Friday, July 22, 2016

Fun Find: Girls Long Sleeved Ruffled Cardigan Sweater

This long sleeved ruffled cardigan from Children's Place is a fashion friendly option for girls that are required to wear school uniforms.  It is available in sizes XS (4) through XL (14) and is made from 100% cotton jersey.  It seems like it would be perfect to have handy during the warmer months when she might need a light layer while inside in the air conditioning. The style is versatile that she can wear it over dresses too. This sweater is offered in navy or gray retailing for $24.95.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Skater Skirt Trend Arrives in School Uniform Collections

I have been loving the skater skirts and dresses for girls. It is nice to see this trend making its way to the school uniform collections of major retailers.  Because the skirts are full and loose at the bottom, check if they include built in shorts.  If not, you will want to have a comfortable garment to wear underneath that offers modesty without bulk.  If you need some ideas, check out one of our most popular posts on modesty on the playground.

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Here are some examples of new girls skater skirts in school uniform collections:

Cat & Jack Girls' Ponte Knit Skater Skirt 
This skirt has an elastic, but not an adjustable waist, so check the size chart to get a good fit.  It has shorts built in underneath. It is made from a shrink resistant ponte knit fabric and offered in navy and khaki. It retails for $12.99.

Children's Place Girls Ruffled Skater Skirt
This pull on skirt is made of 73% polyester/23% rayon/4% spandex. Note - no built in shorts underneath. It retails for $16.95.  It is offered in navy or gray.

Girls Solid Side Button Skirt Top of Knee-White Plaid,6

This button skirt has the cut of a skater skirt with the cute button detail on the side.  This skirt is different from those above because it features an adjustable inner waistband in girls sizes. The toddler style has an elastic back waistband. It is 65% polyester/ 35% rayon Easy-care fabric resists stains, wrinkles & fading. It has a single pocket on the right hand side.  It retails for $35 and is available in gray, navy and khaki.

Izod Skater Scooter Skirt
This option has shorts built in! It is available in toddler and girls regular and plus sizes at JCPenney. It retails for $24.  It has an elastic waist, but not the adjustable waist, so check the sizing chart before ordering.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tax Free Shopping Days for Back to School 2016

Who doesn't love to shop tax free?  If you're planning to do your back to school shopping at the mall or the traditional brick and mortar stores, you should plan to take advantage of the back to school tax holiday in your state. Again this year, many states have planned tax free holidays to occur during the peek of the 2016 back to school shopping season.



Eligible Items (Max Cost)

August 5 - 7
Clothing ($100), Computers ($750), School supplies ($50), Books ($30)
August 6 - 7
School supplies, Clothing ($100), Clothing accessories and equipment ($50)
August 21 - 27
Clothing and footwear ($100)
August 5 - 7
School supplies ($15), Clothing ($60)
July 30 - 31
Clothing ($100), School supplies ($20), Computers ($1,000)
August 5 - 6
Clothing and footwear ($100)
August 14 - 20
Clothing and footwear ($100)
August 5 - 6
Clothing and footwear ($100)
July 29 - 30
Clothing and footwear ($100)
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($100), School supplies ($50), Computer software ($350), Computers ($1,500), Computer peripherals ($1,500), Graphing calculators ($150)
New Mexico
August 5 - 7
School supplies ($30), Clothing ($100), Computers ($1,000) Computer equipment ($500)
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($75), School supplies ($20), School instructional material ($20)
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($100)
South Carolina
August 5 - 7
Clothing and accessories, School supplies, Computers and accessories, Bed and bath items
July 29 - 31
Clothing ($100), School supplies ($100), Computers ($1,500)
August 5 - 7
Clothing and footwear ($100), Backpacks ($100), School supplies ($100)
August 5 - 7
Clothing and footwear ($100), School supplies ($20)

This data was compiled from various sources: here, here and here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

New at Target for 2016: Cat & Jack School Uniforms

A few weeks ago, I logged into to order another Cherokee brand scooter for my daughter. My daughter had been wearing the same one for several years. It had become a wardrobe staple and I was hoping to order one in the next size up.  Instead, I couldn't find it online.  Upon further investigation, I realized that all Cherokee items had disappeared from their website.  I became suspicious and began to research this further.  When I visited Cherokee's website, I found no mention of school uniforms at all. I placed a call to Target to learn more. While awaiting a call back, I happened to stop in our local Target store and noticed a new brand in the girls clothing department.

