Back-to-school time is almost upon us and it is time to start planning. One of the biggest markets for back-to-school shopping is clothing. New school wardrobes are a must for many students. Some schools require uniforms and an increasing number of schools are enforcing stricter dress codes than normal. Being aware of the general clothing limitations will help you highlight school appropriate clothing in order to increase sales.
In general, most school dress codes have regulations similar to these items:
- No clothing with rips, tears, or frays, even if they are part of the clothing design.
- Writing/branding is often discouraged, or should be minimal and non-offensive.
- All shirts should have sleeves and should be long enough to completely cover the torso.
- Cargo shorts and pants are banned in many schools.
- Shorts and skirts often need to fall between fingertip and knee length.
- Hats or other head coverings such as bandanas are forbidden.
- Shoes need to be fully fastened to the feet and many schools require closed toe shoes. Flip flops are usually not allowed and if heels are permitted, often they must be restricted to a 1" heel.
- Pants must be appropriately sized, should not hang off the body, and often must be a khaki or canvas type material, or plain (non-embellished) blue jeans.
- Other schools with uniforms tend to have items that can be purchased in retail stores, including:
- Solid color polo shirts. Often colors are limited to white and blue for boys, however, some schools allow other colors if they are school colors.
- Solid navy or khaki colored pants, long skirts or walking shorts.
- Leather belts.
- Solid colored tennis shoes or leather shoes.
We recommend researching the school districts in your area. Often, schools post their dress codes or uniform information on the school website. Then you can make sure that you carry items that are in compliance with the school dress code.
Once back-to-school shopping season begins, we recommend grouping clothing into outfits. Put all the uniform specific items together. Uniform items do very well on round racks or folded on tables because parents are looking for a specific size and will buy more than one of the same items. Make sure you stock multiples of each size and style.
For dress code items, 4-way racks work well. Put coordinating tops and bottoms together so that students can see an entire outfit put together. And then have other items that would coordinate with the same tops and bottoms nearby so that parents can maximize their budgets. Remember that this time of year can be stressful for students and parents alike. Stores are crowded, budgets are tight, and often this can lead to tantrums and fights. By displaying items in a manner that is conducive for parents and students to easily find what they need, you will sooth nerves and make your customers happy.