Sunday, 3 September 2017

Staying fashionable in a uniform

Some uniforms will never be the height of fashion, health and safety concerns, specific needs and set colours for a brand can limit your options to follow fashion while you’re at work. Add to that being plus size and you can really struggle to look good whilst following a companies clothing guidelines.

Me back in my make up artist days-sans beauty tunic because none of them fitted

When I was training as a make up artist you had to wear a beauty tunic and I simply couldn't find one in my size. The end result was me squeezing myself into a size too small which made lifting my arms (kind of essential when applying make up to a client) almost impossible-worse still I felt awful. As soon as I went freelance I ditched the tunic and wore a branded apron but there were certain jobs that would have suited a tunic and the lack of plus size availability was an issue.
Just one of the beauty tunics available at Simon jersey up to a size 26-sleevless tunics are a great option if you struggle with tight sleeves in uniforms.

In some roles you’ll potentially get a bit more room to add some of your own style to your workwear but what are the ways you can stay fashionable in a uniform?
The team at Simon Jersey offer many of their uniforms and workwear options up to a  size 26. They reached out to see what choices I would recommend from their collections and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice some of the ranges were. Here are some tips on how to navigate wanting to add your own take to a company uniform when you are plus size.

Where do you work?

Bar and restaurant uniforms for example might give you some space to pick and choose what you wear and then couple that with a branded apron.
While the apron is the main focus of your uniform everything around it is a better reflection of you as a person, letting you be more comfortable and relaxed at work.
This bright red apron from Simon Jersey  adds a great bit of colour and I love how the model has matched her lipstick to her apron-bravo!
If you can wear black basics under an apron this can actually look quite cool-if you are allowed to choose a colour of aprons you can add a pop of colour (pink for me always) and match your lipstick or a hair clip as well. This is a great option if you are plus size and struggle with the uniforms offered. You can simply wear your own clothes and the aprons offered by Simon Jersey are very generous in width and tie length-they also offer lots of cute colours. 

Uniform rules

You need to look into what the rules around uniform at your place of work might be. Sometimes you might be free to wear whatever you like. Sometimes you might have certain styles of clothing, such as trousers and a dress shirt in a shop, or you might have to wear specific items provided to you by your employer.
 In the event your uniform is given to you and is a set style you might be able to use accessories or your hairstyle to add a fashionable touch.

Check what the specifics of your workwear look are and if you can do so, add the additional fashionable elements like accessories.
Even quite conservative looks can be made more current with the addition of chunky tights or a white shirt which has a high collar or beautiful buttons.
This work tunic might be quite plain but with the right shirt and tight its suddenly cute and preppy.


Comfort over fashion

You might have a lot of freedom with your uniform, but you need to keep the practicalities of your job in mind.
 For example, you might work on a busy shop floor. Choose footwear that is comfortable and will help you get through a shift effectively over something more fashionable. If you’re going to be on your feet for long periods of time you need something that will help you to do that more comfortably.
Not all workwear has to be nylon, this chefs tunic by Simon Jersey is a cotton denim mix
Keep in mind the conditions you work in, every job has it’s own specific demands. Being comfortable at work can help with productivity whereas being uncomfortable can cause problems in customer service, concentration and really hinder your ability to work (my over tight tunic was not much of a help)
Uniforms have a specific purpose, they get across the personality of a business, or help customers to identify people who could help them, but if you are allowed to add a measure of your fashion personality then why not?
Finding a balance between meeting the needs of the business you work for and being fashionable can be tricky, but getting it right can make you feel more comfortable and confident at work helping you to be more productive and effective in your role. Im delighted to see that Simon Jersey offer up to a size 26 in a lot of their ranges (and hopefully we will see even more sizes offered soon)
*This post was a collaboration with Simon Jersey


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