School Uniform Buying Guide: Budget v Big Brand

11 August 2016
School Uniform Buying Guide

School uniform can be a really expensive purchase for your children, especially if you have a few to buy for, so here at PlayPennies we have been looking at the different options available to parents to see what gives the best value for money.

There are lots of cheap budget uniform options from the likes of Aldi and Lidl, up to the more expensive uniform from stores like Marks and Spencer and Next. So is it worth shelling out more for better quality, or does cheap and cheerful cut it?

Budget Supermarket Brands

The cheapest school uniform available by far are from the budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, as they sell a full outfit for as little as £3.44. The Aldi school uniform was available to buy online for the first time this year and the most popular sizes sold out in minutes, so these budget uniform buys are obviously being snapped up by parents looking to save money. But how long will a 94p sweatshirt really last without bobbling in the wash or wearing thin?

Supermarket School Uniform

Some of us PlayPennies Mums swear by Asda* for school uniforms, as it's a middle ground between the super cheap Aldi and Lidl ones and the more expensive high street clothing. The Asda school uniform* has one of the best ranges of all the supermarkets, in terms of fitting options, colour and styles. Plus they have a 100 Day Guarantee* on all their school uniform so that if you feel it hasn't lasted as it should you can return it to store for a no quibble refund too.

The Tu at Sainsbury's school uniform* is also a big favourite for wearing well through multiple washes, and although it's a little more than Asda or Tesco if you can get it in their 25% off promotion it's just about the best value in terms of quality for price.

High Street Fashion Stores

Some of our team are big fans of Marks and Spencer* for school uniform and particularly Next*, as it is such good quality. It's been commented on that the boys trousers are very long lasting, especially if you have kids who spend lots of time climbing trees or doing sliding tackles playing footie in the playground - if you buy cheaper and they don't stand up to harsh treatment it can be a false economy. And the prices are surprisingly reasonable with both Next* and M&S* school trousers starting at £7 a pair, however if you have a few children to buy for it can soon add up compared to the £3- £4 price tag of Asda school trousers, doubling the amount you are having to pay out.

Here at PlayPennies we think that getting the best quality you can for the best price is the way to go. School uniform gets worn for so much of your kids time that you really need uniform that will stand up to repeated washing, ironing and playing, plus it need to be resistant to stains too or you will end up throwing it out and replacing it. But you can still get good quality without spending a fortune, and we will keep finding the best deals we can for the cheapest school uniform.

So is it true to say 'Buy Cheap Buy Twice', or have the budget brands improved their quality so much that you are really just paying extra for the name?

We would love to know what you think so leave us a message in the comments, and take part in our poll below.


  • Stacy R.

    We buy Tesco trousers with reinforced knees as my lad wore out Asda, Next and M&S trousers within weeks but these last the year.

    We get polo shirts and wool jumpers from Marks as they wear better and hold their shape/colour better than the others in our experience.

  • Laura D.

    Not buying any cardigans from matalan this year! Literally fell apart at the seams before it wore out in shape or colour :rolling_eyes:

  • Lisa K.

    yes I can and that is with logo where they need to be

  • Dan10

    Kids need to be comfortable in their uniform as they're wearing it all day, every day. I think that the most important element is the right footwear. When I was a child I didn't have the greatest shoes and I developed a bit of a jaunty walk as a result. We always buy the children's school shoes from Start-Rite as it's important to look after their feet and avoid developing problems when they're young. Considering that school shoes are going to be on their feet the bulk of the time that's the area to concentrate budget.

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