Stedman Corporate Clothing

Show the World how Smart you are


NEWS, VIEWS AND REVIEWS

December 2016
Stedman Corporate Clothing Flying High with private jet business

Stedman Corporate Clothing has launched a brand new uniform for a provider of high-end aviation and aircraft services. The design and sourcing team at Stedman Corporate Clothing worked very closely with the client to create a design that reflects the highest standards of professionalism and personal service that the firm is renowned for within its industry.

The new design, which is specifically for its pilots, includes a sophisticated single-breasted tailored jacket in a sleek dark charcoal, complete with bespoke braiding on the sleeves and epaulettes.

“We thoroughly enjoyed designing the new pilot uniforms for this new client,” commented Teresa Stedman, Managing Director at Stedman Corporate Clothing. “Private charter customers rightly demand the very highest of standards in all things. For our customer the quality of its uniform is only matched by the quality of its pilots. It is important for staff to project a smart, professional image particularly in such a high-end niche industry where the very highest professionalism and standards are demanded at all times.”

November 2016
Housebuilder selects Stedman for Sales & Marketing Advisor Uniforms

Stedman Corporate Clothing has announced it has completed the roll-out of new staff uniforms for a prestigious housing development company based in the East Midlands, working with Stedman Corporate Clothing to select a ready-to-wear collection for its team of property sales and marketing advisors.

The aim of the new uniform is to provide staff with smart, professional garments, which consists of elegant navy blue tailoring, including a choice of jackets, trousers, dresses and skirts teamed with white easy care shirts or blouses.

To complete the look, Stedman Corporate Clothing has also designed bespoke scarves in light and dark blue to match the company’s logo and branding colour scheme.

With many years of experience of helping firms in the house building industry, Stedman Corporate Clothing recognises the need for the client to project a smart and professional image to its customers. Stedman Corporate Clothing’s garments represent quality and attention to detail and these important values are reflected within the clients new staff uniform, creating an excellent first impression.

“Emphasis on providing an appropriate and professional image for an organisation with customer facing personnel is vital,” explains Teresa Stedman, managing director of Stedman Corporate Clothing. “Garments do however need to be practical as well as look good. Quality, durability, comfort and easy-care are some of the essential ingredients that we take into consideration when creating a uniform for our clients. On this occasion, we have been delighted to help our client achieve a smart and functional look for their site-based sales and marketing staff, which projects a proficient image across the organisation.”

As well as managing the roll-out of the new uniform to staff, the team at Stedman Corporate Clothing is also managing the ongoing aftercare and support to ensure any exchanges, alterations or new starters are promptly dealt with.

Concludes Teresa Stedman: “A major focus of the service we provide isn’t simply to produce a uniform, but to be there to manage ongoing fulfilment and aftercare for as long as the uniforms are being worn. We work closely with clients to support exchanges, new starter orders, and ultimately ensure the stock management is handled professionally. As far as we are concerned this is a critical element of the all-round service we provide at Stedman Corporate Clothing.”

October 2016
Donating garments to Ghana to support Farm4Life

We have recently worked with the support of our clients, to make a clothing donation to the charity Farm4life. It is an international charity that is committed to providing relief in Ghana and to help towards developing stronger, flourishing communities in the region.

We worked with our clients to collate unused or former uniform stock, so that it could be sent in one of Farm4life’s containers to communities in need in Ghana.

Farm4life runs several programmes in Ghana; in addition to advancing the educational life of young people and adults, the charity works to provide opportunities for people to fully participate in the life of their community in ways that address and alleviate social and economic disadvantage.

In all, we donated three pallets of garments, which will be shipped over and distributed to benefit individuals, organisations and communities and ultimately provide them with some relief from financial hardship and social and economic disadvantage.

Everyone here at Stedman Corporate Clothing would like to extend our thanks to the following companies who helped us make this donation possible, including Dawson and Sanderson, Fairview Homes and Puig UK, all of whom allowed us to send former uniform stock, accessories and unused fabric.

We would also like to thank our warehouse and distribution partner for their hard work collating all the stock.

The essential donation will make a real impact in Ghana and we are pleased to have been able to support Farms4life with their latest shipment.” Teresa Stedman, MD

To find out more about the charity, click on Farm 4 life

September 2016
Building the case for ‘Off-the-Peg’

Teresa Stedman looks at the increasing use of ready-to-wear uniform solutions and considers six benefits for businesses considering this approach.

