Showing posts with label Wardrobe Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wardrobe Review. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Boys School Uniform Wardrobe for Under $100

Each fall, parents everywhere purchase new clothing, accessories and school supplies for their children.  Estimates vary wildly on how much we spend each year. According to the National Retail Federation's Back-to-School Spending Survey conducted in 2015 by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 planned to spend $217 on clothing and accessories., excluding shoes.  I recently got an email from a reader that got me wondering if you could get an entire school uniform wardrobe for half of that national average.

Q - "I am on a very tight budget.
Where can I get the best deal on school uniforms for my son?"

I learned her son is a second grader at a school with a casual uniform policy that requires basic khakis and polos in solid colors.  Many national retailers now carry school uniform items these days and all of them have great sales where you can regularity snag uniform clothing items for less than half of their regular retail price.  But if you are pressed for time and don't have time to shop the sales, I'd recommend you place an online order with Walmart.

Walmart offers school uniforms at one of the lowest price points in all of the major uniform clothing items that we track in the Best Bets Series.  If you shop online, you can order only what you need and avoid getting distracted with an impulse buy in the store. While they carry several brands, we've personally had good success with their George brand uniform items.  The quality held up for an entire school year and my daughter found the fabric very comfortable. 

I reviewed the website and mocked up this sample order for our reader's son. Check it out! All of the basics for a school wardrobe designed to last an entire school year for under a 100 bucks!

Sample Boys Uniform Wardrobe from Walmart

Item Quantity  Total Price 
Short Sleeve Polo 4
Long Sleeve Polo 2
Sweater 1
Pants 4
Shorts 2
Jacket 1
Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt 1

This order takes advantage of Walmart's uniform bundles where the quantity is more than one. I am a big fan of how Walmart offers these bundles. They  allow you to take advantage of the lowest price on items you need multiples of anyway.  The coolest part about their bundling, it that it allows flexibility to vary the items in the bundle with color of the item or even the size.  For example, you can get 4 polos in 4 different colors and 2 pairs of pants (one navy and one khaki).  If you think your child might have a growth spurt halfway through the year, you can order 2 pair of pants in their current size and 2 in the next size up.

By virtue of this exercise, I learned that it is possible to get a full wardrobe of school uniform for half of what most spend on a back to school shopping. You might be able to find a similar items at another retailer if you catch their best sale, but you cant beat the prices for the quality, ease and convenience on this George brand wardrobe from Walmart.

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, April 15, 2015

8 Steps for School Uniform Wardrobe Refresh

Warmer temperatures means its time to dig out those Spring clothes and put away the heavy Winter sweaters and coats. Save yourself from any unnecessary morning craziness by reorganizing the kids wardrobe this weekend.

Here are 8 Steps for a Spring Wardrobe Refresh:
  1. Do laundry first. It doesn't make sense to do this task twice, so get the laundry done so all clothes are ready to be sorted.
  2. Dig out any seasonal items that you may have put away from last year or if you received a bag of hand me down items from a friend. Sort through those items and pull out any Spring items in your child's size. Launder them, if needed.
  3. Take everything out of the dresser drawers. Pile the clothes on the bed. This will keep you from overlooking items by forcing you to touch everything. Dust out the dresser drawers while they are empty.
  4. Pack away the winter items like heavy sweaters and outerwear like coats, hats gloves, and scarves if they meet these two criteria.
    a) Does that item have some useful like left in it? And
    b) Will your child be able to fit in it again next season.

    If the answer is "no" for either question, put it aside in the donation pile.
  5. Sort the clothes organizing like items. Phys Ed clothes, long sleeve t-shirts, short sleeve t-shirts, shorts and bottoms, pajamas, accessories, and activity/sports uniform items. Pull out items that your child has outgrown. Fold items neatly and put them back in the dresser.
  6. Next, open the closet and pull out outgrown items. Reorganize by putting like items together. Sort uniform items from non-uniform clothing. Tops, Sweaters, Skirts, Dresses, Pants, and coats.
  7. The only items remaining item should be in your donation pile. Pack up uniform items with useful life left in them for the school uniform exchange program. Pack up the remaining items in a large trash bag and take them out to the car so you can drop them in the local Goodwill bin when you are out doing regular errands.
  8. Review your progress and spot check against the Uniform Mom Printable Shopping Lists. Make a list of key uniform items that need replacing to get through the next season.
Image Source (Public Domain).

