Time for new uniforms?

We’ve all been served by waiters with frayed cuffs and missing buttons. Often their uniforms will exhibit a distinct fabric sheen, the product of overly zealous ironing. The servers may look presentable enough when they’re across the room.

When they’re filling your water glass, it’s a different story. Here the frayed cuffs and missing buttons share center stage with pilled trousers long missing any semblance of a crease line. The look is, well, unfortunate.  

By this time it’s abundantly clear that new uniforms are in order. But this should have been evident some time ago, no?  An occasional evaluation of your uniform program allows you to get ahead of the game. Here are some things to look for:

  • Buttons that do not match or are not well affixed 
  • Fraying or stretched buttonholes
  • Pockets with tears at stress points
  • Fabric with holes, stains or pilling   
  • Ties with stains or snags
  • Hems that have come undone and are hanging loose
  • Lining that is hanging by a thread
  • Faulty zippers
  • Trim and embellishments that have been damaged
  • Color bleeding
  • Scorch marks from ironing
  • Mismatched garments
  • Ill-fitting uniforms

While repairs can breathe life into some garments, not all garments are worth repairing. And, repairing uniforms piecemeal becomes a game of wack-a-mole.

It’s also worth noting that the cost to repair a well-worn garment can exceed the price of springing for a new one. Take a basic pair of microfiber flat-front pants that retail for around $20. Replacing a zipper and repairing a tear on a frayed pocket can easily exceed the price of the pants.

The choice is yours, of course.

But nothing really beats an impeccable, crisply ironed shirt worn for the first time with a new, well-creased trouser of flawless drape and luster. Now that’s something to feast your eyes on!

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