If you’re looking to buy new school uniforms for the first time, or to buy bigger sizes for your child, you might get “sticker shock” when you see the prices from the school’s approved uniform supplier, Uniform Basics. MCS has been associated with Uniform Basics for more than 15 years, and throughout that time a few things have become clear. Clothing from Uniform Basics is extremely durable. There are kids currently at the school wearing shirts labeled with the names of students who have graduated from high school! What’s even better is that same high school graduate has two younger siblings who wore the same shirt, and the current MCS student has one older sibling who also wore the same shirt. How many other articles of clothing have gone through that many kids (and washes!) and still looks like other, newer shirts worn by kids in the same class? UB also offers sizes for the very young, very petite, and very husky – so all body types can find clothes and are comfortable and look good. Clothing, both tops and bottoms, are manufactured from a single, modern plant good that has no history, experience or association with sweatshops, where child labour can be a reality. As I live out my faith, I want my buying practices to be mindful of God’s people in other parts of the world, and I strive to put my “money where my mouth is” as much as possible. When you consider uniform purchases with those things in mind, the price is easier to understand. If you are looking to save money on uniforms, consider the school’s annual “Swap Shop” where you can purchase pre-loved uniforms, or resell items your children have outgrown. The “Swap Shop” can be an excellent way to save money, as can asking other families for their hand-me-down uniform items.
You may decide that you would like to buy your “navy clothes” somewhere other than Uniform Bascis. This option was introduced a few years ago as a way to help families with the cost of uniforms. Having used this option, I can offer some insight into the pros and cons of different stores. Navy blue pants, skirts, skorts, jumpers, and shorts are available at Joe Fresh, Gap, The Children’s Place, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, and department stores. Prices vary, as does the quality. Often, the saying “you get what you pay for” is true. Old Navy sells pants for a low price of $10 (sale price), but rarely do my kids outgrow the pants before the knee rips and the colour fades and the skort always looks like it needs to be ironed. Pants from Joe Fresh seem to hold their dark colour well, and the material is most similar to that of Uniform Basics. Pants from Wal-Mart are similar to those from Joe Fresh, but finding them in-store in the right size, or even online, is hit-or-miss for me. (The knee socks for girls are great!). My daughter’s skort from a department store falls nicely and holds up well to the wash, with no ironing needed. I have little experience with clothes from Gap, but regular prices there are almost the same as Uniform Basics.
I find my children need fewer clothes than if they did not wear uniforms, and the non-uniform clothes they have often do not wear out because they are less frequently worn. Getting dressed for school is easy and straightforward. As a parent and former teacher at three schools requiring uniforms, I appreciate that uniforms allow kids to focus more on school less on clothing. If you have any questions about the uniform policy or saving money on uniforms, I encourage you to talk to the principal, or send me an email.
Submitted by Christine Tulloch, a current parent and former teacher here at MCS. Please submit your uniform questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the school.