Not everyone wears a uniform to school, but at some stage of anyone’s childhood, you probably would have worn a team sport uniform or any other uniform that represented a club or society that you may have belonged to.
Anyone who has worn a uniform will be able to testify that a uniform can be a blessing or a curse, depending on one of the following:
- How you feel about the body/organisation that provided the uniform
- How you feel about the design of the actual uniform
- How comfortable/practical the uniform is
- How much freedom of expression the uniform allows
So what do we mean by this?
How you feel about the body/organisation that provided the uniform
If you are proud to belong to a particular body/organisation, then you will want people to know that you are a ‘member’ and what better way to stand out as a group than to be seen in uniform. A uniform is an incredibly powerful way to brand and create awareness. When worn with pride, the effect can be incredibly powerful. Images of navy recruits come to mind here, as well as Olympic sports teams.
How you feel about the design of the actual uniform
If the uniform looks and feels good, you will feel good wearing it. This can be very tricky because not all colours complement all skin tones. If a company, for example, wants their uniforms to match the colours of their brand this may not look good in clothing. It would be better to possibly use more neutral colours and print or embroider the logo in a prominent place. Bottom line: If you want people to represent their uniform well, make sure the uniform makes them feel great.
How comfortable/practical the uniform is
A beautiful looking item of clothing is not going to be worn with pride if it is not suitable to the environment in which it is to be worn. Always take into account the kind of people who will be expected to wear the uniform, the type of work/sport/function they are expected to perform and the climate in which the uniform will be worn.
How much freedom of expression the uniform allows
This may seem counter-intuitive as the term uniform suggests that everyone should look the same and this will depend on the nature of the uniform and the body/team/organization. In some companies where uniforms are required, the employees will all wear the same shirt and jacket but may be able to choose, for example, to wear slacks or a skirt with the shirt. Allowing some freedom of expression can be a great way to encourage staff to wear a uniform.
We’ve provided a few tips on how to encourage people to wear their uniforms with pride, but we know there are even more creative ways to do this – why not place your suggestion in the comments box below?