School uniforms without the agony

If you went to a school with a uniform, and most of us in Britain did, then you will remember the annual pain of obtaining school clothes for the new year. Twenty years ago and more, before supermarkets sold basic school uniforms and before the growth of the internet, children and teenagers, already glum about the end of the long summer holidays, were dragged kicking and screaming into either one of the larger department stores or into a local outfitters to be subjected to hours of trying on too-big clothing. And that was before you repeated the whole torturous exercise with shoes! Thankfully, a London schoolwear supplier, Uniform4kids, has transformed the whole shopping experience for both Mums and school children, meaning that both can now relax during the last moments of summer while all the school uniform items needed are ordered on-line and dispatched to the door.

Many of the previous disadvantages of shopping for school uniforms have now been removed, and it’s advantageous for the suppliers as well as the purchasers. In the “bad old days”, both average-sized kids and those needing more unusual sizes missed out with traditional outlets running out of the normal sizes and often failing to stock the larger or more petite options for a specific school. This doesn’t have to be an issue with on-line purchasing as the on-line suppliers can keep all the uniforms needed in large warehousing complexes out of town and can have large stocks of the items common to several schools in the region – the grey trousers, the navy pinafore dresses and the ubiquitous plimsolls. Parking issues are entirely irrelevant, let alone the threat of having to make a return visit if an item wasn’t in stock.

These on-line stores are particularly popular with schools with a number of distinctive uniform items. A growing number of schools are returning to the blazer, shirt and tie style and are moving away from the more casual school sweatshirts popular for the last couple of decades, convinced that smart clothing leads to better behaviour and a more serious learning environment.

National organisations are also in on the game with Brownie, Cub, Scout and Guide uniforms available from the on-line suppliers, as well as generic exercise and sports equipment. It really is the ultimate one-stop shopping experience.

Although catching on outside the capital, it makes sense that London schoolwear suppliers have expanded on the on-line supply model first. With so many schools in a relatively dense area and the legendary issues of parking to shop in the capital, it’s no wonder parents see buying school clothes by the traditional method as a treat they can easily forgo. It may not be long before going into a traditional outfitters to buy school uniforms becomes just a painful memory of the past. But for those rare parents who used to enjoy taking their children uniform shopping, all is not lost. You still have to buy the shoes!

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