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mid-Year School Uniform Wardrobe Review

Many retailers are offering their annual sales on school uniform items, so its a great time to take a look at the state of your child's wardrobe and make needed updates. Here is your homework assignment for you to complete over the next few days:

  • Has your child grown since the school year started?  If so, check if his/her pants might be looking a bit too short and his/her shirts just won't stay tucked in? 
  • On laundry day, take a bit of extra time to inspect the uniform items.  Do you see any holes, loose threads or stains?  Are any items showing signs of wear on the cuffs or along the hemline?  
  • Hold up the white shirts to a newer white shirt.  If it now appears yellow, it might need special attention in the laundry cycle or need replacing all together.
  • Don't forget to sort through the socks and underwear drawer too.  Get rid of items that your child has outgrown and toss out any socks that with holes or ones that no longer have a mate. 
  • Mend or alter any items that still have some wear left in them.
  • Make a list of items that need replacing.
Before you rush out to the stores, be sure to check out Uniform Mom's latest Weekend Shopping Guide to check the latest sales and coupon codes.  

(photo used with permission from Microsoft)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Video Pick :How to Rock a Uniform

Here is another recent video you can share with your tween or teenage daughter. It's from @Madisradd, or Madison.  According to her YouTube page, she is 17 years old and lives in Virginia.  Her channel features many crafty DYI projects. In this video, she shows ideas on how you can "Rock a Uniform".


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The perils of a Hebrew Day School Education: Uniform Edition

The following is a guest post submitted by A. O’Reilly.  She is a Jewish mom with a little girl in preschool. They live in Canada (which explains the spelling variations that our American readers will notice). She runs a blog on Jewish culture and arts, called The Flying Shtetl

Much like many Catholic parents, Jewish parents who chose to send their children to religious schools do so because they are interested in having a substantial part of the curriculum contain references to the tenets of their religious belief, and in the case of Jewish schools, to Jewish holidays and practices that in the public setting are often condensed into ‘oh and then there’s Chanukah’ with a token dreidel or menorah on the classroom bulletin board.

Unlike in the USA, in Canada, Catholic schools are part of the ‘public’ school district. They are tax supported and free.  Jewish, Islamic, and private Christian schools do not fall under this umbrella, and the tuition at these schools can be extremely high. In other words, if you decide to send your child to a Hebrew Day School and you aren’t independently wealthy or you have more than one child, look to be making some sacrifices or investigating serious budgeting. And in addition to tuition and other extras (a 3 week trip to Israel anyone?), there are, of course, uniforms.

My child is currently a pre-schooler at a Hebrew Day School that includes preschool, junior and senior kindergartens, and grades 1-9. By the way, yes we’re Jewish, despite the surname. It’s a wonderful school. Very small class sizes (1/3 to 1/4 of the public average), lots of personalised attention, a schedule that rotates round Jewish holidays allowing less school days missed, and most important of all, an impressive, knowledgeable, friendly faculty and staff, dedicated to sharing Jewish culture, history, community, and values like chesed (respect) and tzedakah (charity) to all students. I love it. I love it. Did I mention I love it?

But what about uniforms? Since that’s what this blog is about, let’s talk uniforms, shall we? Personally, I love our uniforms, just like I love our school. They’re classy and smart. My kid looks like a doll in them and begs to put them on every morning. But, they are expensive. This year our basic outlay for uniforms was over $800 Canadian. That’s about $775-$780 in US dollars, before shoes. For a pre-schooler. Yikes.

All the pieces are logoed and must be purchased from a single provider located in another province, so there’s no shopping around. There are benefits and negatives to this.

Negatives? Did I mention I spent over $800? And that’s before we started losing socks and modesty shorts to the laundry monster, in week one, and realised that 2 formal tops and 2 daily wear tops weren’t going to cut it unless I wanted to be a slave to the washing machine.

Positives? All the kids uniforms are exactly the same, from top to socks. There’s no brand recognition, better or poorer quality, or anything else to set the kids apart. In fact, the uniforms are of outrageously good quality, which means if you have younger kids coming up in the school, you’re probably going to be set for a few years.

There were no numerical requirements for each item, but we are required to have at least one formal wear outfit, consisting of the pinafore, oxford, and cardigan or the kilted skort/kilt, oxford, and vest, regulation navy knee socks or tights, and black shoes and a daily wear option. Here’s an accounting of our beginning of year outlay and our first add-on order. I used Canadian dollars, but the US rate is currently close enough that it’s comparible.

