Career and Workwear providers from all over Europe competed for the corporatewear “Oscars” awarded by the British Clothing Industry Association. The awards were presented at a Gala Dinner held in conjunction with the Career and Workwear Show at the Café Royal, London in October.

The BCIA Career and Workwear Award for Overall Workwear went to Vermilion Corporatewear for an outfit designed to be worn by BT’s teams of multi-skilled engineers. As one of the judges, the Editor of Laundry And Cleaning News selected Vermilion’s total clothing system for its practical and sporty design which makes it suitable to be used both indoors and out in the field.

According to the corporate wear experts, new fabrics, colour experimentation and more fashionable styles will be introduced into the workplace.

“Whether from the point of view of comfort or from the aesthetic perspective the challenge of careerwear is to tap into the technological developments and use them in a way to that benefits the clients,” says Liz Betterridge, head of design at De Baer Corporate Clothing. Fabric innovations including lighter stretch polyester and the increasing use of Lycra are having a huge impact on design. Suppliers have invested heavily to produce new products and now offer new fabrics and new fibres that give durability but handle well without being too heavy.

More and more companies are willing to experiment with their corporate clothing, the traditional navy suit and starched white shirt are no longer the automatic choice.