Whenever Alsco works with a client to implement a new company uniform program, one of the chief concerns is what those new uniforms will say about the company. Clients want uniforms to enhance their brands. They do not want uniforms that either detract from the brand or confuse public perceptions.
What about people who create their own personal uniforms? They do not have a company uniform per se, but they carefully choose their own wardrobe for both work and play. Well, it turns out those personal uniforms say as much about the people who wear them as formal uniforms say about the companies that distribute them to workers.
The Wealthy Millennial Uniform
A good case in point is the personal uniform being worn by many wealthy millennials. If you’ve seen Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg rocking a pair of $500 sneakers or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in a $5,000 windbreaker, you know exactly what we’re talking about. But similar examples exist even where clothing prices are not so extreme.
Wealthy millennials tend to make a point of wearing their wealth as clothing. They aren’t content to purchase a $20 pair of denim jeans at Walmart. They will spend three or four times that much on a designer brand simply because they can. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. This is a free country that allows people to dress and spend their money as they please.
The point here is that wealthier millennials make their wardrobe choices based on the fact that they want their wealth clearly displayed. They want people to know they are doing well. And they aren’t alone, by the way. Wealthier baby boomers are equally likely to dress the same way.
The Business Professional Uniform
Maybe you don’t have occasion to rub elbows with wealthy millennials. That’s fine. Do you work with business professionals who tend dressed to the nines? There is a business professional uniform that seems to be very popular among middle and upper management.
Business professional is a style that says an executive belongs in management. The right clothes show that the executive is serious about his or her work. They demonstrate that the wearer approaches his or her job with a level of professionalism befitting of the role.
The Blue-Collar Work Uniform
Lest you think that uniforms only say good things about the wealthy and professionals, let us talk about blue collar work uniforms. They say good things about the workers who wear them. For example, take your typical landscaping contractor.
If a contractor shows up wearing a suit and tie, freshly pressed and without a stain, how comfortable would you be leaving your landscaping needs to him? There is no way a good landscaping contractor keeps a formal suit pristinely clean and pressed. Landscapers wear tough work clothes because they expect to get dirty. That is a good thing when you are a landscaper.
Perceptions of Self and Position
The three different types of personal imposed uniforms described here all have one thing in common: they demonstrate a person’s perceptions of him/herself and his/her position. Some people do not make uniform decisions consciously, yet their choice of clothing still reflects who they are at their core. Others think through their wardrobe choices very carefully.
The long and short of it is this: people can tell a lot about you by the clothing you choose to wear for work. They can tell what you think about yourself, your position, and what you want other people to think of you. So, what impression are you giving with the clothes you wear?