“Corporate uniforms help build brand identity, promote staff confidence and can have a genuinely positive impact on many aspects of corporate identity but if you are put off by the thought of having to order large volumes of stock to get a better price then think again.

More and more businesses are opting for a ready-to-wear solution for their corporate attire and here’s why:

  • Savings to be made

    Cost will always be a key consideration when considering any business expenditure but a stock range solution means there is no need to pay for garments up-front or at the end of a contract so you won’t be making any unnecessary expenditure and ultimately garments will have a lower unit cost.

  • No minimum orders

    Off-the-peg clothing means just that and you only need to buy what you need at the time, which helps with planning and budgeting.

  • Tried and tested fabrics With off-the-peg corporate clothing, the hard work has already been done for you and you don’t need to think about whether the fabric or styles work because they have been road tested to ensure optimum lifespan and value.

  • Choice of range People are all different shapes and sizes and with off-the-peg workwear, you won’t be limited to a select range of styles but instead, you have the option to mix and match collections, styles and colours to ensure that uniforms are worn with pride and wearers look and feel their best.

  • Time saver Purchasing off-the-peg workwear means that you don’t need to plan ahead so if new employees join all you need to do is place your order and be safe in the knowledge that the uniforms will be dispatched and available in a timely fashion.

  • Individual flair Finally, off-the-peg doesn’t mean that tailored options aren’t available: at Stedman’s a range of tailored alternations can still be made to stock garments including unique stitching, logos and accessories to ensure you have the individualised look that you desire.

If you would like to learn more about how this approach to corporate clothing might work for your business, why not give me a call?”Teresa Stedman, MD

August 2016
Six steps to selecting the right corporate uniform

Teresa Stedman explores six key steps to selecting the perfect uniform for you and your organisation’s needs: “Congratulations you have made the decision to adopt a new corporate uniform but if your head is whirring with where to begin then have a read through the following guide, which tells you exactly what you need to know:

  1. Design and Colour

    A good place to start is by considering what style suits your brand and what design fits the image you are trying to portray. Seek advice from a professional on the range of garments that you need and ensure that it fits the wearers’ needs; the current ‘fashions’ may date, so always consider a classic design at the outset. When selecting a colour a good starting point is to consider the company’s branding colours, and consider what works with the colours used here. Colours such as navy, grey or black are a traditional ‘base’ tone and flatters most shapes and skin tones, however don’t be afraid to be bold and add colour if it matches your ethos.

    When selecting a colour a good starting point is to consider the company’s branding colours, and consider what works with the colours used here. Colours such as navy, grey or black are a traditional ‘base’ tone and flatters most shapes and skin tones, however don’t be afraid to be bold and add colour if it matches your ethos.

  2. Durability

    Your chosen fabric needs to be fit for the task in hand so think about who will be wearing the clothing and whether it will work for them. The cheapest option may not be the best option and by spending just a little more you are certain to have a uniform that will perform better, be more durable, provides increased comfort and, better still, looks great.

  3. Trusted Supplier

    Make sure that your chosen supplier has adequate stock to meet your requirements and that they are able to fulfil orders quickly in your exact style and colour. Having a good understanding and building trust with your supplier is key so make sure that you do some background research before making your final selection.

  4. Wearer Trials

    Involve your team in the selection process and get them to provide ideas and suggestions at the outset as to the kind of uniform that works for and appeals to them. Once you have a shortlist make sure that the uniform is ‘road-tested’ for durability and performance; doing this not only ensures that you the uniform is fit for purpose but it also gains staff buy-in for the project.

  5. Garment Care

    While choosing a quality fabric is important you also need to think about the care of the garment once the wearers have taken delivery. Do the garments need to be dry cleaned or washed? Choosing the former could severely impact on staff in terms of costs and could mean the garment isn’t maintained as well as if it was machine washable.

  6. Wearers Policy

    Finally, your brand new uniform is here but have you set the policy for who needs to wear what and when? Work closely with HR to strategically manage implementation and ensure that it is seen as integral to the company’s culture.

    If you would like to get further guidance on choosing and implementing a uniform in your workplace, give us a call. The team here at Stedman Corporate Clothing would love to hear from you!”

    Teresa Stedman, MD

August 2016
Dress to Impress!

