Hospitality is the fourth largest industry in the UK, accounting for more than 4 million jobs across 180,000 businesses. We review the latest trends in this sector of the brandable garments market

According to Helen Harker, design manager at Simon Jersey, there are several key trends in hospitality uniforms in 2017. “Denim has definitely emerged as the leading choice. Hardwearing yet stylish, it makes a practical choice for uniforms for everyone, from front to back of house.” Simon Jersey offers a full range of denim, including jeans, aprons and waistcoats for bartenders and waiting staff, three tunics for housekeeping teams and even a chef’s jacket.

“A further trend in hospitality is towards retro fabrics and textures that bring an air of sophistication and class to uniforms,” adds Helen. “To cater for businesses aiming for this kind of vibe we added tweed to our range in a collection of waistcoats and accessories. These have been very popular with both bars and restaurants, providing an easy way to give a fresh update to uniforms.”

The company has also updated its suiting to offer a modern, slim fit, and also has slim fitting shirts and blouses in black and white, and patterned styles.

Tony Hughes, sales director at Disley, notes that the list of requirements for hospitalitywear is a long one and “fulfilling the brief is not an easy task.” Tony reports that NM Williams’ Disley Gingham Shirts and Blouses (C420 and LL420) are now available in short as well as long sleeve, and “tick all the boxes.”

He comments: “If it’s a classic, crisp white shirt or a chic black blouse that you’re looking for, NM Williams has options that will be hard to beat on performance or value–just take a look at the white C896 shirt and BL903 blouse or black CF922 shirt and LF922 blouse.”

Also available are trousers for women and men, waistcoats and skirts, in sizes ranging from 6-30 and 28”-50”. “Crafted using a durable, yet comfortable polyester fabric, this suiting provides the perfect partner to any shirt or blouse,” explains Tony.

New from Henbury, the Mandarin Pufy Wicking Shirts for men and women (H592 and H593) feature stylish mandarin collars and roll sleeves, and perfectly match Henbury’s Wicking shirts range. They are, says Kirsty Galinska, Henbury’s brand manager, ideal when a more relaxed, less formal shirt that offers good wicking properties is needed. “Our Pufy fabric out-performs most with its permanent wicking yarn construction, antibacterial shield and anti-UV protection. Combine this with its easy care, quick dry and minimal iron finish and these shirts will not only keep you looking your best, but will still be looking their best at the end of every day.”

The Mandarin Pufy styles are available in black and in sizes XS-2XL, and come with an easy cut-out label. For those looking for more colour, the Classic Pufy wicking shirts (H590, H591, H595 and H596) are available in eight colours and in a choice of long and short sleeves for men and women.

Denim, as seen in this pale grey Denim Waistcoat from Simon Jersey, is a key trend in hospitality for 2017

Disley’s Gingham Shirts and Blouses are a popular choice in the hospitality sector

One of the bestselling shirts from Sol’s is the Brighton (17000). This long-sleeved, stretch men’s shirt has a fitted cut and adjustable cuffs along with long-lasting wrinkle resistance. It comes in sizes S-4XL, and there are two women’s companion styles: the Ladies Eden (17015) and the 3/4 length sleeve Ladies Effect (17010), both of which are available in six colours. Sol’s also offers the Gatsby (00598), a slim tie.

Fruit of the Loom recommends its lightweight Poplin Shirts, explaining: “High quality fabric and contemporary styling mean the men’s and ladies’ Poplin Shirts offer top performance and long-lasting comfort in the workplace.” They are available in both long and short sleeves, are made from 115-120 gsm 55% cotton/45% polyester, have a chest pocket and are available in sizes S-3XL for men and XS-3XL for women. The shirts also “offer maximum fabric stability and colourfastness, ensuring the perfect base for company logo embellishment”.

Industrial chic

Ralawise recommends Kustom Kit’s Contrast Oxford long sleeve shirts (KK189 and KK789), both of which have fused stand-up collars and contrast inner collar and cuffs. The women’s style has princess seaming to the front and back, and both are available in light blue/navy and silver grey/charcoal. The distributor also highlights the new crepe de chine blouses from Brook Taverner, saying they bring “style and sophistication to the modern hospitality environment”. The Verona short sleeve (BR122) and Roma long sleeve (BR121) blouses feature rear gold zip detail, with front pleats and bust darts. Both are available in nine colour options and sizes 8-20.

Laura Dutton, marketing executive at Premier Clothing, reveals that an emerging trend for restaurants in 2017 is industrial chic – think exposed brick walls, bare bulbs and concrete floors with menus packed with local, organic food – with staff uniforms following suit. “Gingham cotton shirts and textured roll-sleeve styles are complemented by a dose of denim, with jeans stitch aprons set to be a popular choice for establishments that are embracing the latest interior design concepts,” she explains. “These new styles form part of the new ‘Artisan Collection’ where customers will recognise an almost organic approach to what we do.”

