Why White Castle’s Uniforms Are Suddenly Among the Industry’s Most Fashionable

Streetwear is coming, too, in partnership with Telfar

Soon, folks will be able to dress in fly White Castle gear without actually having to flip patties at the iconic hamburger chain.

A line of streetwear and other consumer merchandise drops next month, created in partnership with indie unisex New York fashion house Telfar. That follows new uniforms for employees only, also from Telfar, with some 10,000 employees at 400 locations donning crisp blue shirts with comfy collars and the restaurant’s logo rendered in distinctive, old-timey type.

What’s this sleek new style meant to convey?

“That when you come behind the Castle walls, you will be greeted with authenticity,” White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson tells AdFreak. “You enter a zone where your cravings will be satisfied by a team that is dignified, comfortably cool, confident—without being boastful—and simply the best at feeding the souls of craver generations everywhere.”

Cool. Just keep those sliders coming, OK?

Other fast feeders making uniform adjustments include McDonald’s, which tapped Waraire Boswell to dress its employees in utilitarian shades of gray (reflecting, perhaps, the sad state of their psyches as they supersize meals throughout the day). Elsewhere, Domino’s indulged in some kilty pleasure on a limited scale.

At White Castle, the change from the previous blue crew tee isn’t too radical, and consists mainly of tweaking the design for a more stylized look.

“This is a shirt you want to wear whether you’re at work or not,” Richardson says.

If all your other shirts are in the laundry, that may be true. Kidding aside, Richardson offers this advice about using in-store fashion to help build camaraderie and boost brand identity:

“Avoid making decisions to save pennies and buy in bulk with designs that miss the mark because they don’t speak to the soul of your team,” he says. “Nothing great was ever accomplished by saving 3 cents per uniform.”

“In our minds there is no more authentic American restaurant than White Castle, and we have truly been touched by the working process, trust and support,” Telfar Clemens of Telfar said in a statement. “There’s a White Castle right by my apartment and I’ve been going there my whole life—seeing the uniform is just amazing! At first glance the partnership seems surreal, but beneath the surface what we have in common is originality and integrity. Being original means taking risks and doing what you believe in, and that’s what our relationship is all about. The uniforms were not about reinventing White Castle, just reflecting that core authenticity that people crave.”