Fashion is a fickle mistress. Things that may be in fashion today could look absolutely ridiculous in a few years. Just look at mullets and track suits -- both practically went the way of the dinosaur by 2000. The capricious nature of fashion makes designing custom clothing difficult. Do you create a core design and stick with it through thick and thin, or do you tailor your clothing to meet the fashion of the times? Well, there really isn't a clear answer. It kind of depends on the unique situation of your business, but for the most part any company can benefit from both strategies.
Pick a Design and Stick To It
Let's suppose that your company logo has blue letters on a white background. You might be tempted to use this color palette on all of your custom clothing. There's certainly nothing wrong with that -- it's a great way to promote your business and establish a strong brand identity. I generally recommend this strategy for new or small businesses. People probably won't be familiar with your brand, so you want to make sure that they properly associate those colors with your brand.
The disadvantage of this strategy is that it can be a bit dull. If you order blue-on-white clothing year after year, then you might come off as being conservative and unimaginative.
Design Your Clothes to Fit the Time
"I don't want to buy custom clothing that acquiesces to the whims of fashion. Next year the fashions will be completely different and my uniforms will be out of style!" Yes, that's a distinct possibility. I can see how this would make some business owners pensive, but having an outdated uniform isn't that big of a deal. Companies upgrade to new uniforms all the time without confusing customers or upsetting brand identity. In fact, companies can spin the story and get a lot of press coverage.
Whenever you update your uniform, you give people the impression that your company is modern and trendy. While your rivals are stuck in the past with old designs, you understand that fashion and corporations change. The best companies adapt to meet the demands of tomorrow while conservative companies are left in the dust.
Something Old, Something New
One strategy that's become popular nowadays is to mix old and new aesthetics to create a retro style. This is popular among truly famous and relatively old companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike. Many people remember what these companies were like 30 years ago, so these companies draw upon that old brand identity to create retro fashions that appeal to long-time fans.
Image source: Ecouterre.com
Of course, new companies can still take advantage of retro fashion because retro is so big right now. A retro look will make your company appear to be well-established, while at the same time infusing a healthy dose of modern style.