Fashion Hits the Workplace

Spas and resorts have been redefining lifestyle trends for decades, even inspiring some of the biggest fashion labels to expand their lines to include zen/resort collections for men and women. The tides have turned, and fashion-inspired uniforms have become an integral branding element that sets the stage for staff moral and customer experience. We as consumers are more demanding than ever, we know what we want and everything seems to be more accessible. Style is no longer for the "privileged", it's all around us and it caters to the young and old regardless of size. Most people spend nearly half of their day at work 5 days a week and it's clear we want to look and feel great while on the job- affecting confidence, moral and ultimately work performance. 

Spa uniforms are a finishing touch within the spa environment—they make a potent first impression upon your clientele—and never has it been more exciting to implement or renew a uniform program. Fashion has influenced both uniform design and the correlation between a look and a brand and the options are endless. Recently, New York fashion week spring 2012 boasted a sporty theme of silhouettes in hot colors. Glossy red lips at Anna Sui and gray nails at Narciso Rodriquez…Ralph Lauren's models made their way down the runway sporting a classic , yet chic Ponytail—let's take notice ! 

Tailored silhouettes replace the old fashioned, baggy "smock," and an appreciation for comfort has led uniform design firms to take advantage of technical fabrics to marry fashion with function within the workplace. Whether it is a tunic style or a fitness or yoga-inspired uniform, a clear understanding of your brand will guide you through the multitude of choices available. 

When it comes to color, black is still the most popular spa uniform color. Staff like it for it's most slimming, and it hides oil and product stains, making black the color of choice. It's chic, bold and elegant. We also find greys and shades of brown are close runners up, fitting in well with earthy spa interiors. As spring is around the corner, lighter shades of blue, tan, light sage, and white are becoming more popular. But White shares a seat with black—it's classic, elegant, and timeless and it never goes out of style. 

While we focus on uniforms, let's not overlook personal appearance. Keeping it simple is a good rule of thumb. Hair back, make-up light and natural, nails manicured, and appropriate footwear. Have you ever thought of hosting a makeup application "how-to" class for your staff? Not only is it a fun way to bring your team together, but it will help your staff sell product, which is a win-win for staff and employer alike.

Bridging fashion and the workplace is exciting—dare to be different!

—Noel Asmar


For more about the importance of spa uniforms, check out "The Case for Uniformity" in the April issue of American Spa.

Noel Asmar is the founder and creative director of Noel Asmar Uniforms Inc., a boutique uniform company focused on premium design and services. Recent projects include the largest private development of it’s kind – CityCenter Las Vegas (Aria Resort & Vdara). The company was selected for housekeeping, spa, fitness, front services, banquet porters, pool cocktails, cabana and host areas, and the bellman. RFID chips were installed on more than  20,000 uniforms for the opening. For more information visit or [email protected].