Schoolwear buying guide

Shopping for school uniform can become a bit of a headache, especially if you've small children with you. It needn't be, however. The secret lies in the preparation. We've put this guide together to help you get the most out of buying schoolwear, whether it's online or in our shops. Watch videos about measuring up for schoolwear, and see our schoolwear here.

Choosing school clothes

  • Measure your child beforehand, using the measuring chart below.
  • Remember to bring a list of all the school's requirements with you (or follow the list in this guide).
  • Choose machine washable, minimum-iron clothes and good quality fabrics, so that clothes last longer and are easy to launder.
  • Allow for growth - when you're buying shirts, make sure you can fit two fingers inside the fastened collar.
  • Buy 3 - 5 blouses or shirts, depending on how often you do the washing during the week.
  • Choose simple styles with easy fastenings for younger children.
  • Order Cash's name tapes well in advance, so you'll have time to sew them on before the beginning of term.
  • Don't leave things till the last minute, particularly if you think you may need clothes altered or made to order.
  • Good quality school clothes will give you years of wear and can often be handed on to a younger brother or sister, so don't economise on quality.
  • Ask for advice. Our expert staff will be happy to talk to you about a child's individual needs.

Choosing school shoes

  • Take advantage of the trained experts in our children's shoe departments, who will make sure shoes offer the correct support and have room for growth.
  • Choose easy-to-fasten shoes for younger children.
  • Pick leather uppers to allow growing feet to breathe.

Shoe size conversion chart

Continental

UK

19

3

 

3.5

20

4

 

4.5

21

5

22

5.5

 

6

23

6.5

24

7

25

7.5

26

8

 

8.5

27

9

 

9.5

28

10

 

10.5

29

11

 

11.5


Continental

UK

30

12

31

12.5

32

13

 

13.5

33

1

 

1.5

34

2

35

2.5

36

3

 

3.5

37

4

 

4.5

38

5

 

5.5

39

6

 

6.5

40

7

Measuring guidelines

Schoolwear sizing guide

Collar

Measure around base of neck, inserting two fingers between neck and tape to allow growth.

Chest

Position tape close to underarms, measure chest at fullest point.

Dress and tunic length

Measure from nape of neck to length required.

Waist

Measure around the natural waistline.

Skirt length

Measure from middle of waist to length required.

Inside leg

Measure with shoes on, to approximately 5cm above the ground.

Watch videos about how to measure here


Size guide

Age

Boys: Chest size cm/inch

Collar size
cm/inch

Inside leg measurements
cm/inch

Waist size
cm/inch

 
 

 
 

 
 

Regular cm/in

Long cm/in

 
 

3

54/21"

28/11"

40/15¾"

45/17 ¾"

51/20"

4

56/22"

28/11"

43.5/17"

46.5/18 ¼"

52/20"

5

58/23"

28/11"

44/17 ½"

47.5/18 ¾"

53/20 ¾"

6

60/23 ½"

29/11 ½"

47.5/18 ¾"

51/20"

55/21 ¾"

7

62/24 ½"

30/11 ¾"

51/20"

55/21 ½"

57/22 ½"

8

65/25 ½"

30/11 ¾"

55/21 ½"

58.5/23"

59/23 ¼"

9

68/26 ¾"

32/12 ½"

58.5/23"

62.5/24 ½"

61.5/24 ¼"

10

71/28"

32/12 ½"

62.5/24 ½"

65.5/25 ¾"

64/25 ¼"

11

74/29"

33/13"

65.5/25 ¾"

68/26 ¾"

66.5/26 ¼"

12

78/30 ¾"

34/13 ½"

68/26 ¾"

73/28 ¾"

68/26 ¾"

13

82/32 ¼"

36/14 ¼"

70.5/27 ¾"

76/30"

71/27 ¾"

14

86/34"

37/14 ½"

73/28 ¾"

79/31"

74/29"

15

90/35 ½"

38/15"

75/29 ½"

81/32"

77/30 ¼"

16

94/37"

39/15 ½"

77.5/30 ½"

82.5/32 ½"

77/30 ¼"

16+

99/39"

41/16"

80/31 ½"

85/33 ½"

83/32 ¾"


These sizes are approximate and may vary between styles

Age

Girls: Chest size cm/inch

Waist size
cm/inch

Height conversions for dresses and tunics

 
 

 

 

Height cm/inch

Chest
cm/inch

3

54/21 ¼"

51/20"

97/38 ¼"

54/21 ¼"

4

56/22"

52/20"

104/41"

56/22"

5

58/23"

53/20 ¾"

110/43 ¼"

58/23"

6

60/23 ½"

55/21 ¾"

116/45 ½"

60/23 ½"

7

62/24 ½"

57/22 ½"

122/48"

62/24 ½"

8

65/25 ½"

59/23 ¼"

128/50 ½"

65/25 ½"

9

68/26 ¾"

61/24"

134/ 52 ¾"

68/26 ¾"

10

71/27 ¾"

63/24 ¾"

140/55"

71/27 ¾"

11

75/29 ½"

64/25 ¼"

146/57 ½"

75/29 ½"

12

79/31"

65/25 ½"

152/ 60"

79 / 31"

13

83/32 ¾"

66/26"

158/62"

83/32 ¾"

14

87/34 ¼"

68/26 ¾"

164/64 ½"

87/34 ¼"

15

91/35 ¾"

70/27 ½"

164/64 ½"

91/35 ¾"

16

95/37 ½"

73/28 ¾"

164/64 ½"

95/37 ½"

16+

99/39"

76/30"

 

 

Top tips from our Partners

  • Allow for shrinkage in 100% cotton polo shirts
  • Use name tags in school shoes too
  • If you're buying in our shops, we use pink labels for girls, blue for boys and grey for unisex. Blazers with back flaps are designed for boys. We provide sample shirts in fitting rooms so that you shouldn't need to remove packaging to try them on.

Emma Cartland, John Lewis Solihull

  • Remember that acrylic items don't have the same stretch as poly/cotton

Michelle O'Hare, John Lewis Welwyn