What Cheap Looking Uniforms Say About a Company

August 28, 2020

Does your company mandate uniforms for all employees? If so, what do the uniforms look like? Both questions are prompted by a recent article that appeared on the Big Lead website. The article, written by contributor Kyle Koster, laments the fact that Major League Baseball (MLB) uniforms for 2024 look kind of cheap.

According to Koster, this year’s uniforms are so thin and breathable that the whites are nearly transparent. He makes a valid point. In the right light, it is pretty easy to see what home players are wearing underneath their uniforms. This doesn’t sit well with some MLB fans. It certainly doesn’t sit well with Koster.

The reasoning behind the thin uniforms doesn’t make sense, either. Koster says the thinner, lighter material is intended to be more breathable. Fair enough. But if the old uniforms were not breathable enough, could the problem be solved by not wearing multiple layers? Why do baseball players wear two and three layers while standing in the sun in the middle of the summer anyway?

At any rate, Koster is convinced that the 2024 uniforms look cheap. He maintains that they make MLB look cheap as well. Again, he makes a good point.

Uniforms and Public Image

We all know why sports teams wear uniforms: it is the only way to identify different teams in the field. Yet company workwear uniforms have a similar purpose. Companies mandate uniforms as a way of identifying their employees to their customers. And in that respect, uniforms heavily impact public image.

If it is true that cheap-looking uniforms are tarnishing MLB’s reputation, it stands to reason that any company whose uniforms looked bad would take a public image hit. Cheap-looking uniforms make a company look cheap. And if a company looks cheap, its customers are going to assume as much. How can that be good?

Uniform Cut and Quality

In addition to the choice of fabrics, there are two other factors that help determine whether or not uniforms look cheap. The first is cut. In the design business, cut refers to style. Think of boot cut jeans versus bell-bottoms. You cut the fabric in different ways to achieve both styles.

The reality is that some cuts look cheaper than others. However, putting a lot of stock in the cut is really not necessary because style choices change so frequently. The more important of the two factors is garment quality.

Alsco, the Salt Lake City company that gave birth to uniform rental in the late 19th century, says that there is no substitute for quality fabrics, designs, and craftsmanship. A quality garment lasts longer and looks better. Quality garments certainly aren’t cheap garments.

Looking Cheaper with Age

Unlike sports uniforms that go in and out of style with each passing season, workwear uniforms are generally worn for years at a time. This is where quality becomes extremely important. In essence, uniforms look cheaper as they age. If a low-quality uniform doesn’t age well, it will look cheap before its time.

The solution is obviously to choose uniforms with a longer shelf life. This generally means spending a little bit more on high-quality fabrics and reputable manufacturing. Better garments age much better, look better for longer and pay off by helping maintain an organization’s image.

Brand promotion

Like I already mentioned before in several other paragraphs, the clothes that the employees where is a direct image of a company. A business that does not have any kind of uniform or rules set in place regarding clothing leaves a very bad impression on customers or investors.

This is why so many experts claim that it is very important to supply employees with the right piece of clothing. The best way to understand this is to think of it as brand promotion. When paying for marketing services, you want your advertisement to look as good as they can get, right? Well, that is how you need to treat uniforms.

Your employees will be constantly wearing branded items. In other words, they are promoting your brand as long as they are wearing the uniform you have supplied.

But, as I pointed out previously, the uniforms need to be made out of the highest possible quality. Just like you want to ensure that your advertisements are made in the highest possible quality.

Employee treatment

The uniforms of employees are not just about the brand, the company in the impressions that customers will get. A business owner has to keep in mind the fact that these pieces of clothing will be worn by people for several hours a day.

This means that the clothes need to be both comfortable and lightweight enough to satisfy the employees. If the business owner does not care about the comfort and happiness of the employees, the company will stagnate and fail.

So, if you ensure that your employees are always comfortable in their clothes, you are also living an impression to your investors and customers that you do care about your workers and the future of your company.

Those that are willing to invest in every segment are ready to take a company to the next level.

Turns workers into a team

Uniforms play a huge role in any kind of company that has constant communication with the public. For example, workers in fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, or KFC have to serve thousands of people a day. Sometimes, this can be quite frustrating. But, when these employees work together as a team, things get a lot easier and more efficient.

That increase in efficiency from the cooperation of workers will be very apparent to people outside of the company. This increase in efficiency will also make clients satisfied.

Cheap-looking uniforms are not good. They give the impression that the organization behind them is also cheap. This is no way to present a company in a highly competitive business world. If a company is going to mandate employee uniforms, these should be professional looking and classy.

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