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School uniforms tried and tested by families – for wear, wash, fit and quality

How good is the fit, what's the quality like, how well do they wash? We’ve rigorously tested high street school uniforms, including Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, John Lewis, Morrisons, Matalan, Lidl, Asda and Next and have the answers...


With high street stores competing with each other to offer the cheapest, longest-lasting, toughest school uniforms, we’ve recruited families to wear, wash and report back on a range of uniforms from all the big sellers.


Every family was asked which uniform they usually buy, and then were sent a different brand, so they could compare to their previous experiences. We also tested a variety of boys’ and girls’ uniforms and looked at a basic wardrobe of trousers/skirt, top/shirt, jumper/cardigan and socks. Their children wore them, played in them, ate in them and then they were washed and dried and worn again – with parents and their kids reporting back.

*Price of basic uniform items – We’ve also calculated the cost of basic uniform prices for easier comparison, including the cheapest option for the following:

For age 7 | 1 x trousers | 1 x skirt | 1 x polo | 1 x jumper

In alphabetical order (click on column header to sort by price, etc)

BrandPrice for one uniform*AvailabilityPost-wash
Aldi£4.87Online & instoreShrinkage
Asda£13.50Online & instoreLittle shrinkage
John Lewis£30.33Online & instoreShrinkage
Lidl£4.87InstoreNo shrinkage
Marks & Spencer£23.83Online & instoreNo shrinkage
Matalan£18Online & instoreLittle shrinkage
Morrisons£12.81Online & instoreNo shrinkage
Next£27.90Online & instoreNo shrinkage
Sainsbury's£14.50Online & instoreNo shrinkage
Tesco£13.25Instore onlyLittle shrinkage

Tu@Sainsbury’s | Boys school uniform

MFM Verdict: Best overall uniform

MFM summary: Tu@Sainsbury’s sits at the slightly higher end of the mid-priced uniforms. Our tester was hugely impressed with the reinforced knee trousers, and it was found to be a very comfortable uniform, which washed well with no shrinkage. Age sizes fitted well.

Pic: Leanne Belshaw

Tester | Mum Leanne and son Mason, 5
Usually purchase uniform from | M&S
Sainsbury’s items tested | Size/Age 5-6
Light blue unisex polo shirts 3 pack £3.50
Grey reinforced knees trousers 2 pack £7
Navy V-neck jumpers 2 pack £6
Grey socks 5 pack £3.50
Total uniform cost: £20

Cost of basic Sainsbury’s uniform* items: £14.50

First impressions

The uniform arrived all neatly packaged and well protected. It looked good quality and no different to the usual uniform I’d buy. I was intrigued by the trousers with the reinforced knees, especially with a little boy as he’s always on the floor.

How good was the sizing and fit of the Tu@Sainsbury’s uniform?

Mason is tall and slight, so I usually buy the slim fit trousers. I was slightly worried about the regular trousers being too baggy on his legs, but they were fine. He had lots of room to grow into all the items and they were all well made.

I liked the reinforced knees in the trousers and the material of the polo and jumper was very soft and lightweight.
Leanne, Mum of Mason, 5

Mason said the uniform was very comfortable and he was able to jump on the trampoline, play on the slide and roll around on the floor with ease.

He normally hates wearing a polo shirt because they itch him, but there were no complaints about this one. He usually hates wearing school uniform so this was a bonus.

Pic: Leanne Belshaw

Pre-wash vs post-wash

Mason got mud on the trousers, sand and dirt on his jumper and paint and chocolate on the polo shirt! All the stains washed out of the clothing without a problem and without having to use any stain remover. There wasn’t any sign of shrinkage at all. I washed it all at 40º and dried it outside on the washing line. It all dried within a couple of hours, which is good when they get so dirty at school!

Worth the money?

This uniform from Tu is definitely value for money, and cheaper than M&S which is where I usually buy uniform from. There is not much difference between the two apart from the Tu trousers, which were a darker grey than the M&S option, but then this doesn’t affect usage. I would definitely buy Sainsbury’s uniform again, especially the reinforced knee trousers.

