French toast is our official provider of our uniforms. They have created an online store for us (note the logos in pictures are outdated–the French Toast Store has our new updated logos):
On the French Toast Site you can search by the name “Excelsior” or our unique store code: QS5EWSL or just click the blue button below:
Free shipping on orders of $100 or more!
Also, coupons and free shipping for French Toast are very frequently put out–nearly every week- just google “French Toast Coupon Code” and/or sign up to be on their email list
How to Use the Online Store
You will see a drop down menu where you can select your child’s gender and age. This will sort the store to show you only items permissible for that peer group.
Why Do We Wear Uniforms?
We love the uniforms at Excelsior- it adds a sense of formalness to what we are doing (not to mention they look so great in them!) Wearing uniforms conveys what we are doing is important. When we get dressed up in our uniforms it tells our brain this very thing. It’s the same reason we dress nice to go to a formal occasion, why we would dress nice to go to church, or to meet dignitaries and important people in government, kings and queens….the list goes on! If something is important we dress the part.
And so we have chosen some really stylish, and affordable uniforms, that set that tone of importance and also give us unity. We are unified in our efforts and unified in our dress. I think it’s also really awesome that the uniforms convey our school and state colors. It gives the children a sense of pride in our co-op as well as patriotism. We are proud to wear our states colors and live in Arizona, we are proud to be Americans, and we are proud to attend and participate in Excelsior Classical Homeschool Academy
Dress Code Policy
Hair – Hair should be brushed and worn neatly and out of face. Braids, pony tails, buns, etc are fine. No unnatural colors (pink etc).
Makeup and Nail Polish – Girls only can wear subdued-colored nail polish. Pre-K through 6th grade may not wear makeup. Makeup for 7th and up, if worn, should be natural and not detract from youthfulness.
Jewelry – Jewelry should be minimal and not distracting.
Tattoos – 18 years and older only, and must not be visible
Uniform – Shirts are to be tucked in at all times. Navy kick shorts or opaque tights need to be worn under the jumper or skirt at all times. When worn, knee socks are to be in place and not scrunched down.
Hair – Hair should be worn neatly (brushed or combed), conservative in style, no longer than mid-ear and worn above eyebrows/out of face, no unnatural colors. Facial hair is permissible if not a distraction and cut and kept neatly.
Earrings- Boys may not have earrings
Tattoos – 18 years and older only, and must not be visible
Uniform – Shirts should not be oversized. The shoulder seam should sit at the start of the shoulder cap. Shirts are to be tucked in at all times. Pants are worn with a belt and should not be oversized, too long, or worn low. Socks need to be in place (not scrunched down).
- Bold items available from French Toast, no substitutions unless indistinguishable.
- Non bold items are at times available from French Toast but as of lately have been out of stock, any that are available will be easily viewed and sorted in our Excelsior French Toast Store.
- Please note, if your child is in 6th grade but they have sized out of the K-6 clothing line they may order the 7th-12th grade uniforms.
- Embroidered Cardigans or Fleece Jackets (PreK-6th) or Blazers (7th+) are the official uniform outerwear for ECHA
- Uniforms are only required for JrK (4 years old) and above.
- JrK-6th White Modern Peter Pan Blouse (short sleeve AND/OR long sleeve)
- 7th-12th White Oxford Blouse with Princess Seams (short sleeve AND/OR long sleeve) with ECHA embroidery
- JrK-6th French Toast V-Neck Pleated Plaid Jumper in blue/red plaid
- 7th-12th Plaid Pleated Skort Item #1065 (hits just above knee), OR Plaid Pleated Skirt (hits at knee) OR Plaid Below the Knee Skirt
Tie: French Toast Adjustable Plaid Cross Tie, Blue and Red (JrK-12th)
Navy Blue Kick Shorts:
- PreK-6th REQUIRED
- 7th-12th OPTIONAL (if you order the Blue Plaid Two-tab skirt it comes with kick shorts built in, if you order the longer skirts they have no shorts built in.
- JrK-6th wear White Cable knit knee high socks – make sure they have the cable knit or it looks really different (seasonal changes: in cold weather girls may opt to wear thicker cotton cable knit white tights, if very cold they can wear white leggings underneath, they may not wear the leggings on TOP of their tights). Places I’ve purchased that have worked well:
- Target White Cable Knit Knee High Socks
- Jefferie’s brand on Amazon
- WINTER TIGHTS, white cable knit from Target
- 7th-12th wear Navy Blue Cable-knit knee socks and in winter Navy Blue Cable knit tights. Seasonal changes: they can wear leggings under their tights if cold, choose a color (ideally navy) that will not be seen through. They may not wear the leggings on top of their tights.
