Like many industries at the moment, the hospitality industry is experiencing some pretty hefty changes which are all re shaping the way we interact with the concept of travel and hotels.
With a growing millennial market, having an estimated 170 billion dollar buying power, the hospitality industry is paying close attention to what might lure them in. Hotels and leisure facilities are becoming more distinctive and cutting edge in order to grab their attention (and keep it.)
But what are these trends? As a fellow millennial, I can attest to the following:
1. GROWTH IN BOUTIQUE HOTELS
A study has shown that millennials would rather stay in a quirky boutique hotel, with unique features rather than a standardised (and somewhat outdated) large corporate hotel chain.This has resulted in a boom of trendy small hotels that offer something truly authentic.
The big players have caught onto this trend and are now branching out with smaller and more trendy sub contacted hotels, who's managing team have free reign to design everything from the floor to the ceiling- without a set of stuffy rules to abide by.
An example of a hotel doing this is Curio by Hilton. It has all the bargaining power behind the Hilton brand, but they are reinventing themselves as a leader in the boutique arena.
2. INTEREST IN STYLISH UNIFORMS
There has been a huge surge in demand for trendy staff uniforms. Mangers and owners have come to the realisation that an ill-fitting grey suit just won’t cut it anymore. Personalisation goes a long way with millennials, so when they see a hotel paying attention to details by creating a unique look for their staff, they will take note and the word will spread.
Two words- user friendly. These days technology is at the forefront of every business and the hospitality industry is finally catching up. Mobile devices are transforming the hotel check-in process. While the majority still use keycards, there are some hotel chains that use smartphones to unlock a hotel room door. Even some staff are equipped with iPads to facilitate transactions with guests. So whether it's innovative TV remotes or touch screen light switches, technology is a vital part of being a hotel leader.
When it comes to men's suits, there are many elements to consider to ensure the wearer feels comfortable and looks sharp.
We have put together a simple step by step checklist to ensure a perfectly fitting suit.
To ensure the collar looks good, make sure it lies smoothly against the back of your shirt collar. There shouldn't be any significant gaps between your jacket collar and your shirt collar.
The armhole seam should hit exactly where the shoulder ends. There should be no wrinkling along the shoulder line. Make sure there is no 'dip' after the seam because this means the size is too tight. If it is too big it will bubble along the shoulder.
3. ARM HOLES
The modern style for a man's jacket is to have slightly higher arm holes than a few decades back. This makes the chest look much less bulky and is far more flattering in general. However, make sure the arm hole isn't so tight that it cuts into the arm pit. Comfort is key.
The sleeves should follow the shape of the arm without causing wrinkles. The length of the sleeve should end 1 inch before the cuff of your shirt. Generally this would be 1 3/4 inches above the wrist.
5. MID SECTION
If the mid section is too tight, when the jacket is buttoned up it will create an "x" shape. This should be avoided. For a classic style jacket, the top button should hit just above the belly button. If there are several buttons, only ever fasten the top one.
6. JACKET LENGTH
This measurement determines the proportion of the body. The hem should hit mid crotch for the most balanced appearance.
7. TROUSER WAIST
The waist band of the trousers should sit on the upper hip bone. There should be no need for a belt to hold the trousers in place.
8. TROUSER SEAT
The seat of the trousers should hug the bum nicely. If it is too tight there will be fabric pulling which creates creasing below the bum, and if it it too loose there will be excess fabric all over the bum area and thighs.
9. TROUSER THIGH
The correct fit of the trousers can be tested by being able to pinch 1 inch of fabric around the inner and outer thigh. If you cannot, the trousers are too tight, and if you can pinch more than 1 inch- they are too loose.
10. TROUSER LENGTH
The trouser length should end just above the shoe, allowing for the most comfortable and flattering fit, both while standing and sitting. Very traditional trousers would be slightly lower on the back hem than on the front.
It can be tricky enough dressing yourself each morning, so choosing an outfit for an entire team can be a daunting thought.