Available from Tu @ Sainsbury’s

Next | Girls school uniform

MFM Verdict: Best premium uniform

MFM summary: One of the most expensive options, the Next uniform however rated high for quality, and our tester found no shrinkage. The sizing seemed accurate and there’s a range of different options for style and fit.

Pic: Tenisha McDonald

Tester | Mum Tenisha and daughter Kaiyas, 9
Usually purchase uniform from | M&S and George@Asda
Next items tested | Size/Age 9-10
White Embellished Pocket Long Sleeve Shirt £7
Black Button Through Skirt £8
Bow Pocket Cardigan £10
2 pack of 80 Denier Tights £6.50
Total uniform cost: £31.50

Cost of Next basic uniform* items: £27.90

First impressions of Next uniform

My first thoughts were that the Next uniform looked high quality. The skirts looked and felt like they would be very durable, in a nice thick material. My daughter had no complaints about the comfort whilst wearing the uniform.

How well did the uniform fit?

It fitted her perfectly with no need to size up, which we have had to do in the past. She has room for growth spurts too. I also loved the adjustable waist in the skirt. This is one of the main things I look for in clothing, as not everything can be worn with a belt.

Pic: Tenisha McDonald

Pre-wash vs post-wash

It came out of the washing like new. My daughter made a small mark with some food on the arm of the school shirt, which came out with normal washing powder. No stain remover was needed, which I thought was a result as we are always in need of stain remover!

The quality is amazing: it came out of the washing like new, easy to iron, no complaints.
Tenisha, Mum of Kaiyas, 9

Ater washing, I feel confident that this uniform will be long-lasting, especially compared to some of the cheaper brands we’ve used, where some materials feel thin and have lost their shape in the wash. The colour also held, whereas we’ve tried a few that lose colour after the first wash.

Worth the money?

In total it cost £31.50 for the items we have tried and I would definitely say it’s brilliant value for money. I’ve spent more on uniform that hasn’t had the same quality for the amount of money spent. This uniform is amazing quality, hard wearing and washes well. I would definitely recommend this brand to other parents and carers.

It’s now a top runner for my future uniform buys and I’ve just ordered some more items from Next for the new term after this test.

Available from Next

Marks & Spencer | Girls school uniform

MFM summary: Marks & Spencer is one of the more pricey uniforms, but if you purchase your uniform early enough in the summer, they often have a 20% discount on offer. Our tester felt the uniform was high quality, there was no shrinkage and it held its colour after washing – although slightly on the large size for her slim daughter.

Pic: Victoria Haines

Tester | Mum Victoria and daughter Neve, 10
Usually purchase uniform from | George@Asda and Tu@Sainsbury’s
M&S items tested | Size/Age 10-11
Cotton rich school cardigan £12
Crease resistant pleated school skirts 2 pack £14
Stain resistant polo shirt 2 pack £11
5 pack of knee high socks £7
Total uniform cost: £44

Cost of M&S basic uniform* items: £23.83

First impressions

The uniform was very nice, looked and felt to be good quality and didn’t feel thin.

How good was the sizing and fit of the M&S uniform?

My daughter loved the uniform. She said it was very comfortable and wasn’t itchy at all. We went for age 10-11 which was actually a little bit on the big side as my daughter is very thin, but overall it fitted very well and also means the uniform will last.

The skirt had an adjustable waist which was good for my daughter otherwise the skirt would have fallen down. Instead, even though it was quite big we could still get a perfect fit for her. The length of the skirt was just right too, it sat just above her knee. The cardigan came up big, but that just means we will get lots of wear out of it.

Although the uniform size was slightly big, I think overall the sizings are good and I could see this lasting pretty much a whole school year.

Pic: Victoria Haines

Pre-wash vs post-wash

I have to say the uniform washed really well. I didn’t need to do any ironing, and the pleats stayed in the skirt too.

The polo shirts washed very well and didn’t go an off-white colour, like some other brands do after a wash. This was a much higher quality uniform, compared to others I have bought over the years.
Victoria, Mum to Neve, 10

The polo shirts felt much nicer and didn’t feel scratchy to the touch.

