With the new school year on the horizon, the task of shopping for school uniforms for our little ones is looming. While the school’s uniform shop may seem like the easiest option, many savvy parents are discovering cost-effective and efficient ways to tackle this task. Let’s explore some of these tips and tricks together.

Here, we’ve gathered all the best hacks to uniform shopping for elementary school kids that will not only make it less stressful and more efficient but also give you a sense of accomplishment in finding cost-effective solutions. Sometimes, it’s satisfying to get the best bang for your buck!

Check the school guidelines on uniforms before you begin shopping:

Before you start shopping, review the school’s uniform guidelines. Some schools have specific requirements for very specific colors, styles, and where to purchase uniforms.

Label Everything:

With all kids wearing the same uniform, labeling your child’s clothing can help prevent mix-ups and losses resulting in costly replacements. Invest in high-quality labels that will last through multiple washes, like this School Uniform Label Pack. 

Buy school uniforms secondhand

Many schools hold preloved uniform sales, not just a cost-saving opportunity, but a chance to foster a sense of community. It’s a time when parents come together, sharing and trading quality items at a fraction of the cost. This not only helps you save money but also connects you with other parents, creating a supportive network. Additionally, local moms’ groups and platforms like Facebook marketplace can be great resources for trading or selling uniforms as kids grow.

School uniform sizing:

The official uniform suppliers can sometimes have confusing sizes that don’t always correlate with your kids’ size or grade. But don’t worry, if you have any questions about uniform sizing, the official store is there to help. They know how their sizes compare to street clothes and can guide you. If your uniform supplier/ shop is nearby, it’s worth a trip there to take a look at the sizes before you spend. This way, you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the right size for your child.

Sweaters and cardigans:

A good tip is to purchase one or two sweaters from the official uniform supplier through the school. Then, purchase additional, inexpensive ones second-hand or from a store that sells uniforms (Old Navy). This way, you have a nice new one on special days at school, can wash it less frequently, and use the cheaper ones on day-to-day when they’re more likely to snag them and get them dirty.

Consider Comfort:

Kids need to feel comfortable in their uniforms to stay focused and active throughout the school day.  If your child finds wool itchy, then see if you have the option for a hoodie or cotton sweater. Look for breathable fabrics and consider any special requirements for physical activities that may need to be accommodated.

Polo shirts for kids’ uniforms:

If you have the option to purchase a polo versus a button-down, always opt for the polo top for younger kids – the fewer buttons makes it much easier for them to pull on and off rather than struggling with tricky buttons. Plus, they are cheaper and come in bulk. You will need at least 5 of these, because otherwise you’re doing mid-week laundry. Especially as they start to sweat, get covered in sunscreen, and spills are inevitable!

Unbranded school uniform pants:

Pants, skirts, and dresses are usually unbranded, and therefore, you don’t need to buy these from an official uniform provider, so this is a great place to save on uniform costs.

Skirts and shorts:

When school starts at the end of summer, it’s difficult to know whether your kids will be wearing shorts and skirts this year or if they won’t need them until the following spring/ summer. Depending on whether they’ll be wearing them in the fall (depending on where you live), you may want to size up on the summer stuff so that they haven’t outgrown them before even wearing them!

Size up and plan for your kids to grow:

If your child is still growing, consider buying uniforms with room to grow, especially in the hem and sleeve lengths. This can extend the life of the uniform and save you from having to buy new pieces mid-year.

By following these tips, you can streamline the process of shopping for school uniforms and ensure that your kids are ready to start the new school year feeling confident and prepared.


Mabel's Labels is the leading provider of personalized labels for the stuff kids tend to lose.

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