You can communicate a lot about the character of your business with a company uniform. Take the case of the United Parcel Service (UPS). Their distinctive brown uniform is about more than just the colors of the brand. The sturdy, simple styling of the apparel reinforces the delivery company’s image as a reliable, no-nonsense shipping provider, and the prominent embroidered logo makes it clear exactly who they are – every time their driver comes to your door.
When choosing apparel for your own company uniform, think about your company’s “personality.” Are you lighthearted? professional? outdoorsy? Select garments consistent with your image and values. Garment style, fabric, color, and decorating techniques all contribute to the character of your uniform.
Do you want a simple, no-nonsense solid color shirt with minimal detail, or would something with contrasting stitching, trim stripes, or color blocks be more appropriate? Would an industrial look be suitable, or something very fashion forward? Possibly a spa tunic, apron, or even retro 50s bowling shirts would be the right look for your business. It all depends on the type of work that you do, and what “personality” (i.e. brand) you are creating.
Fabric & Color
Different fabrics convey different things, and it's important to find the fabric that best suits your brand. Denim usually evokes a rugged quality, conjuring up images of blue collar workers. High quality cotton or linen with a high threadcount can be used to convey a sense of relaxed luxury. Lycra and other performance fabrics imply an active lifestyle. T-shirts are youthful and rugged. Fine gauge sweaters are more polished and professional than larger cable knits. If your company is environmentally conscious, choose fabrics made from recycled, organic, or sustainably grown fibers. Color choices should be consistent with your branding. If your branding colors are unusual, start by finding out what apparel options are available in your signature shade.
Once the style, fabric, and color of your apparel have been established, it’s time to look at how your logo and other embellishments will be applied. As a rule of thumb, custom embroidery has a more upscale appearance than screen printing. Embroidered patches give a blue collar vibe, while sewing directly on garments is seen as polished and professional. Specialty techniques may be considered as well. For example, your logo could be done in rhinestones or glitter ink for a glamorous touch. Leather can be debossed. Fleece can be laser engraved. Digital printing inks are water based and environmentally friendly.
Keep the personality of your business in mind throughout the selection process, and you’ll end up with a company uniform that works well, promotes your brand, and communicates just the right message to everyone who encounters you!