When it comes to back to school uniforms, the supermarkets and major retailers launch their collections so quickly, they seem to have flown off shelves before the summer holidays have even started 😂
So, it’s good to know where you can grab cheap, good quality polo shirts and classic black trousers before September 2019 rolls around…
In this guide, we’re taking a look at all of the basic school uniform offerings from the major supermarkets: Aldi, Lidl, ASDA, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as uniform staples like Matalan, Next, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.
We’ll be looking at quality, quantity, cost and of course, what mums and dads REALLY think of the ranges.
Check out the best (and cheapest) UK school uniform basics…
Cheapest deal: Aldi promises to kit your kid out for as little as £4.50. That buys you: two polo shirts, a sweatshirt and a pleated skirt or trousers.
Age range: Primary school – from age 3 to 11.
What does the Aldi school uniform range include? The Aldi school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Girls/Boys Polo Shirt 2 Pack (either white or blue), £1.75
- Girls/ Boys Trousers (either black, grey or navy), £1.75
- Round Neck Sweater (red or blue), £1
- Girls Pleated Skirt (navy, grey or black), £2.79
- Classic Pinafore 2 Pack, £6.99
- Girls/Boys Short Sleeved White Shirts 2 Pack , £2.49
What mums and dads say about it: Parents mostly go mad for the “great” prices when it comes to this range – and the fact it’s really in demand helps.
“It was absolutely crazy in the store as everyone came first thing in the morning to stock up on school gear! I struggled to actually reach the shelves through the crowd.”
“I had bought Aldi range school sweatshirts for my daughter to try. I found they were surprisingly good quality.” Bubema
We’d also add that many parents end up buying several of each item, so they’ll last – so it’s worth sizing them up to others on this list, that maybe seem more expensive.
On sale from: NOW. Most stuff is sold out online already – so you’ll have to go in store and also keep an eye for re-stocking.
Cheapest deal: £4.50 for a sweatshirt, pack of polo shirts and a pair of trousers or skirt.
Age range: Primary to early secondary – from age 4 to 12.
What does the Lidl school uniform range include? The Lidl school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Navy Sweatshirt, £1
- Polo Shirts, £1.25
- Boys Trousers, £2.25
- Gingham School Dress, £2.49
- Kids’ blouses, £2.49
- V-Neck Cardigans (red), £3.49
- Plimsolls, £2.49
- Range of Girls/Boys Black Leather Shoes, £6.99
What mums and dads say about it: Generally, we hear that parents love the cheap polos, purely because polo shirts often get dirty fast, and need replacing easily 👍
On sale from: NOW, available in Lidl shops (not online).
Cheapest deal: 2 white polo-shirts, 2 jumpers and 2 pairs of trousers, for roughly £15.50 (depending on your child’s age). Keep in mind they’re all packs of 2 – so halved that’d be about £7.75. Like ASDA, Tesco is offering a 100 day guarantee on its school uniforms.
What does the school uniform range include? The Tesco school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Boys Long-Sleeve Shirts 2 Pack (white), from £3.50
- Boys Slim Leg Trousers 2 Pack, from £7
- Girls Short-Sleeve Shirts 2 Pack (white), from £3
- Boys/Girls Teflon Polo Shirts 2 Pack (white), from £2.50
- Zip-up gingham playsuit, from £5
- Pinafore 2 Pack, from £9
- Girls/Boys Jumpers, from £6
- Girls/Boys Black Shoes, from £12.50
What mums and dads say about it: Back in September 2015, some of our forum mums and dads were asked to test out Tesco’s F&F school uniform range in one of our product tests, and provide their unfiltered feedback.
Generally, the range was touted as comfy, kid-approved, well-fitting (though there were a few exceptions with skirts and trousers) and really durable in the wash. Jumpers and shirts, in particular, came up tops.
“I was really impressed with the jumper when I first received it, it felt so soft and looked more expensive than the price label would suggest,” began Bummymum.
