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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Best Bets in Girls Shorts for School

Updated: This post was most recently reviewed and updated in 2017 to update links and ensure pricing is accurate.  This post was originally published in 2013 and is updated regularly.

Regular retail prices for the basic girls school uniform shorts range from $9 to $30. Based on my review, the target price is to find uniform shorts for under $15 per pair. When you are watching the Back to School ads or out shopping, when you find a pair that at or below that target price range, make the purchase with confidence that you've found a good sale price. 

Quality Features in Girls School Uniform Shorts:
  • Adjustable Waist
  • Stain Resistant
  • Wrinkle Resistant
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Best on a Budget-Girls

  • French Toast Bermuda Shorts Girls $14.98
    97% Cotton 3% Spandex. Adjustable Waistband.
    Imported. Machine wash.

    Best for Slim Fit

    Best for Plus Fit

    Monday, July 29, 2013

    Best Bets in Boys Shorts for School

    Regular retail prices for the basic boys school uniform shorts range from $9 to $30. Based on my review, the target price is to find boys uniform shorts for under $15 per pair. When you are out shopping, look for boys shorts to be priced at or below that target price range. There are several features that you should look for to ensure you've found a pair of quality shorts.  Look for features such as an adjustable waist to grow with your child during the school year, look for  items treated to be stain resistant and wrinkle resistant.

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    Best on a Budget - Boys

    • Target Cat and Jack Flat Front Boys Shorts $11.99
    • 60 %: Cotton, 40 %: Polyester.
      Machine Wash Cold. Adjustable Waistband.

    Best for Slim Fit-Boys

    Best for Husky Fit-Boys

    This post was updated in summer 2017. This post was originally published in 2013.  It is updated annually to reflect any changes in prices and features. 

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Best Bets for Kids Polo's for Back to School

    Update: All New and Updated for the 2017 Back to School Season!
    This post was originally published in 2013 and has been the most popular post in the Best Bests series on the Uniform Mom site over the years.  It is updated each summer to reflect changes is retailer pricing and availability. 

    So you're ready to start your back to school shopping?  Hold your horses until you've read my Strategic Plan for Back to School Shopping. Then, when you're ready to begin your comparison shopping, we've got you covered. This post is the first in a series called, Best Bets, which will feature comparisons from all of the major retailers on all your back to school basics.

    When it comes to Back to School Polos, you can find them everywhere. Regular retail prices for the basic school uniform polos range from $5.97 to $22. Based on my research, your target price is to buy uniform polos for under $10.When you are out shopping and you find one you like at or below that target price, make the purchase with confidence that you've found a good sale price.

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    Best Bets for those on a Budget

    If your on a tight budget, check out these options all regularly priced under $10.  Look for sales prices and coupons on these items to find a great deal.

    Walmart (Girls / Boys)

    The George brand polo (shown to the right) is regularly priced at $5.97. You can save can even more if you take advantage of the bundle offers of 2 packs, 3 packs or 4 packs. I agree with the positive reviews of these polos. The fabric and the quality of the shirts are great. They will hold up for the entire school year. Personally, we've only tried the white polo, but reviewers report that the color items will hold their color wash after wash.

    Fabric: cotton blend & treated with Scotchgard for stain protection.

    Girls Sizes: XS - XXL
    Girls Colors: White, Navy, Green, Burgundy, Black, Bright Green, Pink, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Red, Bright Yellow, Purple, Tangerine, Lemon

    Boys Sizes: XS - XXL, Husky M - XL (fewer colors)
    Boys Colors: White, Navy, Green, Burgundy, Black, Bright Green, Gray, Royal Blue, Light Blue, & Red, Bright Yellow, Purple, Tangerine, Lemon

    Cat & Jack Short Sleeve Polo (Girls / Boys)

    In summer 2016, Target launched the Cat and Jack brand of children's clothing which includes a school uniform collection. My criticism of the new uniform line is that the "nightfall" color is not a true navy.  It is a lighter shade of blue that may not pass inspection at schools with rigid uniform enforcement policies and procedures. If navy is the required color at your school, you might shop elsewhere. However, good news with the launch of the items in 2017. Some of the items in the uniform collection have been updated to a new color, "Navy Voyage", to better comply with required school uniform colors.

    We tested the girls short sleeve polo last school year and found the quality to be comparable to the Cherokee brand polos that they replaced.  They added additional colors this season.  The polos are competitively priced at $7, but are have been on sale for as low as $4.

