Custom work shirts are an excellent solution for companies that want to outfit their employees with uniform apparel designed for manual or physical work. Similar to dress shirts that are typically worn in an office setting, these heavy-duty uniform shirts are specifically developed for and used in industrial workplace settings.

Employees who wear custom work shirts tend to get dirty, work with machinery and/or are exposed to extreme weather conditions. One of the many reasons industries such as maintenance, manufacturing, transportation, landscaping, automotive, construction, and culinary, use uniform shirts is to help improve workforce performance. Regardless of industry, your company can tailor a basic industrial work shirt to fit your needs.

5 Steps to Build Custom Uniform Work Shirts for Your Employees

Whether you’re overhauling your current uniform apparel program or starting from scratch, following these five steps can set up your employees for success:

1. Work with your employees to discover and identify what they need in a uniform.

To determine what apparel they need in the workplace, observe and then talk to your employees during a typical work day to find out how their current gear functions for them. Getting employees involved in the process can help improve overall morale as well as increase employee uniform compliance, which is important to increase brand awareness, extend brand reach, ensure a safe work environment and improve trust.

2. Work with a uniform expert to understand uniform apparel options.

With numerous uniform apparel options and companies to choose from, it can be challenging to consider all the possible variations that are available to outfit employees and keep them productive. Working with a uniform expert to assist in finding the right choices for employees can make the process a lot easier. For example, the experts will help you determine which features will work best for your team based on the feedback your workforce provided. A uniform apparel expert will ask critical questions to help steer you in the right direction, for example which type of fabric – moisture-wicking, flame resistant, soil release, hi-vis, wrinkle resistant and many others. Beyond the fabric, a uniform apparel expert will also explore features such as sleeve length, buttons, snaps, number of pockets, striping, whether reinforced panels are required, and other specifics. Experts know the details matter, and your employees will appreciate and require it in the long run.

3. Select the right foundation for the work shirt. 

Using the information previously gathered, identify the uniform shirt you want to use as your foundation. The custom work shirt you choose should ensure your employees can effectively perform their job day in and day out. Now you know what your employees need and what options are available, so determining which uniform work shirt you want to use should be easier.

Uniform apparel companies like RedKap and Dickies have made it easy for companies to choose innovative technology and cool designs.

RedKap designed work shirts to mimic how people move throughout their day. Their MIMIX™ work shirt line was created to pull, reach, raise and bend with its wearer for all-day comfort and protection. Similarly, RedKap’s OilBlok technology is built into their custom work shirts to repel auto fluids and keep shirts looking newer longer. When featured together in a uniform shirt like this one, employees look good and feel good while on the job.

The more details a custom work shirt has, the more unique it will look. Dickies offers a retro-style two-tone short sleeve work shirt (shown right), which can enhance your company’s brand image by having your brand colors used on more than just the logo.

4. Decide how you want to customize your work shirt.

Select apparel styles that align your brand with your workforce needs and the space in which they will be worn. This is where companies can get creative designing their uniform apparel, including adding embellishments that feature your company logo, employee name and other details such as branch location, title and sponsor or partner logos. There are a few common ways to add embellishments to customize a uniform work shirt:

  • Direct embroidery: Your design is sewn into and embedded onto the shirt, essentially becoming a part of the custom work shirt. This gives the garment a very professional look.
  • Screen printing: Otherwise known as silk screen, your design is transferred to a screen and then printed onto the work shirt using colored ink that is manually dragged across the screen.
  • Patches and Emblems: These can be embroidered or screen printed directly onto the patch or emblem. They can be easily applied and removed, allowing for reuse on other products.

Regardless of your approach, it’s important to understand that custom work shirts are key to increasing brand awareness.

5. Use a managed uniform provider to manage ordering, customization and distribution.

A managed uniform program supported by uniform apparel experts can help companies navigate the process of finding the right work shirt and then customizing the uniform apparel to meet your needs. For example, Unitec Distribution Systems offers total uniform management solutions from idea to execution, including in-house embellishments and full-service delivery options. Using a managed uniform program can help ensure your employees feel confident and productive while wearing their custom work shirts.

Set Employees Up for Success with Custom Work Shirts

Creating a uniform apparel program that provides custom work shirts for employees is one of the many ways companies can demonstrate their understanding of and appreciation for their laboring workforce and the work they produce. Your employees will welcome the opportunity to participate in the process and you will be rewarded with a more productive workforce—a win-win for everyone.

Full-Service Custom Uniform Supplier

By partnering with Unitec Distribution Systems, organizations can get out of the uniform business and focus on their core operations. Schedule a Demo or 15-minute consultation to learn more about how our managed uniform program can simplify your operations.