Worth the money?

I would definitely recommend this M&S uniform to others. This is more money than I would normally spend on a school uniform as children just seem to grow so quickly, but with the quality of this, I think I would be happy to spend this amount. It definitely gives good value for money and I can see it lasting much longer than some other brands. I would happily recommend this brand to my friends and family and other school mums.

Available from Marks & Spencer

Nutmeg@Morrisons | Girls school uniform

MFM summary: Nutmeg@Morrisons is at the cheaper end of pricing. It also offers flat pricing, which means as you go up in size, the price does not change – so particularly good value for older children. The uniform washed well with no shrinkage. Some items appeared a little on the large side.

Pic: Zoe Lester

Tester | Mum Zoe and daughter Isla, 5
Usually purchase uniform from | Asda and Sainsbury’s
Morrisons items tested | Size/Age 5-6
2 pack unicorn polo shirts: £4.95
Charcoal grey ponte skater skirt £4
2 pack charcoal zip front pinafore dress £9
2 pack navy cardigans: £8
3 pack supersoft grey tights: £5
Total uniform cost: £30.95
Worth noting: Nutmeg@Morrisons offers flat pricing – you pay the same price for school uniforms for any age/size 

Cost of Morrisons basic uniform* items: £12.81

First impressions

When the uniform first arrived, I thought it looked good quality. The skirt was of a thick material and well stitched together and the cardigans felt soft.

My daughter really liked the additional motifs on the uniform such as the rainbow and unicorn
Zoe, Mum to Isla, 5

How good was the sizing and fit of the Morrisons uniform?

Overall the uniform fitted well. The sleeve length was a little long on the cardigans, although I find this is fairly usual. The style looked good and my daughter really liked the additional motifs on the uniform such as the rainbow and unicorn.

Pic: Zoe Lester

Pre-wash vs post-wash

I find that some uniforms can become misshapen, shrink or just look a little worse for wear after washing, but after washing this uniform and drying it outside, it’s still looking as good as new. I hope it looks this perfect after repeated washing! My daughter did find the tights itchy after they were washed, but I think this was due to the heat of the day.

Worth the money?

I think this uniform compares really well to others we’ve tried, as I have always purchased from supermarkets previously. I’m actually going to go and get some more because of how good it is. I would have preferred a larger quantity of T-shirts in a pack, but equally would have been willing to pay more for that.

Available from Nutmeg@Morrisons

Lidl | Boys school uniform

MFM summary: Like Aldi, Lidl offers the cheapest uniform prices, but stocks are very limited (only available in store) and we found it hard to find uniform to test. Our tester felt the quality was good for the price, particularly rating the trousers, and the uniform showed no shrinkage and washed well. But the uniform seemed small for age, particularly the shirts.


Tester | Mum Francesca and son David, 9
Usually purchase uniform from | M&S & Asda
Lidl items tested | Size/Age 10/12 & 11/12
Short sleeve shirts 2 pack £2.49 (Size 11/12)
Boys grey trousers £1.25 (Size 11/12)
White crew neck t-shirts 2 pack £1.99 (Size 10/12)
Pac-a-mac £3.99 (Size 10/12)
Total uniform cost: £9.72

Cost of Lidl basic uniform* items: £4.87 

First impressions

The trousers were made of very good material and the cotton t-shirts were soft.

How good was the sizing and fit of the Lidl uniform?

The trousers we were able to get were age 11-12 years and fitted really well. The two-clip trouser fasteners are perfect as a lot of children panic with buttons. My son sometimes finds trousers get uncomfortable after a day of wearing them, as the buttons sometimes dig in, but he came home from school and said they were comfortable and he had enough room.

The two pack of white t-shirts were 100% cotton, which is ideal as my son has sensitive skin so finding a t-shirt which is comfortable and breathable for school can sometimes be a challenge. We had size 10-12 years and there was plenty of room in them. My son came home from school saying he hadn’t felt too hot and he loved how soft they were.

