Shop Early

While some parents traditionally wait until August, it is wise to start shopping from as early as July for materials, zips, buttons, etc. This ensures that you have everything you need before ‘the big rush’. If you have older children and do not anticipate a growth spurt, you can go right ahead and get them measured for their uniforms. One parent, Janelle Carmichael (who is also a primary school teacher), told Barbados Today that she prefers to get uniform shopping out of the way as early as possible since it is one of the major items on the back-to- school list. “I prefer to do back-to-school shopping in increments. Uniform shopping is perhaps one of the most expensive undertakings, so I like to dedicate a part of my July salary to uniforms [and textbooks]. August will be for shoes and other items.”

  1. Shop Quality

Durability is key when it comes to uniforms. Buying quality uniforms and materials guarantees they will withstand washes (once washed correctly) and the normal day-to-day activities of the child. One rule of thumb is always ensuring that your child outgrows a uniform versus ‘wearing it out.’

Senior nursery school teacher Marva Scantlebury urged parents not to skimp on quality, or they will spend even more money on replacing uniforms. “I always tell parents that children are naturally active and adventurous—they run, skip, jump and climb daily, and you don’t want that their uniforms fall victim to these activities. Spending a little more on quality material gives you that peace of mind that the uniforms will last,” she said.


  1. Shop The Right Fabric

Your child’s school usually has a uniform guide with the type of fabric and accessories needed, length, and even a swatch of the material. If you could not collect this from the school or just need to double-check, fret not. Abed’s has a database of uniform needs from most of the schools in Barbados. Rest assured that when you shop at Abed’s for back-to-school, you are walking away with quality uniforms and materials and, equally as important, the RIGHT items.





  1. Shop Wisely

No matter how much planning parents do, it seems like back-to-school always creeps up. And, with mounting bills and other responsibilities, it is not always practical to purchase the full complement of uniforms a child may need to last the school year. It is best to go through your child’s uniforms and see which ones are still in good condition and can still fit —these can be brought forward for at least a term. Ties, epaulettes, belts, etc., are considered ‘capsule’ items and can last a few years. Replace them when they start to get faded and frayed.



Sidebar Tips:

  • The typical annual growth rate for a school-age child between 6 and 12 is around 2.5 inches yearly.
  • Always use the measurement recommendations provided by the seamstress or tailor.
  • The more you try things on and ensure they fit correctly, the less likely you will have to alter them a few months later.