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16th Sep 2021

School uniforms for girls cost an average of 12 percent more than uniforms for boys

Trine Jensen-Burke

school uniforms for girls cost more

‘Pink tax’ is the phrase that is being used to refer to the broad tendency for products marketed specifically toward women to be more expensive than those marketed for men.

This includes toiletry products, clothing, cleaning products, sports equipment – and more.

And the added cost of ‘pink tax’ starts early.

According to new research, parents can end up paying up to 12 percent more for girls’ school uniforms compared to boys’ – with researchers looking at the prices of items for gender-targeted school uniforms at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Marks and Spencer.

The research teams compared uniform prices for UK school children aged three to 11, and older secondary school kids aged 11 to 16.

And what they found was that Asda shoppers who are buying uniforms for primary school children will pay £107.63 on average for a boy, compared to £126.49 for a girl.

For secondary school children, the average cost of a uniform for a boy from Asda is £135.14, while shoppers pay £164.60 for girls.

In Tesco, shoppers with primary school kids will pay £97.38 on average for a boy, compared to £109 for girls. Parents with secondary school kids pay £145.05 for boys at Tesco, the research found, while girls cost an average of £146.55.

Girls’ uniforms are more expensive because they have ‘more clothing options’

Commenting on the research, Income Tax UK said the cost per unit was calculated and multiplied by the average number of items parents buy their children per year.

It said the most obvious reason for prices being higher for girls is that they have more clothing options aimed at them in supermarkets, such as skirts and dresses.

Prices may also be affected by production methods. Girls’ items tend to be more structured and embellished, using more materials and techniques to construct pieces.

According to the data, girls’ uniforms, on average, cost 11.87% more than boys’ – throughout both primary and secondary school. Which over the 14 years or so of school, does add up.

It makes you wonder why we are ‘gendering’ children’s school clothing in the first place? Why are we giving boys the simplicity of little choice and a more standardised uniform, but perpetuating to girls they should be more focused on their appearance, and hence debate for longer over which uniform to buy?

Have you found girls’ uniforms to be more expensive? Let us know in the comments.