Showing posts with label Back to School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Back to School. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

What's new at the Gap for Back to School 2015

The folks at the Gap sent me a note to share what's new this season for Back to School.  The Uniform line is updated in quite a few ways:

Gap Boys Logo Varsity Jacket Size XL - Red deliciousGap Girls Uniform Fit & Flare Jumper Size L - Beige
  • For girls, they have added more femininity:  Applying knowledge from the fashion collection successes, they are proud to offer more feminine details in the dresses and polos.

  • They updated the fits for clear differentiation and distinction between the fit offerings such as the girls classics, straight, or skinny fit chinos and the boys relaxed and straight fit chinos.

  • With colors, they changed navy standard to read as true navy rather than dark navy.  For boys, they added gray and black into the bottoms assortment for boys; and for girls, they added black into the bottoms assortment, and added pink into the knit offerings, changed gray standard in gym styles, added pattern to ponte pants.

  • They also changed up product details with the polo shirts.  The boys polo placket is cleaner and the silhouette is slightly slimmer and the new high low hem gives it a more fashionable look .  The girls polo placket is narrower and elongated, the body is slightly slimmer, has interior neck tape. 

  • They improved the feel of the fabric in the gym and sweaters.

  • They also have some new items such as fashion sweaters in girls, fit and flare dress in girls, fashion polo in girls in a new jersey fabrication, varsity jacket in both boys and girls.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Back to School Lunch Box Hop #BloggerOp (Ends 9/9/14)

    Giveaway Hop Details:

    • This is a themed event to celebrate the Back to School season.
    • All linked posts must relate to school lunches. Unrelated and off topic posts will be removed.
    • The event runs from August 26 through September 9, 2014.
    • Each blogger may add up to 3 related links.
    • While not required, we'd love it if you'd display the Linky button (from above) on your site.
    • Again, not required, but it benefits all of us if you could help promote the linkup via social media.
      Grab this sample promotion:
      I just shared a great idea for school lunches on the #BTSLunchBoxHop  (ends 9/9/14) #BloggerOp

    Ready to Link up?

    You may link up using the button below or from the featured post.

    get the InLinkz code

    2014 Back to School Lunch Box Hop

    Do you end up packing the kids the same old boring, unhealthy lunches day after day? 

    Many of us do.  As evidence we can look across the pond at a recent UK study that concluded that school lunches are more healthy than packed lunches.  While this study compares brown bag lunches against nutritional standards in the UK, I think the message resonates with the lunches we, US moms, are packing for our kids too.  

    The study found that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards for school meals.  So, I ask all of the food bloggers to help us out and link up their posts for creative and nutritious meals we can pack at home.

    Is your kid's school lunch healthy?
    Courtesy of:

    get the InLinkz code

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Join me at the Lands' End Back to School Twitter Party

    You're Invited!

    What: Land's End Back to School Twitter Party

    When: August 5, 2014 12-1 EDT

    Hashtag: #FirstDayFaves 

    Moderator: @NavyPlaid

    Sponsor: @LandsEnd

    About the party:
    Lands' End has the same classic, high quality items that you know and love as well as many new items offered as the kids get ready to head back to school this year. Come chat about what's new in School Uniforms and learn what features to look for as you shop this season. Bring your questions:  I'll be online live along with several experts from Lands' End to answer your questions about Back to School shopping.

    Follow along and join in the conversation by:

    While its certainly not required, please RSVP below to let us know you're planning to attend and find others to follow. Click Add Your Link button.  Enter the information as shown below:

    1. Title: Enter your Twitter username
      such as @NavyPlaid
    2. URL: Enter the URL (including the http://) to your twitter profile
      such as
    3. Name: Enter your name here such as Uniform Mom.
      Note - this information will not display on the form.

    (Image Source)

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Girls School Uniform Double Knit Blazer from Lands End, a Review

    I'm working with Lands' End as a Brand Ambassador during the 2014 Back to School season. They gifted me school uniforms for me to evaluate so I could share my opinion of the items with you. All opinions are my own.
    (c) Rene Shonerd. All Rights Reserved.
    Affiliate Links in Use
    Thanks for Supporting Uniform Mom

    The new School Uniform Girls' Double Knit Button-front Blazer from Lands' End is a super cute layering alternative to a sweater.  This blazer makes any outfit look adorable.

