Does taking a ticket in the children’s section of a shoe shop only to find the world and his or her screaming brat are in the queue in front of you while the baby swipes at the shelves from the pushchair sound familiar? Or arriving in a back to school department only to find there’s nothing left but empty racks, weird sizes and odd plimsolls? Then read on.

This is my second year facing the pleasure stress of the back to school routine and I think I may have a solution to avoid joining the hordes of other parents-on-a-short-fuse in over-heated shopping centres up and down the country.

How not to lose the back to school plot

Debenhams asked me to review their school uniform shop and very kindly sent me a gift card with which to kit BB out in time for September. While the range is available in selected stores, it isn’t available in our local store, meaning we had to shop online – and therein lies the answer.

I’ve basically managed to get everything BB needs to go back to school – with the exception of monogrammed uniform – without even leaving the house. Without strapping a planking toddler into a pushchair, without getting hot and bothered in too-bright and too-hot shops and without traipsing in and out of endless changing rooms.

Debenham’s range has everything from pants, socks and vests to dresses, skirts and trousers in all the standard school colours. There’s also shoes, trainers, winter coats and bags and if your order is over £40 – which let’s face it, it’s going to be – it’s delivered free.

The website is really easy to use and you can go straight to girls’ or boys’ uniform without trawling through pages of products that aren’t relevant to you.

We (or more specifically, BB) picked out a twin-pack of puff-sleeve white blouses (£6), a twin-pack of kilt skirts (£10), two dresses (£7 and £10), tights (£9) and socks (£5) all in her school colours. The range is refreshingly un-blingy too, without a sequinned pocket or diamante zip in sight, so you won’t get them begging for the unsuitable option which pushes the school rules to the limit.

The whole range is tumble dryable, easy iron and stain and water ‘repellent’, which anyone with school-age kids will know is a must, especially now they use white board markers instead of chalk. White board markers are the bane of my life!

I fully expected to be returning at least one or two items given we couldn’t try them on first, because although BB is only four she’s generally in age 6 clothes because of her height and only age 4-5 round her waist.

Surprisingly the skirts fit like a glove thanks to an elasticated panel at the back and an inner button you can use to take them in if necessary, and everything else we ordered is spot on size-wise.

I’ll definitely be shopping online in future – it saved so much hassle and stress.

Have you got the joy of back to school to look forward to? Or aren’t you there yet?

We were very kindly sent a gift card by Debenhams in order to buy BB’s back to school clothes for the purposes of review. As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience.

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