Shoes: Don’t get shiny ones – the will scuff up terribly on the playground, must be entirely black (no other colors)
- PreK-6th, Black Mary Jane styled shoes
- 7th-12th, Black Penny Loafer type shoes
Cold Weather Outer Layers:
- JrK-6th Anti-Pill Crew Neck Cardigan Sweater with ECHA embroidery
- JrK-6th Full Zip Microfleece Jacket with ECHA embroidery
JrK-12th V-Neck Sweater Vest with ECHA Embroidery (OPTIONAL – Can help to keep them warmer if desired)
Blazer: 7th-12th ONLY Classic School Blazer with ECHA Embroidery (This is part of the fun and special rite of passage the older children 7th+, whom we call “upper school.” During the opening ceremonies they will be inducted into the upper school and given their blazer. The school will pay for their first blazer as a gift to the upper school students. Please do pass those back to us if your child outgrows it and you end up buying a second blazer. We will pass those along to other students and use them for sizing).
Hair Accessories: Hair accessories are permitted so long as they look nice with the uniform, are tasteful, and not distracting. French Toast has at times carried lots of great matching navy hair accessories but in recent years they have discontinued them (they still do have the navy/white rosette headband pictured on the girls above for awhile until it sells out). If you want to try Etsy they have many cute accessories that match the uniform plaid exactly. I think our plaid is called PLAID 41 (you are looking for colors: blue, red, and yellow- no green present)
Try searching on Etsy for Plaid 41 or “blue, red, yellow school plaid headbands” etc
BOLD items are sold on French Toast:
- Boys Shirts: K-12 Short Sleeve Dress Shirt with Expandable collar AND/OR long sleeve oxford with ECHA embroidery
- Boys Bottoms: JrK-12th French Toast Flat Front Adjustable Waist Shorts AND/OR Adjustable Waist Double Knee Pants, Navy
- Boys Tie JrK-12th: French Toast Adjustable Plaid Tie, Blue and Red
- Belt: Reversible Dress Belt (any black dress belt with polished silver buckle is fine)
- Socks: JrK-12th Black Crew Socks – any black crew length socks are fine, Target has a lot of options for boys crew socks – just type it in search but here is one: Target Black Crew Socks (If your son get colds in winter they can wear boys dress socks under their pants which are much longer, nearly to knee).
- Shoes: Any black slip on style dress shoe or boat shoe is fine
- Sweater: JrK-6th Anti-pill Crew Neck Cardigan Sweater with ECHA embroidery (this item is not necessary until winter when sweaters are needed or may not be needed at all if your child won’t wear a sweater while at co-op)
- or Jacket: JrK-6th Full Zip Microfleece Jacket with ECHA embroidery
- V-Neck Sweater Vest JrK-12th Classic School Blazer with ECHA Embroidery (OPTIONAL -Can help to keep them warmer if desired)
- Blazer: 7th-12th Classic School Blazer with ECHA Embroidery
(The blazers are part of the fun rite of passage for the older children 7th+, whom we call “upper school”. During the opening ceremonies they will be inducted into the upper school and given their blazer. The school will pay for their first blazer as a gift to the upper school students. Please do pass those back to us if your child outgrows it and you end up buying a second blazer. We will pass those along to other students and use them for sizing).
TIPS for BOYS :
- If your son would like to wear tennis shoes to play in, bring them in a bag for recess time. The boys are required to wear black dress shoes during the school day. (this goes for girls too)
- Get the boys shirts long enough that they will be able to tuck in. Sleeves should typically go down to the elbow. That way the shirt is long enough at the waist too. Boys can keep squeezing into a shirt that doesn’t really fit them because they are lean enough, but the sleeves are getting shorter (half way up their arm) which is a sure sign it is too short at the waist and won’t stay tucked in.
- I will order a couple of the boys primary shirt sizes to have extras on hand in case you need to size up mid year.
- Make sure you have the right size tie. If you son is wearing size 16 shirts but is 9 years old–do not buy the 8-10 tie. He needs the tie that goes up to size 20. Match the tie to the shirt size. And same for the reverse. Don’t get a giant tie on a little boy hoping to get many years of wear out of it. It looks like a clown tie on a little boy. The ties are cheap and there is always plenty of them going around to swap out.
