With the option to shop online, work clothes nowadays come in many designs, including bespoke. So, it’s easy to push your business forward by presenting it in a professional, unique, and lively way.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of work uniforms? If the word “boring” springs to mind, you’re not the only one. Like school uniforms, most people perceive work apparel to lack interest, style, colour, individuality and personality.
The definition of ‘uniform’ in dictionaries could be summed up as “the same, not varying in form, character, or any other way”, which goes to show why uniform equals boring! But it shouldn’t be this way. Work apparel should be appreciated for what it helps solve – the “what to wear?” puzzle many deal with on a daily basis.
The key to making it work lies in setting your business identity and using the uniform to express this. Some of the biggest benefits include: creating brand recognition, setting your company apart from the competition and improving employee morale and customer experience.
Keep reading to learn what to avoid and how to do it right when it comes to work clothes.
#1 – Know Boring to Avoid Boring
“Boring” can encompass tedious colours that impact productivity; a lack of style that doesn’t set the company forward fashion-wise; or any outfit that lacks team spirit and individuality.
That said, when shopping online for work clothes or from a local supplier, make sure to pick a design that ticks all the boxes (function, style and interest).
Colour psychology is real and some colours work better than others in the work sphere. Anything that’s too bold or too dull, or blends in with the surroundings (e.g. furnishings, walls, floors) has no place in your company. Instead, your focus should be on neutrals like black, white, or other muted neutrals like grey, navy, green, and brown.
Depending on the specifics of your business, what market you’re in and your surroundings, you may also go for more striking and vibrant options for a pop of colour.
To avoid overwhelming the work environment, pick pastels, such as soft pink, creamy mint, and some mustard and pumpkin when it comes to colourful hues.
You can use these colours strategically by either choosing different designer uniform pieces for each employee (e.g. aprons of different colours) for a modern and stylish approach that also speaks of originality or by implementing them in the form of accessories to allow for a dose of individuality. This way, you can avoid your team looking like customers.
Lastly, to encourage more team spirit, make sure everyone is sporting the same accessories, with the only difference being colour – not model or style. Some examples are ties, scarves, and fringes.
Whether you opt for clothing or accessories, set yourself up for success by creating your own signature looks. Uniforms can be beneficial from the advertising point of view when you create them the right way.
#2 – Change in a World of Change
Being stagnant is boring. If you want to stay afloat and ahead of the rest, you need to learn how to adapt. This includes the uniform you choose for your staff.
While it’s okay to choose a design that would represent your company, it’s recommended to change things up every now and then to keep productivity, stylishness, and team spirit at an all-time high.
This doesn’t however mean that you should adopt every single fashion trend that appears on the scene, more so because not everything that’s trendy or fashionable is work appropriate, or suitable for your company’s standards.
Keep things fresh by adding a new element to the work ensemble every now and again. This could be a new piece like a polo shirt or dress shirt to spice things up colour-wise, or a piece of embroidery to showcase the company’s logo.
If your work setting allows it, you can implement something funny too, whether it’s a catchphrase or a fun question that might get customers’ attention and make for great conversations.
If this doesn’t suit your budget, you could instead have a couple of looks your staff can wear throughout the year to mark the different events. You could have a special look for the big holidays of the year, the company’s birthday, the launching of a new product, or some other date of significance.
Something as simple as seasonal looks to mark the seasons could work wonders for your company’s professional image while preventing boring outfits from setting in. A few warm pieces, like cardigans, blazers, or knitwear could mean a world of difference in the looks as much as the comfort and warmth of your employees during the cold days of the year.
The same goes for warm-weather essentials in the form of short-sleeved tees. Use these elements to bring about some change – it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated to be meaningful!
#3 – Go All In On Comfort
A boring uniform can often be associated with discomfort too. There are many reasons why your staff may not be enthusiastic about wearing your uniform. For instance, the design may be too restrictive, with features like zippers and buttons in the wrong places, or the wrong choice of fabric that’s harsh on the skin.
Opting to provide designer business attire may be costlier than cheap clothes you can come across easily, but it’s worth it if you consider the look, well-being, and happiness of your team.
A practical uniform will be nicely fitted and pleasant to wear no matter whether it’s hot or cold, so opting for natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo, as well as blends with these two, is a step forward in thermo-regulation.
Being considerate of comfort and quality shows your employees you care, and that further boosts the sense of belonging to the team and company. Don’t be surprised if you see the frown turned upside down on employees after you make a new choice in fabric!