Showing posts with label French Toast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French Toast. Show all posts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

School Uniform Clothing Giveaway (Ends 1/13/14 at 12am ET)

Organized by: Uniform Mom
Sponsored by: Ideal Uniform

In our American culture, khakis and polos have become the everyday uniform for life’s everyday events like community outings such as a play or recital, and family events like holiday gatherings or eating out, as well as Sunday School and church. Especially for the little boys, they are the most appropriate attire for all "dress up", but short of formal, events. Girls and young ladies have more fashion choices to weave into everyday wardrobes. Even still, chinos paired with a polos or blouse make a smart choice for many similar life outings. Today more and more schools across the US are requiring students to adopt a standard dress code defining appropriate attire for school. And although options vary from school to school, khakis and polos typically are the foundation for any dress code. And even if your child's school doesn't require a uniform dress code, having a smart outfit in the wardrobe is handy for have on hand for everyday life events.

Prize Package Includes:

One lucky reader will win a prize pack from Ideal Uniforms which includes your choice of one top and one bottom of French Toast brand clothing for either a boy or girl!

The event date opens on 12/29/13 through 1/13/14 12:00 AM ET. Open to US Residents only.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified via the email they used to enter the contest. If after 48 hours, there is no response, another winner will be chosen. Uniform Mom is not responsible for fulfillment of the prize. Open to US residents, 18+ only.

To enter: 

Disclosure: Uniform Mom, the organizer, was recently provided sample French Toast brand clothing items from the sponsor to facilitate an upcoming review but was not provided additional compensation to organize this giveaway.  Uniform Mom is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact with questions or to see your business or product featured on the next event! This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pass the Fingertip Test

During the development of a schools uniform dress code, there is typically some back and forth that leads to an common understanding of the policy between the school board and the larger community of parents and students.  Once the policy is adopted, enforcement can be a constant battle for school administrators everywhere.  Recent articles included in the "in the news" series show many examples of battles between administrators and students, and in some cases, a larger group in the community.

A policy with clearly stated expectations and guidelines makes it easier for parents to understand so they can guide the student's choices when shopping.  Consistent enforcement by different teachers make clear examples of what's acceptable and what's not acceptable.

The length of a girls hemline for shorts, scooters, and dresses is a huge area for consternation.  Many schools have tried to set a simple easy to understand rule of thumb which is commonly referred to as "the fingertip test".   A young lady passes the fingertip test when the length of the skirt is below the fingertips of the student while standing with her arms extended straight down.  The same test works for jumpers, scooters and shorts. Maybe its a backlash to the mid-thigh trend we've been seeing for the past few seasons, but this fall, I noticed a trend of several retailers offering new longer lengths. Lands End's fall school uniform catalog features girls skirts in 3 lengths: above the knee, top of the knee and below the knee.  The French Toast fall catalog page on girls skirts feature both "the long and short of it" featuring two knee length skirts and one long skirt.  This can make shopping easier if your school has adopted the fingertip test as a rule of thumb to guide enforcement.

Below are some examples of new longer skirts:

Girls' Plus Solid Pleated Skirt (Below The Knee) - Gray, 14
Lands' End
 Girls' Plus Solid Pleated Skirt (Below The Knee)

French Toast
Kick Pleat Skirt
Little Girls' Solid A-line Skirt (Below The Knee) - Classic Navy, 6
Lands' End
Little Girls' Solid A-line Skirt (Below The Knee)
French Toast
Knee Length Straight Skirt

Little Girls' Box Pleat Skirt (Below The Knee)
Lands' End
Little Girls' Box Pleat Skirt (Below The Knee)

What do you think of these knee length and longer styles?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Year in Reviews-Kindergartner's School Uniform clothing items

Microsoft Clip Art MP900422812

School's out!