    For some reason, school picture day  for my daughter's class was held on PE day for the past two years.  So she is wearing her basic white t-shirt, which is required with the Phys Ed uniform, in her annual school photos. This year, I will plan send this blazer with her on school picture day no matter if it falls on a PE day or not.  This blazer works just as well over a shirt with a collar as it does over a basic t-shirt.   I will also reach for this blazer to her to wear on a school assembly day when her class will be on stage in front of the rest of the school and all the parents.

    Girls' Double Knit Button-front Blazer - Classic Navy, 8
    Girls' Double Knit
    Button-front Blazer
    The side panels give the jacket structure and shape, yet the double knit fabric is soft and comfortable.  It is offered in navy in Big Girl sizes 7 -16 and Women's sizes 2-16.  As a school uniform item, you can personalize it with your school logo.  It retails for $70. It is machine washable.

    The highlighted features include the following:
    • 100% cotton double knit is soft yet substantial
    • Resilient construction
    • Princes side panels lend a hint of shape
    • Easy care: machine wash
    • Single back vent
    • Patch pockets
    • Imported
    A structure blazer is such a classic look on both girls and guys. Guys that are always complaining that blazers are too uncomfortable would love to have the comfort of a knit alternative.  But they guys will have to wait their turn until they develop a comfortable blazer for them because this one is reserved for the ladies. And because it is so comfortable to wear, it will get used more often than a traditional blazer.  It can also serve as a light jacket in the fall or spring months. These options make it worth the price difference from the basic cardigan sweater.

    Related Posts:

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Additional Picks from the 2014 Lands' End School Uniform Collection

    Disclosure - I'm working with Lands' End as a Brand Ambassador during the 2014 Back to School season. 

    I just reviewed the 2014 Lands' End Back to School catalog.  They have many new items this year.

    New for Girls:

    • Cotton broadcloth and stretch woven blouses that are easy care, easy wear – starting at $20.
    • Ponte knit jumpers, skirts and skorts that are comfortable, resist wrinkles and retain color.
    • A stylish, school-spirited double-knit blazer for dress up, $60.
    • Improved pant fit: slimmed legs, better rises and superior fitting chinos.

    New for Boys and Girls:

    • Colorblock active polos and performance tees in the Phys-Ed Collection with smart features such as moisture wicking, UPF 50 and antimicrobial properties.
    • Year-round washable dress pants that look great, wash after wash.
    • A below-the-knee, active short for boys that take him from gym class to afterschool play.

    Below are some of my the 2014 featured school uniform items for girls and boys at schools with a standard or uniform dress code.  These items are new to the 2014 Lands' End School Uniform Collection or they have been recently updated. A few of these items will be reviewed here at Uniform Mom in the next few weeks.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Do your Back to School Shopping during the Tax Free Holiday in your State

    Mark you Calendars!

    Shopping during the Tax Free Holiday weekend in your state is a smart way to create a sale for yourself and get an extra discount. Its a perfect time to stock up on back to school items such as clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, and school supplies.  Stores will tend to be more crowded during these days, so go early for the best selection and pack you patience.

    Below is a list of the states that have scheduled a tax free holiday during the fall back to school shopping season (Source):


    Items Included


    Information Links
    clothing & footwear - $100
    July 25-26
    school supplies
    August 1-2
    clothing - $100
    supplies - $20
    computers - $1,000
    clothing - $100
    August 1-2
    all TPP - $2,500
    August 1-2
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    computers - $750
    school supplies - $50
    books - $30
    school suppies
    August 1-3
    clothing - $100
    supplies - $15
    computers - $750
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    computers - $3,500
    school supplies - $50
    New Mexico
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    computers - $1,000
    computer equip. - $500
    school supplies - $30
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    South Carolina
    August 1-3
    school supplies
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    school supplies - $100
    computers - $1,500
    clothing - $100
    August 1-3
    school supplies - $20
    clothing - $100
    August 2-3
    school supplies
    clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100
    August 8-10
    clothing & footwear-$100
    August 10-16
    clothing and footwear - $300
    August 17-23

    (photo used with permission from Microsoft)

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    My Favorite School Uniform items from Lands' End

    Disclosure - I'm working with Lands' End as a Brand Ambassador during the 2014 Back to School season. 