However, we had some real issues with the white short-sleeved shirts. They were age 11-12 years old, and we struggled to get these over his shoulders and couldn’t fasten them above the chest to the neck. We found this to be a very small sized 11-12. The good points were, before trying these on I ironed them, and they do live up to their point of being easy iron! I found that within a minute there were no creases at all. I believe if we had the next size up, the shirt would have fitted a treat.

How was the Lidl pac-a-mac

As we weren’t able to get a Lidl uniform jumper, we tried the pac-a-mac. On removing it from the packet, the mac is actually not in a separate bag: the pocket is the bag – amazing! Having a boy who loses things, this is ideal. We tried the mac out in the lovely Scottish rain and the uniform underneath stayed dry! As for the sizing, he didn’t have much room and if he was wearing a jumper underneath, I’m not sure how much room he would have had left. That being said, sizing up would leave you plenty of room.

Pre-wash vs post-wash

My son has worn the cotton t-shirt under his shirts at school, and once he comes home, they look a greyish colour at the end of the school day (having played outside and having meals). After washing there was no obvious shrinkage, the whiteness was back, with no grey at all. They do crease very easily, but like the shirts, the creases do come out.

The trousers washed well – no colour fade, the folds remained and there was no shrinkage. The pac-a-mac we left to hang on coat peg and was dry within the hour of taking it off.

Worth the money?

The uniform really is brilliant value for money and the winner was definitely the trousers. Having only recently discovered Lidl do school uniforms, I definitely will go to Lidl for trousers. The 100% cotton t-shirts wash well and are a must buy, as is the pac-a-mac, even though I wasn’t a fan before. The only downside was the sizing on the short-sleeved shirts. I think if we had sized up on the shirts it would have been full marks for Lidl!

Available from Lidl

Lily & Dan@Aldi | Girls school uniform

MFM summary: Not surprisingly, Aldi (along with Lidl) offer the cheapest school uniforms. Our tester felt the Due to the prices, the uniforms disappear quickly from shelves, although you can pre-order online. There was some shrinkage, some colour staining in the wash from the red jumper and the jersey fabric did bobble. Sizes appear a little on the smaller side.


Tester | Mum Emma and daughter Mya, 4
Usually purchase uniform from | Marks and Spencer
Aldi items tested | Size/Age 5-6
Grey jersey skirt £2.79
Girls trousers £1.75
2 pack white polo shirts £1.75
5 pack white socks £2.79 
Red round neck jumper 50p
Total uniform cost: £9.58

Cost of Aldi basic uniform* items: £4.87

First impressions

When the uniform first arrived, I thought it looked great. There is a lovely design along the polo shirt collars and a nice metal star pendant attached to the waist of the skirt. The jumper is a vibrant red and is lovely and soft.

How good was the sizing and fit of the Aldi uniform?

The girls’ trousers fitted well, and they also had little stars on the front as part of the design. The trousers could also be adjusted at the waist to improve the fit, however they felt a bit stiff. My daughter found the uniform very comfortable and was happy to wear it.

Aldi_before_after TEXT

Pre-wash vs post-wash

My daughter got some red sauce stains on the jumper and this washed out without any problem. The jersey skirt felt a bit bobbly after washing and I feel the star pendant may fall off after a few washes as it doesn’t seem to be attached that well.

A lot of dye came out of the red jumper during the first wash, so this definitely needs to be washed separately. I actually washed the jumper with the skirt, which now has a bit of a red tinge! The socks shrank quite a bit in the wash though the other items didn’t.

Worth the money?

I have previously bought uniform from Marks and Spencer and I can’t help but feel that the M&S is better quality, not as thin and washes better. However, the Aldi uniform is simply fantastic value, especially during Covid as the kids need clean uniform every day. The design features are great and the 5 pack of socks for £2.75 is really good value, as most other shops sell them at £1 per pair.

Available from Lily & Dan@Aldi

George@Asda | Girls school uniform

MFM summary: George@Asda uniform is mid-priced, and while age sizes fitted well, we found there was some shrinkage after tumble drying. Our tester’s daughter, who has autism, can find some fabrics irritating but found this uniform very comfortable.

