As industry experts, we have seen our fair share of uniforms. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly (literally!). We also know how to pick a good uniform when we see one. Recently, we have been impressed by a number of uniforms currently being used by various retailers and businesses. Their uniforms are creative and communicative. Today, we share two of these uniform stars with you. (Please note we did not create the uniform for the companies discussed below).
Our head designer Fiona recently went into a Nespresso store and was blown away by the uniforms on display. Nespresso is a well-known brand, renowned for European high-quality coffee. Their current uniforms display that lifestyle beautifully, every element fits together well to create a polished and engaging overall style.
The new Nespresso uniform which images have not yet been released, consists of charcoal fitted trousers paired with soft flowing blouses in a sand and white stripe. Combined with sand coloured belts and brogues and a charcoal apron with leather trimming, staff members look picture perfect – from head to toe.
Why We Love It
We love the Nespresso uniforms because the style fits so perfectly with the overall branding of the company. Nespresso aims to give customers a luxurious experience from the moment they walk in the door, and the classy uniforms are a big part of that first impression. Each element ties together well with a limited colour scheme and high-quality fabrics. The finer details like belts and shoes were intricately designed and tailor made for the uniform. All the female staff members had their hair tied back in the same style, adding to the continuity of the team.
Airlines are known for their uniforms and Virgin is one of the best! The Virgin uniform is distinctive and bold, a bright red suit jacket and skirt for women and a navy and red suit combination for men. The quintessential neck-tie adds the finishing touch for female staff. The uniforms are flattering and well-tailored. The design is timeless!
Why We Love It
We love the way that Virgin uses their brand’s colour, red, consistently throughout the uniform. Because the colour is bold, the rest of the uniform is classic and subtle. The uniforms are flattering and fit the staff members well – especially important considering the physically demanding job stewards have. But, it is not just Virgin Atlantic which benefits from the uniform – Richard Branson owns 29 business ventures under the Virgin Group. All of them have similar uniforms, simple in design and centred around the colour red. This gives unity to the whole company and makes the brand feel familiar – whether customers are using Virgin Active, Virgin Air or Virgin Mobile!
Why it Works
So, what makes the Nespresso and Virgin uniforms tick? Where do they find their magic? We think it is because these brands have really invested their heart and soul into creating the perfect uniform. It is not a half-hearted effort or a quick-fix, both brands understand the impact of uniforms and have invested accordingly. This results in uniforms which are unique and united. They are creative expressions of the brand’s values, audience and purpose. They build familiarity and trust. Both uniforms are designed to be recognisable and positively associated – they are centred around high-quality design and tailored fitting. The finishing touches are there too – both Nespresso and Virgin have high expectations of dress code for their employees. Hairstyles, grooming and makeup are all taken into consideration. That is why these two brands are standouts because they show real effort and imagination in their uniform.
You Can Do It Too
Set your own brand up for success by taking a page from the books of companies like Nespresso and Virgin. Want to get a uniform which ticks all the boxes? Here are some top tips from The Uniform Edit:
- Write a thorough dress code and include directives in regards to hair and makeup.
- Make sure staff understand the uniform– not just how to wear it but why to wear it. Invest them in the process!
- Think through what your uniform says about your brand.What are you values? Who is your audiences? What style fits these elements best?
- Go custom! Successful businesses understand the need for bespoke uniforms, bulk-buy simply won’t do.