Friday, April 23, 2021

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What to Do with That Old Company Uniform Stuck in Your Closet

Every time you open the closet you see it: that old company uniform from a job you haven’t worked in years. You have no idea why you keep it. Yet there it sits, seemingly stuck in an unending time loop that exists only in that small, confined space.

Not everyone has had this experience. But many of us have. According to the uniform rental company Alsco, people sometimes leave companies that didn’t want their uniforms back. They told us to do what they want with them. They end up getting stuck with uniform clothing that is not suitable as streetwear.

You certainly cannot wear your Boffo Burger uniform to church and still maintain any semblance of self-respect. You cannot wear it to your current workplace for obvious reasons. And forget about wearing it outside to do yard work. The neighbors would never let you hear the end of it. So you’re stuck. You are stuck in a cycle that will not end until you die and an auction company comes in to clear out your house.

You Can’t Give It Away

A little voice in the back of your head keeps telling you to give the uniform away. But to whom? The local thrift store comes to mind. But wait. Who would buy your old work uniform off the rack? Probably no one. And in fact, the store probably wouldn’t even offer it for sale. It would be thrown in a box and shipped overseas to a developing nation where no one would know the difference.

If not the local thrift store, maybe your church clothes closet could use it. After all, you have seen some pretty wild items being donated to that ministry. You think you may have hit on a solution when you suddenly realize how embarrassing it would be if your church were known for giving away Boffo Burger uniforms. Scratch that one off the list.

You Can’t Sell It

Giving your old work uniform away is not going to work. Perhaps you could sell it. You are planning a garage sale in the spring; maybe you could sell the uniform as a collector’s item of sorts. Boffo Burger fans might be thrilled to get their hands on an official uniform they can add to their collection. At least the argument sounds good in your head.

Reality would say otherwise when garage sale time came. Put that old uniform on the clothing table with a $5.00 price tag and you might still be looking at it three days later. Everything else that didn’t sell goes to the thrift store but, of course, you have already ruled out donating the uniform. You are still stuck in uniform limbo.

Work Uniforms and Branding

All kidding aside, there is a very good reason people find themselves struggling over what to do with old work uniforms. It can be encapsulated in a single word: branding. Work uniforms designed around a company’s branding represent what that company means to people.

You may have left the company on bad terms. If that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be interested in wearing the uniform as streetwear even if you could get away with it. You don’t want to pass the clothing on to someone else for the same reason. The brand just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

On the other hand, you might be very loyal to the brand. You would feel guilty throwing the uniform away or turning it into rags. And so it sits in your closet doing nothing. Welcome to the club. A lot of us have that same problem.

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