More Public Schools Are Requiring Student Uniforms Than Ever Before—Here's Where To Buy Them

Back to school season is in full swing. Whether or not your kids are back yet, you likely started shopping well in advance. And one of the things you were buying? School clothes. Stocking up on new pants, tops and shoes can be a pain. But if your kid goes to a school with uniforms, it's usually a little easier. Uniforms are becoming the new normal for school kids, regardless of what type of school they attend. And because of this, more stores are getting into the business of selling uniforms.

More than 40 percent of public and preschool kids are wearing uniforms, according to the Department of Education. Last year, according to Prosper Insights and Analytics, 26 percent of kids were wearing uniforms. In the last 10 years, the amount of kids wearing uniforms has increased by 18 percent. So it makes sense that more places are looking to cash in on the growing trend.

"When I first started with (JC Penney), of course it was just mainly your Catholic schools that were in uniforms," JC Penney store manager Joe Cardemone explains to TODAY. "It really wasn't the public schools at that point... From then to now it's a huge change."

Since most uniforms are pretty much the same, polo shirts, skirts, and pants, regular retailers can sell the items. Saving parents the trip to specialty stores just for one thing. Going to a store like Target, who does sell uniform clothes both in store and online, you can get all your shopping done in one store.

Elegant cotton shirt and skirt. Girls new buttoned blue shirt and pleated skirt with belt for school, top view. Girls school uniform on sale.
Credit: iStock

And it's not just Target or JC Penney who are getting into the uniform game. Stores like Walmart have uniform sections too. Clothing giant Old Navy has created a whole uniform section in its stores. Even kid clothing retailers like The Children's Place and OshKosh have school uniform sections in stores and on their websites.

"The schools really let us know what colors they need and what fabrics they want," Cardemone says.

And it's true. If you go to any of these retailers, you can find just about any color shirts you need (blues and white are the most popular.) And since not every school requires khaki pants, you can find whichever color you need in a variety of styles. Target even has adaptive uniforms for toddlers and kids. As more schools begin to adopt uniform policies, more stores are likely to get involved.

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