The Definition of Uniform Has Changed
A quick search for “uniform” on any popular high-fashion blog will produce a number of articles that have nothing to do with uniforms as we know them. The definition of uniform is beginning to change into a brand new meaning.
The uniform as a concept is rooted in another relatively new concept—Personal Branding. In today’s digital world people instinctively know that having a strong online social presence is the best way to make connections and potentially advance your career. At every level of business, whether in entertainment, creative work or traditional sales, we all now know, that we should be engaging online to expand our sphere of influence.
At one end of the personal branding spectrum are those in entertainment with an eccentric style. Rock Stars, Actors, Drag Queens, Magicians, etc. People with a great big style all their own are memorable, thanks to their lifestyle, their behavior and their look. It’s all part of their identity. What they wear can be called a uniform, but at this extreme end of the spectrum their clothing is more of a costume than a uniform.
Uniform vs. YOUniform
Other high-profile personalities like Mark Zuckerberg and Hillary Clinton who have highly recognizable looks are hardly considered eccentric. Remember his gray T-shirts and hoodies and of course, her famous pantsuits.
Some other center-spectrum personalities include filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Interstellar, Memento) who wears a minor variation of the same suit, blazer and jeans every day. Famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz, wears a white blouse with a black suit jacket and pants all the time.
Many of them have adopted a uniform of sorts for personal reasons. In the first place, it saves valuable time getting dressed and eliminates what’s known as decision fatigue. And secondly, their respective uniforms suit their personal style which just happens to be super comfortable for them.
These semi-famous people have a personal style and probably adopted it for the sake of convenience and comfort. The media however has dubbed it a uniform and the millenials and iphone generation, who have been conditioned to value The Brand over all else, have interpreted it as deliberate personal branding.
Young people in these generations are the most likely to adopt a personal uniform. Being hyper-connected to be remembered and stay relevant is a top priority for them. In fact, many are already self-branding. For those who adopt a uniform—the design will most definitely enhance their brand and ensure that they stay relevant. Their online presence will also look artfully curated.
Can a Personal Uniform Open Doors?
In the Career Apparel industry, we know that uniforms can open doors. We’ve seen it time and again, when a company, school or organization steps up their appearance from casual to professional they experience the benefits on many levels. Company pride increases, customers respond more positively, staff members and students often behave more professionally. Sales can even increase. In short, they are more successful in school or business. Recipient’s of recognition blazers for leadership, performance or excellence often rise in the ranks of their organization in a short time.
It follows that a power outfit made up of one’s favorite pieces will definitely open doors. Just think about the confidence you feel when you wear your favorite outfit. You carry yourself differently, exude more confidence, make more eye contact. You shake hands with a firm grip. Consider how that confidence improves your social interactions. Obviously, with that kind of energy, a few “new doors” are going to open!
Imagine feeling that kind of confidence everyday—and consequently impressing new people every day! People will remember you. Why not make yourself even more memorable by adopting a uniform? As a distributor, can you wrap your brain around this new fluid definition of uniform? Why not test it out and see how many new doors open for you.
How Your Buyers Can Use This New Definition of Uniform
Uniform buyers can learn some lessons from the early-adopters who are changing the definition of uniform. Advise your buyers to include a few simple criteria to their program planning. See how end-users and their organizations can benefit from what the high-profile uniformed crowd already knows.
- Interview your end-users and develop a wish-list of apparel attributes that make them feel great.
- Choose the most-cited attributes and start designing for the group.
- Once the largest cross-section of your group is satisfied—build on the collection to include outliers.
- Add embellishments and accessories that reflect the company culture and a collective creative style.
- Refine the program until your team feels super-stylish and is oozing confidence!
Your creative customers deserve a great supplier with extensive experience in custom programs. Executive Apparel is a full service manufacturer of image wear including career apparel, promotional apparel, blazers for work and school for kids, collegiates and adults. Our talented production team can not only advise you on designing any type of program but we can source anything you need to create your client’s vision. In the long run, you’ll succeed faster and more often with the expert team at Executive Apparel.
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