As a business owner or manager, staying on top of uniform trends is important.

Uniform Design Trends for 2016

The Workplace Today Technology & Innovation

Uniform design trends change over time. In terms of appearance, safety and function, here are the hottest trends to consider for 2016.

Uniform design trends change over time with the fashion industry, but the purpose behind opting to use a uniform to represent your brand is timeless. The right uniform can make all the difference in creating a recognizable image for your brand, so when choosing the style and design, you’ll have some practical decisions to make.

Keeping Up With Trends

Keeping your team’s uniform up to date with the latest trends in business fashion gives your customers the impression that your company is keeping up with the latest trends on all fronts, giving you more credibility. More and more, companies are taking tips from millennials on uniform design. “To gain a competitive edge in an improving economy, many clients are updating their apparel programs with specific designs that reflect their brand,” said Bryan Colpo, Director of Merchandising at Cintas. “They also want programs that give employees flexibility, a trend that’s strongly influenced by millennials.” When employees are comfortable, as well as approachable and attractive to customers, they’ll have an easier time connecting with and assisting your consumers.

Combining Form and Function

When choosing the right fit for your uniforms, you’ll need to consider which functions are actually being performed at your job site. For example, how many supervisors do you have on staff? Do you have any delivery drivers, counter workers or other customer service specialists who represent your company? For those who interact with customers, you may want to consider a high-performance fabric that is resistant to wrinkles.

In contrast to a team member who works behind the scenes — perhaps in a warehouse setting or inside an auto repair shop and doesn’t interact with customers — someone who is speaking to your clientele needs to be neat and presentable from the start of their workday to the minute they clock out. As a safe bet, a tailored uniform fit will convey a message of cleanliness, capability and success.

For 2016, the hottest uniform trends include a comfortable fit and long-wearing durability, as well as several fashionable updates to accommodate new color trends. Neutral colors are also moving away from the starkness of jet black, and shades of gray and navy blue are growing in popularity. These colors can be featured alongside other neutrals, or you can pair them with a bright contrasting color that fits with your branding. Cargo pants, men’s suits and uniform apparel that actually looks like it’s from the retail shelves.

Workplace Uniforms

One of the biggest uniform trends for 2016 is the growing concept of a uniform rental program in service professions and industries. If you run a restaurant, you know that nonslip shoes are the first thing on the list for new employees to acquire. Likewise, there are other uniform necessities for kitchen workers, such as chef pants and coats, which can be expensive, especially when bought individually. For new team members, the cost of buying an entirely new work wardrobe can be a hardship, and replacing uniforms later is equally expensive. Taking on the minor utility costs of a uniform rental service means that your workers will always be Ready for the Workday™ in your specifically branded uniform design. Their uniforms will also be cleaned and taken care of properly, as well as checked for safety concerns regularly.

As a business owner or manager, staying on top of uniform trends is important. You want your workers to feel productive, comfortable and fashionable. So when choosing your latest uniform design, be sure to keep these current trends in mind.

Tiffani J. Purdy
Tiffani J. Purdy

Tiffani J. Purdy is a freelance writer and editor based in Tampa, Florida. Her areas of expertise include green business trends, lean management styles and workplace health and safety standards. She has also been the Assistant Editor for MUI Daily News since 2014.