Tight shirts, spandex, & the beauty of diversity

I am going to talk to you about logo wear.

We all know what that is.

We all have some of it in our closets.

We all have our favorite pieces and the pieces that remain on the hanger until the end of time because they fit wonky.

Since the beginning of time logo wear has been a hot topic.

Nothing can start an email chain fire like one from marketing asking folks to chime in about color, style, company, etc.

Give staff an inch of fabric and they will surely tell you the many ways it chaffs their skin.

The emails start looking less like a collaborative effort and more like a battle fighting for the best reason to reject the clothing.

“No polos please. They look awful on me.”

“I don’t like the color at all.”

“Does the logo have to be that big?”

“Can we not order this design at all and do something else?”

“I’m allergic to polyester.”

I get it.

People are not a one size fits all type of category.

What looks good on one, could be someone else’s nightmare.

Storytime.

I worked for a credit union way back when that loved, loved, LOVED spandex shirts.

I think they are more lovingly called “performance” or “sport” shirts in the catalogs.

Now, I understand that these can look sleek and professional on the right person.

They are not only cool for “performance” but also professional enough for an office.

However…

And this is a big HOWEVER…

These spandex shirts do NOT fit everyone equally.

Like me for instance.

I’m a plus sized gal.

When the emails would start to circulate about the “new logo gear” of the year, it would fill me with dread.

I knew a few things for certain:

1) The new shirt would most definitely be spandex

2) The new shirt would come in sizes that barely fit an average sized person let alone a plus sized one.

So, without fail the fateful day would come when the boxes started to arrive at each location.

It felt like being issued a prison jumpsuit.

This day would be followed by an all-staff email outlining when we were to sport our new gear.

Now listen, I always went into this hopeful.

Maybe this would be the time that the shirt magically fit like a glove.

Maybe this would be the company I would suggest for future gear.

Maybe this was the clothing logo wear breakthrough we all needed.

…and without fail I would show up to work in the new shirt, laugh once, and the shirt would fling up my body like a slinky.

Attractive.

I tried many things.

Undershirts.

Tucking it in.

Duct tape.

Prayer.

The absolute worst was when it was decided by the logo gear Gods that we would have button ups.

The buttons on my shirt were praying to hold and I was praying that one wouldn’t pop off with such force that it would put someone’s eye out.

It boils down to the fact that your staff is not a one size fits all piece of clothing.

It reminds me of gym class in high school.

I’m old, so when we had gym class, we had these horrendous blue uniforms.

The shirts were way too tight and short, and the shorts were barely able to be classified as shorts rather than underwear.

I remember changing for gym class and just praying that my thighs would eventually catch fire and I could go home for the day.

The point being, there was no way a teenager who felt uncomfortable would lunge and shuttle run her way to a successful career in athletics when she was two seconds away from a thigh fire.

Not much has changed.

When I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t perform to the best of my abilities.

How can you do your best for your members when you are worried about your belly being exposed or the rash happening under your arms because the cap sleeve is just too tight?

I tried something different with our staff a while ago.

I asked them to purchase a shirt that THEY felt good in.

We then had our logo placed on the shirt and reimbursed them for the cost.

When you feel good you do good.

When you do good, you look good.

When you look good, you shine.

Simple flow chart of awesome.

We aren’t a one size fits all society and thank GOODNESS for that!

Now we need to stop treating our staff like they are too.

Let your staff give an example of what gear makes them feel good professionally.

Take note of it.

Allow the diversity.

Allow the personality.

Allow people to bloom in what makes them feel empowered.

…and for the love of all things holy, stop ordering spandex!

Nanci Wilson

Nanci Wilson

Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness. That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union. Ultimately ... Web: https://www.universityfederalcu.org Details

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