It seems like just yesterday we were attending Preschool graduation. Tomorrow is the last day of school for our daughter, and I can't believe how fast this school year has gone. During her first year at elementary school, she has made new friends and learned many new things, probably most importantly reading and writing simple sentences and basic addition and subtraction.  Socially, she made new friends and learned how to hold her own on the playground with the big kids at after school care.

Since she started Kindergarten at a school with an established uniform dress code, she doesn't know any different when it comes to school clothes. I've become a fan of the uniform dress code because it makes getting dressed for school each day very simple.  After I learned which stores carry uniform collections, shopping for her clothes is simple.  I've become a fan of several brands that have held up well for her this past school year.  Some items didn't work so well, and we'll skip over those during next year's shopping.  I've learned when things go on sale and learned to spot a bargain on the quality items.  

As we wrap up the school year, I thought I'd look back at the items from my daughter's Kindergarten wardrobe that I've reviewed this school year. Last fall, I set out to buy a week's worth of school clothes and hoped to pick items that would last the full year.  Each of these represent lessons learned- some good and some bad.
(photo used with permission from Microsoft)

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What to Wear Under a Skirt for Modesty on the Playground

I see London. I see France.  I see your little girl's underpants!

wild girl by borntobewild1946, on flickr

Egads!  You don't want to hear any kids singing that song with your daughter's name in it.  And as if that thought isn't motivating enough, here are three other good reasons you'll need to find a solution for what she can wear under skirts and jumpers at school:
  • Your little girl will want to play on the playground at recess.
  • Your little girl will have to sit crisscross applesauce at circle time. 
  • And just in case, your little girl doesn't always act like a little lady.
If skirts and jumpers are in your regular wardrobe rotation, then you need another article of clothing to retain a little modesty.  I've found three options:
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The Bike Short  

They are tight fitting shorts with stretch. You can find them at major retailers.  Over the years, we've had several pairs of these from various vendors.  The Circo brand bike shorts at Target (update - sorry this brand is no longer available) have held up well for us. The Children's Place leggings and bike shorts are my favorite because they seem to have just the right amount of stretch to them.  Gymboree brand are my least favorite because they don't seem to have enough stretch in them and they don't hold their shape as well as the others.  Here are links to you can check out bike shorts from these retailers:

Bootie shorts

I'm not crazy about the name either, but that's what the kids call them.

They are the boyshort style shorts usually worn by dancers and gymnasts over practice leotards. We recently bought a pair of Capezio Girls' Boy Cut Low Rise Short at our local dance-wear shop. They are also offered at major retailers such as Amazon or at a local specialty retailer. We found they ran true to size. They are made from 90% nylon and 10% spandex. You can launder them with your other workout wear, but hang them to dry.


Uniform Kick Short

Knit Shorts

I have only come across a handful of uniform retailers that carry knit shorts made for the purpose of wearing under skirts. The Gap and their sister store, Old Navy, used to carry a 3 pack, but I no longer see them available.

This year, French Toast began to offer what they call "Kick Shorts". We haven't tried them yet, but they are described as  a fitted pull-on shorts designed to be worn under a skirt or jumper. The price is right at $4.98 each. They come in all sizes from 2T through a size 16.

Cartwheel Shorts

Children's Place added a nylon Cartwheel Short with 5% spandex. They are sold in a two pack and retail for $16.95.

Children's Place also has a knit cartwheel short.  They are made from 94% cotton with 6% spandex.   Compared to other Children's Place matchables, we found these to run small.  While they are intended to be short and fit snugly, I'd recommend you go up a size.

JC Penney also carries a  2 pack of Maidenform Playground Pals (R).  While we wish they were offered in 2 packs of solids in uniform basic colors, they do offer a set in navy and white, as well as other colors.

(photo used with permission from borntobewild1946)
I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Blog Nation.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

French Toast Dollars in Uniform Fundraiser Program

French Toast - America's Most Popular School Uniforms for Less!
Wouldn't your school like to Earn 5% Cash Back for your school when you shop at French Toast today! The French Toast program does not require the school to enter a contract. A school administrator can complete a simple sign up form online to get started.

