How many school uniforms should you buy?

A guide to how many school uniforms parents should purchase when preparing their children for back-to-school.

I am constantly asked how many school uniforms parents should purchase at the beginning of the school year, and I don’t think there’s one simple answer to that question. Time, budget and the number of kids in a family all come into consideration when deciding how many school uniforms to buy. Whilst there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, I have shared with you below some things to consider, as well as what works in my home and some other families homes too.

A few years ago I used to run the uniform shop at my kids school and it was surprising to see how many uniforms each family bought. Some families purchased a school uniform for each day of the week whilst other bought a minimum of two per child. It really does depend on your individual family, and how many times you’re prepared to wash and dry uniforms during the week.

Things To Consider

BUDGET: Determine your budget as uniforms can very quickly add up, especially if you have a few children attending school. Consider how much you want to spend in total on their whole uniform – this means school clothes, shoes, socks, and undies!

WASHING: How often are you prepared to wash school uniforms? If you wash daily then you will need less uniforms than a family that washes once or twice a week, or only on weekends.

DRYER: Do you own a dryer or will you be drip-drying your school uniforms? If you dry your clothes on a line or air-dryer and live in a cool climate, you may need more uniforms.

Save Time And Money

UN-BRANDED UNIFORMS: Many schools allow generic unbranded school uniforms (check with your school principal) which can be purchased from Kmart, Big W, or even specialist online school uniform shops which offer a huge variety of colour options. This is great for busy parents who want to save some money, who can’t make the school uniform shops open hours, or who’d simply rather avoid the busy queues.

2ND HAND STOCK: Most schools have preloved school uniforms that you can purchase. These might not be in perfect condition, but you’ll be grateful to have extra uniforms on hand – even if they are well-loved – on those busy school weeks. Op shops are also a great place to hunt out staple items like black shorts and shoes.

How I Worked Out How Many Uniforms We Need

My kid’s school uniform is a sports shirt and shorts, plus a dress shirt (which is only worn on excursion days), white socks and black shoes. They prefer to wear their sports shirt 5 days a week as it’s the most comfortable, the dress shirt irritates their skin and is hot.

As you know I have a laundry schedule displayed in my laundry. I planned my schedule (what I wash on what day) to ensure that the kids will always have clean uniforms in their wardrobe. It also helps that their uniform, top and bottoms can be washed in the one ‘darks’ cycle.

I have purchased 3 sports uniforms and 1 dress shirt (the dress shirt is rarely used so let’s ignore it for the purpose of this post). This is how I maintain a 3 shirts per week clean uniform schedule:

  • Monday – Wear shirt 1
  • Tuesday – Wear shirt 2
  • Wednesday – Wear shirt 3, wash and dry shirt 1 and 2
  • Thursday – Wear shirt 1
  • Friday – Wear shirt 2
  • Saturday – Wash shirt 1, 2 and 3.  Wash all socks.

My team can transform your own personalised laundry schedule into a gorgeous printable that will help you keep on top of your school uniform washing.

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What Do Other Families Do With Their Uniforms

I recently asked my community ‘How many school uniforms do you buy each child?’ There was a great response, and you can read a few of the answers below.

  • My 4 kids have 2 each. 1 to wash and 1 to wear.
  • 1 on, 1 in the wash and one in the cupboard, so three plus sport uniforms.
  • I have 2 children at school. For each of them I get the following. My daughter. Summer, 3 school dresses, my son, 2 pants and 3 shirts then I can always have 1 on them 1 in the wash and ins ready for next day.
  • Summer I get 2 normal uniforms and 1 sports. Would like more, but at approx. $70 to $80 per set not including jumpers, can’t afford more than that. Winter is a whole different uniform and that is about the same cost without jumpers or jackets. None of our school stuff is available from department stores it is Lowes only, so no specials there as it is specific stuff only.
  • I have made sure I have 5 uniforms to get them through a week! To help with financial budgets, they have been a mix of new & second-hand uniforms.
  • 1 for every day of the week. I’m a full-time working mum so it means I can do washing once a week.
  • 5 one for each day  I have 1 mega washing day a week.
  • For my 5 year old I buy 6 pairs of pants, 6 shirts and 6 pairs of socks. There is nothing worse than getting to Monday morning after an awesome weekend of doing something other than cleaning all weekend and realising that your child is heading to school naked. It’s expensive, but they last the whole year and look good because you are not over washing or wearing them.
  • Just put a lay-buy on with 5 shorts and 2 pants will get 3 trackies too will buy 5 official school tops when they are available I also got 3 jackets
    My eldest starts school in term 3 so I’m flying blind but had some advice to but a set for each day
  • 2 of each (shorts or skirt, and blouse or shirt), 1 wool jumper, 1 blazer, 1 sports uniform .. Washing everyday anyway so buying more is pointless. Hang indoors overnight and dry by morning. Have gone weeks where 2nd uniform doesn’t get used. Regular ironing also means no huge pile on the weekend to groan over!!
  • I do my mid-week wash on Wednesday’s – so I have 3 shirts, 3 shorts, socks and jocks are unlimited! You can never have enough!

How many uniforms do you buy each child?

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