Back to School for Under £100 | Matalan Review | Me Becoming Mum

Are you ready for your children to go back to school? I'm not talking emotionally (because I'm not sure I'm ready in that way!) or even in terms of getting a bit more free time back, and not having to come up with inventive ways to keep them entertained. I'm talking about that oh so expensive step back into school of buying the school uniform. I was challenged by Matalan to do the back to school uniform shop for less than £100 and *spoiler alert* I did it! Here's our review of their uniform and how I managed to do the whole shop for under £100.

Everyday school uniform

Matalan offers a variety of school uniform for boys and girls, in good quality, machine washable, durable fabrics. They come in a wide range of colours to suit most uniform policies and are great for anyone on a budget. Here's a few top picks from their school uniform shop.

Skorts, skirts, trousers and more

Choosing the right bottoms for your children, especially if like Squidgy they have a tendency to forget themselves and run around jumping off and climbing up things rather immodestly, is super important. Thankfully Matalan offer everything from pleated skirts, skorts and pinafores to trousers and shorts. They are smart, good quality clothing pieces; mostly made from high percentage polystester material meaning they are also super durable. Their range of trousers and skirts start at just £4, pinafores from £6 and shorts from £7.

The jersey skort that Squidgy has is only £4 up to 7 years or £5 up to 13 years. With no knickers on show meaning she is free to play, plus being smart and black as per her school uniform policy; this is perfect for my little girl.

Polo shirts

Although we have to have the school colour and logo for Squidgy's polo shirt most schools have white or other plain polo shirts as part of their uniform, so Matalan has you covered!  They also offer a wide range of blouses and shirts so you will be spoilt for choice when picking out what you need. With polo shirt two packs from £6 and blouse five packs from £11 you will have all you need without breaking the bank. The best part is the polo shirts come in white, yellow, blue and red; and the blouses also come in more than just white.

Gingham summer dresses (with matching scrunchie!)

We had a choice for Squidgy when it came to the summer school uniform, she can have a purple or yellow gingham dress. With the purple being quite expensive to source, it is great that Matalan offer a wide range of colours, including our desired yellow, from just £6. She looks so pretty in it, a lovely bright summery choice and of course she couldn't have been happier it came with a matching scrunchie.

She was so comfortable in it, and happily ran about the garden and local park without even realising she was in school uniform. Although we have the yellow knit collar ginham dress (which is also available in blue, red, green, lilac and pink); they also offer a few other versions including a drop waist also in a variety of colour choices.
If, like Squidgy, your children like to play freely without worrying about flashing her underwear, they also offer gingham playsuits as an alternative!

Cardigans and jumpers

As with the polo shirts, we have to have the school colours and logo for Squidgy's primary school, but if you are looking for the more common options for your school, Matalan has these too! Sweatshirts are available for just £3-£5. Cardigans are available for just £5-£7 meaning both are an absolute bargain. They come in in blue, navy, red, black, green and burgundy red.

School shoes

Let's be honest school shoes are easily battered through daily use, especially if you walk your children to school. The last thing you want to be doing is replacing them all the time, especially when they are often so expensive. Matalan's school shoe range offers a wide variety of choices, including scuff resistant, coated leather shoes like Squidgy's black flower school shoes. With prices starting at just £8 you are sure to find just what you need, knowing that you have good quality products at budget prices.

PE Kit

Most uniform policies will dictate what your children are required to wear for both indoor and outdoor PE.  Some will specify the colours too. Luckily, most are happy with plain, run of the mill products and Matalan has every option you need to fill up your children's kit bags.

Indoor and summer kit

The kit Squidgy needs for indoor and summer PE is pretty much the same, apart from footwear. With it likely to need a wash regularly (my daughter is not afraid to get dirty!) I didn't want to have to constantly need to wash and dry overnight, so Matalan's multipacks are the perfect solution. They are a bargain too. These plain white crew neck t-shirts come in a pack of three from just £3; just £1 a tee! Being breathable, and 100% cotton, as well as machine washable (let's be honest, you don't have to do much to get white dirty!) they are perfect for PE, and are soft and comfortable too.
The black cycling shorts come in a pack of two and start at £3.50. They are soft, 96% cotton shorts that Squidgy was quite happy running around in without complaining they were too tight or making her hot and itchy (we've had these problems with shorts before... Although I'm pretty sure it's just because she only ever wants to wear a dress and was looking for any excuse to change!)

Outdoor and winter kit

For her outdoor and winter PE kit for colder days, Squidgy is required to have a plain black pair of tracksuit bottoms and a black sweatshirt over the top of the white tee. Matalan's black jogging bottoms are perfect. Warm, soft and comfortable (to be honest I want a pair to lounge around the house in!) they will be just what she needs as we head into the cooler months; and with prices starting at £5 you can't get better than that. The black crewneck sweatshirt starts at just £3 and just like the joggers, will be perfect come winter.

Plimsols and Trainers

Just as with the rest of the kit, most children are required to have indoor and outdoor sports catered for separately when it comes to their footwear. Plimsoles are available from Matalan for indoor sports for just £3.50. You also have the option to choose from Velcro strap plimsoles or slip on plimsoles meaning you can choose whichever your children are more likely to be able to do alone.

As for the trainers for outdoors, Matalan offer a variety of white and black trainers including Sketchers, some with laces, others with Velcro. Squidgy absolutely loves her lightweight black trainers especially as they have a slight hint of glitter to the material. She is a little worried about the laces but with some practice I'm 100% confident she will be just fine.

Miscellaneous must haves

Winter coat

We are going to be walking Squidgy to and from school which means as we head into autumn and wintering will be super important that we have a decent, warm, waterproof coat for her to wear. This gorgeous black padded parka coat ticks all the boxes especially the budget friendly one at just £24. They have rain macs from £9 and lightweight jackets from £12 too which means you can find a suitable coat for any requirement.
Matalan black padded parka coat for school

Underwear and socks

Last but not least you don't want to forget to get your little one some clean, fresh underwear including socks, and with their multipacks all less than £5 you will find everything you need at Matalan. Squidgy is so happy with her beautiful lace trim socks and they look super cute with her new school shoes too.
Matalan lace trim socks and black flower school shoes

Can you do it for UNDER £100? 

The answer is yes! I have attached some example receipts below to show you just how easy it is. Everything including coat, school shoes, uniform (with spares) and PE kit (including footwear and spares) totals in at £96!

Back to School Hacks

Matalan have created this simple infographic which has some great uniform hacks to keep your children's uniform in great condition for longer. 


So if you're still needing to buy, or top up your school uniform and only have a small budget to do so, Matalan is the place to go. Now all that is left is for me to wish you and your children and wonderful back to school experience and a great year to come!


For more reviews of products and services we use in our lives as parents raising our two girls visit my reviews page. If you have any questions about Mataln's Uniform Shop range which I have not covered in this post, feel free to ask in the comments section below.


 Disclaimer: I was sent a selection of products from the Matalan Uniform Shop range to show how you can get all you need for under £100. The review words and opinions are my own. All photos are copyright property of Me Becoming Mum.