Frequent School Uniform Questions

We carry your uniform year-round which means you can order (or buy) any item you need, at any point in the year.  However, for the “back to school” season we ask you to plan ahead and follow our ordering guidelines so that we have enough time to manufacture all the unique items which make up your School Uniform.

There are 3 ways to get your uniforms.

  1. In Your School, at an in-school delivery or drop
  2. At a Store Location (Appointments Are Strongly Recommended)
  3. Mail

There are 5 ways to order your uniforms.

  1. In Your School, at an in-school fitting
  2. At a Store Location (Appointments Are Strongly Recommended)
  3. By Internet
  4. By Phone
  5. Mail

Appointments are strongly recommended. Please see Visiting a Donnelly’s Clothing Store and read all the requirements to schedule an appointment.

We ask that you order (otherwise known as layaway) your uniforms as early as June 15th each year.  We offer a few incentives hoping that you will take advantage of them; including a 20% discount on your layaway as well as FREE alterations.

The biggest concern parents have regarding ordering by June 15th is that they feel their student will grow over the summer.  We know this and plan for this.  All orders can be adjusted as necessary to ensure correct fit.  When you place an early order we both have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

Yes.  The Order Deadline for “Back to School” service is July 31st!  Of course we service year round and we will fill orders whenever we get them.  But the deadline is an important reminder that orders placed in August, literally a couple weeks to a few days before school starts, are late.  Ordering late does not give Donnelly’s, our mills, our manufacturers, or our delivery services enough time to make, package, and deliver uniforms in time for back to school.   Although there are generic items like tops and bottoms that are pretty easy to keep in stock all the time, remember that most uniform items are custom made or custom decorated. Donnelly’s is the best in the business, but even so, we need time to produce these custom items.  There is a 10% discount incentive for orders placed by July 31st.

No problem, you can still order and get uniforms in time for back to school, but there may be some backordered items.  Be advised that each week after June 15th our stores and phones get busier.  The longer you wait to order, the longer you will wait for your order.  This may sound cliche, but it fits.  As the summer progresses dozens
of customers per day turns into hundreds per day and then into thousands per day.

Donnelly’s carries the largest inventory in the northeast.  Even so, most school uniform programs have some very unique items which are difficult to keep in stock if we get late orders and run out of something.  The most unique items are jumpers and skirts, but shortages are not limited to these items.  Think about your school uniform, anything which is monogrammed or custom made can fall into the same category.

Our Rhode Island location is our main warehouse and distribution center.  This location feeds our satellite locations as well as handles all school, phone and web orders.  Rhode Island has the most inventory.  Our satellite locations have inventory for schools in their local area, however, it is important to remember that it is impossible to carry enough unique product at a satellite location to satisfy large volumes of late shoppers.  Give yourself enough time so that we have enough time to fill and deliver your order.

The best strategy is to place a layaway order before June 15th and then pick up your order later in the summer.  We offer many ways to place your order early; in-school fitting, phone, mail, in-store, and online.  In addition, we offer incentives to place your order early which will save you time and money.

Although the last few weeks of the summer are extremely busy, know that we are working hard every day to take care of your needs.  That said, lets look at some good options to help make your experience as easy as possible.

Ordering online and choosing home delivery is the most convenient method.  If you are unsure of your sizes, consider ordering different sizes and then return the unnecessary sizes later.  We have a pretty liberal return policy and you will get a full refund on your return as long as your product is in re-sellable condition.  (ie, don’t wash or alter them!)

Ordering online and choosing store delivery is a good option too.  It is 5 times quicker to service you in-store when an order is pre-packaged compared to starting from scratch.  If you are unsure of your sizes, take your best shot and then try on your items in store.  We’ll swap sizes that are not right.  Allow 3 days before you visit Rhode Island after an on-line order; 5 days for all other locations.

Visiting our Rhode Island location.  Rhode Island is our main warehouse and distribution center.  Because this location carries the most inventory you will leave this store with the most product and the fewest backorders.  PLEASE NOTE: All stores and phones are extremely busy the last few weeks of summer.  Please be patient and cooperative because working within our system will get you what you need the quickest.  The best way to avoid crowds is to order by June 15th each year.

* If you are a late registrant in your school, we recognize that you have not had the opportunity to order early as we would have preferred.  Please feel free to inform your Donnelly’s rep that you just registered in your school.  Although this knowledge can’t make an item exist if it is backordered, it does help us set manufacturing priorities.