  • 2 formal oxford shirts with school logo on sleeve, short sleeved ($26.50x2 = $53.00)
  • 2 polos, school logo on chest, short sleeved (24.75x2 = $49.50)
  • 2 tunic pinafores (Americans would call them jumpers), pleated, dark navy (42.00 x2 = $84.00)
  • 2 skorts, navy, pleated skirt in front style (25.50x2 = $51.00)
  • 2 cardigans, dark navy, school logo on chest (53.00 x2 = $106.00)
  • 1 vest, dark navy, school logo on chest (41.00 x1 = $82.00)                           
  • 1 polar fleece full zip jacket, logo on chest (40.00 x1 = $80.00)
  • 1 half zip sweatshirt, dark navy, school logo on chest (29.00 x1= 29.00)
  • 3 pair navy knee socks (6.00 x3 = $18.00)
  • 2 pair navy tights (12.00 x2 = $24.00)
  • 3 pair black modesty shorts, i.e. bike shorts basically (12.00 x3 = $36.00)

The polos and oxfords also have long sleeve options, but I chose short sleeved because my kid is always hot and thought with the cardigan plus long sleeves, she would be boiling. There is also a kilt option, and above grade 6, a plaid kilt and matching tie. Preschool and kindergarten girls can also wear trousers, but my kid likes the skirts. The trousers are dark navy, flat front, and cost $38.00 per pair. There is also a ‘rugby’ pant for this age group, unisex, which appears no different from the trousers other than the presence of a waist tie instead of a zip fly. These will run you $25.00 per pair. I’m not sure what the huge price discrepancy is. Maybe the button and zipper are made of gold. Ha ha!

Also required were trainers/gym shoes with non-skid soles (full gym kit not required until grade 1), and black or dark navy school shoes. For this I chose a pair of black converse with white bottoms ($31.99), and Lelli Kelly brand Mary Jane style shoes in black ($85.00).

  • 5 pair dark navy socks (6.00 x5 = $30.00)
  • 3 pair modesty shorts (12.00 x3 = $36.00)
  • 1 extra kilted skort ($25.50)
  • 1 long sleeve polo, logo on chest. ($24.75)

Then there’s tax (about 55.00 for the two orders) and shipping ($16.00)

Total: $884.75 (OMG) of which $799.75 was official wear, i.e. before the shoes, but I wanted good quality leather that would stand up to heavy wear.

How do I feel about this? 

First of all, broke. 

Second of all, not looking forward to grade 6 and above, when the price of the tartan kilts is $82.00 and there’s the addition of several ties at $16.00 each. That’s in today’s prices of course. In 6 years, who knows what they’ll be.

Third of all, however, I’m very thankful that I didn’t have to purchase any school supplies other than a backpack and lunch box, which my daughter already had. I ordered a tiny kid’s backpack from Germany. It wasn’t any more expensive than buying them here and they are the perfect size for a little one.

How does this fit into the big picture? If you want your kid to have a parochial education, especially a Jewish one, expect to pay. While the Jewish community does have some bursaries to help with tuition, there is no uniform assistance. It’s pretty much assumed that if you got in and your tuition is paid, the uniforms are a minor expense. Is it worth it? Hebrew Sunday schools or other after school or weekend programmes at synagogues can be very good and create a good sense of community, but there’s something about a full day school education that really instils Jewish values and reinforces community in a way that supplementary schools can’t. But, parents who can’t afford the tuition, the fees, the volunteer time, and the uniforms, can be blocked from this opportunity.

Do parents of parochial school children in the US face these same challenges? Or is the cost of a private education just not worth it? For me the answer is yes, it is. But I can see a lot of parents who would say no, or who sadly, would want to take advantage of the school, but simply cannot.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Video Pick: How to Glam Up Your School Uniform

Here's another video pick.   This one's from beccaaslipglosslove where she shows us her ideas on how to glam up a school uniform.  The description of her video states the following:
"I know that not all schools that have a uniform will allow these changes but this is what I have found I can do at my school. If you know you can not do certain things with your uniform, don't do it. This is for people that have a uniform and can't find ideas. I hope it helps somebody. :)"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Video Pick: Transform Your School Uniform

This video is by Michelle Phan, the "Beauty Guru" with a huge following on You Tube. She says "School uniforms don't have to be such a drag anymore. This video will show you how to dress up your boring garbs. Have fun and express your style while still following school rules!"  Using her little sister as a model, she demonstrates  how you can dress up your school uniform with accessories.

