Things I could have bought instead of school uniform

Happy and the School Bear This Thursday, Flea will join the reception class at her school. Being an organised, professional sort of Mummy, obviously I chose today (Tuesday) to go and buy her school uniform.

Fortunately, Flea attended the pre-school already, so she can re-use some kit from last year, but she needed some new kit, namely:

  • One blazer
  • Two pinafores (she has two but I need five since I can't deal with the pressure of mid-week laundry)
  • Five jumpers (see above)
  • Two ties (how dirty does a tie get? Actually, don't answer that)
  • One PE shirt
  • One pair of school shoes
  • One pair of white pumps
  • One book bag

I cannot believe how much these items cost. How have I been wasting my life scratching a living in journalism when the real lucre is to be made in manufacturing small items of clothing with fancy badges stitched on?

Because I like to torture myself, here are five things I could have bought with the cash I just handed over in the school uniform shop: 

  1. A full luxury day at The Sanctuary in London, complete with lunch, champagne and two beauty treatments.
  2. A return flight to Boston, complete with a lobster dinner at Legal Seafood.
  3. A Fortnum & Mason hamper, complete with foie gras and champagne. (I covet the baskets more than the food, to be truthful)
  4. A Paloma Picasso bracelet from Tiffany & Co to replace the one I lost during an ill-advised gardening venture.
  5. Everything on page 4-5 of the current Christmas ideas catalogue from Lakeland Limited. It's a true fact that the only thing in life better than a Lakeland Limited catalogue is a Lakeland Limited Christmas Ideas catalogue.

Oh, and I've told Flea that every time she gets a stain on her school uniform a fairy dies. That's not bad parenting, right?


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 1st September 2009 / 11:13 pm

    soooo happy I’m still a yr off before I have to go through this. I’m afraid, very afraid!

  2. 1st September 2009 / 11:49 pm

    Oh joy, thankfully we’re still in preschool and wearing any old tat 🙂

  3. Happy Mum
    2nd September 2009 / 7:23 am

    Oh dear… maybe it is never too late to gear the business and start manufacturing little piece of clothing with badges. I have a sewing machine, still packed and brand new, shall we start gathering the fabric?!

  4. 2nd September 2009 / 7:49 am

    I love the fairies idea. Deliciously wicked.
    We’re lucky at least there’s no blazer to be bought. And no tie. And no pinafore. Because we live in the twenty-first century.
    (Just kidding. I used to wear a blazer and tie to school in the UK, too.)

  5. 2nd September 2009 / 8:19 am

    The fairies dying isn’t bad parenting – that’s GENIUS parenting.
    Although I wouldn’t be looking forward to that telephone call…”Umm I think you need to come collect Flea from school. She spilled her fruit-shoot and is now curled up in the corner sobbing about being a fairy murderer…”
    Home ed is looking all the more appealing to me. At least Kai (and me) could just wear our PJs like normal. And no fairies would have to die.
    P.S. Did you have a good holiday? Go on spill – how many emails were waiting for you when you got back?

  6. 2nd September 2009 / 8:42 am

    Love that! I often torture myself on things I could’ve bought (namely shoes) when doing the pre-winter/summer clothes expeditions for the two of mine. Glad to hear I’m not the only guilty one!
    As for fairies dying, slightly mean, yes, but absolutely brill, will be pinching that one myself.

  7. 2nd September 2009 / 12:43 pm

    Bloody Hell, I’d better start saving up for 2 years time! Perhaps I should have thought twice about giving up full time work as well!

  8. 2nd September 2009 / 1:57 pm

    While you’re at it, let her know that bolognaise sauce is made from troll’s blood and must be avoided at all costs.
    So pleased my kids school considers uniform to be anything vaguely navy, black or grey, blazers to be a fictional item of clothing and shoes to be optional.

  9. Kassia
    2nd September 2009 / 4:32 pm

    We’re about to start our second year at school and I’ve had to buy it all again as none of the stuff from last year fits!
    And unfortunately I’ve got to face putting name labels in it all over the next few days.
    Time to start saving for next year…

  10. 2nd September 2009 / 7:37 pm

    I don’t understand why you need so many jumpers. Mine have two jumpers, and any midweek stains get sponged off. Maybe we are just scummy though.
    The shoes are the biggie. I bought enough school uniform for two children, plus some stationery, for £30 from Asda. Then spent the same again on one pair of school shoes (not from Asda).

  11. Sally
    2nd September 2009 / 7:56 pm

    Hi Jo
    She has 3 school jumpers and 2 PE sweaters – they do PE every day at her school and a lot of it is outdoors.
    You’re right about shoes, though – I paid £40 for her school shoes then another £30 for her PE trainers (had to be all-white). And don’t get me started on blazers. I nearly had a heart attack.

  12. 2nd September 2009 / 8:44 pm

    Aah the school uniform …… one of my favourite soap boxes too ! While I slave away trying to earn an honest crust and save the world of parenting it all goes horribly wrong when my daughter Molly announces on getting her stuff ready for her return to school yesterday – “Oh and I’ve lost my jumper!!”
    Aaaaah how many toolkits, CDs or teleseminars will that cost I ponder !!
    Well, actually I’m not proud …. we go to the School Thrift Shop mostly !!!
    And don’t get me started on shoes – the rows we’ve had about these ridiculous slipper-type – shoes they all insist on wearing drives me MAD !
    The joys of parenting I suppose – oh I do hope I’m not sounding like My MOTHER !!!!
    Happy New Term !!

  13. Insomniac Mummy
    3rd September 2009 / 2:18 pm

    Hmmmm, I think I need to open a savings account pronto….

  14. 3rd September 2009 / 1:54 pm

    Your mad but so cunning with the fairy thing – i like your style! Oh “the sanctuary” that is my dream day, i swear by the body scrub and i just love all their products yet i have never actually been to the Spa itself -maybe i should put that on my christmas list 🙂

  15. 3rd September 2009 / 7:12 pm

    LOL, It was a nice mommy post until the last remark about the fairy thing .
    Does it work in any way?
    I think I’m going to spend some money on myself before my litle girl has to go to school 😉

  16. Sonya
    4th September 2009 / 9:11 pm

    My daughter’s school has a tunic dress for the uniform (worn with blouse and tie; blazers are only for Number One dress Day). It is made from some sort of unbelievable magic material that DOES NOT STAIN. Seriously, I’ve heard stories that girls have spilled liquid paper on them and it just ABSORBS it. I do not want to know what kind of scary material is capable of that.
    We also have a lovely tradition where each spring there is a second hand uniform sale- everything is at about half the usual cost. Of course we just spend the extra on hoodies that cannot be worn to school and stuffed animals that have the school jumper on.

  17. 6th September 2009 / 4:36 pm

    Holy moly. I’d better start saving now. Sob!
    I’ve just bought my two year old some new shoes. They were £36. £36! I wish had the confidence to go to Asda for their shoes, but I was told (by the subliminal advertising fairy) that Clarks are the only shoes that won’t deform their feet. Yes I do know how stupid I sound.