We are proud to say that Alsco pioneered uniform rental in the U.S. back in the late nineteenth century. Over the course of more than 130 years providing uniform services to companies in a variety of sectors, we have seen just about everything in terms of uniform design.
We have seen uniforms so daring that employees were afraid to wear them, and others that were so dignified that employees never wanted to take them off. We have discovered that when it comes to work uniforms, there are few hard-and-fast rules. So much depends upon company goals, branding, and other factors.
Does your company mandate uniforms for staff members? If so, what is your company’s design approach? We would be interested in knowing how we can help improve any uniform program you might already have in place.
Bright and Bold
Bright and bold uniforms were all the rage from the late 1960s through the 1970s. If you are old enough to remember, think about the uniforms at all of the big fast-food chains. Bright colors were a must back then. Uniforms were so bright they forced you to stand up and take notice.
The primary benefit of those bold uniforms was that they were memorable. That could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. One thing we do know is that companies do not want their uniforms remembered for being ugly or obnoxious. If your company uniforms are memorable, it should be for the right reasons.
Bright and bold is no longer the order of the day, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for it. There are some industries for which bold uniforms are still appropriate, such as consumer entertainment and leisure. If a company wants to go this route, the one thing to remember is that uniforms can be so bright and bold as to be offensive. Furthermore, employees have to feel comfortable wearing them.
Laid-Back and Relaxed
The opposite of bright and bold is laid-back and relaxed. A uniform designed with this philosophy in mind utilizes more neutral colors and a much more reserved presentation. Many businesses in the services sector take this approach, including IT companies, home services providers, and HVAC companies.
It has been our experience that the laid-back and relaxed style really came into its own during the latter half of the 1990s. After the hyper-professional 1980s, employers were looking to scale things back a bit. Their workers wanted more casual uniforms. In fact, that’s when casual Fridays really took off.
Classic and Refined
One last approach we want to talk about is the classic and refined style. These uniforms have been the staple of our industry for as long as we can remember. A classic and refined uniform makes a statement. It sets a company apart from the competition. Any company considering a new uniform rental program without any clue as to what approach to take wouldn’t go wrong with classic and refined.
This approach calls for classic, professional colors like navy blue, black, and gray. It includes jackets for men and skirts for women. Accessories are few and, where they do exist, tend to be simple and tasteful.
Whatever your company or industry, there’s a uniform style that can work for you. Want to learn more? We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your uniform program in detail. Let us show you how uniform rental from Alsco can benefit your company regardless of how you approach uniform design.