Fashions come and go, however when it comes to business, the way you dress can have a huge impact on the way in which customers, suppliers and peers perceive you and your company’s overall brand.

In fact, when recalling a number of national brands, their uniforms are the first thing that typically spring to mind, particularly in certain industries such as travel, beauty, hospitality and retail banking to name just a few. The concept of corporate dressing doesn’t however only apply to large corporates. For entrepreneurs running small to medium sized businesses, the way in which you and your staff conduct yourselves speaks volumes - and you will be judged as a result. It is therefore important to carefully consider what dress code is applied.

As well as the overall brand perception, applying a dress code, uniform or similar has broader benefits. A uniform for example saves money for staff members who don’t need to fund their own wardrobe and is instead enjoyed as a ‘perk’ to the job, as well as helping to instil confidence or pride in their role and/or organisation.

I’ve seen this reported elsewhere as the “Apple Store Effect”, meaning that if staff feel aligned to the brand, they demonstrate higher levels of loyalty and commitment. I would agree with this, having seen it happen with many clients that we have worked with over the years.

Ultimately, the way we dress in the workplace continues to be an important – and much discussed – matter. It is therefore important to get it right and ensure that your first impressions speak volumes... but for the right reasons!”

Teresa Stedman, MD

May 2016
If it’s Good Enough for Mark Zuckerberg…

Teresa Stedman provides her view on the question: “Where exactly do dress codes fit in today’s business world?”

The answer to this question very much depends on the industry your company is in and the level of face-to-face customer contact you have.

The adage of ‘you only have one opportunity to make a first impression’ still applies and so an organisation’s approach to dress codes will vary depending your business and the expectations your customers will have. The way in which your staff presents your company will ultimately shape a customer’s opinion of your business. It therefore remains important that the presentation of your employees matches the ethos that you are aiming to project. Likewise, a smart dress code or uniform also provides a number of less tangible, yet still important benefits that should not be underestimated. For example, the psychology of ‘dressing for work’ should be taken into consideration. A dress code can help the team adapt into ‘work mode’ at the start of the day and ensure they are mentally prepared for the working day ahead. Only recently an article was published about this very point relating to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and how he wears the same clothes to work, every day, so he can concentrate on more important matters in his day.

Ultimately, dress code policies and staff uniforms do continue to play a role in today’s modern workplace. It comes back to understanding your customers and knowing what they expect from your company and staff, and presenting yourselves appropriately.

December 2015
Teresa Stedman wins Runner-Up for FSB’s Business Person of the Year

We are very proud to announce that Teresa Stedman, MD of Stedman Corporate Clothing has been recognised in this year’s FSB Surrey Business Awards, in the Business Person of the Year category. The prestigious event, which was held at Mercedes Benz World in Brooklands, featured a gala dinner and hosted some of the county’s leading businesses.

Teresa was announced as the runner-up and was presented with a certificate at the gala reception. The entry focused on Teresa’s direction during the last 12-months, including a summary of key achievements and significant moments which involved leading the development of new technologies to help drive further stock ordering and stock control efficiencies across the business.

The judges were impressed with Teresa’s overall direction, which since taking over as Managing Director in 2011, has seen the business continually grow and expand into new markets. The awards recognise outstanding achievement, determination and enterprise in businesses across the county

In total, Stedman Corporate Clothing was shortlisted for the Business Person of the Year award, the Service Excellence award, and the Business Innovation award categories.

A video clip showing the highlights from the awards can be viewed here:

FSB Awards

October 2015
Stedman Corporate Clothing completes new uniforms for Executive Aviation

Stedman Corporate Clothing has completed the roll-out of new uniforms to Executive Aviation, the private jet charter, sales and aircraft management company. The uniforms had to match the Group uniform design and the team at Stedman Corporate Clothing were able to match the detailing, along with finer design points, such as braiding.

The aim of the new uniform is to provide staff with smart, professional garments, which consists of elegant navy blue tailoring, including a choice of jackets, trousers, dresses and skirts teamed with white easy care shirts or blouses.

To complete the look, Stedman Corporate Clothing has also designed bespoke scarves in light and dark blue to match the company’s logo and branding colour scheme.

With many years of experience of helping firms in the house building industry, Stedman Corporate Clothing recognises the need for the client to project a smart and professional image to its customers. Stedman Corporate Clothing’s garments represent quality and attention to detail and these important values are reflected within the clients new staff uniform, creating an excellent first impression.

