Ever wondered what it takes to design a uniform from start to finish?
An incredible amount of love, research, testing, trial and error, and community feedback goes into our uniform creation process. These components are key in order for us to create spa, hair, beauty and hospitality uniforms that are not only superbly comfortable and flattering to wear, but meet the needs and wants of our customers and their unique industries. And of course, meet all of our company commitments towards sustainability, ethically-sourced materials, and fashion-forward designs inspired by current runway styles.
Meeting these criteria is exceptionally important to us here at The Uniform Stylist – as is designing uniforms that our wearers are excited to put on each day! In fact, industry feedback is our very first step in our design process.
Step 1: Starting with feedback from our community
We carefully curate all customer feedback as we receive it, anything from comfort, texture and drape to stain resistance and ease of washing and upkeep. We also follow up closely with new customers in order to track satisfaction levels and gain invaluable insight into specific benefits and shortcomings experienced by all. We want to know what our customers are asking for, and what they feel they are missing in their uniforms. We regularly ask ourselves the question: ‘how can we help fill that gap with our popular, proven, reliable fabrics?’
Leesa Dawson, Founder and Head Stylist at The Uniform Stylist, says “I love hearing directly from our customers. Via our social platforms, calls, zooms or onsite visits – everyone is invited to share their feedback so that together, we can create collections that everyone, and every body, will love. The more feedback we receive and incorporate into our designs, the better chance we have of achieving this.”
Step 2: Mood Board
Next is the image mood board. The new concept is cross checked with The Uniform Stylist’s list of criteria to ensure it is aligned with our brand values, and then checked against the customer feedback we have received. For each and every design, our aim is to cater to the most prevalent needs of our customers and industries. Once these elements are met, a collaborative mood board is created. “The designers start by finding inspo they love and sharing ideas with a mood board that they work on together,” says Leesa. “It’s all about teamwork, and everyone is invited to share their ideas.” The team reviews current trends, collaborates with other fashion stylists, and consults trend forecasters in our network for silhouette inspo, incorporating this into the mood board. Our design lines and cuts tend to be drawn from those we know make people feel good about themselves, and confident while wearing them – no matter what their role is, or what size they wear”.
Step 3: The uniform sketch
At this point, the team has a deep understanding of what we are looking to achieve, we can start bringing them to life, and the first sketch is drawn. We work with graphic designers that have an eye for detail, expertise in the fashion industry, and an understanding of the pattern-work required to get a garment to fit just right. Some questions we ask ourselves include ‘How many buttons is too many?’ ‘How long is too long,’ and ‘does this style need pockets?’ (Though we all know the answer to that!) Proportion, design consistency, and the finer details in our collections are absolutely everything.
Step 4: Final photoshop design tweaks & feedback
Once sketched, we mock up the designs with colours, fabrics and concepts in Photoshop, before sharing with some of our clients and our online community for their feedback. It’s crucial for us that our community has a vote, and a voice on the final designs. Our collections are then able to offer something for ‘everyBODY’ thanks to this collaborative design journey, and we do this with each industry niche to ensure ALL needs can be met.
Step 5: From sketch to reality
Once tweaked according to community feedback, we share the final images with our pattern makers and factory to bring our designs to life. A sample is created, so that we can test the physical design’s look, feel and wear with our community members or volunteers. Often we produce a limited run of production initially, in order to generate as much feedback before ordering in volume. There is no greater success for us than seeing our designs being worn by our clients – the joy we experience when we see The Uniform Stylist tagged in Instagram photos and Tik Tok dances in unmatched! Our ultimate goal – and what we strive to achieve with each and every uniform piece – is that we want each wearer to feel good. And if we can literally witness that displayed in social posts all over Australia (and the world!) we know that we are doing something right, and are constantly inspired to create new, exciting ideas and concepts for all.
We would love to thank you, our loyal community members, for being a part of our journey and collaborative design process. Our mission is to create inspiring uniforms you love wearing, and without your feedback and hands-on, real-word insights, we could not achieve this. We hope to continue sharing this journey with you, and bringing you even more inspirational, comfortable, durable, sustainable, and loveable uniform creations.
Written in collaboration with Mala McAlpin www.malamcalpin.com.au
Get in touch with us if you want to see your uniform vision come to life