July '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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34 || P R I N T W E A R J U LY 2 0 1 8 As times have changed, so have uniforms and corporate attire. (Image courtesy Edwards Garment) Uniform Looks They Are A-Changin' B Y N A D I A S A N T O L I W hen we hear the word uni- form, our minds can't help but think of a classic white or navy button-down shirt or even a polo branded with a logo. As times have changed, so have uniforms and corporate attire, and those companies who want to be successful at their marketing and brand strategy place a great deal of value on keeping their uniforms modern, on-trend, and fashion-forward. The days of formality and strict dress codes are behind us and are being replaced by companies embracing cool and comfort- able looks that show versatility and style. In fact, more offices even communicate that staff are permitted to follow a 'business cas- ual' dress code. Essentially, a uniform is all about telling a story. What does the company represent? What is their mission and culture? How can staff clothing bring this to life? So much more than a branded shirt or polo, a uniform is a huge opportunity to motiv- ate internal associates and inspire clients or customers. What the team wears at work is all a reflection of who the com- pany is, and ultimately, what it would like to be known for. So, if you're looking to fresh- en up your uniform assort- ment this season, it's important to think about stylish design trends and new options, which can complement a host of dif- ferent work environments. COMFORT IS KING Just because something is comfortable to wear it doesn't always mean that it looks 'too comfortable.' There are a variety of different ways to embrace the comfort trend, with- out compromising on the intended profes- sional appearance. Taraynn Lloyd, VP of marketing at Ed- wards Garment explains this shift stating that a hotel property, for example, may have more 'traditional' suiting during Monday to Thursday. But, on Friday and the weekend, they are shifting to casual woven shirts, dress pants, and sweater vests. This trend is more relaxed and comfortable to the wearer but is well put together and professional looking. Corporate buyers are also moving away from the traditional oxford shirt to have staff sport a dress shirt with a textured weave and soft hand. PERFORMANCE AT ITS BEST Performance materials are now much more acceptable in the corporate and hospitality market as well. Whether your client is con- sidering a performance mesh or snag-proof polo, fabrics that allow their employees to stay dry and comfortable in the most humid conditions make all the difference in the world. Nadia Santoli is a freelance contributor to Printwear magazine. With more than 10 years in the public relations, communications, and marketing fields, including nearly three years directly within the promotional apparel in- dustry, Nadia is no stranger to successfully bringing products and services to market. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the Schulich School of Business and resides in the Toronto, Ontario (Canada) area.

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