Like it or not, it’s a fact of society that we judge people by how they’re dressed. If you see someone in a long white jacket, you immediately assume they’re a doctor. This is a helpful trait for businesses, because it allows the crew to be easily identified with the company. Once when I was sitting in a cafe, a young man in a casual T-shirt approached me and asked me whether I would like something to drink. Embarrassed, although a bit flattered, I turned him down, only to find out that he wasn’t planning to buy me a drink, but was actually the waiter. Oh, the humiliation. Surely, this wouldn’t have happened if he wore a proper uniform.
And this is the number one purpose of work uniforms – a consistent appearance. When employees are dressed in the same, recognizable fashion, it allows them to be easily identified, a key factor for customers who want to know who works there when they need to be assisted. This can also allow businesses to use their uniforms as a from of branding. It doesn’t necessarily mean you should slap a huge logo on the back of your employees shirts. Branding is best done when it’s subtle, like for instance a shirt or apron in the business’ symbolic colours. Remember Starbucks’s dark green aprons?
Uniforms that come in formal tones are known to convey professionalism and boost the business’s image. For retail and corporate environments, white uniform shirts are timeless staples. In fact, white uniform shirts are the most versatile work clothing that can mix well with a classic jacket for corporate settings, or be worn with a coloured apron as a stylish hospitality uniform. Besides white, other subtle professional colours are light blue, lavender, ecru, or tan. These kinds of work shirts can be easily matched with a variety of trousers and accessories such as ties and braces.
Imagine the uniform as the first thing about your business that speaks to your clients. Therefore the type of uniform you choose should depend on the type of business you’re running and your clientele. If you’re an upscale company, a formal looking dress code with white uniform shirts as central part is important for making the company look serious and professional. On the other hand if you’re selling surfboards or other beach items, it’s best to go with a casual looking uniform.
The way a uniform is designed and the material it’s made of play a great role in the way employees will look and feel. If a uniform has the perfect fit and looks attractive, it can invoke an increased confidence in staff members motivating them to show more of themselves. On the other hand, if you dress your employees in ill-fitting, ugly uniforms, they may experience a drop in morale, and be reluctant to “be out there”. An ugly uniform won’t go unnoticed by customers either. You only get one chance for a first impression, so make sure you present your staff in the best image possible by choosing stylish looking uniforms.