French Toast offers bulk discounts to schools and can provide embroidery set up for the school logo.  The embroidery set up is free if the school logo is digitized.  If not, French Toast can assist for a one time $95 fee.

Participating schools are assigned a school code. If the school provides details on their uniform dress code, French Toast creates a customized online shopping experience for parents filtering the uniform items to just display the ones that comply with your school's dress code.  The school can also order customized catalogs to provide to parents.   I love how that can simplify the "Back to School" shopping for all families.

A friendly school marketing representative told me that over 5,000 schools participate in this program with French Toast.  Schools can receive royalty checks twice a year in August and February.  Checks are issued once a school's total sales reaches $2000, or a royalty of at least $100.  If a school doesn't reach that sales total in a period the amount rolls into the next period until that threshold is reached.  If your school is not contractual obligated to an exclusive contract with a specific vendor, then you have nothing to loose by registering for the French Toast Dollars for Uniforms program.  Participation can simplify shopping experience for the parents and the school may receive a royalty check in return. A Win, Win!

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Thank you for supporting Uniform Mom!

Below is a 3 minute video highlighting the program:

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Monday, April 29, 2013

School Uniforms at French Toast - Retail Round Up Series

French Toast - America's Most Popular School Uniforms for Less!
French Toast Official School Wear™ proclaims they are "America's leading brand of school uniform." Founded in 1958, the mission of the company is to provide families with quality children’s wear and boys and girls school uniforms at great prices."  If your school is considering implementing a school uniform program, their Partnership For Education Program™ offers assistance and an educator's toolkit is available for download. 

According to their website, they carry over 1500 items in their official School Uniform Wear line. Sizes include grouping Toddler (2T - 4T), Girls (4 -14), Junior (3 - 13) and Young Women (10-20). Several styles of pants are available in the slim fit. They carry a plus fit for many types of items.  Their website for on-line shopping makes it easy to find items by gender, size and category for items. If your school has registered their dress code with French Toast, you can use the Find Your School Code feature on the retail website which will then filter the selection to show only items that meet your school's uniform dress code.

Their return policy allows returns within 30 days with a receipt for any reason, except embroidered items unless the product is defective. French Toast uniforms can be found at retailers across the nation. You can likely find French Toast brand items at your local JC Penney or Kmart, or use their retail locator to find a store near you.

Normally for the Retail Round Up series posts, I list the items available in the current school uniform collection by gender and clothing type. French Toast offers too many items to list.  Instead, I'll link you to the major groupings and featured product lines:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ISO Feedback on School Uniform Fundraiser Programs

So naturally, I'm curious to hear feedback from schools that participate in school uniform fundraising programs.  Do parents take the time to enter the school code in their online orders, and if so what kind of royalty does the school receive for their efforts?

If your school has promoted a school uniform fundraising program in the past year and are involved with the administration of the program, I'd like to hear from you.  Please complete the survey below.  If you participate in programs with several brands, please feel free to complete this brief 4 question survey multiple times.

If you weren't involved with the program but you know who was, please forward this link to them so they can complete the survey.

Based on the feedback collected, I'll plan to share the feedback in a future post.

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

Monday, April 8, 2013

JC Penney - Retail Round up Series

JCPenney is an American department store chain that operates  more than 1100 stores in the US and Puerto Rico. Most stores are located in suburban malls and they have an online store which makes it easy to find kids school uniform items through the secondary site navigation.  The online store offers free shipping for orders over $75 and free delivery to your local store.  Online orders can be returned to a local store or via mail. The uniform items feature Izod and French Toast brand items.  For the purposes of this post, I will highlight only the Izod brand items since the French Toast brand items will be covered in their own post.