At Dresscode, we have come up with a few key elements to consider when choosing your staff uniform to ensure everyone feels comfortable and confident in what they are wearing.
People come in all shapes and sizes which is why selecting the right fit is crucial.
The best solution to this problem is choosing styles that flatter all body shapes.
- For females, avoid styles which are tight around the bust.
- Skirts are generally easier to fit any body shape than trousers.
- Jackets are great, but make sure the button closure is lower down that a typical jacket, allowing for bust variation.
This is another vital element to consider when selecting uniforms and something Dresscode takes very seriously. It’s incredible the difference a good fabric can make!
What to look out for:
- Make sure there is some element of stretch in all fabrics. This allows for movement and comfort.
- Polyester is OK, but no more than 75%.
- There are a lot of exciting innovations in the textile industry, take advantage of these! Anti bacterial, stain resistant and so much more can make a huge difference.
- All fabrics must be breathable. This is down to the weave as well as the composition of the fabric.
Colour also plays a vital role, and uniforms should play more with this.
- Using your brand colours is great, and allows staff to feel part of the business.
- When going outside your brand colours, try sticking with rich and warm shades as they tend to suit more skin types.
- Black is also great and never goes out of style!
Overall, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to selecting a uniform for your staff, but by following these tips you can make the process much easier...and maybe even fun!
Branding and image is important for every business, we all know this. So why do managers still insist on buying cheap, ill fitting, un-inspiring grey, uniforms for their staff?
I believe it’s not because they think it looks good, but because there are little options out there.
Most uniform companies have websites that haven't been updated since 1995 and offer styles that reflect this.
In speaking with hospitality managers, most of the trendy hotels have had to turn to the high street to dress their staff, shopping at companies like Gap, Levis, H&M etc because they simply can’t find the styles they are looking for to match their trendy image.
This would make sense, if only fast fashion wasn't that fast and didn’t change stock every 6 weeks.
So what these hotels/ restaurants/ spas are left with is a mix-match of uniforms from several seasons of Zara because the blazer they agreed on in March is no longer available for their new staff member in June.
This is a problem that I feel should be fixed as soon as possible.
At Dresscode we create all our uniforms bespoke to each business, meaning we will always be able to remake garments at any given time, avoiding the headache of shopping for the new staff members when they are hired.
With the hospitality industry having a notoriously high staff turnover, relying on availability of stock of high street uniforms is a costly option that does not reflect the care and pride taken in developing and promoting the hotel brand and image.
A few years ago, the question “so, what do you do?” used to be a simple one.
I was working in one of the most prestigious fashion brands in the world (think trench coats and checkered lining) and the reaction to my answer was often one of surprise and awe.
Unfortunately, the glamour ended there.
Although working in high fashion is exciting and dynamic there was also a feeling of complete void, of working towards something that felt pointless and unnecessary. Making gowns worth thousands of pounds for celebrities to would wear once, only to throw it in a pile somewhere, seemed wasteful and although it was fun to see your work in magazines, for me there was always a lingering question of “is this it?”
It was then, amongst my screaming manager, that I started to think of other ways to use my love for design and clothing but use it in a more effective and maybe more helpful way.
Then one day I had the all important, rather elusive, “ah ha” moment. Uniforms!
I felt there was a huge gap in the market for uniforms that were comfortable and stylish, with good fabrics and flattering fit. In addition, with millennials are at the forefront of most customer service businesses, cheap £15 polyester uniforms just weren't cutting it anymore and staff looked as dull as their grey waistcoat.
The idea began to spread in my mind like fire and every where I looked I saw staff members who seemed uncomfortable in their uniform with an undertone of secretly resenting the company who forced them to look so outdated.
I think its important to take into account how staff look and feel because if they feel good in their uniform, ultimately the business will benefit from an increased energy, higher spirits and most importantly projecting that feeling onto the customer.
Times are changing, fast, and being part of that change in helping companies portray their brand image in a positive (and fashionable) way through staff uniform is really exciting, and I look forward to reshaping this aspect of the hospitality experience.