Millennials Are Driving Uniform Trends, Cintas Finds

Just in time for New York Fashion Week, Cintas Corporation issued its 2015 Workplace Fashion Trends Forecast. As the economy continues to improve, businesses are reviewing their apparel programs and looking for personalized programs to keep their associates looking their best. The latest retail-inspired trends are highlighted in the new 2015 Uniform Book from Cintas, which is available now.

"To gain a competitive edge in an improving economy, many of our clients are updating their apparel programs with specific designs that reflect their brand," said Kristin Sharp, director of design and merchandising at Cintas. "They also want programs that give employees flexibility, a trend that's strongly influenced by millennials. Our 2015 collection features a wide range of front to back of the house options for organizations to enhance their brands through stylish, distinctive apparel."

Cintas identifies the following trends in its 2015 fashion forecast:
  • Greyscale: There is an overtaking by grey shades, ranging from charcoal to silver grey and medium grey, dark enough for urban environments. These can be paired with neutrals or bright, primary splashes of colors to accent brand colors.
  • Neutral colors: Navy and shades of blue are the primary colors for suiting and basics. They can be used in a solid color or mixed and matched.
  • Bright colors: More businesses are incorporating bright colors such as yellow and red in details. Burgundy is also coming back in a different way than 10 years ago, paired with white or red.
  • Color blocking: Color blocking is popping up in creative ways. This includes shirts designed with different colored sleeves than the body. This can be used in a tonal way with greys blocked with bright colors.
  • Utility shirts: Utility shirts come in streamlined styles with the addition of a few details such as shoulder epaulettes and zippers. Contrast chest pockets are also seen in subtle, tonal color schemes.
  • Return of chinos: The classic pant has been updated with a polished and tailored look, offering a high-end but relaxed appearance. These can be paired with blazers and high-end sweaters. Navy and grey are the strongest color categories.
  • Non-uniform look: To create a cohesive look without matching, more women are pairing soft and tailored blouses with pencil skirts or slacks. In contrast to the traditional blazers, feminine blazers are being used for a more retail-inspired look.
  • Men's suits: Men are wearing the split look with a separate blazer and non-matching pant. Patterns such as plaid bring color and excitement without the need for neckwear. Still, pocket handkerchiefs are important.Bespoke: Boutique hotels are opting for the bespoke look, using separate, personalized garments that can be mixed and matched.
  • Embellished aprons: The farm-to-table movement is triggering the service industry to implement simple shirts and bottoms to match the rustic atmosphere. Embellished aprons are becoming the signature piece, often incorporating denim, color blocking and contrasting details.
"Millennials are becoming prevalent in the workforce, and they want garments that are fashionable," added Sharp. "We're seeing an increasing demand for apparel solutions that reflect retail trends, allowing for personal expression while retaining functionality. By integrating the latest trends, businesses can keep their associates looking and feeling fashionable."

The 2015 Cintas Uniform Book showcases hundreds of employee apparel solutions for professionals in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, hospitality, gaming and foodservice to name a few. The Uniform Book also features inspiration boards to help organizations visualize different options to bring the latest trends to their brand.
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