Aug 8, 2011

Uniformly Cheap – and Chic

By Phyllis Furman, New York Daily News

NERDY NO MORE, school uniforms are finding their way into kids' closets–even when they're not part of the dress code.

More parents are looking at these conservative blazers, polos and khakis as a way to dress their kids for less.

"Parents are seeing the durability of uniforms and they like the look of them" said Michael Arking, president of New York-based uniform company FrenchToast.com. "They are saying this is inexpensive and easy. it's get up and go"

Arking said he expects French Toast's sales to be up 5% to 8% this year, in part ebcuase of the growing popularity of school uniforms.

For $120, parents can buy their kids a mini wardrobe–11 French Toast items–for $120 dollars, he said.

Luckily, fashion trends are working in parents' favor. "Harry Potter" and "Gossip Girl" have elevated uniforms to chic status. Mommy bloggers are touting French Toast blazers as a go-to item for special occasions.

W magazine even published a photo shoot pairing French Toast blouses with Hermes and Chloe.

"Its cool to wear school uniforms. We are fashion forward," Arking said. "We have fashion elements, like a puff sleeve or a better cut of polo, but our clothes are not revealing."