Friday, November 4, 2016

Basic Kids T-shirts from French Toast

I’ve purchase more than a handful of basic t-shirts from French Toast over the past few years. One summer, I bought a few of the girls short sleeve shirts in solid bright solids for my daughter to wear to summer camp. I then picked up a few of the Boys crew neck t-shirts for my nephew. And recently, I’ve bought a few plain white ones for my daughter to wear on PE day.

They are soft, have some stretch to them, and are offered at a very inexpensive price point. The girls’ shirts come in 2 styles, a crew neck and a v-neck. Both styles gather a bit at the neckline which adds a feminine detail. They are thin, so they are great for layering with sweaters and vests or under jumpers. The colored t-shirts have held up very well for us, retailing their size and color even after many trips through the wash cycle. The white ones tend to shrink a bit when you wash them in warm water, even when you dry them on low, so I recommend you size up.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Bras for Young Girls to wear under School Uniform

I recently had the opportunity to take a young girl shopping for her first bra.  I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of styles and colors offered in training bras for girls these days.  My first bra shopping experience was in a department store with a cranky sales woman.  You couldn't find girls bras in the girls department back then; you had to shop in the lingerie department with the inventory of bras designed to fit women with fully developed breasts. Back then a training bra was basically a smaller version of a women's bra, white fabric with a molded cup that started in size 30AA.

Why Girls Need Training Bras

Budding breasts are usually the first sign that a girl is entering puberty.  At first, it might feel like a lump under the nipple. It can be a bit painful and would understandably feel weird for a young girl. Budding breasts are also sensitive. Everyday fabrics may begin to irritate the nipple. Today's training bras are designed to cover the budding nipple with soft fabric and provide light compression to mask the awkward stage between a flat chest and when her the breast actually reaches the size to fit into that 30AA.

The First Bra Shopping Experience

Yes, having budding breasts as a young girl is awkward. But it is also normal. It is important to recognize that this is a critical time in adolescent emotional development. What we say and how we act may have a big impact on helping her develop a positive self-esteem and a healthy body image. When your daughter is ready, talk to her about breast development so she'll know what to expect. And when she is ready for her first training bra, make it a fun, girls only shopping experience to get a few basics bras to support her during this transition.

Based on my experience shopping for girls bras so far, I would recommend you avoid the traditional department stores and the specialty brand stores. I have found a wide selection of brands, styles and colors in girls training bras at discount department stores such as Target, Kohl's, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls, At the mall, Justice also has the nice selection of training bras.

I would also recommend you plan the shopping trip for a weekend afternoon when you have more time and aren't in a rush. Visit the aisle with the training bras, suggest the appropriate size, and point out the differences in styles. Encourage her to try on as many styles and colors as she wants. When in the dressing room, talk to her about how it should fit. Snugly around her chest, but not too tight. The cup, or cami in this case, should be flat against the skin, without gaps. Also, show her how to remove the molded cups and let her feel the difference with and without them. Hopefully, she'll find a style or two that she likes. When she does, let her put on her shirt over it for a minute to see the difference in how she looks and feels wearing a bra.

Look at these cute bras we found at our local Kohl's Department Store.

Girls Maidenform Stripe Seamless Crop Bra
Girls Maidenform Space-Dye Seamless Sports Bra

Girls Jockey 2-pk.
Heart Convertible Crop Bras
Nike Reversible Victory Sports Bra

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Buying Bras with her School Uniform in Mind

We found several cute ones in great colors, and others with fun cut outs and youthful trim.  My young shopper was most comfortable in the racer back sports bra style.   I told her that you cant wear a racer back with all types of tops. I showed her how the racer back straps are visible with most of her t-shirts since the straps on that style bra sit closer to the neck, We end up buying a whole pile of colorful, cute and age appropriate training bras for around $30. We also bought a cami style bra with traditional straps that she found tolerable.

She was a little nervous about wearing a bra to school because she'll be one of the first girls in her class to start wearing a bra.  She wondered if others would notice it and talked about what she might say if a friend asked her about it.  Since her uniform policy requires she wear a white polo shirt or a white t-shirt to school everyday, I showed her how a beige bra is less noticeable under a white shirt than a white bra. This made her feel better. I promised to buy her some beige bras to wear under her school uniform.

The Hunt for Beige or Nude Training Bras

I recommend a nude or beige training bra for young girls to wear under her uniform.  Unfortunately, I found very few choices. Here is one pullover style and one for those ready to try a traditional back closure.

Girls Maidenform Crop Bra
Girls Maidenform Solid Seamless Crop Bra

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Since my young shopper's favorite style was the racer back sports bra, I began looking for one in nude for her to wear with her school uniform. The collar on her polo tops hide the straps of a racer back bra from view. However, we can only find them in white. The white bra under the white shirt screams, hey look at me, I'm wearing a bra. And so, the hunt was on!

