Thursday, 29 April 2010

Prisoners Pocket Kitchen Supplies

Prison officers have discovered that there may be more to the waterproof jackets supplied to inmates than meets the eye.

Prison chiefs at Cornton Vale women’s jail spent nearly £6,000 on new Regatta waterproofs to be used on exercise periods after prisoners complained of the cold. However, it soon became apparent that the jackets did more than keep out the chill – with a plethora of hidden pouches, they were the ideal place for hiding stolen contraband.

A source at the jail said: “They knew this lass was nicking tea and coffee but they could find nothing.

“Then they looked closer at the jacket and found this poacher's pocket. It's ludicrous. The irony is guards wear thin cheap c**p.”

One inmate added: “These jackets are the business. There's loads of places to hide stuff.”

However, a spokesman for the Scottish Prison service has defended the purchase, saying that they are a necessary part of the prison uniform.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Air Hostess, I Like the Way You Dress…

The Japanese fascination with the air hostess uniforms given to employees of Japan Airlines (JAL) has prompted such a high demand for the goods that a black market has been created.

Although shops selling replica uniforms are very common on the streets of Japan, the desire to own the authentic JAL uniform has created a remarkably competitive market for them, with the genuine article often selling for thousands of dollars.

Those shops supplying the uniforms hope that many more will soon become available as the company filed for bankruptcy back in January.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

No more skirting the issue

A new set of guidelines published ahead of the Equality Bill by the Equality and Human Rights Commission may see a ban on forcing school girls to wear skirts.

Schools that make skirts a compulsory part of their uniform may come under fire when the Bill is enforced this autumn for breaching the rights of pupils who are uncomfortable with their gender. The guidelines state that "pupils born female with gender dysphoria experienced great discomfort being forced to wear stereotypical girls' clothes – for example a skirt."

However, a government spokesperson said: "Schools decide their own uniform policy, the Equality Bill will not change this at all, it's nonsense to suggest we're banning skirts.

"However long standing Government guidance states that schools need to be careful that any blanket uniform policy does not discriminate against someone because of e.g. their religion, gender, or sexual orientation."

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Paramedics told to put a sock in it

Ambulance chiefs at the North West Ambulance Service have threatened paramedics with the sack if they continue to wear novelty socks.

Bosses have insisted that the socks are unprofessional, and have threatened staff with discipline and even the sack if they do not comply with strict dress codes.

However, not everyone has welcomed the news. Jonathan Fox, a spokesman for the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel, told the Telegraph: "I am a firm believer in having a dress code but this is stretching the rules too far. The majority of staff wear boots so their socks can't even be seen.

"North West Ambulance Service should be addressing more important issues like why paramedic training has been stalled for months.

"We have been fighting to have knee pads in our work trousers, which has been a sad omission, and pushing forward the provision for frontline staff to have body armour. "To concentrate on socks seems fairly innocuous - it's not like there's been an epidemic of novelty sock wearing! Perhaps this is just something to divert our attention from the bigger issues."

Friday, 29 January 2010

Tesco: a little decorum helps

Tesco has hit the headlines on a number of occasions, but this time it is not its finances but rather its dress code that is causing a stir.

Staff at a store in St Mellons in Cardiff have taken action after receiving complaints from a number of customers regarding the chosen attire of a few members of the public.

Management decided to display signs in shop window that read: “To avoid causing offence or embarrassment to others we ask that our customers are appropriately dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted)."

But not everyone agrees with the new rules. 24 year-old mother of two, Elaine Carmody, was refused entry to the store whilst wearing her “best pair” to purchase a packet of cigarettes. She said: "If you're allowed to wear jogging bottoms, why aren't you allowed to wear pyjamas in there, that's what I don't understand?

"I think it's stupid really not being allowed in the supermarket with pyjamas on.

"It's not as if they're going to fall down or anything like that. They should be happy because you're going to spend all that money."

It remains to be seen if the policy will be introduced to other stores.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Does your wardrobe change with the economic climate?

At a time when retailers of all types are struggling to stay afloat, it may surprise you to hear that shirt specialists and other workwear chains are experiencing rising sales.

With more competition than ever for jobs, it seems that employees are looking to project a highly professional image by spending their money carefully and selecting classic pieces that will not date. In fact, a survey by the Aziz Corporation showed that almost half of employees would dress smarter if their job was under threat.

