How To Dress For School If There Is No Uniform

Dressing your child for school when there is no school uniform is a bit of a headache for some parents. 

Dressing your child for school when there is no uniform can be a bit of a headache for some parents. In theory, it sounds great because you’ll get the most out of their brimming wardrobe and you won’t always have that pressure to have the uniform clean by a Monday.
Not to mention the mid-week yoghurt spillage that sends you into laundry-panic when it has to be ready for the next day. But in reality, it is not as idyllic as it seems. Many children are very particular about what they wear and having a choice in the matter can make it a daily stress for parents.
With a rise in Educate Together schools popping up everywhere you might be a parent (like me) with a child starting big school there in September. There is a good chance that the school does not have a uniform and it’s no harm to have a bit of a game plan as to what you will be dressing your child in.
Even if a school has no uniform they might still have a dress code so it is important to check the school’s website, terms and conditions or consult the school secretary if you have any questions in this department.
We looked at a couple of different non-uniform schools and found a few of these dress-code suggestions mentioned across many of them.

1. Clothes should be school appropriate. No crop tops or off the shoulder tops.
2. No Slogan clothing which could cause offence to other members of the school.
3. Appropriate sportswear should be worm on scheduled PE days.
4. Due to health and safety reasons jewellery, make-up and flip flops are not permitted
5. Clothing should allow for normal comfortable childhood play in the playground so should be properly fitting clothes and footwear that does not contain a heel or wedge.

Upon reading those guidelines it seems like non-uniform is certainly not the easiest option but there are definitely some benefits. First of all – your children might be comfortable wearing a colour or material of their choice. As a parent, you might know that this kind of thing will help them feel more content. It also means that your child has an opportunity to express their individuality which is an important factor for many parents.

Tracksuit bottoms are always a good option as they are appropriate for comfortable classroom work, yard play and extracurricular activities if they do them straight after school. It also means you don’t have to dress them any differently on PE days. I personally plan to pick up a selection of neutral coloured tracksuit bottoms over the summer with the intention of them “going with” the t-shirts and hoodies we already have here.
Footwear is also going to be particularly important. I think most kids are comfortable in some kind of trainers and I think these are worth spending the money on. A good quality trainer will stand the test of time and serve your child well both indoors and outdoors. A good water-proof option for Winter is a good idea too.

If your child likes to wear dresses or skirts it is a good idea to team them with long leggings so that the dress is appropriate for school and does not hinder their participation or comfort during school activities.

And finally – let's talk about using the toilet. I know my son has more trouble using the toilet when he’s wearing jeans and manages a lot better when he is wearing tracksuit bottoms. This is a practical thing to consider, especially for junior infants who may still be getting the hang of using the toilet on their own.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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