Over the years there has been the occasional controversy over the staff uniform but in an age where image, whether personal or brand, counts more than ever, it is surprising to find a major brand issuing what their employees consider “cheap, nasty and see-through” clothing.
Female staff at Virgin feel that the shirts they have been issued are see-through and skimpy. So, let’s take a look at the staple work shirt. We all default to it because it is the easiest way to smarten up a skirt or pair of trousers. However, the tailored shirt can create all sorts of issues in the workplace. First of all, a tailored shirt will look fabulous on someone with a straight or neat hourglass figure, but for women with curves and a larger bust, the tailoring is too restrictive and works against their body shape. Secondly, stiff shirts over a fuller bust will always gape. Thirdly, there is the issue of transparency; flesh-coloured bra or no, customers do not want the embarrassment of trying to avoid looking at what’s beneath your shirt!
There is a plus and a minus to a staff uniform the plus being that you don’t have to think about what you are going to wear every day, the minus being that you have no choice in what you wear every day. Staff should be asked for their input to uniform design as they are the ones who understand exactly how comfortable, easy to wash and durable their uniform is. Plus, they see first hand how customers respond to it. Additionally, there are always experts on hand to advise companies on how they can represent their brand through their uniform whilst ensuring the fabric, cut, fit and colour are suitable for their staff too.
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