I struck out everywhere I looked.  I have searched every brick and mortar retailers and online store I can think of.  I found many cami styles that are offered in beige. Some brands offered them in 2 packs with one beige/one white.  But I cannot find a girls beige sports bra from any manufacture anywhere. I posted a plea on the Uniform Mom Facebook page asking for suggestions from other Moms.

One mom reported that her daughter loved a certain style from Hanes/Bali outlet store with thin racer back straps. Her reply even included a picture of it. I went to my local Hanes/Bali/Leggs outlet store and showed them the picture. The sales women there said they had never seen that style.  It's been 3 months and I still haven't found one. If you have, please share with us and add a link to it in the comments.

The Uniform Mom's Plea to Bra Manufactures

Thank you for offering so many styles and colors of training bras for young girls. Please, please consider adding a nude/beige racer back sports bra to your collection.  And offer them in 2 packs where both items are nude. Uniform wearing young girls and their Moms will thank you!

Friday, September 30, 2016

French Toast to Ship Internationally

French Toast - America's Most Popular School Uniforms for Less!

Heads up to our readers outside the US -
French Toast now offers international shipping.

Regular readers of this blog will recognize the brand French Toast as a US based children's school uniform and fashion retailer. You can order direct online and find their clothing in many US retail stores. International purchases are managed through Borderfree. They are sent to the Borderfree shipping hub in the United States and then Borderfree ships the order to its international destination.

You can read more about their company background the types of items they carry in their school uniform collection in our French Toast retail roundup post. Uniform Mom is an affilaite partner with French Toast, so you can also check out some of their products that have been reviewed or featured:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Retail Round Up: Under Armour

As more and more public schools adopt a uniform dress code, retailers are smart to design products that meet widely used uniform standards. Children's clothing retailers must compete in this market or be left out of game in the battle for a piece of the family back to school budget. I was surprised, but not shocked to learn that Under Armour has entered the school uniform market this fall.

Shop Under Armour School Uniforms – It's A Whole New Class.While no longer true with most modern school uniform brands, school uniform fabrics have historically had reputation of being hot and itchy. For this reason, today's athleisure loving generation of uniform kids who are already fans of the UA brand will be anxious to try the new school uniform items. Under Amour isn't a typical clothing retailer. It was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a student at the University of Maryland.  He was a football player that hated changing his sweat soaked t-shirt that he wore under his uniform. He set out to find something better.  As the story goes, he designed the first Under Armoue HeatGear(r) T-shirt with moisture-wicking performance fibers, to keep cool and dry in the hottest conditions. Students wearing hot and itchy school uniforms (true or not) long for clothes to keep them cool and dry. Enter Under Armour as the new player in the school uniform market. 

The boys line includes a simple 4 item line up of shorts, chinos, short sleeve polos and long sleeve polos.  The girls line up includes the same items plus a skort.  Keeping it simple, they offer the same colors in both the boys and the girls collections. The tops are offered in white, navy, red and light blue.  The bottoms come in khaki and navy. Sizes include preschool, boys, husky, girls and plus. They also offer shoes, backpacks and lunch boxes for both boys and girls. Check out the full collection of School Uniforms from Under Armour.

Under Armour Boys' UA Uniform Long Sleeve Polo
    Under Armour Boys' UA Uniform Long Sleeve Polo
  • Super-durable, lightweight fabric keeps you cool 
  • Moisture Transport System wicks sweat & dries fast
  • Stain-resistant construction that won't shrink or fade
  • Small UA brand logo at the bottom hem so you can tuck it in for dress code
  • Cuffed sleeves & drop-tail hem. 
  • Polyester. Imported

Under Armour Boys' UA Uniform Chino Pants
    Under Armour Boys' UA Uniform Chino Pants
  • Soft, stretchy, breathable fabric delivers all-day, total comfort
  • Moisture Transport System wicks sweat & dries fast
  • Adjustable waistband with hidden hook & eye closure for a perfect fit
  • Flat-front pockets with hidden zipper & back-button pockets
  • Stain-resistant construction keeps them lasting longer
  • Straight leg27" inseam (size 12)
  • Cotton/Polyester/Spandex. 
  • Imported

Under Armour Girls' UA Uniform Skort

    Under Armour Girls' UA Uniform Skort
  • Soft, stretchy, breathable fabric delivers all-day, total comfort
  • Moisture Transport System wicks sweat & dries fast
  • Flat front waistband that's adjustable with side zipper
  • Stain-resistant construction keeps them lasting longer
  • Flat pleats around the whole skirt
  • Hem hits the top of the knee
  • Light loose bike short underneath skirt 
  • Cotton/Polyester/Spandex
  • Imported

Parents will not be excited to learn that their retail prices are the most expensive in the Uniform Mom price lists when compared to regular retail prices of competing brands. Because they are a new entrant in the market, we will have wait  to see if the items will be included in sales, discount promotions or available through their outlet stores.