We are a “Back to School” company.  Although we provide many opportunities to order early, unfortunately, more customers choose to wait until the last 10 to 15 days of the summer to start their school uniform transaction with us.  We service roughly 1/3 of our whole years business within these 2 weeks.  Although we prepare for the surge, it is a challenge to have enough staff and physical space to manage the dramatic increase during this short time frame.  Many of our part-time employees are school teachers as well as college and high school students.  These people start to leave us at the end of summer which adds to the situation.  To avoid the crowds, simply take care of your business with us as early as possible.  No matter how early you order, and no matter how much your student grows, we will get you into the correct sizes.

If you have enough items to start the school year, sure, waiting until September or October can be a good strategy.  Keep in mind that after Labor Day our inventory is at its lowest levels for the year and our seasonal staff is gone.

Please visit for more information on safety and service policies.

An item which has not been worn, washed or altered, is in resaleable condition and still valid for school use, can be returned for refund or exchange as follows:

For cash or exchange within 30 days of receipt of item. Thereafter, for merchandise credit equal to the price paid for the item up to one year after receipt of item. A receipt must accompany all returns. Without a receipt, returns may be subject to a restocking fee of 20% -based on the items’ two year lowest price. Without a receipt, returns may be completely rejected without further explanation. Donnelly’s reserves the right to reject any return which is deemed not to be in resaleable condition. NOTE: Leeway is granted for ‘winter items’ received in summer which are in need of return at the beginning of winter the same year.

Items sold as part of a Spiritwear Store, Team Uniform or a Corporate Uniform Program are generally very unique items and therefore can not be returned for exchange or refund. Make sure of your correct size before ordering custom items.

Visit our Policies and Procedures Page for more information.

How To Return or Exchange

By Mail

  • Package your item and ship to: Donnelly’s, 50 Sharpe Drive, Cranston, RI., 02920
  • Package must include your sales order (copy or the original)
  • A note explaining what you would like us to do. For example, what new size you would like, if you would like a refund or what other item you would like

NOTE: Donnelly’s will pay shipping charges to send your exchange items HOME.


To A Store – An appointment is strongly recommended.

You must visit for requirements to visit a store.

  • Make an appointment to visit a store location.
  • Bring your item(s) to the store loosely wrapped in a box or bag.
  • Bring your sales receipt, or bring a list of the items you are returning.
  • Bring a Uniform Shopping List for new items you need.
  • Store personnel will assist you in returning or exchanging the item.

TIP: It is recommended to place a new order online or by phone before your visit.


At an In-School Event

  • If your school has an upcoming event, you may bring your item(s) that day to give to our customer service reps
  • Bring your sales receipt, or bring a list of the items you are returning. Returns brought to a school event without a receipt can only be credited once the purchase price has been confirmed
  • Bring a Uniform Shopping List for new items you need.
  • Event personnel will assist you in returning or exchanging the item.

TIP: It is recommended to place a new order online or by phone before your event.

On average, most backorders are filled within two to four weeks. However, be prepared, some backordered items may take up to ten to twelve weeks to become available. Although rare, it can occur.

Due to the volume that our manufacturers handle this time of year, it is impossible to inform you exactly when a backordered item will be available.

-We work aggressively with our manufacturers to reduce our backorder list.
-You should feel free to contact us on a regular basis to check the status of a backorder.
If a backorder is unavailable after four weeks, we sometimes know more about its estimated availability.

Backorders are bad for business. We don’t like them because they increase our costs and decrease our profits. We do everything within our power to reduce product shortages however we can never eliminate them totally.

In fact, late orders increase the number of backorders. You can help us reduce backorders by ordering earlier next year. There is no risk to order early because we exchange sizes and refund deposits if necessary.

1. Make sure we have your correct e-mail address.

2. Check your SPAM/JUNK folder to see if the e-mails have been going there. If so, add Donnellys to your address book for them to go to your Inbox.

Cancellation Policy: An order or backorder may be canceled by a customer any time up to one month after notification of its completion. Within that time, deposits are fully transferable and/or refundable as long as the items are still valid for school use. For custom orders, monogrammed orders and backorders, and orders with a unique circumstance, cancellation may not be permitted at certain points of order completion. Donnelly’s reserves the right to determine the outcome of these circumstances. Complete orders which have been held by Donnelly’s for one month waiting for the customer to make final payment or to pick it up, will automatically be taken apart. In this instance all payments on this order, regardless the amount, will be lost due to the expense incurred by Donnelly’s to hold those items aside and not to be sold to another customer. NOTE: Donnelly’s notifies customers by (e)mail or phone call at least once upon completion of order and once upon imminent cancellation of order. It is the customers responsibility to attend to his/her order. Leeway is granted when a customer seeks to pick up an order which has been canceled by us within the same month of the request.

Visit our Policies and Procedures Page for more information.

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes…
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