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David Barry talks us through recent trends in security clothing

The world of security clothing may be a million miles from the catwalk, but like every type of work wear it has changed and developed over the years, influenced by a number of factors. This blog post takes a look at what those factors are, where we are now, and what we can expect in the future.

Whereas high street fashion takes its cue from celebrity culture and the catwalks of Paris and Milan, security clothes have previously taken their cue from closer to home – the good old English bobby on the beat. In the hit ITV show Heartbeat, actor Nick Berry modelled the archetypal ’60s police uniform, complete with tunic and traditional helmet.

Uniforms vary from force to force, but generally in the late ’70s and ’80s there was a move away from tunics and helmets towards nato jumpers and uniform caps – and again with the security industry followed suit (pardon the pun!).

During the nineties and noughties there has been a move towards fleeces with epaulettes and radio loops. Interestingly, however, security clothing is only just picking up on this development, and the majority of security guards are still wearing jumpers – or suits.

And that’s the other trend – with the retail world developing so much since the days of Heartbeat, the role of security guards and police has diverged further, and now a security guard in a security suit is common in retail, company offices and government buildings.

However, the more casual police-type look of fleece/jumper with police style polywool trousers, smart trousers with combat pockets to store notebooks and similar equipment still prevails as the most popular security clothing. And the tried and trusted security shirt has remained pretty much unchanged over all this time!

Today, the key point of differentiation for the security guard from the police and other personnel is the outer jacket – in the British weather, for security guards that work outside, or do a mix of inside and outside work, this is the face of their company to the public. There is a trend away from the bog-standard yellow hi vis jackets toward different colours of jackets such as blues, maroons, blacks, many of which fit better with company or client colours, and provide differentiation in a crowded marketplace.

Finally, having gone from head to toe, you have the good old police boots. For many years Magnum boots has been the favoured brand. This is still the case, but the trusty Magnum Classic and Magnum Patrol are making way for new alternatives such as the Magnum stealth and Magnum Strider.

We’ll be regularly blogging about the changing face of security clothing so check back for more updates, or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with new developments.

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