Showing posts with label School Uniforms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School Uniforms. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tax Free Holidays for Back to School Shopping



Tax Free holidays are popular times for parents to head out shopping for back to school clothing and supplies with the kids.  Expect stores to be crowded, and pack your patience to take advantage of the extra savings.

Below is a list of dates where states have announced a state sales tax holiday.  Georgia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts will not have a tax free holiday in 2017.

State
Items Included
Dates
Alabama
clothing, computers, school supplies
Jul 21-23rd, 2017
Mississippi
clothing & footwear
Jul 28-29th, 2017
Tennessee
clothing, school supplies, computers
Jul 28-30th, 2017
Florida
school supplies, clothing, computers
Aug 4-6th, 2017
Ohio
clothing and school supplies
Aug 4-6th, 2017
Virginia
clothing, school supplies
Aug 4-6th, 2017
South Carolina
clothing, school supplies, computers
Aug 4-6th, 2017
Oklahoma
clothing
Aug 4-6th, 2017
New Mexico
clothing, computers, school supplies
Aug 4-6th, 2017
Missouri
clothing, computers, school supplies
Aug 4-6th, 2017
Iowa
clothing
Aug 4-5th, 2017
Louisiana
Personal Property <2500
Aug 4-5th, 2017
Arkansas
clothing, school supplies
Aug 5-6th, 2017
Texas
clothing, backpacks & school supplies
Aug 11-13th, 2017
Maryland
clothing & footwear
Aug 13-19th, 2017
Connecticut
clothing and footwear
Aug 20-26th, 2017


Source:  https://www.freetaxweekend.com/


Photo Credit: Jimmie. School Supplies Homeschool. (Flickr)


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Monday, July 10, 2017

Aeropostale

Shop AeropostaleAeropostale is a specialty retailer with over 500 stores in the US.  They sell apparel and accessories targeting the 16 - 22 year old shopper.  They also carry basic school uniform items for tweens and teens.  Their website makes it easy to find the items as they are grouped under boys and girls in the navigation menu as "uniform".

The girls uniform collection includes short sleeve polo shirts in 10 different colors and the long sleeve polo in 5 colors.   The sizing ranges from an XS through a XXL.  Basic Bermuda shorts and pants are offered in khaki, black and navy. The girls pants are offered in a skinny twill style as well as a traditional straight leg style.  Even better, they offer the pants in regular and a curvy fit. A straight skirt is offered in 2 lengths, 15 and 19 inch.

The boys uniform collection includes short sleeve polo shirts in 8 different colors and the long sleeve polo in 5 colors.   They also have a v neck cardigan sweater in 4 colors. The boys alpha sizing in the tops ranges from X Small to 3X Large. Guys shorts, called long-board shorts, are offered in 7 colors including uniform basics of khaki, black and navy. The boys pants are offered in 2 styles: a slim cut straight leg pant with a flat front or a straight leg chino style.  

Shop Aeropostale

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What's New at Children's Place for Back to School 2017



As the 2017 Back to School season gets underway, I checked out the school uniform collection at the Children's Place to look for anything new or updated. The most notable change is that they now allow returns of online only items to their retail and outlet stores. Yeah! Several of the school uniform items are offered as "online exclusives". Previously, if you took a risk and ordered an item online and it turns out that it didn't fit, you them had to go through the hassle and expense of mailing the item back. Now, you can simply return the item to your local store.  This change is a win for consumers.

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Skater Skort

Last year they began to offer a popular style of the skater skirt in their uniform collection. The downside for the item was that it was a skirt and not a scooter. This year it was been updated to include the built in shorts underneath. Yeah again, this simple change simplifies shopping because you don't have to find separate shorts to wear underneath. Built in shorts give girls the confidence to run and climb on the playground at recess.




Boys Uniform Long Sleeve Mock Neck Zip Sweater

I also noticed a long sleeve mock neck zip-up sweater in the boys uniform collection. I believe this classic style is new in the Children's Place collection, but has been a best seller at competing retailers.  This zip up style is 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. My daughter loves the zip-up style sweater, and I don't see any reason why Moms should shy away from ordering this sweater for their daughters. I plan to test and review this item this season, so I'll let you know how the color and quality hold up.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Results from the March Reader Survey: Do you prefer online or in store shopping?