“Emphasis on providing an appropriate and professional image for an organisation with customer facing personnel is vital,” explains Teresa Stedman, managing director of Stedman Corporate Clothing. “Garments do however need to be practical as well as look good. Quality, durability, comfort and easy-care are some of the essential ingredients that we take into consideration when creating a uniform for our clients. On this occasion, we have been delighted to help our client achieve a smart and functional look for their site-based sales and marketing staff, which projects a proficient image across the organisation.”

As well as managing the roll-out of the new uniform to staff, the team at Stedman Corporate Clothing is also managing the ongoing aftercare and support to ensure any exchanges, alterations or new starters are promptly dealt with.

Concludes Teresa Stedman: “A major focus of the service we provide isn’t simply to produce a uniform, but to be there to manage ongoing fulfilment and aftercare for as long as the uniforms are being worn. We work closely with clients to support exchanges, new starter orders, and ultimately ensure the stock management is handled professionally. As far as we are concerned this is a critical element of the all-round service we provide at Stedman Corporate Clothing.”

The tailored garments are made from a medium weight grey material with a gun-metal grey braiding and, in all, Stedman Corporate Clothing managed the roll-out to just under 100 staff.

Talking about the project, the client from Executive Aviation said: “We decided to select a new corporate clothing company to manage our uniform requirements, as we were keen to work with a supplier with a much more open communication process. As part of the selection process, we identified Stedman Corporate Clothing and were impressed with their product knowledge and approach to customer care, both in the upfront design and delivery process and also the promise of after-care and follow-on support. Their prices were also competitive and they were confident they could work within our deadlines.”

Talking about the fulfilment of the uniforms the spokesperson continued: “We were impressed by the roll-out of the uniforms. It was carefully managed and support was always on hand, when needed. The attention to detail was appreciated too, for example, all uniforms were delivered ‘man packed’ in carefully chosen white boxes. They were sent to our head office, then collected and signed for by each individual crew member who had a box ready and waiting for them with their garments in their correct sizes. This made it all very straightforward.”

They conclude: “Overall, the stock management service is great. I also like the fact that if ever I have a question, I can pick up the phone and reach someone. Even if our lovely account manager is not in the office, no matter who is there, I know they will help me. I would be happy to recommend Stedman Corporate Clothing.”

July 2015
Stedman launches new uniforms for regional Airport

Stedman Corporate Clothing has completed the successful roll-out of new uniforms for a major regional Airport. Passengers using the Airport will notice new look uniforms for the Customer Operations teams that service the terminal and car parks, with over 100 staff wearing the specially designed tailored clothing.

Stedman Corporate Clothing Ltd was appointed by Bristol Airport to create a range of high quality garments to make the team easily identifiable to the thousands of travellers visiting the airport every year. The uniform is designed around the Airport’s brand colours and logo, while staff can add a touch of individuality by choosing from navy trousers or skirt, waistcoat, or jacket and smart branded scarf or tie.

The client at Bristol Airport said: “The introduction of the new uniform is the culmination of a nine month project involving representatives from the various customer-facing teams along with the team at Stedman Corporate Clothing. A working group was formed to come up with ideas for the uniform, researching the various options available. The teams wanted a professional, practical look, in a similar style to airline uniforms; but it was important that this also complied with airport security standards.

Continues the spokesperson: “Our teams love the new uniform, and enjoyed being involved in the selection process. The project has taken over nine months of work looking at different styles and designs. We are confident the end result will help to give a positive first impression to our passengers, demonstrating our commitment to customer service during what will be a busy summer.”

Adds Teresa Stedman, managing director of Stedman Corporate Clothing: “The new attire for Bristol Airport provides the team with a high quality, professional uniform that offers wearers a choice of garments, depending on individual preferences as well as their day-to-day requirements.

The uniform really is a unique look that combines a clever use of colour on the jacket pockets and back vents, with the addition of belts, scarves and ties. The colours marry with the branding of the Airport to really give the team a strong visual identity. This is particularly important particularly when travellers are looking for guidance during their visit to the busy terminal. Now, it’s easy to spot a member of the team who can provide assistance.”