New for 2017, and flagged up by Ralawise, is the Coolchecker Chef’s T-shirt (PR649) with crew neck styling, underarm side vent holes and mesh back panel for airflow and a wicking fabric finish. It also features a pen pocket holder on the left sleeve. Other new additions, reports Ralawise, are the Chef’s Select Slim Leg Trousers (PR554), with fitted styling on the lower leg, a rear patch pocket and zip fly with drawcord fastening, and the Turn-Up Double Band Edge Chef’s Hat (PR648), with five eyelets, and available in four sizes in black and white.

Premier offers a wide range of stylish hospitality garments

Henbury’s Pufy Wicking shirts keep catering workers cool

PenCarrie highlights the Premier Microcheck Long Sleeve Shirt (PR220) and Short Sleeve Shirt (PR321) from Premier, both of which it says are ideal for casual bistrowear thanks to their stylish gingham checks and easy care fabric. The company also suggests the Premier Jean Stitch Denim Shirt (PR222), in 100% cotton which features a curved hem, left chest pocket with button flap and contrast stitching.

Also from PenCarrie is Le Chef, which has added the Thermo°Cool Prep Jacket (LE004), and complementary Le Chef Prep Trousers (LE021), while Dennys has introduced the Denim Waist Apron (DE127)featuring a contrasting denim pocket with rivet detail and yellow top stitching.

PenCarrie introduced a new brand to its range this year: Joseph Alan. The brand offers two new hospitality styles: the Joseph Alan Waistcoat (JA020) and Joseph Alan Ladies Waistcoat (JA021), for reception, front of house, floor staff and management staff.

Sol’s aprons range includes the new Gramercy (01744) long apron with pocket. Available in six colours, it is made from a 190 gsm, resistant polycotton blend. Another option for kitchen and waiting staff is the long-length Gala apron (88010), made from a 240 gsm resistant polycotton blend, available in 16 vibrant colours and featuring an adjustable neckline with metal buckle. Both are 60° washable.

Relaxed street food styles

With street food pop-ups a popular and growing trend, relaxed styles remain popular with many in catering and hospitality. Anvil’s Tri-Blend tees offer trendy, ultra-soft styles for staff. Made from 50% polyester/25% ringspun cotton/25% viscose, these semi-fitted tees for men and women come in a number of styles: for men, the crewneck (6750), V-neck (6752) and raglan (6755) and for women the new classic crew (6750L), or V-neck (6750VL) and deep scoop 1/2 sleeve (6756L) tees. The women’s styles feature a curved bottom hem. All styles are available in sizes XS-2XL in a range of heathers, and feature TearAway labels along with a high stitch density for a smooth printing surface.

New from the Bargear range at Kustom Kit is the Bar Polo Shirt (KK124), which the brand says combines the comfort of a T-shirt with the smartness of a woven collar and placket. “The fashion fit of this polo is bang on trend and the softness of the 100% cotton jersey enhances the wearer experience to the next level,” says the brand. “With an ultra competitive price point, it’s ideal for hospitality businesses that have a regular turnover of trendy staff.” It is available in sizes S-2XL and sophisticated black.

Fruit of the Loom offers the hardworking 65/35 Polos for men and women. Made from 170-180 gsm 65% polyester/35% cotton, these easy-care polos are washable at 60°C, need minimal ironing and are quick to dry. They have self-coloured buttons, are designed for decoration and come in sizes S-3XL for men, XS-2XL for women.

The new, long Gramercy apron from Sol’s/p>

The new Bar Polo Shirt from the Bargear range at Kustom Kit

The Gildan Softstyle range has been expanded for 2017 with new styles and colours. The T-shirts and polos are made from 100% ringspun cotton for a fine, soft feel. The Eurofit silhouette of the Adult styles offers a sleeker fit in the shoulders and sleeves for a sharp, modern look, while sleeve and bottom hems are secured with twin needle stitching for extra durability.

The Adult T-Shirt (64000) is available in 19 new shades, and 55 hues in total, to match any hospitalitywear customer’s colour scheme. Gildan’s Adult Double Piqué Polo (64800) is a practical yet stylish option with rolled forward shoulders for freedom of movement, contoured welt collar and colour-matched, pearlised buttons. It comes in 15 colours and in sizes S-2XL, and has TearAway labels along with women’s companion styles.

Also offering a relaxed yet stylish approach is Russell Europe with its newly expanded Made to Match collection. This comprises the Slim T (155M/F) and Classic T (180M); Classic Polycotton Polo (539M/F); Polycotton Easy Care Poplin Longsleeve (934M/F) and Shortsleeve (935M/F) Shirts; Authentic Sweat (262M), Authentic Hooded Sweat (265M/F) and Authentic Zipped Hood Sweat (266M/F); as well as the Softshell Jacket (140M/F).

“Together they create a suite of garments from which to choose the perfect staff uniform, whether for front of house or behind the scenes,” says Russell. All Made to Match garments come in up to ten colours: black, white, bottle green, classic red, French navy, lime, bright royal, convoy grey, light Oxford and sky.