“After 1 wash it hadn’t started to ‘bobble’ and the deep colour had not faded.”
Ashley M added: “The cost of this full uniform is brilliant! It is absolutely fit for purpose. I think what impressed me the most is the red jumper.
“In past experiences from other retailers red jumpers always look a bit shabby after the first wash.
“I think the pricing is very reasonable to get a complete outfit that is wearable and of good quality for around £15,” added Zoe&Maya.
“My husband actually said to me: ‘Aren’t you supposed to wash that before you review it?’ just as I got our son to put [the jumper] all back on freshly washed and dried,” revealed Mixyone23. “I had to laugh as he told me it was because it looked new, so I guess the As New technology does exactly what it’s supposed to!!”
On sale from: NOW, in Tesco shops (not online)
Cheapest deal: 2 white polo shirts, a jumper and one pair of trousers for roughly £8.50 (depending on your child’s age). Like Tesco, ASDA is offering a 100-day guarantee on its school uniforms.
Age range: From primary to secondary, age 3 to age 16, plus a separate range for sixth form boys and girls.
What does the school uniform range include? The ASDA school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Girls/Boys Polo Shirts 2 Pack (white, black, green, navy, red, blue and yellow), from £2.50
- Girls/Boys Polo Shirt 5 Pack (same colours as above), from £6
- Girls/Boys Jumper (burgandy, brown, navy, green, purple and grey), from £2
- Girls/Boys Trousers (grey, black and navy), from £3
- Girls Skirt (grey and black), from £3
- Pinafore Dress, from £5
- Girls Cardigans 2 Pack (black, green, burgundy and navy), from £4
- Boys Short-Sleeve Shirts (white), from £3
- Boys/Girls Black Shoes, from £9.50
What mums and dads say about it: Generally, much of George at ASDA’s range comes highly recommended, with 4 to 5 star reviews on pretty much all the key items.
Mums and dads say they LOVE the speedy online delivery, and the variety of polo shirt packs available.
“Excellent quality for such a cheap price. I always buy Asda school uniform for my 4 sons & have been very impressed!” says one happy parent.
Another was especially impressed with the pinafores, describing them as intuitive for school kids: “These are a staple of the school uniforms in this house. I buy them every year. They sit lovely and last well. My daughter loves them because they zip down the front and its easy to get herself changed for P.E.
“This has been a problem for her in the past with some other designs that zip under the arm. Something you don’t really think about until they struggle with it.”
That said, ASDA gets a bit of a mixed review from our own MFM mums – with a few saying the sizes for trousers and skirts come up too big for skinny kids. Though if you’re crafty enough, you could probably take up a few hems yourself.
Conversely, mum Ashley S swears by it: “Always ASDA, washes up fab and lasts all year👌 Never had any problems 😊 ” And another mum adds: “I always go to ASDA for summer dresses and grey uniform.”
Still, Claire B added: “We tried the ASDA cardigans for the summer-they are fine but very thin and fade quite noticeably and after a couple of months they are coming apart at the seams.”
And mum Claire AH says, “I’ve purchased mine from Asda for the skirts and dresses. The Asda ones are cheap, good quality and last and come with a 100 day guarantee when the receipt is kept.”
Sarah R says, “When my eldest son started school I bought his from Next and M&S. He soon came home covered in white board pen etc so tried Asda and have bought theirs ever since. I can kit out my 2 boys for under £100.”
On sale from: NOW, in stores and on the official George at ASDA website
Cheapest deal: 3 polo shirts, 2 jumpers and 2 pairs of trousers, for roughly £19 (depending on your child’s age)
Age range: From primary to sixth form (age 3 to 18).
