In professional and education institutes, a uniform dress code is known to bring the much needed homogeneity among peers. Corporate uniforms are now gaining root across the world as many businesses introduce a dress code that makes all equal and identifies employees to customers. Obviously, there have been a lot of observations and reports in the media that eateries and restaurants with waiters in certain provocative dress codes has led to increase in sales while many companies are satisfied with their own kind of uniform. However, this is not where the dress code matter stops since there are potential pitfalls surrounding it.
If freedom of expression is anything worth celebrating, our verbal and attire expression defines who we are. In a world where each person wants to be unique and rather different from the pack, the uniform could be a rude interruption into one’s individuality. For instance, in a restaurant where every female waiter is clad in a bikini, not each one of them is comfortable, meaning their privacy is intruded upon. Sociologists are finding out that as individual expression is intruded and curbed through a dictated dress code, people are turning to inappropriate manners of expression like tattoos or using a lot of jewelry or make-up.
It is not possible, even in western nations, for all people to have the same religious opinions since it all depends on upbringing and dressing is at the center of it. Uniforms in a corporate environment never appease the religious attitudes of everyone since individualities are expressed and reflected effectively when people choose what to wear.
A dress code causes a lot of discomfort in different people, especially if a corporate entity decides to support wearing of outfits that do very little to enhance the comfort of the workers.
People have very different body types and something perfect for a specific body type might be embarrassing to another. This is especially true in women who are really choosy in what they wear. In turn, they feel a sense of low-esteem especially if the uniform dictated by their company that makes them look fat, taller, ugly or too revealing, something they might have a problem with.
In some cases, implementing staff uniform rule is dictated but to implement that no menetory assistance is provided which hinders the implementation of uniformality in an organization. The process of making uniforms to meet the standards expected by a company could be very expensive compared to wearing what one already has.
The clothes you wear on a daily basis have a longer shelf-life compared to uniforms which are rigid and sometimes lose that tinge of chic fashion. If a person’s tenure comes to an end in a company, in most cases that is the end of the uniforms you might have invested a lot in and you have to dig deeper to buy other clothes to fit in another working environment. For corporates that keep changing their dress code, the result is overly expensive and cumbersome for most employees.
To make sure a dress code is accepted, a company should communicate the changes to employees through memos, newsletters for employees, posters and even a training manual. Reasons why uniforms are important, which can be image enhancement, health and safety reasons should be indicated.
Susan Grant has more than 7 years experience as a fashion advisor for several reputed fashion houses and manufacturers including Brook Taverner Corporate, setting the industry-leading standards in corporate clothing in terms of quality and expert advice.