Public schools are requiring student uniforms more than ever before
As school uniforms become more common across the country, retailers are trying to capitalize on the trend.
According to the Deparment of Education, more than 40% of public schools and pre-schools now require uniforms, and 26% of students in the United States were wearing them last year, according to Prosper Insights and Analytics.
"When I first started with (JC Penney), of course it was just mainly your Catholic schools that were in uniforms," said Joe Cardemone, a JC Penney store manager. "It really wasn't the public schools at that point... From then to now it's a huge change."
The number of students wearing uniforms has increased 18% in the past 10 years. JC Penney isn't the only brand trying to meet student's new needs — Walmart, Target, and Amazon are selling their own brands of polo shirts, pleated skirts, and khakis, fitting children as young as 2 years old, and Old Navy has created "Uniform Hubs" in all of the brand's U.S. stores.
"The schools really let us know what colors they need and what fabrics they want," explained Cardemone.
According to school officials, uniforms help students fit in, and can reduce stress.
"By having consistent uniforms, it really gives children the opportunity to wake up in the morning and get prepared for school, and not worry about how they're going to be looked at or how they're going to be judged," said Chase Hardin, the director of operations at the ABC Montessori School.