I shopped in a local store during back to school season this past fall when they featured a sizable uniform section between the girls and boys departments.  I visited again later in the fall to find one lonely rack of uniform items.  However, I have also had success ordering from them online.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Uniform Consignment in Denver

I connected recently on Twitter with @UniformConsign. After checking out their website, I wanted to learn more.  I exchanged a few emailed with Kim Vigil, the company's owner to conduct this virtual interview.  I also think its worth noting that she offers highly personalized customer service to local customers in the Denver area, they have expanded to partner with schools in El Paso Texas and Birmingham, Alabama.

Q) What motivated you to start this local business?
A) is a  family owned business based in Denver, Colorado that wants to make the buying and selling of school uniforms a simple and less expensive process. We are committed to our schools, the children, and their families to help provide quality garments at all times. We understand that it is hard to make it to the uniform shop during their hours, especially if they are across town from your home or workplace. We support our children, and any type of clothing swap that happens at the schools, but we wanted to provide an alternative since, let’s face it, most of us get up early and stay up late to keep our families running!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Belts for School for Kindergarten and Elementary aged Kids

I'm aware of the controversy that requiring a belt as part of school dress code can stir in different communities. Some say that it simply completes an outfit. Others argue that it is a way to fight the fashion trend known as sagging, to get kids to wear their pants with the waistline above the hips. Debating the merits of such "droopy drawers" laws or the motivations of them is not why I bring it up today. Instead, I bring it up to open the conversation around compliance and enforcement in school uniform policies, especially for the youngest students.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reviews of Girls Cardigan Uniform Sweaters

As this is our first year buying school uniforms, I bought sweaters by three different brands with the intention to see which lasted through the year while continuing to look good.

Land's End girls cardiganThe first item I bought for my daughter was the School Uniform Girls' Fine Gauge Cotton Cardigan Sweater - Classic Navy. My personal preference for a quality soft material may have factored into this purchase.  I had read great reviews online. I got it at the Back to School sale at Sears when all Lands' End items were 30% off.  The navy color faded a bit initially after the first time it was laundered, but it has held steady in repeated washings since.  The buttons are small which may be difficult for little fingers still learning to button and unbutton. It is the favorite of the three and is the one that gets packed in the backpack most days.

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Fine Gauge Knit Cardigan Sweater from French ToastThe second sweater I bought for her was a white Fine Gauge Knit Cardigan Sweater from French Toast.  It is 100% Acrylic.  I thought she might also get some use wearing it over her non-uniform dresses.  We've also washed this sweater many times over the season and it has not held up as well.  It is piling a bit and the color is no longer bright and clean looking.  I launder most white and light in Warm or Hot water and typically with a dye free detergent. The instructions on the tag recommend cold water, delicate cycle and to dry flat.  I'm lucky enough to have a husband that helps out with the laundry which means I'm sure this item has taken a spin in our dryer on low.  I got it on sale for under $10, so I say it has "met expectations".

Cherokee Girls School Uniform Cardigan

Later in the fall, I picked up a third sweater at Target -the Cherokee Girls School Uniform Cardigan.  I is 100% cotton in a button up v neck with pockets.  It has held up well to repeated washings, even the color has not faded.  The buttons on this sweater are much larger than on the Lands' End sweater which are easier for little fingers that are still learning how to button and unbutton.  I bought this item on sale too for around $10, and I would rate it as "above expectations".

So next year or when my daughter grows into the next size, I'll most likely pick up another Lands' End sweater for her.  The reality is that she doesn't end up wearing the sweater everyday and could get by with only one and holding on to one of these as a backup.

(Photos by Uniform Mom)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Spend - our actual cost for School Uniforms

Microsoft Clip Art MP900341783
So after reflecting on the school uniform items we purchased for our daughter's first year at public school, I wondered how much it all cost.  I tend save my shopping receipts in a box during the year, so I dug through the box to find the receipts for all of the items I mentioned in our Kindergarten Wardrobe post.