Pic: Charlie Fletcher

Tester | Mum Charlie and daughter Ellia, 8
Usually purchase uniform from | Next and John Lewis
Asda items tested | Size/Age 7-8
Grey skater skirt 2 pack £8
Light blue polo shirt 2 pack £3
Cobalt school cardigan 2 pack £10
White heart knee high socks £3
Total uniform cost: £24

Cost of Asda basic uniform* items: £13.50

First impressions of the George@Asda uniform

I was pleasantly surprised on receiving the uniform. The polo shirts and socks were nicely packaged, and the skirts and cardigans came on hangers. The uniform feels good quality and looks well made. It also looked extremely smart when worn. The cardigan felt thinner than the usual cardigans we buy from the school which have their logo on, but my daughter often complains these make her too hot at times, so the thinner ones are perfect for the warmer months. She said it was nice and comfortable too. 

How did your daughter feel wearing it?

My daughter has autism and can be fussy with some materials and textures and will refuse to wear anything she finds uncomfortable or irritating. She was happy with all of this uniform though. 

The skirt design was great as it just pulls on without any fiddly buttons, clips or zips - all of which my daughter can find irritating and can dig in to her skin.
Charlie, Mum of Ellia, 8

She described the cardigan and socks as soft and comfy. She liked how the polo shirt buttons undo to create a larger head hole, so she could put it on and take it off easily without it catching on her hair or ears, especially as she’s recently had her ears pierced.

She loved how floaty the skirt was and not rigid and restricting. She loved spinning around making the skirt twirl out!

How good was the sizing and fit of the uniform?

The sizing was good overall. The skirt was the perfect length on her and was just right around the waist, not too tight or too loose. The cardigan was a good length and has growing room in the sleeves but didn’t look oversized on her. The polo shirts were a little too long in the body, but she likes to tuck them in anyway so it wasn’t a problem. The socks were great; they weren’t too tight but were tight enough to stay in position and not slip down even with all her running and jumping! The heart detailing was also a winner! 

Pic: Charlie Fletcher

Pre-wash vs post-wash

I have washed and dried the uniform a few times now and it has washed well, though there is a little shrinkage. The colour on the cardigan is still great without any sign of fading at all. There was very little creasing after washing too. I have dried them on the washing line and also in the tumble dryer on low. My daughter managed to splash chocolate milkshake onto her skirt and one of her socks, and the skirt washed up fine, you’d never be able to tell. The sock has stained, and while it faded in the wash, it is still visible.

How much shrinkage was there?

The polo shirt has shrunk in length in the tumble dryer, and the sleeves don’t seem as long, but they still fit. The cardigan has also shrunk slightly, with the sleeves a little tighter now and not quite as long, but not drastically. I wouldn’t want to regularly tumble dry it though otherwise I don’t think it would last very long. 

Worth the money?

The items came to a total of £24, which for 2 complete uniforms and a whole week’s worth of socks is fantastic value for money: 5 pairs of socks, 2 polos, 2 cardigans and 2 skirts. My daughter actually preferred these items to other uniform we’ve bought from more expensive shops including Next and John Lewis. They easily matched the quality as well.

Overall very impressed with the uniform, and most importantly Ellia loves it and is happy and comfortable wearing it, so I will look at other uniform items from Asda too.

Available from George @ Asda

F&F@Tesco | Boys school uniform

MFM summary: F&F@Tesco sits just on the lower side of mid-price uniforms. The uniform felt durable, although our tester found a little shrinkage in some items. Our tester also found sizing up worked best. Tesco has a range of uniform styles and fit, however it can only be bought in Tesco stores and is not available online.

Pic: Lauren Emmanuel

Tester | Mum Lauren and son Jamir, 7
Usually purchase uniform from | John Lewis and M&S
Tesco items tested | Size/Age 8-9
Blue polo shirts 2 pack £3.50
Blue short sleeve shirt 2 pack £4.50
Slim fit grey trouser 2 pack £9
Skinny fit grey trouser 2 pack £12
Regular fit grey trouser 2 pack £9
Grey v-neck jumper 2 pack £8
Grey socks multipack £4.50
Total uniform cost: £50.50

Cost of Tesco basic uniform* items: £13.25 

First impressions

When we first received the uniform I was amazed at the quality. We normally buy uniform from John Lewis or a special school uniform shop close to our home, but these items were definitely of a very similar quality. We loved the trousers, shirts and socks. The socks were really soft and the fabric of the trousers felt really durable; strong enough to not get holes in the knees and warm enough for the winter months. The shirts felt good quality too.

