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Positively Shaping Corporate Workwear

13 September 2018

Is your company’s uniform body positive?

Is it inclusive and fit for purpose? Specialist uniform designers have the expertise to produce stylish, comfortable and affordable corporate workwear to fit your workforce, whatever their size and shape.

Full figure fashion revolution

It’s not just fashion trends that change, body shapes are changing too. People are not just getting bigger, we are also curvier. Leading the charge are celebrities like the Kardashian sisters, Beyoncé and Rihanna. Even fitness trends like CrossFit mean that we are now celebrating and proudly flaunting different body shapes. This is being reflected in bolder, more form-fitting styles both on the high street and in the workplace.

A bespoke uniform provider can recommend the right fabric options for your brand and budget. Thanks to new technology and materials, today’s shapewear can be more tailored to flatter varied body shapes. The latest knitted stretch fabrics are great for dresses and suiting – offering comfort, easy care and of course, a smart, well-presented look.

Trends in body size and shape

According to a report by AT Kearney, the US plus-size women’s apparel market is growing at a faster rate than women’s apparel overall. In the UK, the average dress size is now a size 16. This goes even higher if we only look at older women. Employers need to take this into account when ordering their uniforms.

A specialist uniform provider will use pattern blocks based on average body dimensions, that they track over time so that they are up-to-date and offer a more accurate fit.

Body Positive Uniform Design

Just as fashion brands have responded to body trends with form-fitting, plus size ranges, bespoke uniform designers will advise clients on how to adapt and tailor their workwear to suit a wide range of body types.

To ensure the longevity of your uniform, they will help create a range that balances between the latest styles, future trends and practical needs. For instance, while fashion may favour ankle skimming, tapered styles, this doesn’t suit most people. A good designer will tailor trousers to accentuate hips and different heights, adding adjustable waistbands for more flexibility.

Increase your uniform budget for a better ROI

In the past, many plus-size uniforms have simply been larger versions of regular size garments that don’t always look good when worn by full-figured women. Ill-fitting garments can leave customers with the impression that your staff are sloppy, while your employees may feel self-conscious and uncomfortable, which will affect morale and productivity.

A quality workwear supplier will grade patterns above a standard size and adjust proportions to different body shapes, such as shoulder width and body length, to ensure a good fit. Simple adjustments at the pattern cutting stage, such as button positioning to minimise gaping, can make a huge difference in comfort and fit.

The use of sizing sets and sizing roadshows are crucial to engage with staff and pick the best fitting uniform for them. They are a worthwhile investment that can reduce returns and accommodate special requirements for made-to-measure garments.

Ill-fitting clothing can be a workplace hazard

Ill-fitting clothing not only hampers work but can be a safety hazard. Baggy overalls can increase the chances of tripping, while safety harnesses and body armour can chafe if they are not shaped for breasts or hips.

When designing airline uniforms, you need to take into account cabin pressure, which can mean employees will go up or down a dress size during a flight. Fit is not just a fashion issue.

Expanding issue in pregnancy

Many women report that their companies don’t provide maternity workwear. This not only leads to discomfort but can restrict women from working altogether in certain roles.

Ideally you should include maternity wear with your main range. This will require no more than three items. A skirt or trouser with an extra jersey panel allows a bump to expand, and a longer line blouse or top with adjustable back ties is all it takes to dress your staff throughout a pregnancy.

Shape your workwear strategy

While it may be tempting to reach for an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution, there are no shortcuts. To reap the business benefits that come with investing in a high quality, well-designed, and durable uniform, there is no substitute for a reputable bespoke uniform supplier.

JSD can offer solutions on design and tailoring, fabric and technology, breadth of range, smart production, stockholding, sizing sets and much more. We have the flexibility and expertise to make ranges inclusive and cater for all body shapes and sizes, including maternity items and discreet made-to-measure items where required.

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we could help.


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