Buying new clothes for back to school can be daunting.. emotionally and financially. Especially when you need to build a whole new uniform wardrobe from scratch.. for two kids. That’s where I was last year when we moved to Florida. I was initially anti-uniform, mostly because of the money. But I grew to love it.

Not only are there social benefits, there are also money saving benefits. Yes, there is the initial expense of starting the wardrobe. But after I tackled that, I bought very few other types of clothes for my kids for a whole year. And if you know where to look, school uniform pieces can be affordable.

I’ll cover how to get started, how to save the most money and I’ll list the current deals at the most popular and trusted stores.

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me to receive compensation, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase. All opinions are authentic and my own.

What you really need to start a school uniform wardrobe from scratch.Click To Tweet

Let’s start with the basic pieces you need. And that’s really determined by how many times a week you want to do laundry. And since laundry is the bane of my existence, I’d rather not do it more than once a week. So I set out to get enough pieces to get them through a week with a few variations.

Below you’ll see my basic shopping chart, which you will want to adjust based on:

» What you can afford

» What’s required/allowed at your school

» Your local climate

» What your kids like to wear. My daughter insists on skirts just about every day and I have to force her to wear shorts once in a while. So I buy mostly skirts. Your daughter may be different.

» Whether laundry is your favorite pastime 😉

Now, how do you save the most money?

» Only buy what they need right now. I started buying shorts and short sleeved shirts for the hot temps in August and put off buying pants and long sleeve shirts for later in the fall when I could budget for more.

You’ll also see school uniform pieces go on clearance as you get deeper into the school year. But it might be difficult to find the sizes and styles you need on the clearance rack.

» Don’t buy it all in one place. Shop around. You might find a good deal on shirts at one store and a better deal on shorts at another. Be loyal to quality and savings, not stores.

» Consider buying a few higher-end brands, if that’s important to you, for them to wear for school programs, picture day, etc. Then fill out the rest of the wardrobe for every day learning and play with more affordable brands and/or thrift and consignment store finds.

» Help a sister out. Join a Facebook group for moms in your area or your school community. Helpful moms will usually post good deals they find on clothes and supplies.

» Check with family and friends. If they have kids older than yours, they likely have clothes to hand down.

» Find out if your school has a uniform exchange program. You turn in uniform pieces that your kids have outgrown (that are good quality) and you get the same number of pre-owned pieces in return in the sizes you need.

» Shop during your state’s sales tax holiday. This year 16 states have a certain period of time when certain school related items are sales tax free, which can include clothing, shoes, backpacks, supplies and even computers. You can see the dates on the chart below.

But keep in mind, each state’s holiday covers different items and there is a lot of fine print. To find out the specifics for your state, Forbes magazine has a good list with links.

So, where should you shop?

This may be determined by your preference in brands, what’s available in your area and your budget. But the good thing is, there are lots of places to get school uniforms. I polled my local moms and here is a list of go-to stores that have school uniforms, listed in order of the most popular, with their current deals.

The homework is done for you! Check out this list of the best deals on school uniforms.Click To Tweet

1- Walmart

I didn’t find any current deals on school uniforms at Walmart. But they already have the lowest prices, with boys and girls polo tops at $4.50 and boys and girls shorts at $8.50.

You can also get cash back. Shop on Walmart.com through the Dosh app and get 3% cash back. With Dosh, you just connect your credit/debit cards to the app and when you shop at participating stores, restaurants or book hotel stays and family activities, you get cash back.. with no scanning or submitting receipts.

2- Target

Target’s popular Cat & Jack brand has boys and girls polo tops at $7 and shorts at $12. They also have girls uniform dresses for $15.

You can save an extra 20% on all Target school uniforms with promo code SCHOOL20. You can also save 20% off the Cat & Jack brand through Target Cartwheel.

3- Children’s Place

Children’s Place is currently offering 60% off their entire website for back to school, uniform and non-uniform clothes. And it includes free shipping!

That makes girls polo shirts $5.18, shorts around $7 and skirts $6-$7. Boys polos are $4.38 and their shorts are around $7.

4- Old Navy

Old Navy currently has BOGO on school uniforms. Which is good, because their boys and girls polo shirts are $10 and shorts are $18.

5- Kohl’s

At Kohl’s you’ll pay $10-$15 for girls polo shirts and $16-$20 for shorts. For boys you’ll spend anywhere from $10-$22 on shorts, depending on the brand. And boys polos are between $8 and $15.

The beauty about Kohl’s is that if you have Kohl’s cash, now is the time to cash it in.

6- Amazon

Girls polos from the French Toast brand on Amazon start around $5 and shorts around $7. And boys tops and bottoms are indicated to start as low as $2.50, but that’s likely for obscure sizes or colors. Pieces in my son’s size, for example, were around $6-$7.

7- JCPenney

With 40%-50% off school uniforms right now at JCPenney, boys and girls polo shirts start at $10 and shorts start at $12.

So taking this all into account, it seems like the best current deals are at Children’s Place during their site wide 60% off sale.

Where do you find good deals on school clothes (uniforms or not)? Leave your tips in the comments below.

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6 comments on “How To Build An Affordable School Uniform Wardrobe”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! My daughter is starting kindergarten soon and I’m getting all kinds of advice that doesn’t fit into my budget (or our lifestyle!) at all. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone, and to get some concrete advice on how to get this uniform-buying-thing done.

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