Tag Archives: Back to School

Back to School: Labelling School Clothes

Back to School

In the UK, we’re coming up to half way through the holidays, so in a little over three weeks it’s back to school again. Some people may have already bought and labelled the school uniform, but if you haven’t, now is a good time to think about getting it all sorted.

We’re about to enter our fourth year of full-time schooling, and second year with two children, so it’s all fairly routine here now. But three years ago, faced with a variety of labelling options that didn’t really suit, I was faced with a dilemma:

How to Label the School Uniform?

Labelling clothes is essential when many children are dressed identically. Jumpers and cardigans will get strewn randomly in classrooms whenever it’s vaguely warm, and entire uniforms will get put in the wrong gym bag on regular occasions. Labelling is a must, but what do you use?

1. Sew-in labels: The traditional option. Pros: Woven labels are long-lasting and don’t come out in the wash. Cons: Time consuming to sew on dozens of labels, and to unpick them to transfer. Also may fray so can’t be reused.

2. Iron-on labels. Pros: Quick to iron in. Cons: Involves ironing (I never iron!) Labels can wash out after even one wash, labels can only be used once.

3. Fabric stickers. Pros: Quick. Cons: Not reusable, will probably wash out at some point, may be difficult to remove when you want to pass uniform on.

4. Pen: The cheap option. Pros: Quick and very cheap. Cons: Looks horrible, pen may bleed, might wash out or is impossible to remove other than scribbling over.

5. Easy Tags. Pros: Quick, reusable, last for years, don’t come out in the wash, attach to clothes, bags, towels, labels, even canvas shoes. Cons: Initial cost higher than other options.

Easy Tags from Easy 2 Name

We’ve been using Easy Tags for three years now. A year ago I saw that there was a new applicator available so got that to review and recorded our first vlog, which I didn’t actually publish at the time oops. It’s full of ‘um’s, ‘you know’s and ‘sort of’s and is utterly embarrassing (to me!)

[youtube=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-DzHu2gCGk”]

With another year’s experience, I still love them, and here are some highlights:

I LOVE the crocodile system. The bulkier looking tag that I was initially concerned about has been no trouble at all. It’s possible to get the tags behind woven neck labels so the tags don’t touch skin, and my daughters have never noticed the tags were there. It’s so quick and easy.

The names are still clear on all the tags, even the ones that have been in constant use and washed at least weekly for the last three years.

In three years, we’ve lost ONE tag in the washing machine. And by ‘lost’, I mean, ‘pulled out of label’ as it was in the machine and we used it again without any problem. The only reason it came out is because I attached it too near the edge of the label so it tore – but not until several months of use and washes.

The used tags still look like new.

25 tags is enough for a year’s worth of uniform, e.g.:
5 polo shirts
5 winter dresses or trousers
5 summer dresses or shorts
3 sweaters / jumpers / cardigans
1 jogging trousers for PE
1 shorts for PE
1 polo top for PE
1 PE sweatshirt
1 coat
1 pair waterproof trousers
1 other item (or 6 other items as you don’t need winter and summer dresses/trousers at the same time, but you’ll need extra backs for this)

A starter kit with 25 tags, 25 backs, and a crocodile applicator costs £25.95, with replacement backs costing £4.95 for 25.

Disclosure: One crocodile applicator, 25 labels and backs received for review. We purchased our own dolphin applicator, dolphin tags and backs, plus additional crocodile tags and backs.

Labelling School Clothes

It’s that time of the year where many parents in England and Wales (too late if you’re in Scotland, and I don’t know about Northern Ireland) are frantically ordering last minute school uniform and dreading all the sewing and ironing on of labels.

When Mighty-Girl was a baby I bought a set of sew-on labels for nursery, and diligently sewed them on her clothes for about two days before giving up. Two years ago when she was about to start school full-time I bought a set of iron-on labels, which was utterly pointless as I don’t iron any more than I sew. It appeared the only option for me was biro scrawled in labels and I really hate that option because although it is the cheapest, it completely destroys any potential resale value of clothes.

Then someone suggested easy tags, and I wrote a review about them a while back. This year as I was searching for the applicator to change tags on two school girls’ clothes (and failing to find it, don’t forget I live in utter chaos) I also knew I needed to buy more backs and saw that there’s now a new system for sale: ‘crocodile’ instead of ‘dolphin’.

I cheekily asked to test the new system and they very kindly have posted some to me, which I’ll write a proper review and compare once I’ve received. But because I work last minute, by the time I write that review the new term will have started and at the moment it’s not too late to buy the tags so I want to tell you about them.

I’ve used the dolphin system for two years and the tags look as good as new. They really are so simple to attach and remove, are completely unobtrusive (they probably won’t work for children with sensory processing issues who don’t even like labels, but then nothing would…) and don’t come off no matter how many trees climbed, rugby tackles made or washing machine cycles done. I wouldn’t use anything else now.

There is only one thing that may come as a sticking point, and that’s the starting price. It costs about £19.95 for 25 tags+backs and an applicator (crocodile system), or £14.95 for 25 tags+backs alone. This may seem huge but you only need one set of labels per child, and one applicator per family, for an entire school career. The only thing that will need replacing are the backs.

For us, 25 tags are enough for an entire school year. That will label:
5 polo shirts
5 winter dresses or trousers
5 summer dresses or shorts
3 sweaters / jumpers / cardigans
1 jogging trousers for PE
1 shorts for PE
1 polo top for PE
1 PE sweatshirt
1 coat
1 pair waterproof trousers
1 other item

I even managed to label a pair of plimsoles with them, and have used them on pencil cases and school bags, plus they’d work on swimming costumes and towels. The number of tags you need will depend but for the average primary school, 25 is probably enough.

After that, the only thing you need to buy is replacement backs when a child moves up a clothes size. These are £7.95 for 50 (which should cover two years, or £4.95 for 25).

In comparison, iron-on and sew-on labels appear to be much cheaper. But sew-on labels involve sewing (looking for the needle and thread every year), and fray so will wear out, and can tear out of clothes. Iron-on labels wash out regularly, and fade quickly. It’s unlikely an iron-on label will last an entire year, and definitely cannot be re-used. Plus thin labels are even easier to lose!

For me the extra expense is more than worth it. Sewing and ironing are not my forte and the thought of having to spend hours labelling clothes every term makes me feel quite ill. Easy tags are so quick, easy and fun that children will fight you to can label their own clothes.

I thoroughly recommend budgeting to get easy tags if you can, and this recommendation comes entirely unsolicited. If you order now, they will arrive in time for the start of term. Even if they arrive the day before it’s not a chore to label because it’s so quick.

When I have the crocodile tags I’ll write a proper comparison review and delete this one, but I wanted to get this up in time for the new school year. I am being sent an applicator and one set of tags to review (I paid for a second set on top), but I have not got them yet and I would have written this review regardless.

Why did I get another 25 tags if I think 25 is enough? Well, I really wanted to test the new system to compare. And, um, have you seen how messy my house is? I currently can’t find my applicator and spare tags / backs. Oops. When I find them, I’ll just have more than enough tags for both children for the rest of their lives 😉