    Below are some of my favorite school uniform items for girls and boys at schools with a standard or uniform dress code. These are classic wardrobe items that always make a popular choice for Back to School.  A few of these items will be reviewed here at Uniform Mom in the next few weeks.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Back to School Shopping Tips with Lands' End

    I had the pleasure of contributing Back to School Shopping Tips to Lands' End.  I will be working with them during this Back to School season as a Brand Ambassador.  The tips are featured on their Back to School Shopping page

    The Uniform Mom Tip Sheet includes information on the following topics:
    • Preparing for Back to School Shopping
      -including ideas on how to stretch your budget with advice on when to shop and how to give back to your school while you shop.
    • Discover Back-to-School Wardrobe Essentials
      -classics like award-winning Iron Knee® Chinos, School Uniform Polos and items from the
      Lands’ End Phys Ed collection.
    • Answers to some Uniform Dress Code challenges
      -such as helping your uniform kid find ways to display his or her individualism, finding uniforms to fit kids that are tough to fit, and how to prepare for the non-uniform day.

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Back to School Giveaway Hop 2014

    Attn Bloggers: Looking to link up?
    Check out the details.
    Getting ready to send  the kids Back to School?  

    Check out these great giveaways and enter to win to stuff you'll need 
    as you get ready to put the kids back on the bus to school in the Fall.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Name Labels from Bright Star Kids, a Review

    The folks at Bright Star Kids contacted me to ask if I would take a look at their name labels and share my thoughts with you.  They provided me a complementary sample of a school value label kit as the basis for my review. All opinions are my own.

    I had never heard of Bright Star Kids so I spent some time familiarizing myself with the brand by spending time on their website. I loved the site and enjoyed looking at the seriously cute, kid friendly products that they offer.  In addition to name labels, which I'll get to in a second, they carry cute wall art, personalized clothing, backpacks and kids accessories. I also figured out why I hadn't heard of them before; they are an Australian company which isn't normally on my radar because I'm in the US.  They offer worldwide shipping in a reasonable time frame for a reasonable shipping fee.  In fact name labels ship to the US, UK, the EU and Singapore and most arrive in 7-15 business days.

    Many Uses for Name Labels

    I'm a huge fan of using name labels for kids stuff.  When my daughter was in preschool, I made homemade labels for her bottles and food containers by writing her name on blank shipping labels or simply using masking tape.  They never held up, so I was replacing the labels on each week's supplies.  The personalized name labels hold up SO much better.  The stick-on labels actually stay on through the dishwasher cycle.  The clothing labels last wash after wash. 

    I used the labels from the kit to label my daughter's summer camp supplies such as her sunscreen, her insect repellent spray, her sandwich container, and her flip flops. I even put a thin pencil tag on her favorite pair of goggles.  When school starts up in the fall again, we'll tag her pencil box, pencils, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, her composition books and her folders. I'll put the clothing tags on all layering items such as coats, sweaters, and winter hats.  The round tags with covers are great for rain and snow boots which she has to change out of after arriving at school.  It is also great to tag stuff for her activities such as her ballet slippers, tap shoes, and her soccer cleats.

    Sounds like a lot of tags, right?  We'll it is, but there are over 175 labels in the School Value Label Kit:
    • 10 Large Labels - these stick on labels are great for larger school items such as lunchboxes, water bottles, and food storage containers, pencil boxes, workbooks, or electronic devices. They are safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave or freezer.
    • 30 Small Labels - these stick on labels are great for smaller school items such as glue sticks, rulers, staplers,  notebooks, hair brushes, eye glasses case, calculator, and small toys.
    • 10 Subject Labels - these stick on labels are made from vinyl which are perfect to put on all your kids school books or notebooks. You can write their subject and class with a permanent marker or pen. 
    • 80 Tiny Pencil Labels - these stick on labels are great for thin school items such as pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, or even, lunch utensils. 
    • 16 Large Round Labels and 16 Clear Covers - this combination is perfect for shoes.  Use these in sneakers, flip flops, dance shoes, soccer cleats, or rain boots. 
    • 30 Iron on Labels - these labels are designed be used on clothing items.  They are safe to use and stay on through the washer and the dryer.