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. ;)

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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.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to School Shopping Finds from Our Closet

Following my own advice in the A Strategic Plan for your Back to School Shopping post, I got out all of my daughter's school clothes mid summer as the Back to School shopping season started and sorted through them. To start off a new donation pile, I pulled out a few T-shirts that are now too small and dug out the scooter that shrunk earlier last year.  And then I made her try on everything that was left over from last school year.  It took a good 30 minutes of on and off, but it sure was time well spent.  We found a few more items that were too small, but most still fit fine.  Here's a list of items we found that still fit and are in decent enough condition to begin the school year:

2 pair of Pants
2 pair of Shorts
2 Skirts
4 T-Shirts for PE days
4 Short Sleeve Polos
2 Long Sleeve Polos
2 Sweaters
2 Bike Shorts
3 Blouses
A long sleeve and a short sleeve Polo Dress.
A bunch of Scooters we acquired last year that are still too big.

Feeling pretty fortunate that we already have a decent school wardrobe, I then made a list of additional items to pick up:

  • A new sweater realizing that she lost a navy one at some point last year. 
  • New pants in the same size as the ones she already has simply because the existing ones are showing  wear and won't last the year.  
  • New shoes; she'll need both new sneakers and Mary Janes. 

I packed up a small bag of items for the uniform exchange program and one bag for the local clothing donation bin.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Best Bets on Boys Sweaters for School

Updated: This post was reviewed and updated in Fall 2017 to update links and ensure pricing is accurate.

Regular retail prices for a boy's sweaters range from $14 to $30. While watching the Back to School ads, your target price for a boy's sweater is under $20. If you find this item at or below that price, make the purchase with confidence you found a good deal.

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Thanks for Supporting Uniform Mom 

George Boys'
 Zip Up Sweater
Walmart George Boys' Zip Up Sweater  $14.97
100% acrylic. Machine Wash Cold. Imported.

French Toast Anti-Pill V-Neck Cardigan Sweater $21.98
Acrylic. Imported. Machine wash.
      Children's Place Boys Uniform Long Sleeve Mock Neck Zip Sweater $24.47
      Made of 60% cotton/40% acrylic in a sweater knit.
      Rib-knit mock neck, sleeve cuffs and banded hem.

      Old Navy carries all three styles of boys sweaters in 100% cotton.
      Machine wash. Imported.
      • Boys V-Neck Sweaters $22.94
      • Boys Button-Front V-Neck Cardigans $24.94
      • Boys Zip-Front Sweaters $24.94

      Related Posts:

      Friday, August 9, 2013

      Back to School Uniform Challenge - Boy's Public School Wardrobe for Kindergarten

      This is the second in a series of posts from the Back to School Uniform Challenge. Participants completed a survey with basics information, including the back to school shopping budget.  It was my job to find and recommend options that fit the dress code, the kid, and the budget.

      Meet Finn

      Finn will be attending Kindergarten this year at a public school. He is average size for his age. 

      The Budget

      The average cost on uniforms for school is $249 (per Statistics Brain), but Finn's Mom has budgeted a bit higher than average, $400 for a full year's wardrobe, including extras like a new backpack and lunchbox.

      The Climate

      At the time Finn's Mom completed the information in the Uniform Challenge, Finn was scheduled to attend a school in Georgia with a uniform dress code.  Over the summer plans changed, and Finn's family just relocated and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. The climate is mild there.  Not too hot in the summers and not too cold in the winters. There is no uniform dress code at Finn's new school so this wardrobe offers more flexibility than most.

      The Recommended Wardrobe

      For basic polo tops, I'm going to recommend she pick up a few Izod polos from JCPenney and two long sleeve  interlock polos from French Toast.  Boys oxford shirts can work for school or other dress up occasions.  French Toast offers great pricing on these in both the short and the long sleeve versions.  

      Finn's Mom reported that he previously blew out the knees on his pants for preschool, so I'm going to recommend he try both Land's End Iron Knee pants and the French Toast's Boys Double-Knee pants.  Since they are at two different price points, maybe she can report back to us any differences they notice in quality and wear during the school year. Since the climate is mild, I'll recommend Boys Izod shorts to use in the fall and spring.

      Again because of that mild climate, he is unlikely to need a winter coat.  The mornings can be chilly, so a few sweaters and hoodies would come in handy.  Old Navy has a cute zip up, a pullover and a hoodie. French Toast carries a reasonably priced water resistant fleece lined jacket.

