Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 12:18 UK

McDonald's savours designer look


Take a look at the new McDonald's designer uniforms

Restaurant giant McDonald's is providing its UK workers with new designer uniforms, in a "mark of respect" for its staff.

The new outfits, designed by Bruce Oldfield, include a polo shirt and baseball cap, both in black and mocha.

McDonald's said its staff did a "challenging job" serving two million people daily. The new outfits would help them "feel good" in their role.

Bruce Oldfield's clients include Jemima Khan and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Mr Oldfield said it had been great fun to design the "contemporary look" for employees at the fast-food firm.

The outfit also includes black trousers and a black belt.

For managers, the outfit involves black suits combined with shirts in white or biscuit with a tie for men and a scarf for women.

McDonald's has been trying to improve the image of working at the fast-food chain.

It has been campaigning to change the dictionary definition of "McJob", which has been used as slang to denote low-paying, low-prestige employment.

Designer workwear

New and old McDonald's uniforms
The firm hopes the new outfits, seen on the left, will help staff feel good

Designers working with companies to design workwear have a long history.

Sir Hardy Amies, one of the Queen's favourite dressmakers, worked with British Airways in the 1970s to design uniforms for its air crew.

Since then, Roland Klein, Paul Costelloe and Julien MacDonald have all added their creative flair to BA's uniforms.

Bruce Oldfield himself has worked on other corporate wear.

Most recently, he was responsible for the outfits worn by the hospitality hosts and hostesses at the new Wembley Stadium. And in the 1990s, he revamped a number of strips for Norwich City football club.

'Problem chafing'

Designing clothes that people must wear for several hours a day is not without its problems.

Bruce Oldfield told the BBC that one of his earlier designs for the McDonald's uniform had to be withdrawn after trials.

"We found that there was one design of shirt that chafed. We had to get rid of it because we didn't want our boys' or girls' nipples chafed," he said.

As for colour, brand expert Graham Hales warned that designers should choose carefully.

"Colours like red can be difficult to wear with some skin types, so you have to design against that," he said.

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