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choosing right uniforms

The Right Uniform for the Right Job

8 min read
Uniform Market March 30, 2016

Many jobs require specific uniforms, for a variety of different reasons. Of course, there are the "traditional" or "classic" uniforms—the kind of garb you will always see a police officer or a firefighter wearing. However, there are also countless employees across the country that are "required" to wear something for a job—whether for safety reasons, because of branding or corporate culture, or because doing so is an accepted tradition.

Is It Time to Consult a Uniform Dealer?

If you are trying to develop a uniform program for your business but don't know where to start, uniform dealers are the right people to consult. Uniform dealers are familiar with traditions, norms, safety considerations, and a variety of other factors that can influence uniform choice. In the vast majority of cases, uniform dealers will know intuitively what someone should be wearing based on what their job requires.

It stands to reason that someone who climbs utility poles or someone working on a construction site would require a much different uniform than a bank teller, who would, in turn, have different uniform needs than a pediatrician or surgeon. A uniform dealer will be familiar with those differences and will be able to picture what a person in each of the above occupations might wear.

Factors to Consider

However, most uniform dealers will also go one step further in thinking about factors that the average person wouldn't even consider. Here are just a few of the considerations that a uniform dealer will take into account before recommending a specific uniform style or design.

  1. Freedom of movement: Someone who works at a desk doesn't require the same freedom of movement from his or her uniform as someone working on power lines. In situations where employees need to be able to move around flexibly and freely, a more restricting uniform could potentially be putting someone in danger.
  2. Visibility: Construction workers, warehouse employees, road workers, and other similar occupations require bright colored and highly reflective uniforms to remain visible while on the job. These types of uniforms help mitigate the risks of accident or injury by calling attention to the workers.
  3. Recognition: In the uniform industry, "visibility" doesn't always mean bright and reflective clothing. Sometimes, it can also refer to general brand visibility or image. Some jobs—particularly in service industries—demand uniforms that let customers know who is a staff member. Think about iconic uniforms like the blue shirts at Best Buy, the purple shirts at FedEx, or the brown shirts at UPS. These uniforms connect your employees to your brand and send a signal of trustworthiness to your customers.
  4. Performance: How does a uniform need to perform for your employees? For instance, an outdoor employee who regularly works in a hot climate would get a lot out of a uniform made from moisture-wicking materials. Uniforms made from dri-fit material or other similar fabrics work to keep employees cool, dry, and comfortable—even on the hottest workdays. Similarly, employees who work in wet environments would need their uniforms to include rain gear options, and so on. Think of these particular performance needs before deciding on a uniform program for your business.
  5. The job requirements: Are your employees working around flames? Electricity? Other hazardous conditions? What your employees actually do will tell you a lot about what they need regarding uniforms. Whether it's flame retardant fabrics for firefighters, antimicrobial treatments for healthcare workers, or fabrics for kitchen workers, an important facet of your uniforms is that they keep your employees safe.

Uniform dealers are the experts. They can guide your company in selecting the right uniform the right job. For more information about the uniform industry in general, visit our uniform publications at www.uniformmarketnews.com and www.madetomeasuremag.com.

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