A uniform is a quintessential element of a business. It's a way to present a united and professional front to the public, help your employees to feel a part of a bigger picture, and, in most cases, functionally help your team do their job better.
We know of all the hard work, thought processes and preparation that goes into getting a uniform just right - which is why it's no surprise that sometimes even the largest of corporations, organisations and teams miss the mark!
Here's a compilation of some of most bizarre uniforms we've seen in the marketplace over the past few decades. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from them of what not to do.
1. The Pontifical Swiss Guard
If we were to tell you that the armed forces and official honour guards, designated to protect the Pope himself, wear uniforms that resemble something straight out of a Shakespearean Tragedy play, would you believe it?
The Pontifical Swiss Guard are well known (especially in the meme universe) for their noticeably flamboyant, Renaissance appearance, complete with blue, red and yellow pinstripes, and topped off with a black beret.
Perhaps this is less surprising when you take into consideration that the Pontifical Swiss Guard are in fact one of the oldest military units in continuous operation.
We think it's probably time to reconsider the design.
2. The Sonic Drive-In Uniform
Typically, if your uniform includes an element that can establish a point of difference, you're doing a great job. However, the American Sonic Drive-In uniform seems like a little bit of a cruel exception to this rule.
All staff members are required to wear a pair of roller-blades and all protective gear while they're at work. The idea is that your food will be delivered to you quickly, straight to your car window. However, we're not so sure that potentially uncoordinated staff members holdings trays of drinks is a recipe for success.
Not to mention, the health and safety hazards.
3. Traditional Nurses Bonnets
If you follow back the lineage of nursing scrubs and uniforms, you'll find that the history of the Nun's religious habit intersects with the history of the nursing bonnet. This is due to the fact that a lot of Nuns in fact became nurses in their careers, and it was originally the Nuns that started nursing schools.
As a result, we have the over-encumbering nurses bonnet, that covered the hair, forehead and shoulders of the nurse it adorned.
If you compare this design with the modern day scrubs of a simplistic design, often paired with well-padded sneakers, you can quite quickly draw the conclusion that the bonnet wasn't particularly practical.
It's likely that it obstructed vision, movement, and was a potentially carrier of bacteria and disease causing pathogens. Not the best design in the name of modesty, we think!
4. McDonalds' 2017 Uniform Redesign
Here's evidence that even some of the biggest corporations who are experienced in uniform procurement for thousands of staff members, can every so often get it wrong.
In 2017, McDonalds US implemented a brand new redesign of employee uniforms, replacing their trademark vibrant and happiness inducing uniforms, with what they described as work-wear that staff would wear outside of work.
Unfortunately, once the designs hit social media, the feedback was less than positive, with many a totalitarian joke made.
However, McDonalds was quick to report that 70% of their employees surveyed said that they'd be proud to wear their new, grey toned uniforms. So perhaps they did get one thing right!
5. Scottish commonwealth games Team Uniform
In the world of sports, your uniform plays a huge role in both your team's identity and, potentially, performance. With the right combination of design and materials, you can create an advantage over your competitors. If sports is your day job, this is your work uniform.
For that reason it's particularly astounding that, in 2014, this Scottish Commonwealth Team Uniform somehow slipped through the vetting process of those involved in the design. While the traditional kilt is an excellent choice in terms of culture, when it comes to displaying athleticism - they've not quite hit the mark, and were quick quickly ridiculed online for their choices.
Do these guys look like a combination of Rugby 7's players and Cyclists to you?
Get your uniform right, the first time
If you want to make sure you avoid any embarrassing uniform blunders like the ones mentioned above, and get your design right the first time.
Get in touch with our team of experts, who have an experienced eye for design and a knack for brilliant execution.
Both you and your team won't regret it.