What does the school uniform range include? The Tu at Sainsbury’s school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Unisex Polo Shirts (white, red, blue, brown, grey, black, purple, yellow and green, and different shades), from £3.50
- Boys/Girls Trousers 2 Pack (navy, black), from £6
- Pinafore (navy, black, charcoal), from £6
- Gingham Dresses (pink, yellow, red, green, light blue, purple, dark blue), from £4.50 (also in £9 2 Packs)
- Unisex Long-Sleeved Shirt 3 Pack (light blue, white), from £4
- Girls/Boys Crew Neck Jumper (dark red, black, cobalt blue, dark grey, dark green, maroon, bright red), from £6
- Girls/Boys V Neck Jumper (same colours as above and purple), from £6
- Girls Skirt (navy, black, charcoal), from £6
What mums and dads say about it: We’ve heard some good things about the Sainsbury’s uniform, with Claire O on our Facebook especially rating Sainsbury’s for “trousers & polo shirts”.
The Gingham Dresses come in a variety of colours and styles (pleated, non-pleated) – and we like that they’re not just available in 2 packs, too.
As one parent agreed: “Fantastic quality and great fit. No need to iron, either!” And another: “Great quality even after a few washes.”
“Delighted with these dresses,” says one happy mum. “Bought as a replacement for dresses ordered from a well known department store. Much better design and quality. Love the tie which makes the dresses fit beautifully. Will definitely buy again!”
On sale: NOW in stores and on Tu at Sainsbury’s official website
Cheapest deal: 2 colourful polo shirts, one pair of girls’ trousers and a jumper for £8.50
What does the school uniform range include? The Nutmeg at Morrisons school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Boys/Girls Colourful Polo Shirts (red, blue, yellow) 2 Pack, from £2.50
- Boys/Girls White Polo Shirts 2 Pack, from £2.50
- Boys Black Trousers, from £7
- Girls Trousers (black, charcoal), from £4
- Gingham Dress and matching scrunchie (light blue, green, red), from £4
- Short Sleeve Shirts (white), from £3.50
- Boys/Girls Jumper, £3
- Girls Skirt (black, charcoal), from £4
What mums and dads say about it: The Nutmeg range is pretty new, so there aren’t a lot of reviews out there. But do let us know your thoughts if you decide to buy, and we’ll update this piece with your comments.
On sale: NOW, from Morrisons official website
Cheapest deal: For a 2-pack of polo shirts, a 2-pack of trousers and a jumper, the cheapest deal is £22
Age range: Primary – ages 3 through to 12.
What does the school uniform range include? The Next school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Boys 5 pack of short sleeve shirts, from £20
- Boys 2 pack of long-sleeved shirts (blue, white) from £9
- Knitted v-neck jumper (navy, black, red, grey, green) from £8
- Boys grey pull on trousers, from £8
- Grey zip front pinafore, from £7
- Girls v-neck cardigan (navy, red, blue, black, green, maroon, grey), from £7
- Girls 2 pack polo shirts (white, blue), from £6
What mums and dads say about it: Next school uniforms have a great reputation for being well-made and lasting well. While they’re not as cheap as Aldi or Lidl, its price reflects its quality.
Charlie F says, “We usually buy our uniform from next which we have found to be good quality and long lasting which means the older girls bits can be handed down to the younger ones too.”
On sale: NOW, in stores and online. Boys collection here and the girls collection here.
Cheapest deal: For a 2-pack of polo shirts, slim leg trousers and a unisex jumper, from £8.50
Age range: From primary to sixth form (age 3-18).
What does the school uniform range include? The Matalan school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Unisex 2-pack of polo shirts (red, blue), from £2.50
- Unisex crew sweater (red, blue, burgundy, green, black), from £3
- Girls skater skirt, from £3
- 2-pack girls blouses, from £3.50
- Girls scallop-neck cardigan, from £4
- Boys 2-pack polo, from £2.50
- Boys slim leg trousers, from £3
- Boys 2-pack long-sleeved shirts, from £4
What mums and dads say about it: Matalan’s uniforms are a great price!
We’ve heard that they wash really well and the pleated skirts keep their pleats without ironing.
