Spent £ 2,000 on back to school clothes for my 10 year old son
As the kids prepare to go back to school, parents scour supermarkets for deals on uniforms.
Aldi offers a full package for just £ 4.50 and Asda sells school polo shirts for around £ 1.25.
But for some children, ready-made clothes do not wash.
Doris Russell has spent nearly £ 2,000 on flashy school gear for her ten-year-old son Charlie, who loves high-end designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Cotton Candy, as well as sports brands Nike and Adidas.
His biggest uniform purchases were a Tommy Hilfiger coat for £ 120 and Charlie’s black Nike Airforce 1 school shoes, which cost an additional £ 120.
The Nike Phantom football boots cost him £ 60, along with his Calvin Klein underwear at £ 80.
White school shirts cost £ 60 and black trousers cost an additional £ 60.
Doris, 39, a foster mother and mother of two from Wimborne, Dorset, says Charlie – who has modeled for Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara – has become even more self-conscious in recent times and refuses to wear an ordinary PE kit.
Also mom of six-year-old Freddie, Doris said: “During the lockdown, Charlie spent every day wearing designer clothes and getting him out of there was more difficult than ever.
“He won’t be wearing shorts approved for physical education and only likes those from Adidas at £ 34.99 each. And he wears £ 20 Nike t-shirts instead of the cheaper ones other kids wear.
“He wanted specialist Nike sneakers for the £ 70 EP, as well as Nike football boots. We go through a few pairs a year.
“Even his socks are expensive. He wears Adidas for PE and black Calvin Klein for Uniform Days, priced at £ 40. I am currently looking for a new backpack, Nike or Adidas.
“I’m lucky my other son loves Primark and doesn’t care what he’s wearing. It is a huge relief.
His lavish spending will shock many parents who struggle to afford a basic school uniform.
A Children’s Society report estimates that more than 1.1 million children live in families that have cut spending on food or other basic items to pay for uniforms. And 68 percent of parents worry about paying for back-to-school items.
But Doris is happy to buy Charlie’s fancy clothes, saying, “It’s a reward for his hard work. He’s not spoiled – he’s well behaved, hardworking, and loves designer clothes.
“Ever since he was little, he always wanted to be handsome. It’s a struggle for me to have time in front of the mirror sometimes!
“I spent thousands of dollars, not only on uniform, but also on cellphones, computers and clothes to wear for after-school parties.
“He developed his love for designer clothes as a model since he was five years old. He gets a lot of clothes donated by designers he does runways for, so he got obsessed.
“He competes with other boys in competitions. He is a contest king and appears in television commercials. We’re filming one for a construction company this weekend.
Doris saves and buys what Charlie asks for, rather than spending on herself. She says, “I can’t remember the last time I bought a new outfit for myself.”
Doris earns £ 25,000 a year as a foster family while her husband Daniel, 41, is a border force officer and earns around £ 30,000.
Doris says, “If I buy something, it’s not expensive. I’m low maintenance and haven’t been to a hairdresser for 12 months.
“Charlie goes to the hairdresser every four weeks, which costs me £ 16. He will only let one person cut their hair. I am happy to make the sacrifice. I work hard and it’s up to me to decide how I spend my money.
“Other moms are always adorable. I have never had any negative comments. It is no one’s business.
I’m lucky my other son loves Primark and doesn’t care what he wears. It is a huge relief.
Papa Daniel says, “I’m impressed with his style. As long as he’s happy with what he does and wears, that’s important.
The latest figures from the Department of Education show that the average cost of a primary school uniform is £ 192.14 for boys and £ 201.04 for girls.
In secondary education, this amounts to £ 231.01 for boys and £ 239.93 for girls.
But that sum is a drop in the ocean for mother-of-two Rebecca Forsey, 52, whose youngest son Jude, 14, wears £ 120 Armani shoes to school.
Rachel says: ‘This year he got a new £ 50 school blazer and a reduced £ 120-60 black Tommy Hilfiger winter coat that meets the school’s strict standards.
We also bought him Champion socks which cost £ 20 for three pairs and Armani Exchange shoes for daily use, which sell for £ 120.
Also the £ 80 Adidas Ultraboost black PE sneakers and £ 95 Nike Supreme sneakers for a non-uniform day. Jude loves his designer North Face backpack, which costs £ 50.
Jude is also a model and has appeared in commercials, music videos and comedians since the age of nine. Like Charlie, he became addicted to designer clothes at a young age.
But Rebecca praises her interest in fashion, which she says is better than sitting at a computer all day.
Rebecca, an official from Nottingham, says: “He’s not obsessed with computer games like many kids his age or wastes hundreds of books on consoles.
“Designer sneakers and hoodies are a passion. Her wardrobe is worth over £ 3,500. I spent over £ 1000 on the school and after school kit this summer.
“It’s a good deal because it will all last him at least a year. When he has no more items, I can resell them. It’s his way of showing off style at school when he has to adhere to strict uniform codes.
It took a long time to find a pair of designer shoes that met the school code. Hope they pass the test because they cost a fortune!
“He will be wearing white Adidas sneakers, worth £ 140, for physical education.
“We went to Harrods a few weeks ago and got a black Armani shirt that was reduced from £ 135 to £ 45. I had to pull out a store card to get the discount, but it was a great buy.
Jude is selling his old designer gear on eBay and will invest the money in new parts.
Rebecca says, “Jude constantly tells me that he can make money with his business. It manages to recoup roughly what we spend.
“Jude usually wears shoes for six months and when he comes out he sells them.
He takes care of his clothes and folds them so that I don’t pick them up on the floor like some moms.
I am proud that Jude is an individual. He does his own thing.
Rebecca, who works part-time earning around £ 16,000 a year, adds: “I don’t shop for myself and spend a lot of time looking for deals.
Papa Simon, 55, entrepreneur of an e-merchant, says: “Jude is trying to convince me that his shoes are an investment.
“I’m not really convinced yet. I think all of this is quite expensive.
But Rebecca says, “You can find great prices on eBay.
“We worked hard to find tips in sales. It’s only when he wants limited edition sneakers that we pay full price.
We are working hard to find tips in sales. It’s only when he wants limited edition sneakers that we pay full price.
“I make sure his clothes are washed and ironed the way he likes it. He’s the only boy I know who takes a shower twice a day!
“He’s inspired by (American rappers) Kanye West and Travis Scott. I am proud that he is proud of his appearance.
“I just had a standard uniform when I went to school. I have my clothes and I stick to what’s in my wardrobe. I don’t spend a lot on myself.
“I prefer to focus on my son. We are not rich but I work hard. Jude loves clothes. It gives him confidence and Jude has learned to budget.
However, psychologist Jo Hemmings cautions: “When mothers buy designer kits for their children to wear to school, they may think their children deserve ‘the best” and that they are helping their children achieve more. .
“Or they might want to show off their own financial accomplishments. If they can afford expensive things, that illustrates how successful they have been.
“Since one of the key points of school uniforms is to level out differences in wealth, it upsets that balance – and may well skew their views about kids who aren’t so extravagantly outfitted.