According to Statistics Brain, the average annual cost to parents for school uniforms is $249.  Unfortunately, this source doesn't provide any background on what they include as school uniforms.  If I don't include items such as shoes, coat, backpack and lunchbox that we'd need regardless of dress code, I come in right under the average at $234.  If those big ticket items are included, my spend is way above average adding an additional $146 to my annual spend.  So here's how it breaks down:

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Izod short sleeve polo $7, Old Navy short sleeve polo $6, George Girls' Long Sleeve Polo Shirt 2/$11, H&M short sleeve t-shirts (2) $6, H&M long sleeve t-shirt (2) $10

Lands End skort $20, Izod skirt $7.50, Cherokee Uniform Pants (2) $12, Children's Place Yoga Pants $5, Circo leggings $5, Izod shorts (2) $7

Dresses and Sweaters:
Lands End dress $22.50, Lands End sweater $22.50, Cherokee sweater $10, French Toast sweater $10

French Toast Tights (2pk) $11, French Toast socks $7, French Toast bike shorts $8, French Toast belt $9

Other necessities:
Lands End lunch box $14, Lands End Backpack $26, Oshkosh jacket $30, Stride Rite sneakers $30, Stride Rite shoes $46

All items are rounded to the nearest twenty five cents.  In some cases, I could not locate my actual receipt, so I then substituted the retail cost of the item that I could verify online.  In most cases, I purchased items on sale, used a coupon code and/or received free shipping.

(photo used with permission from Microsoft)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

School Shoes with Man Made Materials

During my Back to School shopping last fall, I bought a paid of navy school shoes for my daughter.  They were the very cute French Toast's Navy T strap which I got at my local JCPenney store in late July at the beginning of the Back to School season. 

We learned while on the way out the door on the first day of school that they no longer fit.  Instead she wore the old sneakers that were very broken in after months of use in preschool.  After just having met the Kindergarten teacher, I respectfully requested she give my daughter a hall pass on dress code on the first day.  I quickly explained why she wasn't in proper shoes and promised that she would be on following day.

Cherokee girls uniform schools (Falda Ballet)That evening after work, I went off to the mall to see if I could exchange the shoes for the next size.  By that point in the school shopping season, my local JCPenney did not have that shoe or any uniform shoes in her size.  JCPenney has a wonderful return policy and gave me no problems with the return.  With about 2 hours left to find proper school shoes for the next day, I headed to the local Target store.  There I found the last pair of  Cherokee uniform shoes (Falda Ballet) in her size.  I am not a fan of shoes made from "Man Made Materials".  It has been my experience that they don't hold up well, but with one hour to go, I didn't have much of a choice.  I put them in my cart, checked out, and headed home for the night.

Monday, February 18, 2013

School Uniforms at the Cookie's, the Kids Department Store - Retail Round Up Series

Cookie's was established in 1972, now with 7 retail locations in New York City.  The are known as the World's Largest Kids Department Store and they were noted in 2007 by Crain's Magazine as the #1 School Uniform Headquarters in the United States.

The Cookie website features a special school uniform section. It is well organized making it easy to find items by gender, size and item type. They carry a wide range of brands including a Cookie store brand, French Toast, Dickies, U.S. Polo Assn., Blueberry Knitting, and Rifle School Wear.  They carry both plaids and solid uniform items.  As the "school uniform headquarters" they have a wide selection of uniform items available including polos, pants, shorts, skirts/skorts, shirts, sweaters, vests, blazers, gym wear, jumpers, outwear, shoes, ties and accessories.

For boys, they offer the following sizing options: Toddler Boys 2T - 4T, Boys 4 - 20 including husky sizes, and Men's.  For girls, they offer little girl 2 - 6X, girls 7 - 20 including plus and half sizes, as well as juniors and adult. Online orders ship for $5.95 everyday in the contiguous US.

If you have a few minutes, you can check out this great video segment from the Balancing Act (Lifetime Television) with an interview with Cookie executive highlighting the benefits of school uniforms and a fashion show of uniform looks.

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