As important as corporate gifts are, so is the image you portray in your dress style. Many companies are opting for a uniform again, putting aside the risk of allowing staff to dress as they see fit. Your brand and image are vital to your business’s growth and longevity, and having your employees “think” that they know how to dress accordingly could open up a real problem waiting to happen.
While the word “uniform” does not sit well with many, including the management and owners of a corporation, it needn’t be the equivalent of an orange jumpsuit. Without having to send your staff to “what-not-to-wear” and offending pretty much everyone on your payroll, you can still get your image right and save face simultaneously.
Why is the Corporate Dress Code Important?
Whether you work in a construction company or a dress code should be synonymous with your company image., your
Mind you, it needn’t be a replica of the sitcom Suits, although who wouldn’t want to look like that every day, right? No, as the business owner, you must decide what look you want your business to reflect, dress accordingly, and then educate your staff.
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This sounds simple, but most times, what you deem to be smart casual and what someone else thinks it to be could be worlds apart.
What are the various Dress Codes?
Think about when you have been invited to a wedding, and the dreaded dress code says COCKTAIL (what does the man wear) or worse yet, JACKET AND TIE (what does the lady wear?) or LOUNGE SUIT (what the …?!)
So, when you give your employees similar instructions, you will most definitely get a myriad of interpretations. In this situation, you either take them shopping (their budget or yours – another dilemma), buy them a uniform, or give an apparent breakdown, such as BEIGE CHINOS OR PENCIL SKIRT, WHITE SHIRT, AND BLACK SHOES WITH BLACK BELT.
If you give them instructions on a particular dress code, then here is how to explain it to them. These are the most used terms for business attire.
This is relatively informal attire, but not trainers and flip-flops.
For guys, even jeans or chinos will work, with a T-shirt, jacket and smart shoes.
For ladies, a dress with heels or smart pants with a nice top, a jacket optional, and a flat may work too.
Having said all that, I can still see the confusion in your eyes and that of your staff. If you work at an, the dress code will be more relaxed than at a top consultancy firm.
This is a dangerous word because most will go with jeans and trainers, and some will even go with a tracksuit. Dangerous! Dangerous! Avoid this single word rather. Even casual Fridays can become an eyesore for all.
Pretty obvious? I think so. The men could wear a two or three-piece suit and a tie. The woman could get the power suits out and work it like a boss. Yes, simple. But there are derivatives of this, too. Open neck shirt with a suit that looks like it was bought from Mr. Price or, worse, a thrift store. An image always helps, and a few options on where to buy their clothes from.
Why Uniforms and Corporate Branded Clothing works well
So, in steps, the real option, the option that means you don’t need to question what that pink, fluffy, and laced ensemble means or why he is wearing what looks like a swimsuit to the board meeting.
No, introduce a uniform, and know it doesn’t need to be as scary as it sounds.
Nowadays, from hotel staff to educational facilities, uniforms have changed hugely. The options on the table are vast and can be downright trendy, too.
It is important to remember that your employees represent your business and you and you should be the first port of call when it comes to reflecting the business brand.
Branding does not mean you have to stick your logo onto every item of clothing. It could be as simple as a small icon on a smart shirt and jacket’s left-hand pocket. It could be printed on the back of a golf shirt or jumper-style hoodie.
Deciding on a few key clothing items without breaking the bank can mean you have taken control of the employees you unleash onto the world.
Your combo could be something like this:
- A simple white shirt, cut for men and ladies respectively
- A black, smart pants and pencil skirt
- A black or beige jacket again cut for each gender and, of course, size.
Another more casual look could be:
- Smart, dark blue jeans
- A white or particular color golf shirt
- A trendy, tailored sports jacket
A few key factors to adhere to at all times are:
Be aware of your fit, and ensure it can be adjusted for every body size and type. There is nothing worse than seeing someone a wee bit overweight squeezed into a figure-hugging style dress or a skinny guy being swamped by a bomber-style jacket.
2. Casual Friday Beware
Yes, it is nice to have this ritual, but be clear on what Casual Friday entails. Most will see this as a free-for-all day, and it only takes one day, one potential client, and one oddly dressed staff member to mess up one deal.
As with the modesty factor, it ensures your staff is comfortable in their attire. They will be far more productive if they feel at ease in their clothes.
So, before you splash out on, please look at your corporate image as your employees reflect it.
The clothes do maketh the man … or woman … so be sure to give it all a great deal of thought before just sticking a “uniform’ rule on your business.