Back to school, Avoid the pains of getting children back in the classroom 120731-M-FL266-016

Last month, our readers survey asked how you prefer to shop for school uniforms. Two-thirds of you responded that you preferred to shop in stores. The remaining one-third of you preferred to shop online.

Shopping in person is usually best in a few scenarios. You definitely want to shop in person for the first back to school shopping trip for any student new to school uniforms. It will give him or her a chance to try on several types of uniform items and decide which styles suit them best. You should also try different brands too to learn which your student prefers. Some brands carry different fits such as slim, plus, husky, while other brands only carry items in a regular fit.

Once you've learned which brands and styles you prefer, many of you switch to the convenience of online shopping. Once you have learned which top or pair of bottoms are favorites with your kids, you can stock up in the next size on those items during seasonal sales and use coupon codes featured in the Uniform Mom Weekly Report Card newsletter. When shopping online for clothing be aware of the store's return policy just in case. Because I hate to eat the return mail shipping charge, I prefer shopping with retailers that allow online returns to their brick and mortar stores.

Photo Credit: By Cpl. Glen Santy (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/636265) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 3, 2017

Results from the January Readers One Question Survey

In an effort to get to know you better, I initiated a monthly survey consisting of one simple question. Each month, you'll find the survey posted on the UniformMom.com website and on our FaceBook page.  We'll also share the link via twitter and Google +.

What Was Asked

To get things started, we asked the age range of your oldest uniform wearing kiddo.  Are they preschoolers, elementary aged kids, middle schoolers, or high schoolers?  This information helps me get a better idea which age group we should focus on in features and product reviews.  If you have multiple children, you tend to learn the ropes with the oldest and have an easier time going through things again with younger children.

What I Learned

We learned that almost 60% of you have children in elementary school, grades 2 - 5.  All of the retailers that we review here on Uniform Mom offer uniform products for this age group.  It was surprising to me that almost 30% of you have children in high school.  I'll need to focus more attention on uniform brands that are offered in adult sizes.  Almost 15% of you have children in middle school.  Again, I learned that I need to focus more attention on brands that offer juniors and young men's sizes. There is a preschool across the street from my house that requires the kids to wear uniforms. Several other preschools nearby that I toured when selecting a daycare for my daughter also have the kids wear uniforms.  I frequently see the kids out in my neighborhood walking all lined up  in their cute little uniforms.  I guess that is why I was surprised that none of you have preschoolers in uniforms.

What's Next

Thank you for taking the minute to click through and share a nugget of information with me.  I am adding a note to my to-do list to focus more on products and brands that offer school uniform options in juniors and adult sizing.

This month, we want to learn how you prefer to shop.  Do you prefer to go to the store or do you prefer to shop online?  You tell us.  The February Uniform Mom One Question Readers Survey is open now.  Once you have submitted your response, please take a minute to share the link with the your fellow Mom's from school. Thanks for supporting Uniform Mom.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Iowa Senate File 31 Allows Schools to Adopt Mandatory Uniform Policy


Senator Brad Zaun (R) introduced a bill, Iowa Senate File 31, that would allow schools to adopt a mandatory uniform policy.   The bill is simply worded as follows:

"This bill authorizes a school district to adopt, for the school district or for an individual school, a mandatory uniform policy, in addition to the dress code policy currently authorized by the Code,if the board determines that a mandatory uniform policy is necessary for the health, safety, or positive educational environment of students and staff in the school environment or for the appropriate discipline and operation of the school."
Our Capitol - Des Moines, IOWA

The bill goes on to state that it is not an infringement on students freedom of speech as long as the uniform policy is viewpoint neutral.  It also eliminates the general assembly's declarations regarding dress code policy. The bill was referred to the Education Subcommittee for consideration.

An article in the Des Moines Register quoted Sen. Thomas Greene (R) who is the chair of the Education subcommittee as saying that he believed matters involving students' dress should be decided locally. They further reported that he planned to visit with Zaun and other legislators before deciding whether to hold additional meetings on the bill.

While it seems that this bill is likely to die in committee, I'll update this post should there be further activity.

