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Brands Are Creating Uniform Style Guides With Help from Canada's Fashion Capital

Personal stylist Jeff Golf cautions moderation when helping organizations establish style guides, balancing management of brand values, customer expectations, and opportunity for employee personal expression.



How team members present themselves is an extension of the culture and values of the brand or organization that they represent. In a post-COVID world, uniform guidelines are being refreshed to help manage expectations of appropriate professional apparel.
How team members present themselves is an extension of the culture and values of the brand or organization that they represent. In a post-COVID world, uniform guidelines are being refreshed to help manage expectations of appropriate professional apparel.


Jeff Golf has had a passion for fashion all his adult life.


Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada’s fashion capital, he and his business partner Caroline Alexander opened a stylist agency in 2006. Their company, Ludique, specializes in helping others find comfort and confidence each morning when they get dressed.


"Anybody can wear anything, as long as it's worn the right way,”

says Golf.


Morning visits to the closet or dresser can  be a frightful source of frustration and anxiety. For some, purgatory is a wardrobe full of clothing options that don’t fit, don’t match, and don’t make you happy. Working with a stylist can change that narrative.


“We want people to experience the same level of joy that we feel, having fun with clothing.”


The French word ludique means “playful”, and is often used to describe games and fun as an expression of a joyous feeling. That brand identity was destined for a team passionate about exploring the emotional motivators in an apparel experience.

“The goal of a stylist is to help you look in the mirror and feel like your most authentic self, every day. Then, forget about how you look and go about your day with confidence.”




How can a personal stylist impact a brand's uniform style guidelines?


Asked about the value a stylist can add to developing corporate identity, Golf shares that he and Alexander are often contacted by companies and asked to help teach teams of employees how to dress for the workplace.


One of the contributing factors to these referrals has been that in the post-pandemic era, companies are faced with redefining the expectations for a professional wardrobe.


“Homogenizing is the opposite of what we do.” Golf explains. “We are not a uniform design company.”

Their approach to working with professionals or businesses is similar to how they work with individuals, in the sense that the relationship begins with a conversation —  usually with the brand leaders — about the company’s brand identity, and what they want their styled look to convey.


“Once we establish the corporate identity and desired brand image, we start working with individuals, building a wardrobe that both respects the corporate image and helps the individual to tailor it to their own unique sense of authenticity.”

Ludique helps businesses to establish a sort of “corporate closet,” outlining the types of apparel styles that work together to create different brand identity ensembles. By providing a mix of coordinated apparel options Ludique is able to help the client outfit team members of all shapes and sizes, and offer education on how to assemble the collection in different ways to achieve different desired results.



Jeff's Top Tip for Corporate Apparel Collections:  A mix of styles in a coordinated colour collection provides style choices with brand consistency.
Corporate Apparel Style Guide Top TIp: Offering a mix of styles in a coordinated colour collection provides style choices with brand consistency.


“If you force somebody into a mould that they’re not happy with, and they start each day feeling anxiety and frustration, it’s going to have a negative impact on how they approach their work life.”

Golf cautions buyers to consider all the different members of their team when purchasing apparel, whether for uniforms or special events. A single style purchase may not respect the body type or style choice of all your recipients. Coordinated options sharing a similar colour or brand accent, is a more modern and thoughtful approach. He is a big fan of apparel as a gift item, provided that quality, fit, and feel meet the brand standard.


“Fast fashion can be fun, but it’s not the best value long term."


When your goal is to make a good impression, it’s important to not compromise your image. "We recommend investing in higher quality items that will endure multiple seasons, rather than a one-wash wonder that loses its presentation appeal quickly."


Golf also points out that longer-lasting apparel saves money long term, and reduces carbon footprints by avoiding multiple manufacturing, transportation and waste costs.


The way a team member dresses for work is an extension of your organization’s brand identity. Developing a wardrobe program with style guidelines, education, and apparel options, is a forward-thinking plan for developing positive corporate culture.  mem



 


Jeff Golf is a personal stylist and co-founder of Ludique (Montreal, Quebec).


Jeff’s approach to personal styling is a dynamic and collaborative process. “When an individual entrusts me with helping to define their appearance in the world, I recognize the value in that responsibility and engage the process with great respect.”


Ludique personal fashion stylists create wardrobes that are unique, exciting and authentic to who you are and want to become.




The February 2024 Top Products Apparel edition of marketingedge magazine, read free online.



- as featured in marketingedge magazine, February 2024


 



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