'The mammies of Wexford are heroes' in managing budgets
MANY parents have become very astute when it comes to managing their back to school costs, and one of the biggest costs is uniforms.
'The mammies of Wexford are heroes!' claims Mia Leddy of Uniforms by Leddy, Gorey's only shop dedicated to school uniforms.
Mia has been dressing the ladies of Wexford and Wicklow in her boutique Sally West for almost 30 years. Three years ago, she took the decision to open a dedicated uniform shop, when another traditional uniform supplier, Leacy's of Gorey, closed its doors.
This meant local parents still had a choice, with Funges of Gorey being the other main supplier of uniforms in town.
Mia acknowledges that there are many cheaper options of generic clothing in the larger chain stores, and realises parents have to make their purchasing decisions according to their budget, but she says in the long run, investing in quality will pay off.
'The cheaper offers in some of the chain stores are not good quality,' she said. 'Some are, but it's also a question of trying to promote local business.'
'If you buy a good shirt, or a good school-bag, they will last you,' she said. 'A good school-bag will last you for years, but if you buy something for half the price, it will be in flitters before the end of the year.'
'Everybody works their own way,' she added. 'If you can, try spend that little bit on quality. We all do the best we can, but we're very proud of our product, and very proud of our service.'
A basic secondary school uniform, a skirt, jumper, shirt and tie, can cost between €85 to €100. Add another €150 for shoes, a coat, and school bag. 'To be properly kitted out, it will cost you anything from €230 to €250 all in,' said Mia.
For infants, there are tracksuits for €28. Uniforms for older children can cost between €30 and €55, adding on another €40 to €45 for a coat, shoes, and a bag.
She said that some parents come in with four children, and pay off the bill every week during the summer.
She added that if the children have a growth spurt over the holidays, items that no longer fit can be exchanged for a larger size.