Many jobs require you to wear a certain uniform. Whether that’s for your protection, recognition or simply to identify the workplace you associate with. However, uniforms are made, well – uniform. (Image Credit: JESHOOTS.COM/Unsplash)
People aren’t made from a cookie cutter, so a uniform won’t fit everyone equally, no matter how good you get the sizing. So what can you do to improve the fit and comfort of a uniform you have to be in every day throughout the week?
Look at Your Options
Unless your workplace provides you with the uniforms directly, you can usually shop around by yourself and try to find something that fits the specifications your job requires, as well as fits your body. It’s always a good idea to ask around your workplace and see where people got their uniforms and ask for their experiences. If you’re working in a medical facility, for scrubs and other medical uniforms, you can check out these options as a starting point. Look for a good fit, matching color, and a good price. These qualities need to be checked, especially if your employer doesn’t cover the cost of your uniform!
Identify Problem Areas
Thinking it just “doesn’t feel right” won’t help you out a lot. You might want to spend a few days in the uniform and mark where it doesn’t fit. Perhaps it’s just the underarm area, or the neckline is a bit too tight or it rides up in the back. All of this information will tell you how to actually alter the piece when you get to it, so collect this info first! If you’re been wearing it for a while, you might actually see marks on the uniform, like the material getting thinner between the thighs.
Make Friends with Your Tailor
Uniforms oftentimes need to be tailored to your body, and this could require alterations that require skill and specific equipment to do. Shortening a leg of a pant is an easy task, but taking it in throughout the whole length of the leg is a different story. These alterations don’t need to be expensive, and you can also get a deal if you’re doing them in bulk like you probably will with uniforms.
Bust Out the Sewing Kit
However, if you are skilled with a needle and thread, you might want to take things into your own hands, so here are some easy alterations you can do yourself. Just remember if you’re planning on making alterations, to buy a size up, or perhaps an entire extra uniform that you will just use for the material if you’re making inserts or patches!
Loosen the Sleeves
If the sleeves fit a bit too tight under the arm, the trick is to put in an insert. Carefully rip the seam at the point where the sleeve attaches to the shirt and make the rip as long as you need to the point where you feel comfortable with the width, and then sew in a triangle insert to fill the space.
Take in the Waist
Sometimes adjusting the waist doesn’t have to require a whole new waistband. You can just sew in a small piece of an elasticated band or an additional button and you’ll be good to go!
Shorten the Hem
If you don’t want to cut off the part that is too long because you think you might regret it, you can blind-stitch it to preserve the original hem. However, if you’re looking to go to town with the scissors, just remember to hem the edges afterward.!
Make the Fabric Soft
Uniforms are often made out of a pretty rough fabric that can be itchy or just uncomfortably stiff, so loosening up the fabric might make it more comfortable. This is done in the washing cycle, and you can do several things. Firstly, obviously, use a fabric softener when washing. Secondly, throw in some soap nuts instead of regular detergent for a much softer finish. And if none of that helps, you can try adding some vinegar in the rinsing cycle, about half a cup should do the trick, and no – it won’t make your clothes smell of vinegar.
At the end of the day, if you talk to your colleagues and you figure out that a lot of you have the same issue – talk to management! If you work together, you might be able to change uniforms and get ones that are much more comfortable for all of you to wear without as many alterations. But until then, now you know a few ways to make them fit better and make you feel more comfortable while on duty.