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You might have noticed how easy it is to spot the employees in Apple Stores. They all wear bright blue shirts which makes them stand out amongst the crowds of shoppers. Is it for purely practical reasons that this colour was chosen or like many details at Apple is there a deeper meaning? What exactly is the idea behind the apple store dress code?
It is no surprise that Apple employees in their blue shirts are instantly recognizable. Not only does the vibrant colour stand out but it also helps that employees have been wearing the same shirts since the first Apple Store opened in 2001. Occasionally an exception was made, and a new colour was introduced for special events but on the whole, the shirts have remained consistent. That was until 2015 when Angela Ahrendts decided to implement several changes. Since 2014 Angela Ahrendts has been senior vice president of Apple Retail and responsible for both the online and offline sales channels. As former CEO of Burberry, she used her expertise in developing the concept for the new shirt.
‘Back to Blue… But All New’
At the start of 2015, all apple store employees received an email outlining the new shirts. The change was presented using the slogan ‘Back to Blue….But All New’. This references the changes, the colour remains blue, but some adjustments were made to the style.
The new shirts are available in both long and short sleeve versions and a polo shirt style
The T-shirt is made from a thinner fabric so that it fits more
10% of the fabric used is from recycled materials
The Apple logo is smaller and in a different location
Ay caramba! New Apple store employee shirts arriving, and they’re 10% “recycled materials.” Who writes these things? pic.twitter.com/a4vgDLS8dl
— Gary Allen (@ifostore) 28 januari 2015
All employees received a polo shirt and a regular t-shirt in their size. According to the dress code employees were permitted to wear a white long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. At the time it was not decided if employees were allowed to wear clothing over the apple t-shirt and I cannot find any information on whether a decision was made about this. I think it is unlikely that employees are allowed to wear a cardigan or jacket as they would not be as easy to spot, and this defeats the purpose.
A striking detail is the Apple logo was moved and reduced in size. The logo was originally in the middle of the shirt and was moved to the left side of the chest. The email stated that the move means that the logo is now ‘at your heart’. I really like this sentiment.
Finally, employees are not permitted to wear their Apple t-shirts outside of work. Which of course makes sense. In a 2016 interview, an employee from an apple store in the states said when people see that you work at an Apple store they easily approach you with questions. On one occasion when out and about with the apple logo slightly visible under his jacket a stranger started asking questions on how to get his iPhone working correctly. Not something you want to be dealing with in your free time.