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Picking the perfect employee uniform: 5 questions you should ask yourself

employee uniformJohn Armstrong is the Director of Custom Planet, a company specialising in printwear and branding. Here, he addresses the most frequently asked questions about how to choose the perfect employee uniform.

What style will be most suitable?

Considering the job role and its duties is imperative to selecting a well-suited uniform, with different industries prioritising different features, there’s plenty of opportunity to make yours entirely unique. For example, working in food service will usually require a full-coverage uniform for hygiene reasons, whereas people working in sport are likely to prioritise a breathable fabric.

Businesses with a lot of variety in the work that they do will need to be conscious about whether just one style of uniform will do, or whether multiple items are needed to ensure the uniform is fit for any weather, environment or task. Investing in a uniform which is fit for purpose will make for happy employees who are more likely to maintain commitment to their work, benefitting you in performance and consequentially, profit.

What colour should I choose?

Colour choice is flexible and dependent on your own preferences, but it’s common practice to match your uniform to the colours in your logo. Using bright eye-catching colours may be suitable for some professions, but for others like corporate office environments, plain smart clothes will fit in much better with the environment. While lighter and brighter colours generally give off a crisp and clean image, they can help your staff to be easily identified whereas darker colours reflect authority and might be the wiser choice for messier jobs.

If you don’t want your logo colours to be at the forefront of your uniform, choose a contrasting colour that will make your logo stand out and ensure customers know exactly who they’re talking to.

How do I pick a good design?

As with a lot of other factors, the design on your uniform is likely to be dictated by the type of organisation you are running. For many food chains, they may choose large decorative logo prints with catchy slogans on the back to match the relaxed environment, whereas corporate environments may keep things simple. Either way, be sure the design you pick will tie into the type of atmosphere your business gives off to visitors.

How do I make sure I get value for money?

Employee uniforms can be expensive, especially if you have a large team, so making sure your uniforms are durable is an incredibly important step to be taking. Trialling a range of materials before fully committing to a specific one is good practice for saving you money in the long run as they need to be able to stand the test of time and beat general wear and tear like stains, spills and fading. Enforcing comfort over style will also help to ensure the uniform stays in better condition for longer. When you order in bulk, you’re usually entitled to a discount so be sure to shop around a variety of places to find which one has the best deal for your chosen fabric and design. Considering printing types can also save you money —with a multitude of options including digital and screen printing as well as embroidery, be sure to pick one that’ll last through anything the job entails.

Should I get my staff involved?

Some business owners like to give the staff a say in uniform, so that they will be able to wear them with confidence, pride and familiarity when they are finally rolled out. This can include giving them options of what items they can wear — for example, skirts or trousers for women — and taking their sizes down unless your budget is big enough to stretch to ordering in some extras. Thinking ahead for your staff will also boost their morale, so provide them with a couple of uniform sets so that they’ve covered for the week.

Despite what uniform you end up choosing, ensuring that it perfectly reflects what your business is about in a sophisticated and safe manner will prove effective to your brand marketing.