If you’ve had to buy new school uniform items this year, you may be dreading the arrival of the spring and the demanded for new PE kit becuase it’s getting to be an expensive business!
Uniform is good for children’s sense of community and for ensuring equality between those who have a lot of disposable income and fashion sense, and those who lack one or the other, or both. But it’s not a cheap option, whether you’re buying in a high street store, via the school’s own shop, or even shopping online. And if you have a child who is already in adult sizes, as many thirteen year olds and up are, these days, you also end up paying VAT on their ‘children’s’ clothing.
There are some ways to save money if you’re canny:
1. Ask the school to consider wholesalers who can produce small orders (say under fifty items) of essential uniform clothing in larger sizes – this might be embroidered polo shirts or logo-printed sweatshirts, which can then be sold to parents whose children are classed as ‘outsize’ by other suppliers.
2. Consider swap shops for outgrown clothing – often a PTA committee can be organised to set up exchanges of informal jackets worn for school events held in public or specialist clothing like cricket togs, which are swiftly outgrown and yet still wearable by a smaller student, perhaps in a lower year.
3. Request that essential items such as white T-shirts worn for PE and sporting activities be non-branded – this means you can buy the cheapest available, or even persuade the school shop to bulk buy them for you. The school logo could be kept for items like kitbags that are not going to be outgrown, and still give a sense of uniform when children are taking part in outdoor events.
First, know your budget and stick to it – don’t just decide how much you have to spend on clothing, because it’s easy to blow the whole amount on one cashmere sweater or a fashionable jacket. Instead, divide your budget between different forms of clothing: basic T-shirts are pretty cheap, but leather jackets are not, so allocate a percentage to every form of clothing you need to buy.
Aim for quality not quantity. Beware of very cheap clothing that simply gets worn out before you’ve worn it a few times – flimsy shirts that begin to bag and stain after a couple of wearings are not a bargain. A good quality cotton or poly-cotton shirt will last several years and can take hard washing and still look good – it’s a much better bargain than a cheap top that falls apart. Equally, try to stay way from knock-off imitations because (a) they tend to look cheaper as they generally copy a design and maybe its logo but not the quality and (b) who are you fooling? Anybody who knows you has a pretty good idea if you can really afford Armani suits or not.
Avoid posh shops and boutiques when purchasing, but use them when deciding what to buy – look at the brand name fashions in store and then go home and shop online, spotting the same trends for a fraction of the price. Also, check out the clearance offers when shopping online, discontinued items can be up 50-75% lower than the original price.
Mix and match. You can team T-shirts with blazers and shirts with cardigans to extend your wardrobe by giving your clothes a new look. You can use accessories to ring the changes too – invest in some cheap belts and gloves and hats that you can use to make your base outfit look completely different.
There is only one week to go until our fantastic January Sale must come to an end! You can still grab up to 85% off, with t-shirts and polo-shirts from as little as 99p and organic sweatshirts for only £2.99. We are running low on stock for many of these items so hurry now before all the bargains are gone! The sale runs for a limited time only and must end 20/01/09.
To be the first to hear about our future sales and other offers sign up to our free newsletter.
Try a dry cleaning kit!
In these difficult times we’re all thinking about saving money. What about cutting your dry cleaning bills?
If you’re looking for cheap dry-cleaning, the Hagerty Dry Cleaning Kit could be the perfect answer. It works by utilising your own tumble dryer.
First you use the supplied special stain-removing cloth to spot clean any marks, on the clothing, then you simply put your garments, the cloth and the bag in the tumble dryer. The heat of the dryer activates the chemicals impregnated in the cloth and they gently clean and freshen your clothing. It can be used on virtually any item from a tie, or dress right up to a coat.
The advantages of the kit are clear: for a cost of £8.99 it can clean up to 16 items in total. I don’t think there are any high street dry cleaners who charge 56p per garment! In addition to the cost saving, there’s the time element you don’t have to go out to the shops twice to drop off and then collect your clothing. There is one downside though: although the kit will clean your clothes, you may still need to get them pressed, or iron them yourself.
I haven’t used the kit myself yet, but if it works as well as Hagerty claim, it will be flying off the shelves in the next few months.
The Hagerty Dry Cleaning kit is available from Lakeland and costs £8.99 plus delivery.
If you’ve have had a good experience with the kit please let me know and I’ll share it with other readers.
Note: This offer has now expired.
For a limited time only we are offering a £10 discount to buyers using Google checkout.
To earn a £10 discount, buyers who haven’t signed up for Google Checkout in the past must sign-up for Checkout on Google or on a Google Checkout merchant web site such as www.polo-shirts.co.uk. To redeem the £10 discount, buyers need to make a purchase of at least £30 Inc Vat, (not including delivery charge). The discount is automatically deducted from the order at checkout. It is as simple as that.
You can even use google checkout on discounted, end of line and sale items. Talk about unbelievable value . Using the £10 discount, £30 you could buy the following items from our special offers:
52 Ladies Vests
17 Northquay Shirts available in XXL or XXXL
17 Northquay Polo-shirts
70 Childrens baseball caps
17 Pairs of mens boxer shorts
We don’t sell cheap T-shirts or cheap Polo-shirts. These prices are on top quality clothing from leading manufactures such as Fruit of the Loom and Hanes and which have been reduced in price to clear them from our warehouse.
Click here for more information on our special offers.