May 2015
A Q&A with low cost & regional airlines business magazine

Teresa Stedman participated in a Q&A interview with Low Cost & Regional Airlines Business Magazine, looking at the topic of corporate branding, the challenge of creating a stylish yet high performance uniform and the steps required to implement a new uniform.

  • How integral are uniforms in the corporate branding strategy for airlines?

    “When it comes to airlines and where uniforms fit within the corporate branding strategy, it is taken very seriously and there is no room for individuality; whether you are working in the terminal or are cabin crew, the brand must be worn to make a high impact.

    A well designed outfit will be instantly recognisable, providing immediate visual differentiation from competitors, whilst at the same time providing the opportunity to display subtle branding such as corporate colours or logos on ties, scarves and accessories.

    Not only do staff represent a valuable branding opportunity when wearing smart and tailored garments but you may find that quality uniforms that employees are proud to wear also positively affects attitude, confidence and overall team moral.”

  • Uniform performance is clearly important but sometimes fashion gets in the way of function. How do you balance the two?

    “There is certainly no need to sacrifice fashion over function with the wide range of innovative fabrics that we now have available to us: you can have your cake and eat it! Style is important to the airline industry, yet it also needs to be easy-care and washable. For example, if travelling members of the cabin crew, it would be impractical to have garments that require dry cleaning or require a lot of ironing.

    When designing a collection, we always consider the ‘comfort factor’ too; ultimately, airline staff may be wearing the garments for many hours at a time and so it is important that styles are conformable and cuts of blouses or jackets ‘sit’ correctly.

    When we developed Aurigny Airlines’ bespoke uniforms, we worked closely with the buyer to integrate a number of details that were important to the overall look; from designing their own silky scarves to adding flashes of colour to the pockets. The end result is a classic uniform yet with a modern style and eye-catching accents of colour.” ”

  • Airlines want to ensure that uniforms uphold the corporate image but this would be seemingly difficult considering the different work roles, climates and cultural sensitivities within the airline. How do you bring all this together?

    “Quite the contrary; upholding the corporate image is relatively easy and factors such as differing work roles, climates or cultural sensitivities needn’t hamper airlines. Design and colour is extremely important - when working in an airport, it is vital that your airline is visually represented, regardless of the role of the staff member.

    They need to stand out and differentiate from other travel companies so customers know who to talk to if they have a question.

    Incorporating corporate colours is a key factor; if a customer is looking through a busy departure lounge, it’s important for them to be able to pinpoint your team so they know where to go.

    Being able to adapt the look to suit the role is what makes a uniform work; whether the employee is wearing a polo shirt or all-weather jacket, through to a fully tailored uniform, you can make an impact with colour. While garments are different, the colours and style should still ‘sing the same story’.

  • It seems that historically, airlines put a bit more attention on style and glamour with uniforms (Pan Am ). With the arrival of low cost carriers in particular and the ever increasing pressure to reduce costs, has this eroded the glamour side of airline uniforms somewhat? And what will the cabin uniform of the future look like?

    “Cost is always an important factor for any organisation when it comes to creating and delivering appropriate garments for their staff. If budget is an issue, it doesn’t mean you need to forego style as a result. Today, there are many high quality ‘off the peg’ ready-to-wear uniform options that offer a cost effective approach. Bespoke elements can be then added to the uniforms to create a more individual look, for example with a unique scarf or tie, hat, or even flashes of colour in a skirt’s kick-pleat or jacket interior.

    Another option is to look at alternatives such as knitwear; there has been so much development in knitwear over recent years. So for example, you don’t have to necessarily opt for full tailoring but instead look at incorporating a classic cardigan. We are currently working on this for Eastern Airways for example, who are keen to offer their team a knitwear option, alongside their current garments.

    While uniforms shouldn’t be confused with fashion, they do carry styling details from today’s trends in order to make them current and appeal to wearers.”

  • What process do you need to go through if implementing a brand new uniform; what factors should be considered in terms of garment choice, durability, maintenance / laundering, style, colour selection etc

    “As part of the uniform design process, we find that wearer trials are a useful test to determine whether the proposed garments can stand up to the rigours of the job. This also provides an opportunity for staff input; generating enthusiasm by giving them a degree of ownership in the decision-making chain.

    Also, by doing this, they are able to provide first-hand feedback to management of how the uniform has performed in real life.

