What will post-Covid uniforms look like?
Uniforms are taking on the challenges of Covid and embracing the opportunity to reinvent themselves like a forgotten Hollywood star making a triumphant comeback in the latest blockbuster movie. As we cautiously return to the office, a new balance is being struck between professional polish and the 3 C’s shaping the future of post-Covid uniforms: Comfort, Convenience and Consideration.
From back-to-back Zoom meetings (wearing a shirt above the camera line and trackies below) to working the trade counter, dispensing medications or providing specialised diagnostic imaging services, these WFH-inspired uniform trends are bringing a new level of comfort and style to the workplace.
Comfort reigns supreme
Danielle Grossi, Head of Client Partnerships at Designs To You, says uniform design has quickly taken a strong detour to prioritising comfort – and that it might be a permanent redirection. While businesses have been gradually warming up to casual uniform styles before the world came to a standstill (thanks, COVID!), this new global reality has truly made 2021 the year of Business Casual.
“Casual Friday is no longer the only work day reserved for wearing relaxed, weekend-inspired outfits. It’s becoming the everyday norm.” says Danielle.
Unsurprisingly studies have shown an upswing in productivity the more comfortable a person feels in what they’re wearing.
Coincidence? We think not.
But casual and comfy doesn’t mean sloppy and messy. The key to elevating any casual look and making it work-friendly are uniforms that are well designed, with smart silhouettes and top-notch tailoring.
“Think chinos paired with soft linen shirts and knit tops. We’re seeing polo shirts return to the spotlight, while formal jackets are replaced with knitwear or softshell jackets that give a business-like vibe while dialling up the comfort.”
Most people have enough going on without spending hours ironing, washing and drying their uniforms. Uniforms need to be convenient – ‘slip on and go’ pieces that aren’t needy and can pretty much look after themselves.
“Nobody likes a person in their life that is high maintenance.” Danielle says. “Workers feel the same about their uniforms and expect the next level in easy care. We all spend enough time at work. We really don’t want to add ironing, dry cleaning and drying to our to-do lists.”
“Uniforms in particular go through such high wear and tear so they have to be fuss-free. We use innovative fabrics like TruTemp 365® which in addition to helping regulate body temperature, don’t need ironing, dry super quickly and even repel stains.”
Making the choice to design uniforms with convenience in mind even goes as far as removing buttons and zips to save time getting dressed. Take our Milano knitwear for example. Made with a unique knit structure using high-twist yarn, it’s super stretchy, breathable, no buttons, no zips, doesn’t pill, unravel or ladder, doesn’t fade and can be machine washed. When it comes to convenience, it’s like a uniform super-hero!
The bottom line is the less time people spend on their uniforms, the more they can focus on the things that matter – spending time with family, friends, or their Netflix watch list.
With the world in the grips of a pandemic and wild weather events occurring around the globe, consumers and businesses are more environmentally conscious than ever.
Of course, we’re all considered citizens and our thoughts for more sustainable products don’t stop at using our Keep Cup every morning. As the fashion industry is taking encouraging initiatives, the uniform industry is quickly catching up.
“We’re getting a lot of enquiries about sustainable uniforms and ethical uniform supply” says Danielle. “Many brands have set sustainability targets and they’re looking for a uniform supplier that aligns with their values”.
Resources are finite, so the key to sustainable uniforms is considered design. From choosing recycled fabrics (like Repreve®), crafting quality products that last, to minimising plastic packaging, and recycling old uniforms, it all contributes to reducing landfill and lessening the load on the environment.
“At Designs To You we believe in leading by example, so we’re working on making our whole stock service range sustainable by the end of 2022” Danielle says proudly.
We all have a role to play in protecting the planet, and in our minds there’s no longer a question of doing everything we can to create a cleaner and less wasteful world. Thankfully, with innovative and sustainable uniforms that also dial up comfort and convenience at the same time, it’s a win-win for everyone!
If you want to help strike the perfect balance between Comfort, Convenience, Consideration and a professional look, talk to our team about designing a uniform collection that is ahead of the curve.