How to save money on school fancy dress/uniforms/events

There is currently outcry on my local Facebook items for sale page. Our school has decided to have a history day and all children have been asked to come into school dressed in various historical outfits, things like Roman, Victorian, Tudor etc. Lots of people are either stressing about school fancy dress costumes or on a boycott.

How to save money on school fancy dress/uniforms/events

I say do what you want, but don’t stress and waste a load of money on Amazon getting an expensive outfit. There are loads of things that the school asks us to do that cost money, that I get around by chosing a cheaper alternative, Ive done well with boys in Yr 4,2 and preschool.

How and where to save!




  1. School uniform – I do not buy the listed items from the school or from the uniform website, I get everything much as I can from supermarkets. Polo Shirt 2 pack for £3 or school badge polo short for £5. Hmmm easy decision.
  2. School shoes – £20 Black Trainers from sports-direct. Way cheaper than Clarks!
  3. PE Kit – I also buy plain T-shirt and back shorts from Tesco, no badged up stuff for me.
  4. Nativity Angel outfit. I have had this twice now….Josh will do the same as Dylan did, England football kit with tinsel wrapped around waist.
  5. World Book Day – last year I cut a tabard out of felt (£3) and tied some curtain rope around waist. Sword and Shield from toy box = Sir Charlie Stinky Socks for Dylan. Josh was a west ham football player;-)
  6. Cake sales – I don’t really take part any more, shock horror. I have done a few in my time, and have spent £5 on ingredients for the cakes to be sold for £3.
  7. Historical Day – Romans – Old Bed Sheet and safety pins.
  8. Historical Day – Victorian – Jean and a shirt.
  9. Aztec Day Fancy Dress – T-shirt from Primark, made into dress £3.
  10. Aztec Temple Make it- Lego
  11. Shepherd – Pillow case with holes for arms, Tea towel on head secured with pair of natural tights.

I have exhausted my memory of things I have maybe paid for/been asked to make. I think the important thing is to do what you want and what you feel comfortable with. If you have the time then go create, if you don’t mind spending (read that as wasting) the money then buy or just ignore it and send you child in mufti clothes.




But then some might say…

Who am I to give advice, my 6 year old wore his reindeer Christmas jumper into school today. Sneaked it on under his coat. My friend Leigh and I chuckled away as our boys ran in late, messing around………

How to save money on school fancy dress/uniforms/events

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Lynn Beattie

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6 Responses

  1. You know as a Reception teacher I actually prefer the tea towel/pillowcase creations. I hate asking the parents to spend money and I love every costume to be different 🙂

    1. A photo came up on my facebook feed from my eldest in his pillow case outfit last week…he looked very happy in it. I am sure most teachers feel the same..so I wanted to post something to give people ideas on how to do things for free. You really dont have to spend £20 on lamb outfit from Amazon….Thanks for your comment Rachel:-)

  2. Yeah to chilling out..I would never buy a costume just for one day. I’m quite looking forward to creating a toga for Dylan out of a sheet for Roman day, it looks very easy on YouTube:-) And for Victorian day…jeans and short dirtied up a bit to look like a chimney sweep;-)

  3. Totally agree. It’s not just about saving money but also time. I am a working mum and I do not have the time/energy to spend evenings/ weekends making stuff! I have avoided cake sales for 3 years now with no guilt at all. Every world book day costume day we do home made outfits. The history/ model homework means making at home with lots of cardboard! ( we have made Viking ships, parthenons, Roman shields, Andersen shelters). No parent should feel guilty about doing the basics or not doing at all!

    1. Yeah to home made stuff, get the kids involved and it saves you time. It REALLY doesnt matter if it isnt perfect. Thanks for commenting Lara:-)

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