For the first time in over ten years, TfL has given the classic London Underground staff uniform a revamp. Designer Wayne Hemingway was drafted in and tube staff were consulted to come up with a ‘new, modern and more stylish’ uniform to ‘help customers recognise London Underground staff more easily’. The design, which incorporates the iconic roundel, is meant to be durable, affordable and sustainable, reflect the diversity of the city and, for the first time, is specifically tailored for female staff. About time!
From today until December 8, the new garb is being trialled by 200 staff at six stations including Camden Town, Oxford Circus, Mile End and Edgware Road. According to TfL, staff are pretty happy about it, with LU Customer Service Assistant Serge Ake saying: ‘The red zip, collar and LU logo on the Fleecington make it very appealing and will easily be recognisable to customers. It’s one of the most popular parts of the new uniform – lots of staff want to try it on.’
We got a few fashion ‘experts’ to give us their first opinion on the new look:
‘The first problem is that they don’t really look very different. You don’t want to not recognise your TfL staff because they’re dressed like Vivienne Westwood, but these boring designs look like a missed trick to me. Wayne Hemingway has done vast amounts for British fashion, but I would have liked to see this honour go to a young British designer like Jonathan Saunders, who would have refreshed the design completely and given our transport workers something to feel proud of. The second problem is that the Underground roundel is perched just right of the nipple, and it looks like a target. If commuters start plunging head first into the breasts of TfL staff, we’ll have no-one to blame but the commissioners of these weird yet still boring designs.’ Katie Dailey, Time Out Lifestyle Editor
‘TfL has missed a trick here: it’s a bit safe. Where’s the London punk spirit? I’d rework it with a studded leather biker, Union Jack tee, Vivienne Westwood bondage trousers with bovver boots, safety-pin piercings, and knuckle-dusters for fare evaders.’ Dan Jones, Men’s Style Writer
We’ll be interested to see how the trial goes. What do you think of the new uniforms? Tweet us at @timeoutlondon.