Wearing a work uniform is something that many people have to do, but most people do not understand the history behind this. There is a long history that has brought us to the point where we now have modern work uniforms. Work uniforms can be dated back to the Middle Ages and have changed a lot to become the types we know today.
The First Work Uniforms
Research into the history of work uniforms has found that the first types of clothing were not full outfits. In the Middle Ages, some workers would have badges which indicated their jobs or who they worked for. This is particularly common for messengers who would wear a badge with the insignia of the people they used to work for. This had a practical purpose as the individual receiving the message instantly know who had sent it to them and who to respond to.
At this time, merchants also wore badges to show that they were members of a merchant’s guild. This information would tell potential customers that they have better quality goods because the guild would demand this. Of course, not all badges were work related, and there were many used at this time for other reasons such as the ones worn by those pilgrimages.
The Age Of Liveries
Shortly after the Middle Ages, servants in the royal courts started to wear liveries. Liveries are a piece of clothing that has been emblazed with the crest and colors of the royal house. This work uniform also served a practical purpose of letting everyone know who the servants used to work for or which country they served. In addition, peasants wore clothing made of sheepskin and wool that somehow dictates their status in the society.
Liveries were the most typical work uniform through the 18th to early 20th century. The most dominant form of this type was the clothes used in the royal courts. However, at this time, many other workers were starting to wear uniforms as well.
The Modern Work Uniform
The modern work uniform was based on the ones worn by certain small industries. These small manufacturers had uniforms during the age of liveries but started to grow to a point where more people were wearing the uniforms. One of these industries is professional chefs who wore traditional chef outfits during the early 1900’s. With the rise of the restaurant industry, more and more chefs were around and wore this uniform which made it a mainstream work uniform.
Retail and tourism is the basis for most of the work uniforms that we know today including brand colors, logos, and name tags. British Airways was one of the first tourism companies to create one which was modeled on train guards and form air force wear. Other travel agencies and tourism companies followed this example and started to set up their work uniforms. In addition, companies have expanded services not only in manufacturing the uniforms but also offering cleaning as seen with the uniform services from uniform-masters.com
During the 1970’s, chain cinemas began to open, and they had branded uniforms for their employees to wear. This was done to encourage people to use the strings as the uniforms were seen to offer a better experience in the same manner as the old merchant guild badges.