Exceeding expectations – what do your uniforms bring to the table (or lobby)?
It’s impossible to escape the fact that we live in a world where we are judged for our appearance. Apparently, being tall, blonde and attractive isn’t just a benefit when it comes to your love life – it can also get you a higher wage! According to a study conducted by the University of Exeter Medical School, these standards impact the workplace too.
While doing research for this blog, our newest Fashionizer team member, Julie, told me how uncomfortable her uniform was during her time working for an internationally recognised high-end fashion brand. In fact, she said their poor-quality uniform became a running joke within her office after her male colleagues regularly experienced splits in rather awkward places.
While it might seem like nothing more than a funny anecdote between colleagues, it shouldn’t be a laughing matter for companies who may be unaware of the knock-on effect poorly designed uniforms could be having on their businesses.
But it’s worth noting that a stronger focus on the quality of uniforms has increased in the last few years and is seen by some as a generational issue, related to the challenges of staff retention.
The issues with Millennials and Gen Z are two-fold. Firstly, they have increased expectations when it comes to their jobs and their work-life balance, promotion prospects and other perks. But this also means they are less likely to be content with wearing an ill-fitting, poor quality work uniform.
Secondly, social media has had a huge impact on how much we care about what others think. This insatiable need to look ‘Instagram ready’ 24/7 means that younger workers are less likely to be content with wearing a uniform they’re unhappy to be seen in.
At the heart of the issue is that no matter what role they may have, the new generation of workers want to be made to feel special. From personal interactions, to representing the company. At The Belmond Cadogan Hotel, Spencer the doorman told us that he used to wear an undistinctive and poor quality uniform in his old job, where consequently no one noticed him. Now with his new tailored fire-engine red coat, he has become a celebrity on Sloane Street and proud of his uniform. He claims, that it has changed the way he behaves and transformed how he feels at work. The new uniform has enabled him to have a “presence” and feel important.
Innovative designs and new ideas can also change expectations, Fashionizer’s housekeeping dresses for the hotel are printed with a wildflower prints, inspired by the hotel’s gardens that famously featured in the romantic film Notting Hill.
At Fashionizer we believe that whether you are tall or short, a uniform that flatters and fits is always an advantage!