Keep fashion trends in mind when choosing your uniform color

Uniform color is an important part of your company’s branding. It’s one of the most immediate and effective ways to establish an impression in the mind of your customers. The color of your uniforms communicates the feel, emotion, spirit, and professionalism of your brand while also distinguishing you from the competition. Additionally, uniform color matters because colors elicit an emotional response from consumers. Just think of UPS and how its brown uniforms are synonymous with reliability.

Thus, choosing the right uniform color for your brand is critical. However, there are endless options. Should you stick with tried and true neutrals? Or opt for something bolder that really makes a splash? A great place to start is with an understanding of current color trends.

2019 is the year of bold color

So, what colors are in? This year, it seems that the boldest hues are the ones that are trending. The Pantone Color Institute, the internationally renowned color partner for designers, named Living Coral its 2019 Color of the Year. Living Coral is akin to salmon and other subdued pinks. It’s bold, bright, and a bit niche. Pantone chose it this year because it “energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”, as outlined on its official website. Using Living Coral as a uniform color could indicate that your brand is aware of trends, and it could show that you aren’t afraid to make a statement in a tasteful way.
Some of the fashion world’s biggest designers have embraced other bold colors on the runways this year. In its recap of this fall’s color trends, Harper’s Bazaar pointed to Hot Pink as an extremely bold choice that livened up collections from Chanel and Valentino. The magazine also highlighted Purple (in various shades ranging from pastel lilac to deep violet to the subtler lavender), Bright Orange, and Neon.

Other in-demand colors, which are less splashy and attention-grabbing, include Pistachio, a muted green that’s soft, fresh, and sophisticated; Rocky Road, an earthy brown; and Dark Cheddar, a less shocking orange that’s blended with yellow.

In the attention economy, in which companies need to exhaust all avenues to grab consumers’ attention, a bold uniform color might just do the trick. However, if you’re looking for a uniform color that can establish a timeless brand image, there are a handful of colors that are always in.

Neutrals are always trending

Pantone also noted that a few softer colors were on its radar this year. Among them, Vanilla Custard is a smooth white that’s crisp yet understated. Evening Blue is a deep blue that’s classic, confident, and instantly recognizable. And Paloma is an elegant gray that’s refined but still approachable.
And as always, Black is a signature choice, appropriate for almost every professional environment. Traditional Gray is practical, cautious, and announces your employees without turning the uniform into a statement. Navy Blue channels expertise, trust, and professionalism.

Fashion must be tempered by brand image and utility

For 2019, statement colors may be trending, but when it comes to your uniform color of choice, consider not just what’s popular but also how that color figures into your brand’s image. If your brand has historically used a specific color, it is part of your trade dress and possibly your Registered Mark. Varying that color can possibly diminish your ability to protect that mark and trade dress going forward. A fashionable tone can make your brand’s logo pop or look dull.

One must also consider how a uniform will wear. Black is sharp and forgiving but may not wear well in a bakery with a great deal of flour or stand out for a delivery driver at night. White is crisp and clean, but tends to attract tomato sauce in a QSR while it weathers better in a gourmet environment. The fabric can certainly be treated to protect the garment and restore it to its original condition once it is washed, but that may be after an eight-hour shift of being exposed to Customers.

Last of all fabrics fade with use, regardless of quality, and some colors are more resilient, and others are more susceptible. Think about the impression you hope to leave as these colors wear and once these colors fall from favor.

Work with IQ Apparel Group to make the right decisions for your company. Employees are our canvas. We don’t just create a uniform; we deliver a wardrobe. We can help you land on the right color and bring your brand vision to life.