While I haven't yet had the chance, I look forward to checking them out in person.  If you (or your child) has tried out any of the items from the Under Armour School Uniform collection, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

French Toast Two Tab Scooter and Polo from Rainbow Shops

Recently I introduced Rainbow Shops as a re-seller of French Toast and Lee brand school uniform items. They gifted me some items to try for purposes of this review. I selected several French Toast brand items for my daughter that we haven't reviewed here previously.

Copyright 2016 Rene Shonerd All Rights Reserved
The first item is the French Toast girls two-tab scooter. This item is a uniform staple offered by many brands. The French Toast scooter is made of 100% machine washable polyester so no ironing is not needed. Yeah, score one for Mom. It has an adjustable waist. I've learned the hard way that an adjustable waist is much preferred to an elastic waist. It had pleats on the front side of the skirt and solid fabric on the back. The details is the 2 silver buckles on the left hip. The closure is on the side with knit shorts built in. The side zipper might be too much for the youngest girls, but works fine for those well beyond the potty training years with strong manual dexterity skills. Th length of the skirt hits above the knee. French Toast offers this skirt in 6 colors and Rainbow Shops offers the most popular options black, navy and khaki in girls sizes 2T all the way through girls size 14. It retails for $12.99 and can be found 25% off via Rainbow Shops.

Copyright 2016 Rene Shonerd
All Rights Reserved.
The next item we tried is the girls long sleeve interlock knit polo shirt. This is a classic uniform wardrobe staple.  The temperatures are warn now during back to school season, but temperatures will drop soon enough.  You'll want to snag at least one or two long sleeve polos early in the season while they are easy to find.  The French Toast interlock polo is available in 6 colors at Rainbow Shops and in sizes ranging from toddler through girls plus size 18-20.  The sleeves on this polo are hemmed but not banded.  Right now the sleeves are too long on my daughter, but you might be able to notice in this picture, we simply folded up the sleeve.  The collar and placket are standard, but the subtle flower shaped buttons offer a cute feminine detail.  I've found that the French Toast polos wash up easily and hold their shape.  My daughter is required to wear white tops so I bleach out any stains to keep it looking fresh through the school year.  It retails for $11.99 but is currently on sale for 25% off, or $8.99 which is right in the Uniform Mom target price range sweet spot for polo shirts. Got boys? Here's the link to the boys long sleeve French Toast polo instead.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Celebrate National Thrift Day with Schoola

Today is National Thrift Day and Schoola is celebrating with a $5 sale! Thousands of newly marked down items now for only $5. Get them before they’re gone. Shop the $5 Price Drop Sale at

Plus an additional 30% off orders of $30 or more!
  • Use Code: BACK2SVGS* 
  • Free shipping on orders over $25 
  • Code valid for a limited time. 
  • *Promo codes not valid on new-with-tags items. Limit one code per order. 
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Stick To Me Identification Labels, a Review

I've tried quite a few brands of name labels, and I continue to be amazed at the creativity and differences between the companies.  I recently had a chance to try Stick To Me brand labels.  It is a small company based in Quebec, Canada.  Each order is custom made, shipped free worldwide, and packed to minimize waste and impact to the environment (shown on the right). One of the things that make these labels unique is the artwork that decorates each collection. I like that each collection includes a variety of shapes and colors.

I personally illustrated the colourful, lively collections. I love drawing images inspired by my children’s universe. I’ve used state-of-the-art technology with superior quality inks to reproduce my drawings with precision. I hope my designs will draw you into my imaginary world and will bring you as much joy as they did me when I created them. 
Annie Nadeau, Owner of Stick To Me
I ordered the Cosmos Collection which includes 200 labels:

  • 120 small labels that are water and heat resistant so they are safe to use in the washing machine, dishwasher and dryer.  They are suitable for use on items such as baby bottles, thermos, or water bottles.  These labels are also intended for use on the care tag of clothing items. 
  • 16 larger rectangle shaped labels that would be great for use on the pencil box, tube of sunscreen or other school and camp supplies.
  • 32 small rectangle shaped labels that work great on smaller school supplies.  These also come with the matching transparent protective film for extra protection from wear. 
  • 8 triangle shaped labels for general use.  The cute shape would be perfect to label notebooks and book covers.
  • 24 round shoe labels with the transparent protective film to protect them from scuffing and perspiration.  I love these for school shoes, gym shoes, dance shoes, soccer cleats, rain boots, snow boots, flip flops and any shoes that might be toted around in their backpack. 
  • And as an add on item, we got 25 iron on labels which can be used on clothing items by applying them directly to the fabric with an iron. I always recommend labeling clothing items that might be taken on and off during the day such as hats, sweaters, hoodies, and jackets.

With Stick to Me, you cannot split an order with 2 or more names; however, I ordered this set for use by my niece and nephew personalizing the label with only with their last name and choosing a gender neutral design. Smart!

I am a fan of Stick To Me!  Their website makes ordering easy, The product is high quality and functions as designed.   And the price is very reasonable at $21.95 with free shipping.

If your school is interested to partner with Stick To Me for a fundraiser. They do all the work such as order taking, deliveries and the school or PTA collects a commission on every sale.  You can contact Annie for more information.