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Siobhan O’Neill-White is the director of the parenting website Mumstown.ie. She is also a writer for the Irish Independent, Mums and Tots magazine, Oh Baby magazine and other parenting publications. Siobhan is a mum to 4 little adventurers and happily married to her husband David. Can be found living by the sea and loving it!
Uniforms can be costly and hard to find but this year, F&F – the clothing range available exclusive to Tesco, has come out with a wider range of school uniforms for children of all ages, to help parents get everything they need in one shop.
Not only is the F&F back to school range very affordable but it is packed with extras like adjustable waists, reinforced knees and scuff resistant shoes to make sure you can dress your children head to toe in stylish, good quality clothing and shoes, while staying on a budget.
We headed to one of the larger Tesco stores, in Balbriggan, which carries the full F&F range in-store and were able to pick up most of what we need for back to school in one swoop. With 4 children to dress, it was a relief to be able to get so much in one place, in one go!
For Uniform Days We Picked Up:
Non-iron shirts, long sleeved, 2 pack, in soft cotton for only €10 per pack.
Knitted cardigans for our daughters, which start at €5 and a knitted v-neck jumper for our son.
(For schools with crested uniforms, you could sew a crest on to these F&F cardigans/jumpers or use wonderweb to stick the school crest on, instead of buying very expensive crested uniforms from costly school suppliers. This is a huge way to save lots of money and is one we highly recommend. There are also some shops, such as Bestwear on Shop St in Drogheda who will embroider a crest on for you for a small charge of €3-5 euro. You simply bring in your F&F cardigan or jumper to them, tell them the school and they can do it for you once they have the crest on file. With crested jumpers costing between €21-30, this is a great money saver.)
For warm days, we picked up F&F embroidered short sleeved cotton blouses for the girls for only €3.75. These are so pretty and a great alternative to a long sleeved blouse.
For our daughters, we got school skirts with permanent pleats (hooray, no ironing!) for €7.50 and for our son, school trousers with reinforced knees also only €7.50 (hooray, no holes when he climbs and scuffs the knees!). The trousers come in regular and slim fit so you can get the right style and fit to suit your child. F&F also has plus fit in their back to school range too, so all children are catered for.
The F&F back to school shoes are excellent quality, come in many styles and start at under €10. We have been buying these shoes for our children for the past few years and know they are great quality and wear very well. We opted for the scuff resistant Mary-Janes for the girls and a pair of scuff resistant shoes with Velcro fasteners for our son. They are all sturdy and will last, which means good value for us.
For Sports Days (1-2 Days Each Week) We Picked Up:
2 pack polo shirts, which start at only €3.25.
2 pack shorts, only €5 and are ideal for sunny days.
Tracksuit bottoms, which start at only €5 and tracksuit jumpers which start at €3.75.
There is wide selection of runners too and the prices start at €6.
You really do get a lot of bang for your buck in Tesco with the F&F school uniforms. Our 11 year old daughter was happy with her black quilted schoolbag with pink pom pom for €21.99 and our son was happy with his winter coat for €25.
We also picked up underwear, socks, tights, shoes, stationery, lunchboxes, copy books and raincoats. It took almost 2 hours and we got loads in that time and thankfully, we all came out alive! Result!!
The uniforms and accessories in the photos are modelled by Siobhan & David''s daughters Robyn (11), April (9) and Summer (5).
For more information on the F&F Back to School range available exclusive to Tesco you can view their Back to School magazine here: http://www.tesco.ie/backtoschool/