How good was the sizing and fit of the Tesco uniform?

I always buy one size up for Jamir as he is taller than average for his age. He is 7 but has long limbs so I always have a problem with clothes fitting.

I decided to try 3 different types of trousers: regular, slim and skinny. I think the slim fit were the best fit because he is quite slim. The regular fit had a lot more room and were comfortable, but the skinny fit seemed too tight and my son agreed.

The jumper was quite slim fitting and I think probably a little small – we should have gone for the next size up.

Pic: Lauren Emmanuel

Pre-wash vs post-wash

These items washed really well, though the jumper did shrink. It was on the small side before the wash, but then shrank enough for me to notice. The shirts and polo tops had absolutely no shrinkage. Everything else washed well, kept its shape and came out like new.

I ironed everything after washing but you could probably get away with not ironing the trousers. However, the shirts definitely needed to be ironed.

The fabric of the trousers felt really durable; strong enough to not get holes in the knees and warm enough for the winter months
Lauren, Mum to Jamir, 7

Worth the money?

The prices are very reasonable and definitely cheaper than I would normally pay for each item, but of the same quality, so I would be happy to continue buying from Tesco. One pair of John Lewis trousers is the same as the 2-pack from Tesco. Everything was so soft especially the socks and the jumper – although the jumper fitted quite tightly, My son was also really happy with the uniform; he found it very comfortable and was happy to wear it.

Available in store only at Tesco

John Lewis | Girls school uniform

MFM summary: John Lewis is the most expensive options for uniform but rated high for quality and has lots of useful features including stain repellant and adjustable waist bands. However some items did shrink, though didn’t lose their shape. Their sizes appear on the more generous side.

Pic: Sarah Cummins

Tester | Mum Sarah and daughter Annabelle, 6
Usually purchase uniform from | Various supermarkets
John Lewis items tested | Size/Age 7 & 7-8
Pull on school trousers £13
Panel pleated school skirt £11
Easy care scallop collar polo shirt x 2 £11
Cotton rich V-neck cardigan £11
Knee high socks 5 pack £6
Total uniform cost: £52

Cost of John Lewis basic uniform* items: £30.33 

First impressions

I was impressed with the uniform when it arrived as it looked and felt good quality. My daughter immediately noticed that the polo shirt and cardigan had flower buttons and she also liked the pockets on the cardigan. The trousers also have flower details on too. The trousers, polo shirt and cardigan all have pockets, which sometimes is hard to find on a girl uniform. This is a nice feature that not only makes the uniform look nice, but my daughter also really likes pockets.

How good was the sizing and fit of the John Lewis uniform?

I was unsure what size to order as John Lewis use age 6, age 7, whereas I’m used to buying a 6-7.  We decided to go for age 7 in this uniform and were happy that it seemed to be the right size.

My daughter found the uniform comfortable to wear. She hates anything itchy and this passed the not itchy test.

My daughter often avoids wearing trousers as they can be uncomfortable when she needs to sit cross-legged on the floor, but she was actually very pleased with how comfortable these trousers were - whether sitting cross-legged or climbing on the climbing frame.
Sarah, Mum to Annabelle, 6

The adjustable waist allows the skirt and trousers to be tightened, which also means you can buy a uniform that’s a little bit big for the start of the school year, or if you have a tall slim child they can be easily tightened. Both my daughter and I really liked the finishing touches with the scalloped neckline, pockets and flower buttons. The skirt also has a zip on the side making it easier to get on and off.

Pic: Sarah Cummins

Pre-wash vs post-wash

My daughter did get a few marks on the uniform. According to John Lewis, the uniform has “Teflon EcoElite Fabric Protector” which means it repels water, oil and other stains. I did notice that even though my daughter wore the uniform all day it had minimal stains on it bythe end of the day.