    We also recommend that prior to the roll-out of any new uniforms, ‘sizing days’ are offered to the team so they can try the range of agreed garments and ensure they order the right size for them; whether its waist size, skirt length or cut of the trousers. This all makes a big difference, as ultimately, if staff feel good in the clothes they are wearing (and it is practical and easy to launder or maintain), it makes them feel more comfortable, and in turn confident in their role.”

March 2015
Don’t Forget Image When It Comes To Business!

Teresa Stedman wrote an article for Fresh Business Thinking’s HR stream that looks at the role of uniforms in today’s business world. In the article Teresa looks at casual ‘dressing down’ in the workplace and looks at the impact this has on firms that have customer-facing members of the team.

Business can be fickle when it comes to fashion. In some businesses suits have been replaced by casual wear, but casual still needs to be smart. Why? Because when customers look at your employees and see that they are dressed appropriately for the business they are working in, it gives them confidence and trust in the business as a whole.

The way in which you and your colleagues dress can have a direct impact on the way in which your customers, suppliers and peers view you and your company’s overall ‘brand’. The way people are dressed in the workplace underlines how professionally the organisation is perceived.

It is therefore important to decide what kind of visual impression you want your team to project. Dress in business can vary from promotional t shirts to suits and everything in between. With casual dress accepted in various types of industries and businesses, including settings that traditionally dictated formal business wear, there are standards of appearance businesses may want to maintain.

A recent example is Mercedes Benz, where building on the success of the F1 championship, and host teams moved from formal grey suiting to crisp cotton shirts, with 5 stunning embroideries, teamed with shell jackets and black trousers. It also made the brand stand out and become highly recognisable on location.

Do you need a dress code for your employees? If your employees deal extensively with the public, it may be appropriate to require certain standards of appearance or you may require uniform, so that staff can be quickly and easily recognised. In today’s corporate world, uniforms play a key role in branding. We all, for example, have walked through an airport terminal to be bombarded with staff in a host of different uniforms, but how do you differentiate the brands and stand out from the crowd.

Creating a corporate brand through dress doesn’t only apply to multinationals. Small to medium size businesses can also create a brand for themselves and stand out from the crowd with the right dress code.

Applying a dress code isn’t just about corporate branding. A corporate uniform can motivate staff, boost confidence levels and make them feel part of the company as a whole. This in turn generates a higher level of loyalty and commitment to the company which is passed on when dealing with customers.

If you decide introducing a uniform is right for your business or you are looking to modernize the one you have you need to first consider exactly what type of image you are trying to project and does it work for the roles being carried out by staff. Don’t forget to take into account the cultural or religious needs of employees and also ensure the design won’t cause any problems for staff with a disability. It is a good idea to get the team involved from the off-set, that way you get staff buy-in. Make sure the uniforms chosen are fit for purpose and don’t overlook details such as can they be machine washed instead of dry cleaned.

Remember every interaction your staff have with existing and potential customers is reinforcing your brand. Even when they are travelling to and from work they are getting your brand additional exposure; reinforcing your business image.

Take time to get your branded uniform or dress code right. It is crucial to your corporate image and should be integral to your overall branding strategy.

February 2014
Creating the Right First Impression

Teresa Stedman wrote an article for Talk Business magazine that looks at the importance of creating the right first impression and the uniform’s role in making this happen.

Fashions come and go however when it comes to business, the way in which you and your colleagues dress can have an impact on the way in which your customers, suppliers and peers perceive you and your company’s overall ‘brand’.

It is therefore important to determine what visual impression you want to project and ensure that this is consistent for all of your team. After all, as they old saying goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”.

In today’s corporate world, uniforms continue to play a major role. In fact, when recalling a number of national brands, their uniforms quickly spring to mind, for example Virgin Atlantic, Mercedes Benz or Persimmon Homes to name just a few. Their strong visual brand identity is made up of many factors, including their workwear.

The concept of corporate dressing doesn’t however only apply to large corporates. For entrepreneurs running small to medium sized businesses, the way in which you and your staff conduct yourselves will speak volumes and you will be judged as a result. It is therefore important to carefully review what dress code is applied.

While many firms today operate a more ‘casual’ approach to dressing in the workplace, recent research of 1,000 workers found that 70 per cent felt wearing scruffy jeans to work could hinder career prospects, while 61 per cent believe that senior management should take a smarter approach to their work wear.