Photo Credit: Mrachina, Jason. Our Capitol - Des Moines, IOWA. January 28, 2011.

Related Posts:

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.

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.

State

Dates

Eligible Items (Max Cost)

Alabama
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($100), Computers ($750), School supplies ($50), Books ($30)
Arkansas
August 6 - 7
School supplies, Clothing ($100), Clothing accessories and equipment ($50)
Connecticut
August 21 - 27
Clothing and footwear ($100)
Florida
August 5 - 7
School supplies ($15), Clothing ($60)
Georgia
July 30 - 31
Clothing ($100), School supplies ($20), Computers ($1,000)
Iowa
August 5 - 6
Clothing and footwear ($100)
Maryland
August 14 - 20
Clothing and footwear ($100)
Massachusetts
August 5 - 6
Clothing and footwear ($100)
Mississippi
July 29 - 30
Clothing and footwear ($100)
Missouri
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)
Ohio
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($75), School supplies ($20), School instructional material ($20)
Oklahoma
August 5 - 7
Clothing ($100)
South Carolina
August 5 - 7
Clothing and accessories, School supplies, Computers and accessories, Bed and bath items
Tennessee
July 29 - 31
Clothing ($100), School supplies ($100), Computers ($1,500)
Texas
August 5 - 7
Clothing and footwear ($100), Backpacks ($100), School supplies ($100)
Virginia
August 5 - 7
Clothing and footwear ($100), School supplies ($20)

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


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

School Uniform Girls' Performance Zip-front Cardigan, a review

School Uniform Girls Performance Zip-front Cardigan-Classic Navy,L
School Uniform Girls 
Performance Zip-front Cardigan-Classic


Last year, we reviewed the Girls' Zip-front Drifter Cardigan. It became my daughter's favorite go-to sweater all year long. New for the 2015-2016 school year, Lands' End began offering a similar zip-front sweater. So when my daughter's favorite zip front drifter began to get snug on her, we ordered this updated version. Here's a list of features listed in the product description:
  • Resists fading and pilling for long-lasting color and comfort 
  • Easy-care blend feels soft as cotton 
  • Fully-fashioned construction for a great fit 
  • Full-zip front 
  • Easy-moving raglan sleeves 
  • 60% cotton/40% rayon-modal 
  • Machine wash/Imported
Compared to last year's version, the collar on this new one is smaller, more like a traditional cardigan and the fabric is a softer cotton blend.  I agree with the claim that it resists fading. We've washed the product numerous times so far and it is holding it's color well.  Also, no pilling so far.  The feel of the cotton is soft to the touch while the weight of the sweater feels substantial and warm. My daughter quickly adopted this as her new favorite sweater.  She demanded I put it in her book bag in the early fall when a lighter weight sweater may have been more appropriate.  I understood why when I visited the classroom for our first parent teacher conference of the year.  It is freezing in her classroom.  The teacher said the room is the coldest in the school and she encourages the kids to always have a sweater on hand.

I was surprised when I went to wash it for the first time.  I read the tags that recommended 'block flat to dry".  Huh?  I honestly had no idea what that meant. So, I did what any normal person would do, I Googled it. It outlined a method that made sense laundering hand knitted clothing and fragile fine fabric sweaters. I quickly decided that the process was too complicated for me, as a busy working Mom.  I don't have time to find butcher paper and trace the outline of the sweater, etc.  It all seemed like too much effort for a simple school sweater that I wash every weekend.  Instead, I tested my own simpler method.  I made sure the zipper was fastened and washed the sweater in cold water in the delicate cycle with other items that seem suited for that cycle.  Normally, I then would have thrown it in the dryer on low.  Instead, I "blocked" it, not to fit its traced outline on paper, but instead I simply shaped it resemble its original shape and size and then carefully laid it across my drying rack to air dry.

After repeating this process each week for a several months now, the sweater has held its original shape and looks just fine.  If you've devised your own simple strategy for blocking sweaters, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments below.  Also if you also have this sweater, tell us how you launder it.

My overall opinion is that this sweater is worth the money.  It retails for $50, so try to catch it on sale. At 30% off, it will definitely earn it's keep in the school wardrobe rotation.  I would guess that my daughter will end up getting at least 2 years of wear from this sweater before she outgrows it.