    Using the Iron on Labels

    I had never used iron on labels previously, so I tested it out.  I gathered up a few new sweaters and hoodies that hadn't yet been tagged. For first things first, I had to identify the iron-on labels in the package. All of the stickers in the package have a color background and white lettering, except, the iron on labels which have a white background and the lettering is in the color we had selected.  They were otherwise indistinguishable to my untrained eye.

    Being a newbie, I then read the directions:

    1. First, I emptied my iron of any water and turned it on the highest, non-steam setting.  
    2. Once it was hot, I placed  the sticker on the clothing, topped it with the parchment paper provided and gently moved the iron around it for approximately 10-15 seconds.
    3. In the last step, I peeled the parchment paper off and checked the edges to make sure it had merged with the fabric.

    It wasn't hard at all.  And I'm NOT a crafty person.  I did five items in just a few minutes.  Since I like to pass along my daughter's clothes when she outgrows them, I placed the iron on label onto the manufacturers sewn-in tag on most of her sweaters.  That way, we can simply cut out the tag before passing it along for another go in another child's closet.  For some square tags, I cut the iron on tag into two pieces stacking them on top of each other. On another shorter tag, I simply cut off the extra space from the ends of the label to make it fit. Both variations seemed to work just fine.

    The Value of Using Name Labels

    In my opinion, the value of personalized tags is two-fold.  First you save time by only tagging items once.  These labels stay on throughout the school year.  No more tagging with homemade tags every Sunday night.  Second is the value of the kids stuff.  We parents spend a pretty penny on back to school clothing and supplies.  It is a pity when it ends up unclaimed in a bin at the lost and found.  And then there is the sentimental value attached to a favorite sweater or super duper 4-color pen or sparkle gel pen.  When those things disappear, sometimes, tears are shed.  Prevent the tears and increase the chance that kids won't loose the stuff you buy them, but placing a label on it.  It's like insurance for kids stuff.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    The Kickoff of the 2014 Back to School Shopping Season

    Have you seen the Back to School ads popping up in the weekly circulars and in your inbox?

    I am now more attuned to the retail cycle that I was before I started this blog, but it still seems really early. My daughter just got out of school 2 weeks ago, and the neighboring school district, that had even more snow days to make up this year, got out last week.  But here we are kicking off the Back to School shopping season.

    According to National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, families are paying attention to these deals earlier than ever before: 24 percent of consumers with children in grades K-12 last year said they began shopping for school items at least two months before school started, a significant increase from 15 percent in 2007.
    "In places like New York City where school ended just a few days ago, preparing for “back to school” can be hard to believe for some parents. But for families who wish to avoid the long lines typically associated with late August school and college shopping, spread out their spending and ensure they get their hands on the hottest products at a reasonable price – some retailers have them covered."
    By Kathy Grannis The National Retail Federation 

    The research from the NRF's Retail Insight Center shows that over 76% of adults in households with school aged children say that the economy will impact their Back to School Shopping.  The chart below shows how:
    Economy's Impact On BTS Plans
    Among households with a school age child
    Charts from the NRF Foundation’s Retail Insight Center.
     To access this data and more research please visit the Retail Insight Center.

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Uniform Mom Back to School Spending Survey

    According to Statistics Brain, the average annual cost to parents for outfit their kids with school uniforms is $249. Unfortunately, this source doesn't provide any background on what they include as school uniforms. When buying my daughter's Kindergarten wardrobe, I found that I spent about that amount of clothing alone, not including shoes, coat, backpack and lunchbox. The additional items she needed cost me around another $150. This year, I didn't have to get many items for Back to School, but I'm finding myself buying school clothes a few items at a time as she outgrows the ones she had. I'd like to learn more about experiences of Uniform Mom readers. Please take a minute to tell me about your spend on Back to School shopping this fall. I'll leave this survey open for a while, and when we just a decent number of responses, I'll summarize and share with you all. All answers are confidential. No identifying information collected.

    Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Back to School Supplies

    As a Mom sending my first child off to elementary school for the first time, I was surprised to learn that I was expected to provide a rather lengthy list of school supplies from a list provided by the school.  Other Moms told me that this is the way it is done these days.  The schools no longer provide basic supplies for the classroom, so parents are asked and expected to shop for these items.  The intent is to make sure all students have the supplies they need, regardless of their families financial situation.  And like uniforms, it takes the emphasis off the design and brand of the item.  No need for a fancy “Traper Keeper” when a simple pocket folder works just as well.

    Our school provided the list on a flyer in our school registration materials.  It contained lists of different items for each grade. I've heard that teachers get to provide input on what should be included on the list for each grade.  It was understood that the supplies we provided are managed by the teacher to distribute to the students as needed.  This makes sense especially with younger students. 

    The supplies from the list that I purchased for my daughter’s Kindergarten year filled two large shopping totes.  They included expected items such as crayons, pencil and scissors.  But it also included any items I wasn't expecting such as paper towels, paper plates, and plastic zipper bags.  I recall that it cost me quite a bit to purchase everything.  I recall that it was nearly $80. Some items specified a certain brand of item while others didn't.  I was unsure if it was okay to substitute a store brand.  I couldn't find some items in the size or quantity indicated, such as a 3 boxes of 16 color crayons.  I could only find boxes with 24 colors.  Would that be okay?

    We were on vacation during the back to school orientation night where you could stop by to meet the teacher and drop off school supplies.  We instead took ours on the first day of school.  The shopping totes I used to carry the items in were sent home in my daughter’s book bag.  So I never heard if the substitutions were okay.

    This year’s list for first grade was much shorter and not as expensive.  I got my supplies in July as soon as they hit the shelves.  The week prior to school, we got a note from the classroom Mom who had spoken to the teacher.  We were advised to label certain items because our first graders would be responsible for some of their own supplies this year.  They would be expected to keep them in a pencil box in their desks.  Since I had already purchased our supplies, everything I had purchased was basic.  No cute character on the folder or pencil box.  My daughter seemed very happy with the simple clear pencil box that would now be hers, but I wondered if some of the other kids would have some supplies that reflected their personalities or interests. 

    So, since we have all just been through the experience of purchasing school supplies from the school’s list, what do you think?
    •  Do you sometimes substitute a similar item because you can’t find the specific item requested?
    • Do you buy some store brand items?  Even when a certain brand is specified?
    •  How does this process change as kids get order and take on more responsibilities for their own things?
    •  Do you think the school is asking for too much or that the amount of supplies requested, and the cost to us, is excessive?
    (Photo used with permission from Microsoft Press: Credit)

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Back to School Pictures and What She Wore

    Over the past few weeks, I've enjoyed seeing pictures on my Facebook news feed of my friends kids on their first day of the new school year.  Last night, there was a huge flurry of Back to School pictures as the last of our kids head back after the Labor Day holiday. Back in my day, I don't recall posing for the obligatory first day of school pic, except for Kindergarten.  In today's digital age of digital cameras and smart phone with access to Facebook, Intragram and Flickr, we are capturing and sharing these moments with family and friends in real time.

    So in the spirit of the fashion blogs out there, I decided to share my daughter's back to school picture so we can chat about "what she wore".

    My daughter picked out her own outfit for the first day of school.  She likes this picture because she was pretending to be walking, but was actually posing for this picture. My little supermodel. ;)

    Disclosure – Affiliate Links in Use 
    Thanks for supporting Uniform Mom

    © 2013 Rene Shonerd
    © 2013 Rene Shonerd
    Izod Peter Pan Collar Shirt (JCPenney)

    Skirt with Bike Shorts underneath
    Lands' End Little Girls' Slim Solid A-line Skirt - Classic Navy
    French Toast Bike Shorts

    Stride Rite Molly
    These are their mary jane style from 2 years back. I picked them up on clearance in a half size larger than she was wearing at the time at my local outlet last school year. (This year's version is called the Claire.)

    French Toast Cotton-Blend Cuff Socks

    Backpack and Lunchbox
    This is one of last year's styles we bought at Lands' End in the summer of 2012.  It is still in great shape, so she'll use it again this year. (Lands' End has all new, redesigned, best backpacks in class. Find the right backpack and lunchbox for any size kid -- shop today. Plus, receive free shipping on your orders over $50.)