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Bespoke Uniforms – Craft and Cut of Tailoring Corporate Workwear

14 August 2017

Bespoke corporate uniform supplier JSD combines both the style and craftsmanship of Savile Row and the technology and processes of fashion retail.

Bringing High Quality Craftsmanship and Design to Corporate Uniforms

It’s no coincidence that JSD stands for Jermyn Street Design. Owner Susanne Malim’s vision was always about bringing the high quality craftsmanship and design of bespoke British tailoring to corporate uniforms.

While Savile Row and Jermyn Street are synonymous with personal design, made-to-measure tailoring and hand stitching, fashion retail requires different skill sets. By harnessing best practice techniques in technology and supply chain management from the fashion industry, JSD ensures its competitive edge in high quality, larger scale corporate clothing production.

Cutting a Good Sample

Keith is a pattern cutter at JSD, with over 40 years’ experience in the trade from Savile Row to high street fashion brands.

For a pattern cutter, one of the biggest challenges can be getting a sample made properly. Sending a pattern design straight to the factories for a sample can be time-consuming and costly, taking up to three weeks to send back. If the designer or client isn’t happy with the sample, and changes need to be made, this can set back production significantly.

Bespoke uniform suppliers JSD have their own sample room, with a team of pattern cutters and machinists who work closely with the design team to translate designs into patterns that the factories can easily and accurately produce. The samples need to be checked to see if the garments look their best , match the pattern, and represent the designer and client’s vision. The team will check how the cloth has behaved in production – has it shrunk, stretched or moved? If everyone is happy, then they proceed to the next stage of wearer trials. Feedback from the trials is applied and only then does a uniform go into production.

Skills and Experience

Behind every designer uniform JSD produces, there is a full team of skilled professionals. Designers, garment technologists and pattern cutters work together, making the most of everyone’s knowledge and experience to ensure the best possible result.

The pattern maker starts things off and then hands over to the the production team and garment technologists who refine the final design and makes the new uniform ready for production. Together the designer, garment tech and pattern maker can spot any potential issues with the movement or stretch of a fabric or shape.
Having a good knowledge of what the factories are realistically able to do also saves time and money. Whereas a Savile Row tailor can get 3cm ease into an armhole, the average factory can only get about 1cm of ease, because they only have roughly three minutes to put a sleeve in.

Keith spent four years on Savile Row. He knows what makes a high quality garment and has brought his tailoring techniques to JSD. Spending time at the factories throughout his career and getting to know their operations and processes, he learned how to work with them to get the best results. For instance, knowing the equipment the factories are using and how the machines are adjusted for size and fabric may influence how you cut a pattern.

High End Uniforms Need Savvy Tailoring

Bespoke tailoring may seem an unlikely consideration when talking about corporate uniform design and manufacturing, but JSD’s goal is to create ready-to-wear ranges that are of the same quality you’d expect of made-to-measure garments.

Rather than offer standard off-the-shelf solutions, high-end uniform suppliers JSD are able to offer clients wider options, well-cut patterns, that combine design, customisation, style, comfort and wearability.

Having a solid knowledge of tailoring techniques both by hand and machine means that JSD can advise on the most appropriate solutions for the customer’s requirements and budget. This could be as simple as whether to have a false pocket instead of a real one, selecting interlinings to reinforce and strengthen hems or buttonholes, the right quality of under collars for jackets, or which choice of shoulder pad provides the best shape.

Fashion, Style and Branding

One thing Keith has observed during his career is that it comes back to fashion and style: whether you’re dressing for a glamorous evening out, or a normal day at work, everybody wants to look good. While employees may have no choice but to wear a uniform, they are still influenced by fashion.

“You’ll have young waiters; if you don’t make a uniform for them that’s trendy, they will alter it themselves to make it trendy.”

Savile Row jacket design and pattern cuts that once seemed too sharp or edgy for corporate wear, are now in high demand. Clients are asking for more tailored lines and skinny cuts for uniforms. There is also a move to more casual tailoring, as workplace uniforms become more relaxed.

A uniform is an extension of the client’s brand and that needs to be current, relevant and display the brand’s assets. It’s no longer enough to have staff wearing standard, off-the-shelf uniform options. Good quality brands need high-end uniforms, tailored to ensure each staff member is both comfortable and looks professional.

Designer Uniforms in Practice

JSD’s owner Susanne Malim has a clear vision of designer workwear. Her goal is to create ready-to-wear uniform wardrobes that have the same quality of workmanship, style and customisation as a bespoke suit; uniforms that have elegance and timelessness; and uniforms that can be tailored as closely to a customer’s specific requirements as possible while matching their budget.




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TEL: +44 20 8563 5000

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