If you’ve got an opinion on them, we’d love to hear it. Just add it to the comment section at the end of this article.
On sale: NOW, in stores and online.
Cheapest deal: You don’t go to ‘Marks’ for serious budget shopping, but we worked out from the bullet points below that a jumper, 3 polo shirts and 2 pairs of trousers will start from £26.
Age range: From primary up to sixth form – age 3 to 18.
What does the school uniform range include? The M&S school uniform range has plenty of basics, including (but not limited to):
- Unisex Cotton Polo Shirt 3 Pack (red, white, grey, blue, yellow), from £7
- Unisex Jumper (black), £6
- Gingham Dress/Playsuit (yellow, black, red, green, purple, blue and pink) £9 – £16
- Permanent pleats pinafore (black, dark grey), from £10
- Girls Long Sleeve Shirts 2 Pack, £9 – £15
- Boys Long Sleeve Shirts 2 Pack, £9 – £15
- Girls/Boy’s Trousers 2 Pack (navy, black, dark grey – also light grey for boys), £11 – 17
What mums and dads say about it: M&S tends to get a good rep from our mums – who all say the quality is brilliant, and they wash and wear well.
“M& S for us too (including shoes). They’ve lasted 2 years and are still in good condition for younger sister to use. (We buy when there is 20% off),” says Claire B.
Lisa T also adds: “I bought M&S last year when 20% off as they are our school stockist too for logo jumpers etc. They are def better quality and was much better than any others.”
Though she did admit to buying cheaper white polo shirts elsewhere. Amy E likes the quality of the white smart shirts, noting: “White shirts from M&S as they are better quality and iron so much nicer.”
On sale: NOW, in stores and on the M&S website
Cheapest deal: Again, John Lewis isn’t where to look for the lowest prices, but you can get 3 white polos, a pair of trousers and a jumper from £21
Age range: Primary and secondary (from 3 to 16).
What does the school uniform range include? John Lewis has lots of basics, even though it’s often the stockist for school-specific uniform pieces like blazers, jumpers with logos, and so on. Here are just some of the basics:
- White Long Sleeve Blouse/Shirt 3 Pack, from £10
- White Short Sleeve Blouse/Shirt 3 Pack, from £9
- Girls Trousers (black, grey), from £10
- Boys Trousers (black, grey), £9 – £14
- White Polo Shirt 3 Pack, £7 – £15
- Colourful Polo Shirt 2 Pack (yellow, red, blue, white), from £10
- Unisex Sweatshirt (black, grey, red, blue, green, brown), from £9
- Unisex V-Neck Jumper (navy, black, red, green, royal blue, maroon, grey), from £9
- Girls Skirt, from £6
- V-Neck Cardigan, from £10
What mums and dads say about it: There’s a lot to like about John Lewis uniforms, not least the fact that many parents will be able to get their child’s branded items from the same shop.
There are 100% cotton options, and lots of nice little touches, like reinforced knees in the school trousers.
One very popular item with children and their parents is the Girls’ Cap Sleeve Blouse, which has a very pretty Peter Pan-style collar.
“This is the third year running!” admits one mum. “[My daughter] goes up a year and still wants the same blouse! So we return for the next size. It works well with both school skirt or a pinafore. It washes and wears very well.”
The Easy Care Adjustable Weight Skater Style Skirt’s also a hit, with parents sizing up by one year for their kids to get the perfect fit.
“It fits perfectly (very flattering) and has a helpful adjustable waist. It looks very smart and the quality is first class. Worth paying that little bit more for as it beats the cheaper supermarket versions,” added one mum.
While another added: “My daughter was keen on a really simple skirt, no pleats allowed, so I was delighted when this one popped up from John Lewis. She loves it!”
Generally, the sleeved shirts are a hit with all parents, calling them “lovely fitting” – especially the Slim Fit options, as we know getting the right fit for very skinny kids can be a challenge…
On sale: NOW, in store and on the John Lewis website
Images: Product websites
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