded book-bag!
#5 Sell, Donate & Give Away
There’s nothing worse than checking your child's wardrobe on a Saturday night and assuming the rows of pristine uniforms will see you through the week ahead, only to realise on Sunday morning they’re all old ones you’re waiting to give to the right person…
Get rid of them now, before school begins and start fresh…