As well as the overall brand perception, applying a dress code, uniform or similar has wider reaching benefits than just branding or visual identity. For example, the motivational impact of a corporate uniform should not be overlooked: if you dress smartly and feel good in what you are wearing, this can have a positive impact on confidence levels. A uniform also saves money for staff members who don’t need to fund their own work wardrobe and is instead enjoyed as an additional ‘perk’ to the job.

I’ve seen this reported elsewhere as the “Apple Store Effect”, meaning that if staff feel aligned to the business, they demonstrate higher levels of loyalty and commitment – which ultimately creates a better impression for customers. I would agree with this, having seen this take place with many clients that we have worked with over the years.

If you decide that a uniform or dress code is right for your business, what do you need to consider to get the ball rolling? The first step is to not only consider the form but the function. Yes, the garments have got to look the part and project the right image, but does it work for you and the job in hand?

You need to think about the tasks your team undertake every day and to assess exactly what is needed. The garments must be versatile, provide warmth for those that work outside, yet not be too hot for this inside. Make sure they are comfortable in what they are wearing and also take into account care of the garments; can they be washed instead of dry cleaning? Perhaps get the team involved at the outset so they are involved in the design and selection process; this can help engender support and in the process.

Ultimately, the way we dress in the workplace continues to be an important matter. It’s therefore important to get it right at the outset and ensure that your first impressions speak volumes... but for the right reasons!

October 2013
The role of corporate uniforms in the travel industry

Teresa Stedman wrote an article for Travel Bulletin on the role of corporate tailoring and uniforms in today’s travel sector. While the projection of a professional image is vital for all businesses, when it comes to the travel sector, the visual appearance of staff is extremely important.

Customers have a set expectation that when liaising with an operator or agent, they are professionally dressed and instantly recognisable in the company’s company-wide uniform.

Travel article

It is true to say that corporate uniforms provide customers with a level of confidence regarding the business and the team, therefore, getting corporate wear right is important for all travel-related businesses, which deal with thousands of customers each year.

It is important that the presentation of the team matches the ethos that the organisation is aiming to project, in both what they are saying and in their general appearance. By doing so, this will shape a customer’s overall viewpoint of the entire operation.

A corporate uniform helps project a positive image of the company brand: an individually-designed corporate uniform impacts on all aspects of a company’s output, simultaneously affecting staff motivation, customer services, internal communications and branding.

As such, it is a human resources issue that needs to be managed strategically across all departments and requires extremely sensitive handling. Choosing an appropriate uniform can however be a challenge. Today, corporate attire needs to be versatile enough to be worn by many different jobs, in different climates, accommodates religious and cultural identities, and is suitable at varying positions within the corporate hierarchy. So, what do you need to take into consideration?

A uniform should be central to an organisation’s image and must be strongly ingrained in its culture. Choosing garments staff will want to wear is important too, as it has been found that if staff feel good in what they are wearing, it is not only motivational, but makes them feel more confident in their role.

A corporate uniform ultimately enables staff to become ambassadors for their agency and act accordingly. Invariably because they look smart and feel comfortable they are able to portray a more suitable image

Today, we are seeing a return to much more formal corporate attire, with travel companies opting for tailored dresses, suits and quality bespoke accessories. For example, we designed new uniforms for Eastern Airways that included matching accessories, including a navy and red leather handbag, neck scarf, a hostess hat with a bespoke hat pin and red leather gloves.

Ultimately, a company’s dress must reflect the seriousness of the job. This is particularly important in customer facing roles; they are often the first and final cog in the sales or customer contact process. As they say, first impressions count and so it is important to ensure the customers are left with a positive impression of the conduct and professionalism of the firm.

An often overlooked consideration of corporate clothing is the motivational impact it has on a team. In fact, this should not be underestimated. In many cases, the introduction of the uniform itself is a ‘benefit’ for employees, enabling them to dress smartly while saving money on a working wardrobe. A corporate uniform also ensures that clothes are suitable, footwear is comfortable and clothing is as warm or as cool as necessary for the job in-hand.

Because a uniform is central to the company’s image, it must be strongly ingrained in the culture of the company. Once a uniform policy and design has been adopted, it must be strictly enforced to maintain consistency and give the uniform a chance to ‘do its job’ and make it really work in reinforcing what your organisation stands for as a brand.