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Cat and Jack ™ is a new line of kids clothing available at Target that officially will launch on July 17, 2016. In Target stores, it will replace both the Circo and Cherokee brand items. While the new collection includes school uniform items, it also features everyday fashion items. The Cat and Jack ™  items come with a guarantee for 1 year. The return policy supports this quality claim with a statement that "Cat and Jack ™  products are made to last, but if something doesn’t or if you’re unsatisfied for any other reason, you can make returns up to one year after purchase."

Here are some other interesting things from the media release:

Q: What materials are used to make the products?
A: You’ll see a lot of soft, comfy cotton knits. And there’s a sustainable polyester material called Repreve used in some of the denim & pocket bags. Its fibers are removed from plastic bottles that have been melted to a liquid state, a process that allowed us to recycle 6 million plastic bottles during the production of the fall Cat & Jack assortment alone.
Q: How involved are kids in developing the Cat & Jack product?
A: For the Big Kid collection, kids ages 6–11 gave feedback on everything from legging prints to tee graphics. They also created looks with their favorite items to share how they would mix and match items in the brand.

The school uniform items arrived in my local Target store last weekend.   Despite my daughter's pleas that it is still too early to be shopping for school uniforms, I spent some time checking them out. The quality of the items seem comparable to the Cherokee brand and the uniform items are also very similar in style.  The sizing will include extended sizing in slim and plus options. I am excited for this new line and I'm anxious to try the products. My criticism of the new school uniform line is that the "nightfall" color is not a true navy. It is a lighter shade of blue that may not pass inspection at schools with rigid uniform policies and enforcement procedures. If navy is the required color at your school, I would recommend you shop elsewhere.

The Cat and Jack ™ boys school uniform collection includes flat front or pleated pants with a reinforced knee, short and long sleeve polos, short sleeve oxfords, button up cardigan,  a sweater vest, a windbreaker jacket, and socks.

The Cat and Jack ™ girls school uniform collection includes more options.  The bottoms include a flat front pants with a reinforced knee, a ponte knit pant, a stretch twill capri, a two button ponte knit scooter, and a skater skirt. There are several styles of dresses including a pique pleated tennis dress, a short sleeved ponte jumper, a woven pleated jumper, a belted safari dress, and a sleeveless ponte dress and a woven plaid jumper in 2 different plaids.  Tops include short and long sleeve polos and woven blouses Sweaters include a short sleeve pullover sweater with the built in blouse, a cable knit cardigan, and a v neck button up cardigan.  The collection also includes coordinating socks, tights and hair accessories.

(photos from the Target Cat and Jack ™ 2016 lookbook)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Name labels from StickerKids, a Review

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The bin of unclaimed items in the lost-and-found bin at dance school was overflowing onto the floor.  I saw tap shoes that run $55 a pair, a basketball jerseys from the local recreation league, and tons of sweaters and jackets, including a leather bomber jacket. I don't know about you, but I sure would be one mad mama if my daughter lost a leather bomber jacket!

You know I am a big fan of using name tags on kids stuff. The folks from StickerKid Name Labels sent me a set to try.  We got the shoe tags which are a cute heel shape to fit right inside the shoe. I ordered them with a cute butterfly icon, my daughter's full name, and my phone number.  Her dance recital is next week, so I put fresh stickers in all of her dance shoes.  And as we prepare for summer camp, I put them in all of her sneakers, flip flops, and soccer cleats.

We also got a set of peel and stick clothing labels.  They are a small size perfect for placing directly the clothing or on the manufacturer clothing tags already inside her jacket and sweaters.  I put them on the tags inside her swim suit, her cover up and on her towel. When we head back to school in the fall, I will put tags on all of her jackets and sweaters.  I prefer the peel and stick name labels, over the iron-on kind.  I've tried both, and I just like the simplicity of the peel and stick.  So far, the StickerKid's labels have lasted several trips through the laundry cycle and they are still solidly adhered. These labels are water resistant, dishwasher safe, microwave and freezer safe, so they are great for so many things.

I recommend you order up some name labels to prevent your kids gear, and your hard earned money, from ending up in the lost and found bin. One of the unique items that they offer is  name labels with a photo image of your child right on the label.  Love it!  Check out the great options from StickerKid today!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New School Uniform Items at Lands' End for Back to School in 2016-17

This year, it was Lands End that was first in my mailbox, the School Outfitters catalog arrived in early June when my daughter, and many other kids here in Virginia, had 2 more weeks of school. Now that we've finally fished the school year and our first week of the summer camp schedule, I sat down to study the catalog for the 2016 Back to School season.