The washing instructions for the polo shirts are 30º and I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t wash clean enough, as I’d normally wash white items at a higher temperature. However, the polo shirt did come out clean, as did the rest of the uniform. The Teflon coating is supposed to make the uniform easy to iron and this was definitely the case.

The trousers didn’t need ironing and the polo shirt and cardigan just needed a quick once over. The pleats held well in the skirt and were easy to iron. 

Pic: Sarah Cummins

How much shrinkage was there?

I used a tumble dryer on the lowest setting as guided by the labels. The polo shirt and the socks did shrink, however I think the design allowed for this. The socks were too long to start with, and the polo shirt was longer than I would expect. The cardigan kept its colour really well, with no obvious signs or fading or shrinking.

The polo shirt is quite slim but has plenty of length. This meant that even though the polo shirt shrank, it was still  a good length after washing. Overall I felt that the uniform is beautifully styled, well made and my daughter found it really comfortable. She was able to easily dress herself with plenty of room to take the uniform on and off herself. 

Pic: Sarah Cummins

Worth the money?

I think this is a reasonable price to pay for the quality of the uniform and will buy from their school uniform range in the future. It is a little bit more expensive than supermarket uniform, but it feels better quality than uniform that I have purchased from Asda, Aldi, Sainsburys and Tesco.

I often find that the supermarket polo shirts shrink and lose their shape. I often have to buy a bigger size to allow for the shrinkage in length but then they end up being too wide. So, I was really impressed by the length on the John Lewis uniform as the polo shirts were nice and long but not wide. Even after washing and shrinkage, the polo shirts are still nice and long. 

I also like that John Lewis supports Better Cotton Initiative cotton farmers who use water efficiently, care for the environment and promote fair and decent work. So I feel the extra pounds spent not only provide a better quality product but also support a worthy charity.

Available from John Lewis

Matalan | Boys school uniform

MFM summary: Matalan uniform pricing is slightly higher than the main supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, etc). Our tester’s son found the trousers a little itchy pre-wash, though better post-wash, and a little shrinkage on the polo shirt. They have good range of different fits, and offer crew neck sweatshirts, which can sometimes be hard to find. The trousers sized a little on the smaller side.


Tester | Mum Sarah and son Finlay, 9
Usually purchase uniform from | Asda
Matalan items tested | Size/Age 10
White polo shirts 2 pack £5
White polo shirts 4 pack £12.50
Boys classic fit school trousers 2 pack £14
Red crew neck school sweatshirt £5
Total uniform cost: £36.50

Cost of Matalan basic uniform* items: £18

First impressions

My first impressions of the uniform were very good, and the quality seemed to be on a par with more expensive retailers.

Matalan_before_after text

How good was the sizing and fit of the Matalan uniform?

On first wear, both the jumper and polo shirts offered plenty of room for movement and my son seemed to be comfortable wearing them. The trousers however were a tad on the small side, but I guess that’s to be expected with the slim fit style. My son did say that he found the uniform itchy, particularly the trousers.

Matalan_before_after_poloshirts TEXT

Pre-wash vs post-wash

After washing I found that there was no shrinkage in the jumper and trousers, but the polo shirts lost about an inch in length, which is a real shame. My son no longer found the uniform itchy after washing and there was no bobbling to report. The jumper and trousers were probably okay without ironing, but the polo shirts definitely needed an iron.

I found that no red fluff was deposited on the polo shirts after wearing with the Matalan jumper
Sarah, Mum to Finlay, 9

Worth the money?

I usually buy all of our school uniform from George@Asda and the Matalan uniform compared very well. I’d say that the Matalan jumper and trousers were slightly better quality, and unlike the George@Asda jumpers, I found that no red fluff was deposited on the polo shirts after wearing with the Matalan jumper.

Overall the jumper and trousers were of great quality, and I’d be confident that they would last the whole academic school year, but I would probably source the polo shirts from a different retailer.

Available from Matalan

*Price of basic uniform items – Based on age 7, 1 x trousers, 1 x skirt, 1 x polo, 1 x jumper


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