Posted by Chris Pilarski on Jan 4th 2024

Top 5 Uniform Program Pitfalls to Avoid

Uniforms are a cost efficient spend to expand your branding as well as promoting pride of position among your team. To get you started, we’ve listed the top five uniform program pitfalls you should avoid. Let’s find out. 

1. Choosing Products with Long Term Stability It is important to understand the long-term plan for items you are considering making up your program. If you have fewer than 300-400 outfitted team members, it usually makes sense to purchase stocked items that can be personalized rather than fully custom colors and designs. Choose items that are actively sold into several other programs. While a more unique color may catch your eye, are these a marginal item that may end up on the supplier’s chopping block? Items that are supplying other programs are the most stable and stock levels are replenished more regularly. 

2. Not Picking the Right Uniform Company Partner A crucial part of implementing the desired uniform program is selecting the right corporate uniform service provider. The most common corporate uniform provider is a local embroidery shop functioning as a reseller of stock apparel. There are also firm that specialize in merchandise. These firms specialize in customization of a wide range of products. Both of these solutions can feel more personable as they are local, but do not offer some of the functionality of larger specialized corporate uniform providers. Larger firms have greater control of inventory levels and insights into long-term planning at the manufacturing level for more consistent availability. Larger firms can also engage in multi-year contracts to supply hard to find or custom items for continuity of your image. Specialty firms may also offer private customized stores with set purchasing rules for direct ordering by each team member. These types of accounts are typically assigned account managers for a single point of contact. A demonstration of how your team will engage with the program should be available. See what the experience will look like for your team. How does and exchange work? What are the policies for a defective item? Look for simplicity in adding and removing team members, adjusting allowances, and accessing your account’s activity including how bills are posted and paid. When deciding, look into a potential partner’s past performance and check that their service features align with your needs. Is the corporate uniform provider able to connect you with a manager of a similarly sized program? Inquire about their experience has been with the provider. What has worked well and what have been the challenges? Carefully evaluate the quality of their products or services, and make sure their values and quality align with the organization's. Taking a careful and detailed approach to choosing a uniform provider not only helps reduce the chances of facing operational difficulties but also creates an opportunity for a cooperative partnership that improves the overall success and unity of the uniform program. 

3. Uniforms that Don't Convey Your Branding By carefully considering the design, uniforms can serve as a versatile way to convey a company's personality, principles, and reputation. If you do not leverage this opportunity, you will miss the chance to enhance your brand's reputation and create a consistent corporate identity. Several polls have corroborated the importance of choosing company uniforms that convey the company’s branding. According to the results of the Harris Interractive Poll, 65% of customers responded that seeing employees in uniform boosts their confidence in the company. Also, according to a study by the University of Loyola, Maryland, a signature color boosts brand recognition by up to 80%. A uniform does not need to be overly complicated to achieve the branding and morale boosting effects sought. A simple and easy to recognize uniform will boost customer confidence and regularly remind your employees of the organization they represent. According to a report by Ashwini K. Poojary, a majority of respondents in several industries, responded that company uniforms are one of their top three most effective advertising efforts. When companies start seeing uniforms as more than just costs, but rather as valuable marketing tools, they can effectively leverage their branding potential. Organizations can effectively turn their workforce into a mobile marketing force by strategically integrating brand elements and characteristics into their uniform design. What would you want your uniforms to convey? Professionalism? Friendliness? A curated experience? 

4. Uniforms That Don’t Match the Role or Function In selecting uniforms, companies/entities should select employee uniforms that match the role or function of the employee. Does a role require being exposed to hot and cold environments? What work tools does the uniform need to accommodate? Perhaps radios or scanners? Does the uniform piece include pockets or details to effectively carry and protect these items? Does someone need to transition regularly from indoors to out? Do you offer layers that work with one another? When employees are given clothing that doesn't match their job duties, it's not just about appearances. It affects program adoption by your team and misaligns with the company message being conveyed. These are important factors in building positive relationships with clients and the public. To make a company uniform program more successful, pay close attention to the design. The uniforms should be carefully crafted to combine functionality and professionalism. It is especially important in jobs that require physical labor for uniforms to be able to withstand the demands of the tasks and provide a favorable impression of skill and dependability. The dual aim in building a set of pieces is finding the right balance between looking good and being effective. They need to be able to interact with customers in a way that represents a curated brand while also providing the functionality to enhance their roles. When we take the time to carefully design uniforms to meet the specific needs of each role, the brand will be deemed more trustworthy and professional. 

5. Not Enough Pieces for Each Employee Shirts typically require launder after each shift. This is the component that needs the greatest issuance quantity to fulfill the mission of the program. Fortunately, these are typically one of the lower priced items within a program. Sweaters, outerwear, and accessories can be worn day after day for many team members. Bottoms can truly enhance uniform functionality and most team members will be sufficiently outfitted with 2 or 3 pieces. With this planning in place, your team members can have spares and remain sharply outfitted with one laundering cycle per week. An insufficient allowance of pieces will be detrimental to the effectiveness of maintaining appearances and making an employee well cared for. Additionally, it helps employees by making their daily lives easier with a weekly cadence of laundering. Providing employees with matching uniforms not only makes the organization more cohesive but also adds to their convenience and satisfaction. Quality uniforms create a professional and practical atmosphere in the workplace. 


Uniforms enhance professionalism and promote pride of position, along with a sense of teamwork among the workforce. The program's success depends on taking a number of things into account. Allocating sufficient cash, offering a proper quantity of uniform pieces, selecting the correct company to collaborate with, ensuring the uniforms have role-specific characteristics, and taking advantage of branding opportunities are all part of the process. Organizations boost morale, pride, and brand consistency when they are able to spot and prevent these issues, which in turn boosts employees' professional reputations. When done right, a uniform program is about more than just getting workers dressed for work. The long-lasting effects of a well-run program with quality apparel are: 

  • Enhanced and cohesive branding 
  • A tactile and ever-present employee benefit 
  • Promotion of employee and team identity 

A modern uniform program can be run with minimal customer administration and be run for many years.