Here is a list of the new items featured in this year's school uniform catalog:

Girls Long Sleeve Stretch No Gape Shirt-Light Sea Blue

No Gape Stretch Perfect Shirt

Girls in middle school and high school that must wear a button-up blouse will appreciate the thought and engineering that went into this new shirt.  Lands End is introducing the patented No Gape TM button technology in a girls shirt with a straight dressy collar made from 97% cotton and 3% spandex stain resistant fabric in a feminine fit. The picture shows a hidden button placed between 2 buttons at the bust offering complete coverage.  It is offered in a shirt sleeve, a 3/4 sleeve and a long sleeve style in either white or light blue. It girls version retails for $32-$38 and the women's between $38-$48.
Boys Lands' End Perfect Chino Pant-White

Stay Tucked Perfect Chinos

If I had a son, I would definitely get him a pair of these pants.  In my Best Bets series, I have a list of features to look for when shopping for pants for school.  These are 100% cotton and treated to resist stains and wrinkles.  They also have the Iron Knees (r) interior patch for durability and the inside adjustable waist to grow with him. The new feature is a waistband gripper to help keep his shirt tucked in.  Smart!  They retail for $35 for little boys and boys and $45 in men's sizes.

School Uniform Boys Tailored Fit Plain Front Pant-Khaki,10

Tailored Fit Plain Front Chinos

All the great features in Lands End chinos, but these are cut "slimmer through the body but not tight."  These are a great choice for slim boys. They are available in navy and khaki and retail for $30 - $40.

Girls Short Sleeve Poly Polo-Red,L

Performance Poly Polo

Uniform kids in warmer climates may want to try the new performance poly polo made from 100% polyester with moisture-wicking and antimicrobial finish. They would also work as a nice alternative   on PE day. It is available in 7 basic uniform colors and it retails for $25 - $32.

Digital ClassMate Medium Backpack - Solid-Rich Aqua

Digital ClassMate Backpack

New this year in Lands End Backpack lineup is an update to the classic ClassMate backpack.  They added a padded laptop sleeve. It is available the medium and large size in great patterns and colors.  It retails for $44 - $54.

Digital ClassMate Roll Top Lunch - Print-Dark Sapphire,5X

Roll Top Lunch Bag

If you are in the market for a new lunch bag, check out the new roll top bag. Like other Lands End lunch bags, this soft-side bag is designed to keep food cool for up to 5 hours then roll up small to be stored in the backpack after lunch. It retails for $15.50 and is available in several fun colors.  I have a feeling that this particular style will be especially popular in Steeler Nation.

3M Scotchlite Reflective Performance Apparel

Lands End partnered with 3M to encorporate the Scotchlite Reflective material into the piping and trim on the items in the active performance collection. This is a nice safety feature that is great for kids that may be staying after school for sports activities.  It makes even more sense after we change the clocks back in the fall and it begins to get dark earlier.

Interlock Moc Turtleneck

The unisex moc turtleneck is great under sweaters or jumpers in the colder months of the year.  This one is made from interlock cotton fabric like the uniform polo shirts.  It is available in white and navy and is priced between $18-$24.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The 2016 Back to School season kicks off this weekend

The Back to School season runs from July through September. There are 2 fewer shopping days between the Fourth of July and Memorial Day this year.  The peak sales fluctuate by region influenced by the actual school start dates and states tax free holidays.  There will be 9 less tax free days state by state this year than in 2015.

According to eMarketer's latest retail and eCommerce forecast, retail sales will grow 2.6% over last year reaching 828.81 billion this season.  They report that more of us are waiting to do our shopping until late in the season or even waiting until after the school year has started.  And online shopping is predicted to grow to 15.3% again this year, representing 7.9% of total retail sales for the period.

This year, here at Uniform Mom, we'll be looking at the major retailers to learn what is new or has been updated in their school uniform collections.  We'll will post new reviews and feature your favorite wardrobe pieces. We'll continue to talk about kids polos and khakis, jumpers and jackets, PE attire and shoes.

If you haven't already done so, take a minute to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.  We promise not to overwhelm you with emails.  The Uniform Mom Weekly Report Card is sent only once a week and includes coupon codes and deals from national retailers on  the clothing and gear that the kids need for school.

Photo credit - By Camera Operator: SSGT. LONO KOLLARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons