Employees deal with two different kinds of work clothing, depending on the kind of job they have: official functional wear, which is required in food processing companies, on building sites, in caring professions and so on, and the one that is being worn in all other jobs. The first of those divisions dispenses with considerations concerning fashion – a chef´s jacket, a boiler suit with corresponding safety clothing, a nurse´s coat: All this stuff must be washable, carefree and practical. Suitable shoes also underlie exact prescriptions in most of the cases; a cook with trainers, a builder with fashionable sandals, a nurse with flats or other ideas are rather strange even just considering them. With this kind of work clothing everything else than some little accessories, that bring some fresh wind to the daily working clothes, are neither appropriate nor necessary. But those who have a job in the office, as a shop assistant, in the service or any other workplace in which work has to be done in public but without certain clothing requirements, must well think about the topic of fashion at work.
Fashion in the office or in selling jobs – elegant and cost-intensive
Both in the office and in selling jobs most of the ladies and gents are dressed elegant and fashionable; there are rather less practical aspects here. A well-groomed appearance plays an essential role, even more with selling high price products (cars, insurances) and in offices with customer contact, like credit institutions or public authorities. It is not just that employees care a lot about hairstyles and shaving or make-up here – also the clothing should be well chosen. Nobody is able to afford an outfit too sporty or casual; the higher a position, the higher the obligation to wear a suit as a man or a pantsuit as a woman.
Nobody is able and willing to afford to present just a little number of alternating shirts or blouses – that is why this kind of workwear is pretty cost-intensive, if you do not concentrate on special sales and bargains. But a large part of the elegant fashion also consists of basics that can be combined in many different ways; the best example for this are single-colour shirts with a variety of ties, there is no need to mention that they should be freshly ironed and perfectly clean. Both customers, but even more colleagues and the management floor pay careful attention for fashionable perfection, which is not always easy to achieve.
Shoes for the office and selling jobs hold a special role. Not everywhere outdoor footwear can be replaced by comfortable, house slipper-like shoes. Thus cheap, more modern than healthy shoes unfortunately drop out of the options. Quality footwear is to be recommended, which allow him or her to be able to perform perfectly the whole day long. Breathable quality, not creating sweat on the feet and excluding the emergence of postural instability or one-sided strain of the feet, with a fashionable form: That is what work shoes for selling rooms and offices look like. A secretary wearing high-heels is only a dream in most of the cases; reality shows that high-quality but elegant shoes are the most common options.
Working in the service –clothing is fashionable and practical at the same time here
Those who face their guests in the service sector necessarily need to look groomed. Here it is – according to the restaurant – rather irrelevant if clothing has been chosen “on the top” of fashion designers. However, clean, ironed clothing without damages is a must, which is not washed out and shabby – exactly like an absolutely groomed outer appearance, consisting of washed, well-cut hair, a perfect shaving with the gents, clean and groomed finger nails and so on. Of course a skirt from grandma´s times will be as much rejected as flared trousers from the 70s are; there are distinct rules concerning what people are able to afford, or not, in the service sector according to clothing.
One part of the clothes that waiting staff is buying (if they do not wear a “uniform” from the company) comes from normal shops – white blouses and shirts are almost available everywhere, as well as black skirts and trousers. These clothes need to be washed daily in many cases and thus should be of a good quality; in addition it must almost be possible to work sweat-free. Clothing made of synthetic material is less suitable, as you do not even have to move in it with certain temperatures to start sweating. No guest wants to see welding beads on the forehead and obvious stains under the arms – that is why breathable cotton clothes are a more appropriate choice. Here again the motto is freshly ironed from the collar to the pleat.
The costumes for waiters and waitresses hold a special position, in a beer garden, for example. However, here are great dirndls, that are easy to wash, almost non-iron and so relatively easy to handle. Their basic colour is mostly black and they can be varied with aprons and blouses at libitum. Here again cotton blouses and aprons, which can be exempted from soup´s and sauces´ stains are the only correct choice. Almost every traditional costume shop has got an own department for waitress´ costumes and accessories.
In many cases waitresses and waiters walk many kilometres a day from their guests to the kitchen or bar and vice versa. However, when work shoes are bought the health of feet is a very important aspect. The choice of the shoes determines how much feet ache at the end of working, how the back feels like and if maybe foot perspiration or other foot (skin) illnesses appear after only a few days. A lot of money is spent on high-quality shoes here, because pain at work is not reasonable for anybody. Meanwhile there are beautiful shoes that nicely cover a healthy construction.