Signs That It’s Time for a Uniform Refresh

Signs That It’s Time for a Uniform Refresh
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If it’s been a minute since you updated your company uniforms, it might be time for a workwear refresh. But how do you know whether or not it’s the right time for a uniform update? Discover five signs that it’s time for a uniform refresh and learn how to get started with a uniform update:

By michaeljung /

5 Signs That It’s Time for a Uniform Refresh

Not sure whether or not you should consider a uniform refresh? Here are five signs that it might be time to redesign your uniforms:

#1. Current Uniforms Are Worn Out

Even the highest-quality uniforms will eventually get worn out and need a replacement. Most workwear lasts 12-18 months with regular wear (on average), but they may need replacement sooner if your employees work in roles where they put a lot of wear and tear on their clothing more quickly. If your current work uniforms are nearing the end of their life cycle, this is the perfect opportunity to evaluate whether you want to do a uniform refresh or simply re-order the same design all over again.

#2. Your Branding Has Changed

If you have recently rebranded your company, then you will definitely want to update your employees’ uniforms even if they have a lot of life left in them. Branded uniforms are extremely important for communicating that your employees are part of the company, and this message won’t come across if the uniforms don’t reflect your new branding. Make sure the new uniforms match your current logo, color palette, company name, and branding personality — for instance, an American Giant custom hoodie is perfect for a tech startup, but not a great fit for a historic bank.

#3. Your Current Uniforms Are Outdated

If your uniforms look like they belong in a historical reenactment and not in a contemporary setting, then it’s time to give them a refresh. Outdated uniform designs will make your company seem behind the times, while modernized uniforms with appropriate options for all genders will make you seem on top of current developments. To extend the life of your uniforms, choose timeless designs such as Dickies custom shirts and coveralls.

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#4. Safety or Quality Improvements Are Needed

New innovations in workwear apparel are happening all the time. If you haven’t updated your uniforms in a while, you may need to refresh them in order to get up to date on safety and quality improvements like flame-resistant fabric coatings. This is especially important for industrial and manufacturing companies where the uniform is an essential piece of safety gear, not just a piece of branded clothing.

#5. Your Employees Dislike the Current Uniforms

Uniforms can either support or undermine employee satisfaction. Unflattering, uncomfortable uniforms will make employees unhappy, while a good-looking, well-fitting uniform will increase employee satisfaction. If it’s been a while since you polled your employees about their thoughts on the current uniforms, it might be time to send out a survey to get some feedback on their likes and dislikes so you can design a new generation of better uniforms.

How to Get Started with a Uniform Refresh

Now that you’ve determined that it’s time for a uniform refresh, it’s time to kick-start the process. Here’s what you need to do to update your uniforms:

#1. Evaluate Your Current Uniforms

The first thing that you need to do is evaluate the current uniforms and determine what needs to change. Do you need a different color or fabric? Do you want to change the style entirely? What works and doesn’t work about the current uniform? Answering these questions first will ensure that your new uniforms solve problems instead of creating them.

#2. Gather Employee Feedback

As part of the evaluation process, you should also gather employee feedback through a survey or other means. After all, they are the ones who have to wear the uniforms all day (or all night), so they should have some input on the new selection. Aggregate the responses to see what trends emerge and let that guide your search for a new uniform.

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#3. Make a Wish List of Features

Once you’ve evaluated your current uniforms and gathered employee feedback, it’s time to start a wish list of features that you want in your new uniforms. Whether it’s more pockets, water-resistant fabric, or a different color, put everything on a list. If employees want vastly different things, you might need to look into offering several different uniform options instead of just one.

#4. Investigate Vendor Options

When it comes to custom workwear apparel, there are many possible vendors to choose from. Even if you already have a workwear vendor you like, it doesn’t hurt to do some competitive research to see if other companies can offer a better selection, turnaround time, or price. And if you don’t like your current apparel vendor, a uniform refresh is the perfect time to find a new partner who can better meet your company’s needs.

#5. Comparison Test Samples

Apparel that looks awesome in website photos may not live up to the hype in person, so it’s important to evaluate actual samples before making your final selection. Once you narrow down you’re shortlist to your top handful of vendors, ask them to send you samples of your top uniform choices. Once they arrive, make sure that they meet your needs in terms of comfort and features. You should also evaluate them for quality defects such as uneven fabric dye and loose seams.

#6. Don’t Forget the Accessories

When it comes to work uniforms, clothing is only one part of the equation. Don’t forget to decide on options for hats, shoes, belts, and other parts of the uniform — or provide guidance if employees will be buying their own. Keep in mind that you can also order branded accessories, such as a custom Camelbak backpack or Carhartt Outerwear, for a truly comprehensive uniform refresh.

Have you recently updated your workwear uniforms, or are you planning to in the future? What do you look for in new company uniforms? Let us know in the comments below!

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