Gone are the days when aprons were a functional garment purposed with keeping our uniforms stain free. In hospitality, beauty other related industries your Aprons are now the critical component of your uniform. I’m going to show you how to decide on the perfect apron for your needs, and let you in on the one little secret that can save you money and make the logo on your uniforms pop like you wouldn’t believe.
G’ day Brand Builders. Guy here from Payless Promotions – With another tip to strengthen your brand.
You own or manage a hospitality, or beauty business, and you want new aprons for your uniforms. So how do you decide? I have six checklist items you need to tick to ensure you have the best apron for your needs, plus one bonus tip to make your logo zing!
I will be using our website PaylessPromotions.com.au to show you through these steps, but they apply to any uniform supplier and any good website.
Checklist Item 1 – Special requirements
Beggars can’t be choosers, so let’s get a few things out of the way that is going to limit your options significantly. If you want your aprons delivered super quick, you want a particular brand, or you need your aprons to be an unusual colour then specify this to your supplier, or enter it into their website filters.
If you are on our website, these options are shown in the filters in the filters on the left-hand side, but you only have to mention it to your supplier or enter it into their site to ensure you are only shopping items that can meet your requirements.
Checklist Item 2 – Apron Length
Your first decision is what length apron you prefer. There is no hard and fast rule to guide you on this, and these days this is often based as much on look as it is on functionality.
From a functionality point of view, take into consideration what you are protecting your clothing from, for example, are you stopping the rest of your uniform from becoming wet, or from unremovable stains?
Next, think about how much coverage you need. Are you protecting from spills, that is just as likely to occur on your shirt as your pants? Or do you just need something to wipe your hands clean?
From a fashion and branding perspective consider what you are covering and how will the different lengths available work with the rest of your uniform. If you are already invested heavily in shirts with your company logo, then you may not want to cover them with a full-length apron? Alternatively, if your apron is the only branded part of your uniform, then you might consider something more significant. It may also be cheaper to use full bib apron brandishing your logo than to pair a smaller apron with a shirt.
Checklist Item 3 – Fabric
You probably have more choices here than what you realise? Do you want the comfort of cotton? The durability of polyester? Perhaps you prefer the more edgy look of denim or canvas? Or maybe you require the safety compliance of PVC?
We recommend not staring with a specific fabric in mind. Instead, consider your requirements and then comparing these to the strengths and weaknesses of each material.
Matching your needs to the ideal material can get a little complicated as fabrics can be blended or treated in different ways to produce garments that look vastly different and even have different characteristics. Cotton, denim, canvas and calico are all different materials, right? Well, they are all made from 100% cotton, but different weaves and blends produce a massively different finished product.
Talk to your uniform supplier and let them know what characteristic you require from your apron, and they will guide you as to what material is best suited to your needs.
Checklist Item 4 – Style
Choosing a style of apron that coordinates with your brand is super important, but is equally personal. What is a perfect fit for one venue might be a horror show for someone else.
To nail your styling, you need to take an all-encompassing view as to what complements and strengthens your brand. If you have developed a brand profile or persona and a style guide, then this is going to be a much simpler task.
The correctly chosen apron should coordinate with your décor, logo and brand image as well as be well received by your ideal clients.
If you at least considering these factors, then you are a long way to choosing the perfect style of apron to strengthen your brand.
Checklist Item 5 – Price
As with any purchase price is a factor that will come into your decision making. However, we encourage you to consider your overall uniform cost rather than just the value of your aprons alone. Perhaps you can lessen your total uniform costs with a quality apron that can either eliminate the need for other uniform garments or increase the lifespan of garments worn under your aprons.
Another factor is the desired and the potential lifespan of your aprons. If you are changing your styling each season, then you don’t want to over-invest in aprons that will only be worn for six months. Alternatively, if you are choosing a uniform for the long term, then durability needs to be taken into account. An apron that is 50% more expensive than another alternative but will last twice as long as a cheaper purchase in the long term.
Importantly, once you have set a budget, then stick to it. You don’t want to regret your decision in the coming months.
Checklist Item 6 – Branding
Consider your desired brand outcome throughout the process. Do you want something big and bold or subtle and stylish? Perhaps you are going to keep your branding on your shirts and have your aprons unbranded. If this is the case, then you need to ensure your logo is still visible when wearing your aprons.
Ideally, you can purchase your shirts and aprons together to ensure you have a well-coordinated and stylish overall look.
I mentioned earlier that I would let you in a tip that can save you money AND make your logo zing. This secret is aprons with changeable straps. These are a great idea and enable you to change your look (more than you think) for a fraction of the price or replacing your entire aprons, or even more so, your complete uniforms.
Changeable straps are the perfect solution in 2 particular scenarios. Firstly, when you have an existing logo or uniforms, that you think may be changed during the lifespan of the aprons you are purchasing. If this is the case, we encourage to use the apron straps as the element that best ties in with your logo or uniform garments that will be updated. This way, when you move to a new logo or a new uniform, you can save a lot of money by keeping your existing aprons rather than them needing to be replaced.
Uniforms are a crucial element in your branding so take it seriously. Clients will judge your brand on your uniforms, and in hospitality & beauty, in particular, your aprons are the most visible element in your uniform. Communicate your desired outcomes with your chosen uniform supplier and work with them throughout the process to ensure you choose branded aprons that will impress your clients and strengthen your brand.