    Fabric: 100% piqued cotton
    Girls Sizes: XS - XXL
    Colors: White, Navy, Green, Light Blue, & Red 
    Boys Sizes: XS - XXL
    Colors: White, Black, Red, Navy, Light Blue, Yellow, Blue, Green, Burgundy (boys only), Pink (girls only), Gold (girls only), Purple (girls only)

    This unisex pique polo is offered in 16 colors and is priced at $9.99.  In the past, I've seen them feature these on sale for as low as $4.99.

    Fabric: 60% cotton/ 40% Polyester.
    Sizes: Kids 4-16, Toddler, Juniors, & Mens
    Colors: White, Black, Red, Navy, Light Blue, Yellow, Royal Blue, Green, Burgundy, Pink, Gold, Purple, Jade, Gray, Orange, & Kelly Green.

    Old Navy (Girls / Boys)

    We've tried this brand of polo and found the quality comparable to others featured here. The polo is regularly priced at $9.94. Look for them to be featured on sale as low as $6.

    Girls Sizes: XS - XXL, L - XXL Plus
    Girls Colors: White, Navy, Hunter Green, Burgundy, Black, Pink, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Red, Purple, and Gray. Yellow, Bright Green and Bright Pink are no longer offered.
    Boys Sizes: XS - XXL, L - XXL Husky
    Boys Colors: White, Navy, Black, Purple, Hunter Green, Burgundy, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Red, Gold, Yellow (long sleeve only), Orange. Brown is no longer offered.

    Best Bets for Color Selection

    If the uniform dress code at your school allows for a variety in colors, there are a few retailers that carry a wide selection of color choices to brighten your wardrobe. The Best on a Budget option of the Walmart George Polos shown above offers 14 color options.  Below are some additional options:
    French Toast Unisex Pique Polo
    French Toast Unisex Pique Polo

    French Toast Unisex Short Sleeve Pique Polo (featured right) 

    This is a great brand for school uniform items.  Fair prices and good quality.  Available in 17 colors regularly priced at $10.98, and look for them to be featured on sale.

    Sizes: Toddler, Kids 4-20, Husky 10-20, &Teen
    Fabric: Cotton Polyester Blend
    Colors: Black, Light Blue, Burgundy, Navy, Royal Blue, Teal, Purple, Green, Kelly Green, Gray, Pink, Yellow, Orange  Red, and White.

    This polo retails for $18.00.  You can add a monogram or a school logo. You can read our full review of the Lands End interlock polo and we find these to be the softest of all the brands we've tried.  The quality is outstanding.

    Sizes: Little Kids 4 -7, Big Kids 7 - 20 and Adult
    Fabric: 100% cotton interlock
    Colors: Cobalt, Black, Light Blue, Burgundy, Navy, Purple, Green, Teal, Gold, Gray, Pink, Yellow, Orange  Red, and White.

    Girls' Active Polo - Red
    Lands' End Active Polo

    Best Bets in Active Polos

    Lands' End Active Polo (Girls / Boys)

    This polo retails for $30 and it is description states that it "draws moisture away from the skin for quick-drying comfort. The fabric also blocks out harmful UV rays and has an antimicrobial finish to help fight odors."

    Boys Sizes: 8-20; Little Boy Sizes 4 - 7
    Girls Sizes: 7-16; Little Girl Sizes: 4-7
    Fabric: 100% Polyester
    Colors: Red, Black, Classic Navy, and White

    French Toast Active/Sport Polo (Girls / Boys)

    This cheerfully priced option is only $11.98 for the girls Active Polo and $10.98 for the boys Sport Polo.

    Boys and Girls Sizes: 4 - 16
    Fabric: 100% Polyester Interlock
    Colors: White, Light Blue, Navy, and Red (boys only)

    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.

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Building a Boys School Uniform Wardrobe

    The following is a guest post by Amber Brown Vivis.  Amber is a working Mom of two boys ages 7 and 3.  She lives southwestern Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh.
    boy in uniform polo Microsoft Clip Art MP900442301
    Even though my son is in 2nd grade, this is my first year as a “uniform mom”. Last year our school board approved a new dress code that would go in to effect starting in the 2012-2013 school year. Students are now required to wear black, blue or brown/tan bottoms that fit around the waist and should not drag on the floor; kindergarten through 6th graders are permitted to wear jeans/denim. There also cannot be any more than 4 pockets – so no cargo pants. Shirts must have a collar and can be a solid color, plaid or striped, and could have a small emblem or logo on the upper front corner – sweaters are also permitted over the collared shirts. This was a big change from his usual “comfy” pants and t-shirts!