      Given that there is room in the budget, I'd recommend quality Stride Rite shoes.  For basic school shoes, Finn can try the Harpin Oxford.  For basic everyday sneakers, the Cooper Lace.  It also comes in a Hook and Loop version if Finn prefers the convenience of a velcro closure.

      As I've mentioned before, French Toast carries boys accessories at a great price.  So when ordering the other items recommended above, add in the reversible dress belt and a boys tie to the order.  

      To round out the back to school essentials  Finn will need a backpack and a lunchbox. Lands' End backpacks are known for quality and I like that they carry backpacks in smaller sizes for the littler kids.  The Solid ClassMate Small Backpack would be a perfect fit for Finn's slim frame. Because his Mom is eco-minded, I''ll recommend she get started on the right track with the EcoLunchbox Three- in-One.

      So here's how the recommended options break down for a boys wardrobe for public school:

      Unit Price
      Total Price
      $29 ea
      15 ea
      10 ea
      8 ea
      10 ea
      Stride Rite Cooper Lace Sneaker

      Thursday, August 1, 2013

      Back to School Uniform Challenge - $200 Budget for a Boy's Public School Wardrobe

      This is the first in a series of posts from the Back to School Uniform Challenge.  Participants completed a survey with basics information, including the back to school shopping budget.  It was my job to find options that fit the dress code, the kid, and the budget.

      Meet Noah

      He is in 3rd grade and lives outside Pittsburgh, PA.  He attends public school with a dress code that requires pants or jeans and a collared shirt which can be solid, striped or plaid.  Noah's Mom, Amber, did a guest post for us last fall.  She told us that it is hard for her to find school clothes for him because he is tall and thin. Amber told us that she previously found school pants for Noah at Nordstrom's which were more expensive than she wanted to pay.

      The Budget

      The average cost on uniforms for school is $249 (per Statistics Brain), but Amber challenged me to find a full wardrobe with a budget of $200.  

      The Climate

      Near Pittsburgh, they experience all four seasons. When the kids head back to school in the fall, the weather soon turn to what I call 'football weather'. This is reflected in the dress code which doesn't allow for shorts. Pants year round for these boys.  Winters in Pittsburgh can be cold and snowy. For the most part, it doesn't begin to get summertime hot until after the kids are out of school for the year.

      The Recommended Wardrobe

      So given his slim frame and her tight budget, I looked for discount store that carry a slim fit.  I'm going to recommend she try George brand boys pants in a slim fit from Walmart.  Another option is French Toast which carries slim boys pants with an adjustable waist and a double knee. Since Noah is allowed to wear jeans to school, I'd recommend Amber snag one or two pair when she catches a sale.

      For tops, I'm going to recommend Walmart again, the George Boys Polo 4 pack of short sleeve shirts. We have the long sleeve version for my daughter which is soft and has held up wonderfully (read more on the George Polo here).  When shopping online, you can select different colors and still take advantage of the bundle price.  They carry a choice of 14 colors.  For winter, I'll recommend the 2 pack of long sleeve George polos. Again, you can mix up the colors.  B
      oys oxford shirts can work for school or other dress up occasions.  French Toast offers great pricing on these in both the short and the long sleeve versions.  

      Rounding out the wardrobe, I'll recommend a basic sweater which can be worn over polos when the weather turns colder. The budget friendly option in a nice cotton fabric is the v-neck sweater from the Children's Place. Another option from Walmart is a boys zip up in acrylic.  

      French Toast carries boys accessories at a great price. So when ordering the pants and oxfords recommended above, add in the reversible dress belt and a boys tie to the order.

      Lastly for shoes, Payless offers some of the most budget friendly options I've seen.  Loyal Uniform Mom readers know of my bias for shoes with a leather upper, and not "Man Made Materials". Payless offers many options in boys school shoes, but only one lace up dress shoe in leather.  They also carry Champion boys sneakers.  

      So here's how the recommended options break down for a wardrobe for a slim boy at a public school:

      2 at $11.99 ea
      Crazy 8 Straight Jeans (Reg $19.95)
      Total Back to School Spend on Clothing

      Overall, this is a pretty good haul for under $200! There are 5 bottoms, 8 shirts, a sweater, 2 pair of shoes and accessories.With a tight budget, Amber can carefully sort through any items from last year that might carry into this year. If she finds some, she can then cross those items off this suggested list and instead buy additional sweaters, jackets, snow boots, backpack or lunchbox that might need replacing for this school year.