Dress to Impress

At Eau Spa by Cornelia, staff members don flowy white uniforms to complement the spa’s whimsical ambiance.
Eau Spa by Cornelia

The old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” holds true for many aspects of the spa industry. As soon as clients step foot into a spa, they begin forming opinions. From the way the decor and atmosphere make them feel to the type of greeting they receive, a first impression can make or break a client’s view of your spa. Spa uniforms support a clean, professional environment, and uniforms that complement the spa decor and brand add to a client’s experience. “The ideal uniform will naturally complement the unique design and image of the spa and at the same time enable staff to be comfortable and convey a consistent, professional look across all functional areas of the spa,” says Lawrence Grum, vice president of Yeah Baby. “As many uniforms can easily be over-designed, the functional and logistical elements of a uniform are equally as important as the look and should always be evaluated together to form a final decision.”

Traditionally, spa uniforms are basic outfits in neutral colors, like black, white, or tan. In the past, they rarely reflected the vibe of the spa. Nowadays, the type of uniform is a very important part of standing out among the crowd and can add to a spa’s style. At Eau Spa by Cornelia at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach (FL), for example, Ayelet Rahav, creative director of ZG Practical Concepts who worked with Eau Spa, chose flowy white uniforms with streamer-like panels around the hips to complement the spa’s “wet, wit, and whimsy” ambience and “pause, play, and perfect” philosophy. “I wanted the staff to look like fairies in the garden,” says Rahav. It’s the attention to details, like choosing a unique spa uniform that can make all the difference.
 
While it is crucial to base the decision on budget, comfort, and durability in order to ensure a uniform will be comfortable for an employee to perform all treatments and withstand laundering and exposure to products, it is just as important to decide on a uniform that reflects the spa’s personality. “It is important to choose a high-quality uniform that is backed by excellent customer service and solutions,” says Noel Asmar, founder and CEO of Spa Uniforms, Inc. “Style, fit, and fabric are key factors, and a team member should wear the uniform during a trial run and wash it. It’s also important to select a uniform style and color that reflects a spa’s brand while offering the functionality required to perform the job.” Here’s a look at some spa uniforms that have made a lasting impression among clients.
Employees at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas wear uniforms created by designer Vivienne Tam.
Uniforms by Designer Vivienne Tam for the Spa at Mandrian Oriental

Name of Company/Brand: Vivienne Tam

Name of Spa: Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Information on Uniform: Designer Vivienne Tam created uniforms inspired by the style and elegance of Shanghai’s Art Deco period. Their streamlined fit is reminiscent of the classic Qi Pao dress of the ‘20s and ‘30s. Durable and free-flowing fabrics create fashionable pieces for functional movements.

Why it Works: “We worked with the design team to create uniforms that not only complemented the 1930s Shanghai interior design but were both stylish and practical,” says director of spa Jennifer Lynn.

Name of Company/Brand: Spa Uniforms, Inc.

Name of Spa: Heavenly Spa by Westin at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa (GA)

Information on Uniform: The uniform is from the Dolce Collection and consists of a polyester, nylon, and spandex blend powder-blue top and charcoal-grey pant.

Why it Works: “The color represents our uplifting spa brand,” says spa director Cindi Moreno. “It’s comfortable, attractive, and easy to care for.”

 

Name of Company/Brand: Fashionizer Spa Uniforms

Name of Spa: VH Spa for Vitality + Health at Hotel Valley Ho (Scottsdale, AZ)

Information on Uniform: Female staff members wear the Zeta tunic and Saphora capri pants, while men wear the Zeus top and Rios trousers. The cream-colored uniforms feature an exclusive cotton performance fabric, which is a blend of 63 percent cotton, 34 percent polyester, and 3 percent Lycra, and then treated for stain release.  

Why it Works: “Our spa is very light and airy with nary a hint of black, so black uniforms really don’t work for us,” says spa director Brad Garrett. “The tops have a very fashionable V-neck design with reverse color braiding and stitching, and the short sleeves work well for both massage therapists and estheticians.”

 

Name of Company/Brand: Nike and Be Present

Name of Spa: Hualalai Spa at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu (Kailua-Kona, HI)

Information on Uniform: Employees wear Nike Golf polo shirts in black, which are made of DriFit fabric. Female employees wear Be Present Kona cotton pants in graphite, while male employees wear Baja style pants in graphite.

Why it Works: “Our management team and therapists selected our uniforms because the light fabric and relaxed fit allow for ease of motion while performing treatments and provide maximum comfort for the therapists,” says spa director Karen Cosgrove. “They are also extremely durable and keep the staff cool in our tropical climate.”

 

Name of Company/Brand: Original design by Ayelet Rahav

Name of Spa: Eau Spa by Cornelia at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach

Information on Uniform: The uniforms consist of a flowy white shirt and pants with streamer-like panels around the hips.

Why it Works: Ayelet Rahav, creative director of ZG Practical Concepts, says her aim was to reinforce the spa’s sensual, fun ambience. “They’re practical and elegant, but also goddess-like,” she says. “They set the spa’s free-spirit tone.”

 

Name of Company/Brand: Yeah Baby

Name of Spa: RockResorts Avanyu Spa at the Snake River Lodge (Teton Village, WY)

Information on Uniform: Employees wear the Yeah Baby Aria jacket and pants, which are made of 100 percent microfiber. The jacket features vents on the hips and sleeves for easy movement.

Why it Works: “We are located in the mountains, so we needed a uniform that reflects the classic style of our spa while at the same time enable our therapists to be comfortable and also hold up to staining from massage oils,” says spa director Debbie Thompson. “Yeah Baby’s exclusive Spa-Dri fabric ensures my staff is able to look and feel great during and after treatments.”

 

Shop Talk
Complement your spa’s personality by choosing stylish uniforms from one of the following companies

A La Turca Textiles
(610) 434-0729
www.alaturcatextiles.com

Chi Couture Uniforms
(778) 320-0067
www.mychi.ca

Fashionizer Spa Uniforms
(954) 851-1354
www.fashionizerspauniforms.com

Fianna
(303) 456-6307
www.fiannaspafashions.com

Guinot
(800) 523-1030
www.guinotusa.com

Hollywood Face
(877) 285-8548
www.hollywoodface.com

Knothe
(212) 302-1070
www.knothe.com

Monique Mathieu
(954) 537-0732
www.monique-mathieu.com

Pevonia West
(800) 446-3751
www.cosmoproshop.com

Salonwear
(800) 635-3323
www.salonwear.com

Smockers
(877) 977-9585
www.smockers.com

Spa Uniforms, Inc.
(800) 772-1408
www.spauniforms.com

Tao Freedom Uniforms
(718) 599-2936
www.taofreedomuniforms.com

Top Hat Imagewear
(800) 452-3331
www.tophatimagewear.com

Universal Companies
(800) 558-5571
www.universalcompanies.com

Yeah Baby
(888) 972-6325
www.yeahbabypl.com

 

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