Recess Wear /”Gym Clothes”
Recess wear was requested to be added into the store again this year. We did have recess wear in 2020-2021, French Toast used to let us screen print the active wear one by one but now they set the minimums at 100 per size so we won’t have our logos on it anymore.
I will tell you that none of the kids ever wanted to change into it. I think they tried it once and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to go into the bathroom, change, put it all in a duffle bag, store the bag somewhere, and then do it all again in 45 min. I bought the recess wear for every member of our family (including for myself and my husband Derek) and it was great quality, we still wore the recess wear to PE and around the house, but none of my kids (nor the other students) ever seemed to want to take the time to change each week.
If you do want to try recess wear….
The kids can bring a gym bag with tennis shoes and recess wear. I will have the recess/gym wear added to our personal store hopefully by June 1 (they don’t have to be in the store for you to add them to the cart. There won’t be any logo on them. This is the link https://www.frenchtoast.com/co-ed-closed-mesh-short/p/1682?
But essentially it is a navy pair of basket ball type gym shorts and a white cotton tee. Feel free to get them elsewhere if they are indistinguishable.
tshirt: a white cotton tshirt (I’m not seeing any white tshirts on French Toast–they are discontinuing a lot of items looks like)
- They must change back into uniform, including dress shoes, by 12:55pm, ready for afternoon classes (if you are staying for the afternoon).
- Girls are not allowed to just take off their jumper and play in their “kick shorts”/bloomer shorts (consider the those to be underwear). They cannot be short track shorts, tight biker shorts, etc. Basketball shorts tend to be baggier (they don’t hug bottoms so tight) and fall at the knee or just above.
- If boys take off their ties during recess they must have them back on shirts tucked in by 12:55.
- For safety kids can’t go barefoot. They can bring tennis shoes if they prefer play shoes at recess.
Coupon Codes and Sales
French Toast often has coupon codes available, that can be found through a search on Google. Also get on their email list.
For questions regarding uniforms, please contact us
Q: Do I have to order through French Toast? Can I just get the clothes at _____ store?
The answer to this question is it would need to be indistinguishable. You will find the French Toast prices are very reasonable for the excellent quality of clothes. I’ve read nothing but rave reviews about the quality. People say the clothes really hold up to kids wear and tear. And only meeting one day per week you won’t need more than one outfit. Look online for coupon codes in google. $100 orders ship free.
So as for finding uniform items at another store–You might be able to find shorts and pants that are indistinguishable (check for belt loops, pockets, no cargo pockets, etc, match it to the picture, color needs to be identical too). But some items just won’t work–such as the oxford shirts, cardigans and blazers will have our logo embroidered on. The peter pan collared shirt goes under the JrK-6th jumper so it won’t have any embroidery but it can be difficult to find (it’s more of a rounded collar). The exact jumper or skirt may be impossible since I think French Toast is actually the manufacturer of the uniforms.
Shoes, socks, pants, belts are easy. Look at the items in the online store and you can look for ones that are indistinguishable.
Amazon has been carrying French Toast clothes. Costco around school time will carry the French Toast pants in a 2-pack.
Our French Toast School Box Store Link: https://www.frenchtoast.com/schoolbox/schools/excelsior-classical-homeschool-academy-QS5EWSL
Or when you are on the site you can search with our code: QS5EWSL
Q: Do They Really Need Winter Clothes in AZ?
Yes, they definitely do. We are outside a lot at co-op and some days it is really windy and chilly. It even snowed 2021 at cottage school in January! Please order the long sleeve shirts AND an embroidered outerwear garment. Kids will complain to teachers about being cold if you don’t. Some days you just really need a long sleeve and an outerwear garment – especially kids who feel cold more than we adults. Once winter hits in they’ll wear their long sleeves every day, and when it is cold (like in the mornings the sun will just be coming up, or we can have some windy, chilly days) they will definitely need an outerwear garment in addition to long sleeves. If they will be wearing their outwear garments on inside then it has essentially become their uniform. Please be sure to purchase a cardigan (lighter and dressier) or the fleece (soft and warmest).
Of course, boys will need pants, and girls will need cable knit tights (white for lower grades and navy for upper school girls). If your daughter is prone to get cold, she can wear leggings or long johns under the tights but not on top. The tights should have the cable knit look (just like their socks). Boys can wear dress socks under their pants (they are longer than crew socks, they go to the knee) or long johns under pants if they get very cold.
Q: Where Do I Get Tights?
Target for white, amazon for navy is where I have purchased mine. Please see above for exact links on where you can find tights, socks etc.