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Boro tops city average in cost of boys’ uniforms

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As school opened, the cost of the cheapest school uniforms for boys in Queens stores surveyed by the city Consumer Affairs Department exceeded the city average by a few dollars, but girls' uniforms kept pace.

New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jane Steiner Hoffman said the latest school uniform price survey covered 23 stores in the five boroughs, including five in Queens.

Agency inspectors collected price information for the highest and lowest priced standard school uniforms garments in children's sizes 4 to 20.

The boys' wardrobe included a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt, double knee pants, a cardigan sweater and a tie. The girls' wardrobe consisted of a long sleeve blouse a short sleeve polo, a skort (skirt and shorts combined), a pleated skirt, a cardigan sweater and a snap-on tie.

The survey found the cost for the boys' wardrobe made up of the lowest cost items ranged from $29.41 at Bunnies Youth Center at 100 Delancey St in Manhattan to $84.91 at Ideal Department Store at 1816 Flatbush Ave., in Brooklyn - a difference of $55.50.

Prices of girls' wardrobe consisting of the lowest cost items ranged from $29.41 at Bunnies Youth Center in Manhattan to $67.91 at Cookies Department Store at 166-21 Jamaica Ave., in Queens. - a range of $38.50.

Costs since 2000 were up for both boys' and girls' uniforms - $57.82 for boys, up 2 percent from last year, and $51.91 for girls, up 7 percent from 2000.

The lowest-priced uniform for boys in Queens was at Happy Days Children's Wear at 56-40 Myrtle Ave. at $52.91 compared with the lowest price in Staten Island of $67.91 at Charlie's Clothing.

In terms of bargains for girls, Youngworld of Jamaica at 163-01 Jamaica Ave. charged the best price in Queens at $52.91 for a uniform vs. the lowest Staten Island price of $59.91 at Charlie's Clothing.

The city Board of Education estimates that 420,000 public elementary schoolchildren in 518 of the city's 692 elementary schools wear uniforms. Uniforms are not mandatory in city elementary schools. Schools and parents can "op-out" of the uniform policy.

The New York Roman Catholic Archdiocese said about 158,000 parochial schoolchildren wear uniforms.

The Consumer Affairs Department listed the following 2001 average school uniform prices:

Bronx: Girls $47.66, Boys $56.49;

Queens: Girls $57.91, Boys 64.75

Staten Island: Girls $59.91, Boys $67.91

Brooklyn: Boys $53.29, Girls $57.41

Manhattan: Girls $42.08. Boys $44.74.

Other Queens stores surveyed and the price they charged for uniforms:

Chooze It International 58-19 Myrtle Ave. Girls $57.91, Boys $63.91.

Bunnies Department Store, 30-33 Steinway St. Girls $56.92, Boys $62.94.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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