    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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    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Our Kindergarten Wardrobe

    Microsoft Clip Art MC900445730|Before I set out shopping for "uniforms" for my daughter's first year at public school, I came across a few articles that offered advice on back to school shopping for uniform kids. Since most of us do laundry weekly, they pointed out that you only need a weeks worth of clothes for each child.  I also learned you have to take into account the number of PE days your child has each week and to factor in a backup outfit (to leave in the school cubby or backpack, just in case of "an accident" or a mishap in art class or in the cafeteria). Next you have to account for the seasonal weather changes in your region. And finally, add in shoes and accessories.

    My daughter's school dress code is a full page of do and don't but it boils down to navy bottoms and a white shirt with a collar. No collar needed on PE days. I learned from a neighborhood Mom that for us PE is twice a week.
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    I printed out a copy of the school's uniform policy and made a list of the following items on my phone so I could checked things off as I found pieces for her new school wardrobe.
    • 2 pair of shorts
    • 2 pair of pants
    • 2 scooters
    • 2 pair of leggings (Yoga Pants and basic leggings)
    • 2 short sleeve t-shirts
    • 2 long sleeve t-shirts
    • 2 short sleeve polos
    • 2 long sleeve polos
    • 2 sweaters (a cardigan and a v-neck varsity)
    • 1 dress
    • PE shoes
    • navy or black shoes
    • a belt
    • bike shorts (for under the dress)
    • cuff socks, knee socks and tights

    While it was still warm, she could wear the shorts and t-shirts on PE days. The two other days she could wear skirts with short sleeve polos and a dress on another day to round out the week. As the summer turn to fall, we could stick with that routine but switch to knee socks instead of cuff socks. As fall turned to winter, we could change to long sleeve t-shirts and yoga pants or leggings for PE days. On non-PE days, she could switch up to long sleeve polos with pants or the skirts with tights. The sweaters could be used over the short sleeve shirts when she got cold due to the air conditioning inside during warm months and as another layer of warmth in the coldest months.

    Before I got started shopping, I went through her closet and dresser and crossed off items that we already owned that complied with the uniform dress code. She already had a few t-shirts and navy yoga pants that could be used on PE days. She also had a navy active skort and a few pairs of tights.

    This Pinterest board, Kindergarten Wardrobe Items, shows many of the item I found, and some I've purchased since. I couldn't find images for everything. And some items pinned in the wrong color, but you get the idea. In future posts, I'll share with you what I spent, what worked, what didn't and why.

    (photo used with permission from Microsoft)

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    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Lands' End Iron Knee Pants

    This picture was taken to commemorate the first day my daughter tied her shoes "all by herself". However, it also shows the dreaded knee patches that had become a signature accessory in her wardrobe during her last year of preschool. She blew out the knees on every pair of pants she owned. I don't know how, but she also managed to tear off or tear through the patches I'd iron on. By the end of the Spring, I'd found some success by ironing a patch on each knee on the inside of the fabric, as well as the outside of her pants. So when I saw a recent promotion for Land's End Little Boys' Pleat Front Iron Knee Blended Chino Pants - Classic Navy, I could relate.

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    This product was recently awarded the 2013 Good Housekeeping VIP (Very Innovative Products) Award. For boys, they offer these in a few styles that would like be acceptable for various uniform dress codes. The flat front chinos are available in little boy and big boy sizes for $30.

    For Girls, they are only offered in basic uniform pants in several styles and for jeans in toddler sizes, little girls sizes and big girl sizes 7 and 8. They retail for $34. Do you have a pair of these for your son or daughter? If so, please tell us what you think. I also found boys pants that seem to get at the same knee blow out issue by French Toast called Double Knee Pants.

    Friday, February 8, 2013

    Share with the Class

    As I mentioned, I'm the Mom of a Kindergartner at a public school with a uniform dress code, and I'm learning things from that perspective. And I fully acknowledge that I don't know it all.

    To that end, I invite you to share your experiences, advice and lessons learned, even if your opinions and perspectives differ from mine. Here are a few ways you can get involved: