3 Ways to Show Employee Rank with Custom Clothing

[caption id="attachment_1834" align="aligncenter" width="530"]General Patreus Wearing Military Badges Image source: Ricks.foreignpolicy.com[/caption]   Most businesses owners wouldn't dream of basing their company outfits off of US military uniforms. It makes sense -- you generally don't want people to be reminded of war and strict discipline when they go shopping. Military uniforms do have one feature that's actually pretty handy: the badge system. Military personnel are able to tell at a glance what rank a person is. It would be nice if we could create some sort of standardized badge system for companies, so that all managers would wear identical badges and reduce confusion.   That will never happen though. In the absence of a unifying badge system, companies are left with other ways to denote rank while still maintaining a certain level of coherent fashion. Differentiating employee rank can be tough -- you generally want managers to look different from your cashiers, but how can you pull that off while still maintaining a cohesive company image?  

Color

  One of the easiest ways to differentiate your employees is to give employees color coded uniforms. For example, your cashiers might wear light blue shirts and your managers could wear dark blue shirts. This method is incredibly effective because it's so easy to spot differences at a glance, but this technique isn't very popular. If you have two different employees wearing the same articles of clothing but in different colors, it might look like they don't work at the same place.   [caption id="attachment_1836" align="aligncenter" width="615"]Soccer Referee in Blue Uniform Image source: Blogs.bettor.com[/caption]   You can fix this by using color to accent a wardrobe rather than changing it entirely. If all of your employees are wearing embroidered blue polo shirts, you could give your managers blue polo shirts with a white collar or an off-center vertical stripe. If you do decide to use multiple colors in your employee uniforms, I recommend that you draw inspiration from the colors in your logo. This will go a long way towards solidifying your company image.  

More Formal vs Less Formal

  Without doubt, the most popular way to set employees apart is to give them more formal clothing based on rank. This is especially true in restaurants, where waitresses wear t-shirts or polo shirts and managers wear long sleeve dress shirts.   [caption id="attachment_1837" align="alignnone" width="900"]Manager and Employees in Different Uniforms Image source: Disneylandnewstoday.com[/caption]   The catch? Employees in dress shirts might begin to look like particularly well-dressed customers. That's why managers often run around sporting an embroidered company logo or a name tag.  

Extra Apparel

  It's rare to find companies that use this strategy, but every once in a while you'll find a manager who's wearing more or less clothing than the other employees. This can be something relatively minor, like the manager is wearing a tie when the other employees aren't, or the manager going hatless while all of the other employees are wearing a baseball cap.   [caption id="attachment_1838" align="alignnone" width="971"]Fast Food Manager in Dress Shirt and Tie Image source: Adaicon.com[/caption]   The tricky thing about this strategy is that it can give your employees a sloppy appearance. A customer might look at a manger and another employee and wonder why one of them isn't following the dress code. If you choose to add or subtract clothing, you need to make sure that your employees look cohesive.  

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