A recent UK study suggests that schools and colleges without a uniform actually cost parents around twice as much in new clothing as those with a strict policy of uniform wearing.
Sixth form colleges in particular seem to drive up the costs, as 16-18 year olds appear to have complex clothing demands than younger children. Over a thousand parents took part and it was revealed that 91% had bought clothing for teenaged children to wear back to school in the autumn term and the split between uniform wearing and non uniform wearing provision was almost equal. Uniform expenditure was around £80 per child while non-uniform expenditure was estimated to be in the region of £165.
The survey recommended that parents try to check out discounts available and look at keeping costs down through buying in bulk or with other parents to get free delivery and BOGOF offers.
Prom clothing is also an issue – many academies in the UK now have proms as part of graduation and the investment in formal wear can be expensive. To guide a teenager through the process, it’s a good idea to get them thinking well in advance; to look at hiring prom wear; and if that’s not possible or acceptable to the fussy graduate, to line up an agency that will re-retail prom clothing, giving a percentage of the sale back to the original buyer.