I'm a clothing expert – how to make your kids' school uniform last ALL year… and it'll save you hundreds | The Sun

CHILDREN have been back at school for almost a month now, and you've probably noticed their shoes are already scuffed.

It can be expensive having to fork out for new uniforms throughout the year, so we spoke to the experts on how to make sure they last.

Thomas Bird, a clothing expert knows all to well how expensive school uniforms can be with the average parent spending £287 a year on uniforms for kids in primary school, and £422 for those in secondary school.

He tells Fabulous: "One of the main causes of these high costs is that schools are insisting on parents purchasing branded clothing like PE kits with school logos, which often need to be bought via a school’s specialist shop.

"However, by following our advice for maintaining each item of school uniform, you will be able to make the uniform last the whole year and avoid spending more on replacements."


We all know kids love to keep things in their pockets, so the first step is to make sure they are empty.



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The clothing expert adds that the key to washing school uniforms is by putting them on a cool wash between 30c to 40c to 'reduces the likelihood of damaging the fabric.'

"Additionally, by using a smaller amount of fabric conditioner than usual on uniforms, you can prevent excess bobbling, Thomas adds.

He also advised against putting them in the tumble dryer and to wring out excess water by hand.

To dry them, hang them up on a padded hanger so they keep their shape and wait until fully dried to put back in their wardrobe.

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You're probably sick to death of seeing jumpers start piling or bobbling after a few washes.

But it can easily be fixed by turning jumpers inside out before putting them in the machine says the fabric whizz.


White shirts are essential at most schools, and we all know kids are notorious for staining them.

Therefore you'll want to follow Thomas' routine for cleaning them effectively.

The clothing expert from FabricOnline says you should add a scoop of stain-removal powder to a sink or tub full of warm water and place the school shirts in the tub and let it soak for 1-2 hours.

After, put the shirts through a regular cycle and they should come out good as new.

For tough stains around the collars, he recommends making a solution by combining 1/3 of a cup of vinegar with 2/3 of a cup of warm water in a bowl and soaking the clothes in the solution and gently dab the stains.

If your child has decided to be an artist and draw on their shirt with marker try placing the shirt or jumper in a sink and allow it to soak in cold water.

Thomas continues: "Afterwards, gently rub in a bit of stain remover to tackle the stain effectively.”

Trousers and skirts

For trousers and skirts, make sure you turn them inside out to make sure delicate fabric doesn't fray and use a cool setting on the washing machine.

Thomas says to avoid the tumble dryer for a more crisp look to the fabric and fresher-smelling results.


To keep shoes from scuffing, always apply a layer of shoe portection before they wear them says the clothing expert.

Maintaining their condition is equally important to keep them lasting as long as possible.

"Every two weeks, clean and polish school shoes using wax cleaner and black shoe polish," he recommends.


Bags are by far the grossest thing to come back home with your kids after school.

Fortunately, Thomas has just the routine to clean them so you don't have to keep buying more.

First, empty the bag of all its contents, leaving the pockets unzipped and shake out the backpack to remove dirt or crumbs and brush off dirt on the outside.

He then recommends using a teaspoon of detergent with warm water and a soft sponge or brush to clean visible stains gently.

"Then submerge the bag in a sink or tub filled with lukewarm water and a tablespoon of mild detergent and scrub the inside and outside of the backpack with a sponge," he adds.

"Use an old toothbrush to scrub the zippers to remove any buildup and then drain the soapy water from the bag and rinse it with cool water."

Give the bag one last wipe with a sponge to make sure there's no more detergent on it and use an old towel to remove excess water.



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The clothing pro adds you should hang the bag to dry rather than a tumble dryer which can cause heat damage.

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