mystery of primary school uniform - Bubbablue and me

The mystery that is primary school uniform

To those of you with school age children already, do share your experiences and advice.  I’m after a lot of information to help smooth my (I reckon the kids get the easy end of the deal) path into the school age child stage.

It’s all about the mystery of primary school uniforms.

the mystery of primary school uniform - Bubbablueandme

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My first issue with primary school uniforms.  It’s a minefield.  I started looking in July before the school holidays, but I’ve already had problems finding uniform that fits N.

Usually I just buy his size (based on height) and it either fits, or it gets put away for when he grows into it. But it seems that school trousers have their own sizing thing going on.  N’s already in an age 4-5 or age 5 trouser, with some now being a bit short for him.  But he always has his growth spurt over the summer,  Back in June he grew 3cm in the month, so I don’t want to buy age 4-5  and then find that come September he’s grown again and nothing fits.

But the age 5-6 are massive, and even the few shops with single age sizing seem to have massive fits round the waist and hips for the age 5.  I always presume I’ll be taking trousers up, but round the hips, everything seems huge.  N isn’t slim by any chance, so I pity those parents with much slimmer children. They must have a nightmare finding trousers that don’t fall down.

Thankfully, thanks to friends, I discovered that M&S and BHS do different fits.  So while I’d usually expect regular fit to suit N, I’ve had to mostly opt for the slimmer fit (but not skinny, because why on earth would schools allow skinny fit trousers?!).

Then when it comes to top halves it gets more complicated.  Our school uniform jumpers and polo shirts have to come from the uniform suppliers.  But the sizing is all over the place.  We’ve got some age 5-6 jumpers which are extremely short in the body,  but then have really long sleeves.  As for the t-shirts, the polo shirts seem to come up quite skinny, but the round neck PE t shirts are huge.

I’m just hoping he doesn’t look too mix and max scruffy by the time school starts.


Then of course, there’s the worry that if you leave it too late, there won’t be the sizes you need left.  A few shops I went in at the start of school shopping season, had no age 4-5 or 5-6 in.  I did panic, but luckily there’s so many shops selling school uniform as well as online.

I don’t want to buy too early in case N grows, but also I don’t want to buy lots, then find he’s grown out of it by the first week in September.  I know some people who’ve bought everything by the start of the summer holidays.  I just couldn’t do that because N would grow.

Shoes were also the same. How late do you leave it so you don’t risk only having either hideous or painful shoes.


I’ve been astounded at the quality and feel of most of the school trousers being sold.  They’re really stiff, and feel really uncomfortable when you touch them.  I’m imagining that’s down to the teflon that most trousers seem to have now to help protect them and make them last.  I suppose after several washes they might soften, but I don’t want to have to wash in the hope of them softening.  If they didn’t, then there’s no way they can be returned.

I’ve ended up buying a couple of pairs of shorts in Sainsbury’s for September, and then trousers from M&S and Next in a slim cut, single size.  They might be a bit more expensive, but they at least feel more comfortable from the first wear.

On the whole I’ve not been that impressed with uniforms.  I’m hoping the jumpers and polo shirts don’t shrink badly, because having a mucky child who’ll need one set for each day in the week, will get expensive.  And hopefully N’ll grow a little over the summer so I’ll be able to get away without taking up any hems.

What sort of uniform do your/will your children wear?  Where do you get it from and when?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

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how to buy perfect jeans
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  1. I bought B some 4-5 skirts when she started reception and they are still too big around the waist even though she has just started year 2 (although I suspect getting a bit short in the length).

    1. I bought 1 pair of shorts in 4-5, and they’re ok, but very long, even though he’s the top end of the height for that size. Madness the sizing really. At least you got good wear out of them. N has crotch problems!

  2. I get everything from M&S apart from the school sweatshirt and fleece. I shopped around but I find that they last best and the M&S trousers are the only ones that he hasn’t managed to put holes in the knees of! We have a similar situation with the school sizes. He wore an age 3-4 PE top until he was 6…

    1. Crikey that’s good going. The weird thing is the PE t shirts are really long and skinny, while the polo shirts are totally different shaped!

      Yep, M&S for us, and I’ve also got a couple of Next alternatives. Hopefully they’ll last ok.

  3. Sounds like you are wise before the event Emma. We bought T loads of 4-5 trousers last year and within a term I had to go out and buy the next size up. Nothing to do with leg length, let’s just say T needed extra space to avoid the ‘builders bum’ look! We have ended up buying our trousers and shorts from Next, M&s, Sainsburys and for rugby shorts George is great. I’ve found that Clarks do the best pumps. M&S have trousers tha can be lengthened which is a bonus, although they cost a few pennies more!

    1. Sports shorts were my most painful bit. They go from age 3-4 to age 5-6 at the supplier so the larger ones were like a long skirt on N! I managed to find age 4-5 online until the rugby style ones we’ve been handed down fit better.

      Yep, it’s the crotch length that’s often the issue for N too. Long body vs legs!

  4. I always struggle to get trousers to fit my eldest! She’s thin. I get one’s with elasticated waistbands….She has actually got the skinny fit one’s….It’s the in thing at her school….
    My youngest is in size 10 to 11 from Asda for school trousers…..I bought some other none school trousers and she is in 8 to 9….I think they just make the sizes up as they go along! lol

    1. The sizing is madness. It’s like they think ‘give them growing room’, but in areas that don’t grow much (ie hips/bum/tummy for boys!). At least they do have the different fits nowadays.

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