In uncertain times I find solace in routine, in the everyday, in focusing on the norm, helping the mind think ahead to better times. For me today that means writing. This actually started a few weeks ago when the question was posed about how and to what extent, fashion influences ladies work clothing. Having just completed the launch of our new brochure, it’s a subject close to my heart!
There will always be a multitude of influences in product development, whether the balance of those influences will change after the current situation has eased is a subject for another day, but I can say with certainty that fashion undoubtedly played a key role when developing the new additions to the Disley blouse range.
I don’t think anyone expects ‘haute couture’ or fast fashion in their working wardrobe, more than anything wearers are looking for a nod to current trends that keeps what they wear to work feeling fresh, modern & appealing.
When developing the new Grace & Molly blouses that ‘nod’ came in the form of a textured white fabric giving a level of subtle detail to elevate the style above the norm. The white is crisp & bright, yet the fabric is soft and drapey, creating an overall effect that is professionally modern. Grace is a relaxed fit collared style with contemporary back yoke detailing, while Molly offers an elegant round neck alternative design with fluid raglan sleeves.
Offering differing styles in the same fabric helps offer choice and cater for different age groups, sizes & shapes, whilst retaining a unified appearance. It’s a theme we continued with the Erin & Mona blouses too. Erin is a new concealed front, collared blouse, that comes in Light Blue, Teal Green, Navy & Black. It also needed a round neck sister style and being an already established best-seller, Mona was the logical choice, so the new colours have been added there also.
Fabric interest is a great way of getting detail into work clothing, a herringbone or checked element instantly lifts a style beyond ‘just another plain poly/cotton’. This can be seen in both the new Faith herringbone and Elsa checked blouses. Faith features a denim inspired Indigo blue option, Elsa brings an eye catching check into an already popular Oxford range, both styles also feature contrast fabric at the collar & cuffs.
Ultimately a uniform range needs to be appealing to those who are going to wear it, high employee engagement levels are crucial to successful working wardrobes, so including elements of current trends when designing them is key. The trick for Corporatewear suppliers is to see through those ‘trends’ and pick up on elements of fabric, cut or fit that can be successfully translated into work appropriate garments and can appeal across the broad age, size & shape spectrum the clothes will be worn by. Uniform styling needs to have an element of permanency to ensure that garments look as smart and professional after months or years of wear, as they did the first day that they were put on.
What we will choose to wear if current levels of homeworking are maintained may be a subject for a another post!