Having worked in the corporate clothing and brand styling business for the past 13 years, there are a few tips and tricks you pick up along the way and there are also a handful of questions and issues nearly all of our clients face, regardless of their industry...
Whether you’re dressing a promotional retail team, organising branded uniform for your annual trade exhibition or refreshing the uniforms for your front of house, sourcing the garments is only part of the process, ensuring they provide a good fit is another. Once you’ve invested in a new uniform you want your colleagues to feel comfortable and confident whilst representing your brand and undertaking their daily duties, you also want a uniform that’s fit for purpose.
Size and fit in corporate clothing is not dissimilar from the High Street – if you’ve ever tried on an M&S garment and then popped straight to H&M and tried on the exact same size, you’ll know that there can be huge differences from brand to brand. This isn’t a new issue, it’s been going on for years, see this BBC article from 2003 here and it isn’t only limited to womenswear, men suffer exactly the same problem.
To make matters even more confusing, if you manage to navigate the size label nightmare, you then have to contend with staff who may not feel entirely comfortable sharing their dress sizes with the rest of the team or those who write down their most optimistic size rather than the most realistic!
With over a decade of experience of supplying corporate clothing, 4Couture has built up an extensive knowledge base of the nuances of each brand as well as undertaking thorough testing and trying on everything that comes through our studio. (which makes for some fun days, especially if it’s PPE gear)
We then translate each brand and garment, back into their ‘true’ measurement (in inches, we’re old skool) and this in turn, allows us to make an informed recommendation. It’s not unusual for a team member to end up with a corporate uniform which contains a mixture of different brand sizes but with a uniform that actually fits!
In addition to the size itself, fit is also an important factor – when dressing a promotional field team for instance, you may have a percentage of the team that prefer a slim fit shirt whilst others may be more comfortable wearing a tailored shirt or a traditional cut. 4Couture’s Jess has been exploring shirt options in her blog and for women, how many times have we heard the phrase ‘unisex garment’ which let’s be honest, means wearing something made for a man! (that’s a blog for another day)
So, how can you source a well fitting uniform that provides options from the petite to the tallest and the smallest to the largest? Start by ignoring the label inside the garment, look at the fit and requirement of the garments and ask your team to be honest about their sizing and their comfort.
At 4Couture we have years of experience and understand just how emotive the uniform process can be, but we offer a personalised fittings experience as well as sending out sample sets of garments so your team can try on their uniform in the comfort of their own home. If your guys are going to be wearing a corporate wardrobe for 40 hours a week, we want them to love it as much as we do.
We have a strap line in our studio and on our social media #allinthedetail and it’s something we’re passionate about – if you need help with organising branded uniform then give us a call or if you need help sorting out your own sizing, tweet us and we’ll send you one of our 4Couture tape measures to help with the process.