The Need To Belong And Be Different

Recently my work has led me to travel widely, meeting many groups and individuals in a corporate context. As I travel I have been considering an important part of the Semple Dress Collection project, ‘the uniform’. We would all probably like to think that we left uniform behind in school; the uncomfortable wool fabrics, the ill-fitting hats, the odd choice of colours and the silly ties. But in adult life uniforms can bring a positive sense of purpose, a vivacious expression of belonging and an integrated sense of shared values.

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All clothing silently marks out social identities, inter-relationships, joyful contrasts between individuality and a sense of group worth. A uniform dress communicates at a symbolic level. It provides expectations of competence, hints at authority and authority, at being an ‘insider’. As I travel I also revel in and contribute to this variety of personal expression – I wear dresses designed for me using fabrics that provide comfort throughout the day and evening, that respect local cultural expectations, that express who I am.  This is my uniform.

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At MSL we are reinventing the uniform, it is becoming a graceful expression of individuality while conforming to business world expectations. The Semple Dress Collection provides a creative solution to the dress needs women have at work, reflecting shared aspects of organisational life and communicating those shared values. The textiles, zips, threads and linings are chosen with the same care as those selected for a personal and bespoke dress. The lining, hidden from all except the wearer is a private expression to be enjoyed. The design details, the natural fabrics and the fitting provide superb comfort, and integrate all aspects of the individual into corporate belonging.

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If you or someone in your network would like to know more about our Semple designed Uniform Collection please contact jessica@maggiesemple.com.