Uniforms play a significant role in our subconscious relationship with brands and businesses. Some great examples of this are the iconic red outfits worn by Virgin Atlantic staff and the straightforward green aprons Starbucks employees wear.
But far too frequently, businesses prioritise interiors, branding, and logos over attire, and treat uniforms as an afterthought. Nevertheless, if you ask the CEOs of some of the world’s most successful companies, they’ll tell you that choosing uniforms is a crucial task that should be given time and consideration.
That said, if you want to join the biggest players in the business, you need to pay attention to all aspects of your company image, including the way your employees are dressed. So, without further ado, here are the steps to building a chic and functional wardrobe for your staff.
Get Inspired by the Work Setting
Just as you would look for outfit ideas when building your personal wardrobe, you also need to get some inspiration when choosing functional and fashionable uniforms.
And here’s a great tip: Start looking for workwear inspiration in your closest surroundings.
In other words, think about your workplace environment first, and note the design of the interior. Is it an urban industrial-style café interior? In that case, sturdy leather or denim aprons and shirts and trousers in khaki, olive or grey tones will perfectly match the warehouse feel of the space.
Or are you running a modern marketing company and want your employees to emulate a trendy look with fashionable uniforms? Then check out some other marketing agencies and see what they wear to get a sense of the trends in the industry.
If you can’t get inspired by any of this, the best option is to try to emulate the look of your brand logo. What kind of colours does it feature? Try to build your workwear palette around that.
Design with Your Staff in Mind
Don’t forget to choose designs that also appeal to the people wearing them and fit their needs. Look at your employee demographic. Does it make up mostly Millennials or do you have a bunch of style-savvy Gen-Z’s? Perhaps your team is a mix of older and younger people? Be sure to pick clothes that everyone on the team will feel good in and be proud to wear.
If you have younger people working for you, you need to understand that for many of them, individual expression is important. So, don’t try to cover it up. Give them a set of pieces that are the same across the board and allow them the freedom to get creative with their accessories – of course, all within the limits of good taste.
Times are changing and the approach to uniforms is more relaxed now, even in classy hospitality establishments. So, as long as you choose a uniform that is breathable, fits well and looks professional —you will have a winning look.
Make Sure to Pick Something That’s Up to the Task
While having a stylish uniform is crucial, don’t forget that it also has a functional purpose; it must be appropriate for the task at hand and convey the right message to customers. For both of these reasons, specific job roles could call for specific uniform requirements.
For instance, you would want the management of a restaurant to wear a different uniform so that if a patron has a complaint, they can quickly identify who can assist. Because they move around a lot, the bar personnel might need shorter aprons. Additionally, sleeve garters are excellent for keeping garments away from food and beverages (while also presenting another opportunity to add a flash of colour or detail).
Think About Your Colour Palette
Don’t be too strict when it comes to colour. A lot of people take the trademark colours extremely seriously. But the trick is to be subtle. Instead of overly implementing the colours of the interior into the work attire, add some hints here and there. Also, be careful, what appears beautiful as furniture, decor, or signs may not necessarily translate to apparel.
Additionally, don’t dress your staff head-to-toe in the same colour. Consider layering different hues by choosing separate colours for the different parts of the uniform such as shirts, trousers, aprons, etc.
Choose a Supplier You Can Trust
There are several reasons why your work clothes supplier is crucial. You want to be able to offer you staff clothes in a suitable range of sizes, and you want them to be of great quality. You don’t want to order a uniform just to learn that some staff members can’t fit in it.
Another aspect to consider is the upkeep of the uniform. Uniforms will deteriorate with time and are susceptible to spills and stains, especially in the food and hospitality industries. While this should initially affect your choice, having a reliable supplier is crucial to making sure you can place replacement orders swiftly.
To Sum Up
As we wrap up our exploration of the intersection between fashion and workwear, one thing becomes clear: the days of drab, uninspiring uniforms are long behind us. In your quest for stylish and functional work attire, you’ll find a treasure trove of options that not only showcase your unique brand but also cater to the demands of your staff’s daily grind.
So, whether you’re responsible for a team of insurance brokers, waiters or beauty therapists, remember that their work outfit is more than just clothes; it’s their professional armour, and it can be as dependable as a morning coffee.
With the right mix of style and practicality, your workwear can be a reflection of your company’s dedication to excellence, making every day at the office, shop, or restaurant a little brighter, a tad more comfortable, and a lot more fashionable.
Beauty and Lace is an online magazine for women. We hope you enjoyed this article!