Showing posts with label Stride Rite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stride Rite. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2016

School Uniform Wardrobe Review for a 3rd Grade Girl

What's in our School Wardrobe?

It's been a while since I looked in my daughter's closet, took inventory of what's in her school wardrobe and shared a full school wardrobe review. My last full review was 3 years ago when I shared our Kindergarten School Uniform Wardrobe. This year, I really didn't do much back to school shopping. She hadn't grown much, so many items from last school year were still in good shape and still fit. But we have added a few new items that I picked up on sale.

Since the year started, we've transitioned all of her shirts rotating out all of her girls size medium shirts (7-8) to girls size large (10-12). The list below shows the types of wardrobe items in the school wardrobe including which brand. I think it is a good example of how diverse her wardrobe is by brand. A handful of these items were received complementary for evaluation in a review, however, most were purchased from the family budget. Disclosures are included in the full review posts, when relevant.

Girls School Uniform Wardrobe Inventory

  • 3 short sleeve polos (Dockers, Classroom, French Toast Waist Tuck)
  • 3 long sleeve polos (Lands' End Peter Pan, Cherokee, Children's Place Ruffle-Placket)
  • 3 pair of Cherokee Flat Front Uniform Pants (While we've tried other brands that I liked, my daughter prefers these bootcut basics from Target.)
  • 6 scooters (Cherokee Pleated Scooter, Cherokee Uniform Scooter, Lands' End Ponte Button Front, Schoolbelles Side Pleat Skort, Lands' End Solid A line Skirt and a Dockers Scooter)

    Before you ask - Yes, its a fair question. Why do we have 6 scooters? If you're building a school wardrobe for the first time, I would only recommend purchasing one or two. We've acquired these over time. My daughter seems to get the most value from scooters as some of these skirts have been in the rotation for 3 years already.

    The Docker's one has been hanging in the closet with tags on it for since Kindergarten waiting for her to grow into it. It has an elastic waist, but it is not adjustable. The skirt may be too short once her waist grows into it. Lesson learned; adjustable waistbands are key.
  • 5 sweaters (Lands' End Performance Zip Front Cardigan, Children's Place Uniform Cardigan, Primary Cardi, H&M, Gap)

    Again, you don't need 5 sweaters. My daughter now has a favorite which she now carries with her in her backpack daily. The rest hang in the closet and might be worn on the weekend. But it did take trying different brands and styles to find her favorite.
  • 2 pair of Boot Cut Yoga Pants (Children's Place Bootcut Foldover Active Pants and Lands' End Yoga Pants)
  • 4 short sleeve t-shirts (Children's Place t shirt, Primary Polo, French Toast v-neck T, French Toast crew.)
  • 2 long sleeve t-shirts (Circo, Children's Place)
  • 2 pair of shorts (Gap, Lands' End)

    Both of these were leftover from last year's wardrobe and will need replaced for Spring because she has finally outgrown them.
  • 4 active skorts (Children's Place)

    Again, you surely wouldn't need 4 of these in a first year wardrobe. In fact, you might not need any. My daughter likes to wear the Children's Place active skort for PE days during warmer months. We have 4 of them because I kept buying them on clearance forgetting that I had already put one away in the next size up. Yep, that happened 3 times. Oops.
  • Sneakers for PE (Striderite)
  • Mary Jane style shoes (Striderite)
  • Accessories : bike shorts for under the skirt (French Toast), cuff socks (Gold Toe), knee socks (Code Socks and French Toast) and tights (Circo and French Toast).

What's missing?

Jumpers or dresses. Simply because my daughter is not a fan. She has a strong aversion to jumpers, always has. Maybe it's hereditary since I'm not a fan either. I used to be able to get her to put on a cotton polo dress, but not since first grade. She simply prefers to wear separates. If your daughter likes dresses and jumpers, you'll need fewer separates.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Stride Rite Cooper Lace Sneaker, a review

While a girls basic white sneakers are fairly easy to find, finding a supportive athletic shoe in plain white is much harder to find. So when I'm shopping for white sneakers for my daughter to wear to school with her school uniform, I head to our local StrideRite store and straight to the boys shoe aisle. She's on her 3rd pair of StrideRite Cooper Lace Sneakers.  She's worn them each year since first grade. Each time she outgrows them, we pick up a new pair.

These sneakers are great for school because they hold up to wear and tear on the playground.  They are available in solid white or black making them a great choice for uniform kids.  They have a leather upper and mesh lining.  Big kids, and younger kids that take pride in the ability to tie their own shoes, will like the lace up style.  For the preschool set, and those that prefer not to fuss with laces, will appreciate the Cooper Hook and Loop version of this shoe. They come in sizes ranging from Preschool sizes 8 - 12 and Kid sizes 12.5 through 6 and come in three widths of medium, wide and extra wide.

The care instructions advise you to brush off dry dirt and to clean with a damp cloth with a little mild detergent.  I have cleaned my daughter's sneakers in this same manner several times.  Once they got very dusty from a visit to a playground, so I removed the laces and hand washed them with soap and water.  Overall, these are very low maintenance shoes that just continue to hold up well and look good.

They are excellent quality.  They are worth the regular retail for $42.00.  If you can catch them on sale, even better!

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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, May 15, 2013

Stride Rite Carla, a quality shoe for school

Regular readers of Uniform Mom already know how I feel about shoes made from "Man Made Materials". In case you've missed my rants, I'm not a fan. So when it come to basic, everyday shoes, I definitely prefer quality and comfort for my daughter.

