Choosing a Uniform to Flatter Almost Everyone

August 10, 2021

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Whether you’re working in a company with 5 or 500 employees, uniforms can often be a tricky topic to navigate. Logistics such as cost, and logo placement are all things that come to mind straight away. Surprisingly often businesses don’t take the time, to consider the employees who will be wearing the uniform - will they be comfortable? and, is the uniform something that will flatter and suit most body types?

In this blog, we unpack why uniform suiting is so important and how to choose the best uniform style to flatter almost everyone.

Uniform suiting – what is it and why is it important?

When considering uniform suiting, the decision maker will often have a very one-dimensional idea of what the finished concept will look like. Browsing through uniform images online, it can be easy to get caught up in the polished finishes of models that the uniforms are designed for, however, this doesn’t give us an accurate view of what it might look like on everyone. While there are tools on the internet now that can also show you exactly what your logo is going to look like on particular garments, what it can’t show you is what the finished product is going to look like on your employees.

In a study conducted by YouGov, results found that 68% of women and over half of Australian men are happy to wear a uniform as it means that they don’t have to choose an outfit every day. Coinciding with this, 93% of the population believe it reflects well on a company if staff are wearing smart uniforms. That’s a lot of pressure to put into creating a uniform that people will be happy wearing and that will look good to consumers!

Things to consider when choosing a suitable uniform for the majority

Your industry and any standards – It’s important to consider the industry your organisation is within when choosing a new uniform. For example, if you work as a tradie or nurse, there are certain guidelines and industry standards that any uniform you wear will need to meet (sorry – casual Fridays might be out the window!) However, if your company works in an office, you probably have a little bit more flexibility around what style of uniform you can have.

The purpose it will serve – Similar to what industry you work, you need to consider the purpose of what the uniform will serve. What do your employees do on a daily basis? Do they need to move around a lot or are they stationary for most of the day? If they operate a form of machinery are there any loose parts of the uniform that can get caught? What’s the temperature like in your workplace and is this something that will need thicker or looser garments? Asking questions like these before choosing a uniform can help to weed out any unsuitable options.

Comfort – With the global pandemic seeing more and more people working from home, expectations around uniform comfort have risen as people are transitioning back from their tracksuits to office attire. As a lot of businesses are showing flexibility around time spent onsite vs working from home, more flexibility around uniform has also become an expectation. If your company plans to have employees onsite full time, it is also important to make sure that they are wearing a uniform that’s comfortable, breathable and easy to move in based on what type of role they are in. If your staff members are comfortable in their uniforms, they will likely be more focused on their work than they are on the itchy cuff on their shirt!

Fittings – One way you can get a feel for how your uniform looks on your staff members is to chat with the supplier you are thinking of going with and arranging for them to either come out for a fitting or send some samples of the garments you’re looking at. This will help your employees to feel as though they are involved in the process and that their opinion matters which is important for boosting workplace culture. Aside from this, it will help whoever’s in charge of choosing the uniform to see what uniforms look like on different body types.

Looking for something that suits the majority

Although you can’t wave a magic wand and have something that looks fantastic on everyone, there are some things to look for when it comes to choosing a flattering style.

Fit – Again, you can’t find something that will fit every person perfectly, but there are some steps you can take to ensure the best fit. Ask your employees for detailed measurements and ensure the uniform supplier you go with provides a flexible range. It’s also worth considering getting men’s and women’s cuts rather than just generic or unisex fits which don’t complement different body shapes.

Material – Choosing a comfortable material for uniforms is important as this is what your staff members will be wearing for the most part of their day. Materials that don’t itch and are soft on the skin or material that draws moisture away from the body are ideal for all-day comfort.

Durability – If you have a large number of staff members, it might be tempting to go with a cheaper option to save money when dressing a wide range of staff. However, the age-old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ is something to keep in mind as cheaper clothing options often aren’t a sustainable choice and will wear out a lot quicker than better quality clothing.

Colour – It might be tempting to choose ‘out there’ colours for your company, but not every colour will suit everybody. Especially if you work in an office, sticking with neutral basics is the safest option, with colours like blacks, navies and charcoals/greys being a safe choice.

When choosing a work uniform, there are many different things to consider – especially when trying to find something that suits the majority of body types. If you need a hand finding the perfect uniform for your company, visit your closest distributor for styling options and advice.