Jane Dawson of online boutique Business Wardrobe explains: “Economic uncertainty is set to continue in 2010 and researchers have predicted a rise in sales of smart business wear. Dress-down Fridays have been replaced by female employees dressing to impress, as the threat of redundancy becomes evermore real. For online retailers specialising in formal officewear this is great news.

“Both the employed and unemployed want to have a more professional image to help them either retain or gain a job. This has created a work culture that is driven by both fashion trends and the need to stand out in a competitive job market.”

Thursday, 21 January 2010

What not to wear in the office

Bespoke corporatewear supplier NKD Clothing has published a list of workwear faux pas that may leave some of you quaking in your all-too-casual Ugg boots….

  • First up, cleavage and short skirts are a big no-no. Though they may attract a lot of attention, it is almost always for the wrong reasons. Likewise, keep your towering stilettos, lacy camisoles and fishnet tights for the weekend.
  • At the other end of the scale, jeans, Ugg boots and that woolly jumper your grandma knitted you for Christmas may well be a little too casual for the workplace. The same applies to flip-flops and trainers, or anything that would not look out of place in a gym.
  • Finally, clothes should always be clean and ironed and complemented with tasteful jewellery and neat hair. Over-the-top makeup should be avoided at all costs, as well as anything too outrageous or trendy.

But how seriously should we take these rules? A quick look around the office and I’ve already seen at least 8 violations of the NKD guidelines, but does that make us any less professional? I’d like to think not. In companies where there is little face-to-face contact with clients, comfort may well take precedence over formality. With such diversity in the expectations of individual workplaces, I would suggest that perhaps the only rules we should be following are those listed in the company dress code.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tesco doubles its commitment to Fairtrade uniforms

The student campaign group People & Planet has successfully persuaded supermarket giant Tesco to increase its offer of Fairtrade lines.

Their ‘Wear Fair’ campaign, which aims to see all UK pupils kitted out in Fairtrade cotton uniforms by 2015, has gained momentum after Tesco agreed to increase its Fairtrade lines by 50% in the next two years. As a result, Tesco will become the UK’s leading provider of Fairtrade cotton school uniforms, overtaking rival Marks & Spencer.

According to research commissioned by People & Planet, nearly 70% of pupils as well as many parents would like uniforms to be made from Fairtrade cotton, particularly at a time when cotton producers are facing severe financial hardship.

Anna Heywood, a mother of two from Newcastle said: "I want to ensure that no one has been exploited in making my children's school uniform but like most parents I haven't got the time or knowledge to start investigating the supply chain of my daughter's school jumper or all the different ethical schemes that the High street stores and supermarkets claim to sign up to. The Fairtrade label is the only guarantee that can instantly assure me that the producers are being treated fairly."

People & Planet now hope that other major retailers will follow suit.

Monday, 21 December 2009

British Army unveils new camouflage

The British Army has announced the introduction of a new camouflage design for all its soldiers in an attempt to limit the number of casualties in Afghanistan.

The move comes after complaints that the colours in the current uniform were not suitable for combat in marshlands and rural areas of Afghanistan. The new “multi-terrain pattern” is made up of seven colours, designed to help soldiers merge into a variety of terrains across the globe. The uniforms will first be used in Afghanistan in March next year but will be rolled out across all units from 2011.

Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, said: “This new camouflage will help our troops blend into different environments in Helmand Province to stay hidden from the Taliban. Patrols take our troops through the Green Zone, scrubland, desert and arid stony environments and it is crucial that the camouflage can work across all of them.”

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Two weeks to get dressed?

According to new research commissioned by the Clothes Show Live, an average woman spends a staggering 312 hours preparing for the most important social event of the year: the office Christmas party.

997 women between the ages of 18 and 45 were surveyed to determine the amount of preparation involved for that all-important party. The study revealed that, on average, 72 hours were spent shopping for an outfit and 96 hours were dedicated to getting in shape, while 12% of respondents said they would hire a personal stylist for the occasion.

Managing director of the Clothes Show Live, Gavin Brown, said: "The Christmas party is the highlight of everyone's festive calendar - the place to be and be seen and it's no wonder women across the country spend hundreds of hours making sure they look their very best."