After some initial missteps with uniform shoe shopping, I end up going back to Stride Rite to order quality school shoes for my daughter. I ordered the Carla, the classic Mary Jane, in navy.  I was lucky  to happen on a BOGO sale in early fall. My daughter has worn these shoes at least 3 days a week since September.  They have survived the normal wear and tear, as well as the daily abuse on the playground.  She hasn't yet outgrown them.

The Carla shoe is available in black, brown and navy in sizes from a Toddler 8.5 though a Girls 5 in regular, wide and extra wide. They are made with a leather upper.  The sole is flexible lightweight, rubber. The heel has padded collar for comfort. The Mary Jane style has an adjustable Velcro closure that is easy for little kids to do themselves.

What do I love about this shoe for my daughter?
  • It has held up to daily use and abuse.  The sole is still in good shape, the strap does not have any signs of tearing or unusual wear. The leather is holding up with no spots that have worn through or discolored.  
  • They don't stink.  Lets just say my daughter's socks come off her feet stinky and sweaty at the end of the day, but the shoes themselves aren't stinking up the place.
  • My daughter thinks they are comfortable and doesn't complain when I ask her to put on her school shoes.  
  • With the Velcro closure, my daughter can put these on herself and quickly get out the door for school. 
What don't I love about these shoes for my daughter?

The wear's impact on the color of the shoe.  I ordered the navy to match her navy pants and skirts.  When new, the navy color of the leather was never a deep navy blue, it was closer in color to a a mid blue.  And at this point, the wear is taking a toll on the color. Even though they are structurally in decent shape, they now appear dull and lifeless.

So I bought another pair of these in the next size up and put them away so we have them when we need them.  But now that I pulled them out of the closet to compare them with the ones she's been wearing all year, I realized that the extra pair I have is the Molly, not the Carla.  The Molly is another classic Mary Jane offered by Stride Rite.  When I compare them side by side, there is a subtle difference is the stitching pattern on the side of the shoe.  The leather appears different.  The Molly has a subtle shine to it.  The Carla that we bought in the fall of 2012 look almost suede.  I kind of wonder if  the Molly is the Outlet version of the Carla. I  dug through my receipts and found that I only paid $12.85 for them on sale at the Outlet store. Wow, If they hold up half as well as the Carla, I'll  brag about the great deal I got on these.

So would I buy the Carla again, yes.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons.   However, I am happy that we have a subtly different version for my daughter to try next.  I'll report back if these hold up any better or worse.  

So you tell me.  I know this is a very popular girls uniform shoe.  Please let me know how either shoe, the Carla or the Molly, has held up for your daughter.

The Carla is available directly from Stride Rite (online or in their stores and outlets), as well as other retailers including Amazon. They retail for $46.  Yea, I agree its kind of pricey, but it is worth it.  If you're on a tight budget, sign up for the Stride Rite Rewards program and look for the 30% off coupons or a BOGO sale.

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Below is a video from the Tootsies Stride Rite which highlights the features of the shoe.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Stride Rite for School Uniform Shoes - Retail Round Up Series

Stride Rite began in 1919 and has been known under the Stride Rite brand name since 1933.  They are known for quality children's shoes.  They carry several brands including Stride Rite, Robeez, Saucony, Keds, Speery Top-Sider, Jessica Simpson, and Kamik.  When you shop in one of their retail stores or their outlets, a Certified Fit Specialist will help you measure your child's foot and recommend which size and width to purchase.  Through the My Rewards loyalty program, you earn $10 for every $75 you spend.  You also get free shipping on orders over $35.  It is free to register.

Excerpts from the Stride Rite History:
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) grant of its Seal of Acceptance to several styles of Stride Rite's baby shoes, the first baby shoes in the industry to carry the Seal.
The entire collection, every single shoe, is created from an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how children walk and grow. Stride Rite studies have led to important breakthroughs and new technologies in children's footwear.
Returns can be made on items in their original condition in the original packaging with a receipt within 45 days of the original purchase.  Online orders must be returned by mail and shipping is at your expense.  They have simplified shipping charges for online orders:

  • $4.99 shipping on orders below $35
  • $6.99 shipping on orders below $75
  • free shipping on orders over $75

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saucony Radar LT LTT Sneakers, a Review

I have been buying my daughter's shoes at Stride Rite since her first pair of white leather baby shoes. I've become a big fan of the quality of their products.  We've had many pairs of sneakers from their stores over the past few years. She typically outgrows them before she wears them out. My daughter has wide feet, and I love that their inventory includes a good number of items in a wide width.

My daughter's school dress code requires that she wear navy, black or plain white sneakers on PE days. I normally shop at my local Stride Rite outlet store, but in this case I bought her school sneakers online for convenience.

The Saucony Radar LT LTT is available in solid white or black.  It comes in children's sizes in regular and wide widths.  It has a leather upper and a lace up closure. This model of sneaker does not seems to be available through Stride Rite anymore, however, they are still available through and the similar style with a Velcro closure is still available through Amazon in toddler and children's sizes.

The kids at her school have PE class twice a week, so she has worn these shoes at least 2 weekdays and normally on the weekends since September. I just had her foot measured to make sure, but her foot hasn't grown a measurable amount since the school year started.

How have they held up? Beautifully. Because they are leather, you can simply brush off the dirt and wipe them off every once in a while. While they are no longer "new" white, they are still recognizable as a white sneaker. The sole is still in tack showing normal wear on the bottom. The lining inside the shoe is worn, but not ripped up.

I'm now thinking ahead to summer camp where she is allowed to wear colorful sneakers and I have my eye on a pair in her favorite color. But the practical side of me thinks, Why? These sneakers still fit, they are still in great shape and she's not complaining about them.  We'll see if they make it through the spring and summer too.

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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.