In the Republic of Ireland, most primary and secondary schools have a compulsory uniform. The requirements will vary depending on which school your child attends, and you can claim an allowance to help with the costs. In this guide, we’ll look at everything you need to know about Irish school uniforms, from the history of schoolwear to how to shop and care for uniforms today.

Why is school uniform so popular?

Your child’s school uniform gives them a sense of belonging and community within their school. Teachers like school uniforms because they can help to prevent bullying and improve behaviour.

And for parents, it’s the ultimate practical solution. School uniform means no more arguments about what to wear every morning or demands for expensive designer clothes.

The history of school uniform in Ireland

So why do children wear school uniform? Nineteenth-century Irish schoolboys in rural areas often wore one-piece dresses known as petticoats, topped off with a boyish jacket. Only after World War I did Irish school uniform become standardised.

It wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that boys and girls started wearing a uniform that’s not very different to that worn today. The only real difference is that boys would wear shorts – quite chilly on those cold Irish mornings!

What are the requirements for school uniform in Ireland?

Nowadays, Irish school uniforms have been widely standardised. A basic uniform for primary girls consists of a pinafore, blouse and jumper. In contrast, secondary school girls wear a skirt, blouse and a jumper or school blazer. For boys, a shirt, trousers, jumper or blazer and school tie make up their schoolwear.

The types of socks, shoes and gym wear your child requires will vary widely from school to school. You should receive a uniform list to help you buy the right equipment and conform to school rules, which can be pretty strict.

How much does school uniform cost?

The cost of your child’s uniform can quickly add up, depending on what they require. For example, items like a blazer or tracksuit with the school crest can be pretty expensive. That’s why we offer a school cresting facility so you can buy generic and keep your costs down.

Tips for buying school uniform

  • Children grow fast, so only buy what you need when you need it. If you stock up, you may find your kids have outgrown their uniform before they wear them.
  • Buy generic where you can and add the school crest if required.
  • Wait for the sales before you make big money purchases like blazers and shoes.
  • Swap or buy secondhand. If your school organises a uniform sale, you can pick up some nearly new bargain or exchange items with other mums.
  • Buy online. At New Generations, we stock all the essential uniform items for most primary and secondary schools. And we’re proud to say that our uniform items are made in Ireland, combining quality and value for money.

Taking care of school uniform

Taking care of uniforms is relatively straightforward. Follow the care instructions printed on the label for the best results. Never wash whites and colours together and turn garments inside out before washing to help them last longer.

Hang schoolwear in a clean and dry place after washing and ironing. Your child’s uniform will carry on looking its best even when they’ve outgrown it.

At New Generations, we’re experts in providing casual and formal wear for children, including communion, confirmation dresses and christening outfits and school uniforms. Shop our schoolwear range today or contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.