The Hidden Checkbook Vest
Executive Apparel’s Gourmet Collection is well-known by service industry buyers. Many of our customers service the hospitality industry and provide custom server uniforms to casual dining and upscale restaurants as well as pubs, bars, clubs, bistros and cafes.
A staple garment of the hospitality crowd is the server’s vest. Some establishments opt for professionally tailored lined vests while others look for an economy vest to keep costs down. Many high-end restaurants request custom designed vests to accommodate their servers’ needs.
A quick Google search of the history of fashion vests, also known as waistcoats, will give you an idea of how many iterations the vest has been through over time. Some are very simple and some very fancy. Depending on the style and personality of the restaurant, the design can incorporate historical style references as well as functional elements. A server may need multiple storage areas for various tools like pens, wine keys, checkbooks, cash, card-swipe gadgets, etc. As restaurant systems evolve, a highly functional server’s vest must now hold many new items. Often a custom design is the proper choice.
Executive Apparel has created many custom vests for clients. One of our recent custom server vests became the inspiration for the new design. It was a request for a five-button, V-neck style with a neat adjustable back belt buckle that was different than those the marketplace was offering.
To avoid the sloppy look when a buckle comes undone, we designed a new type of buckle-strap closure that is shorter in length than most. Instead of sewing it into the side seams, it is “bar-tacked” to the back of the vest about a quarter of the way from the seam on each side. The vest has a full fabric back panel, which gives the buckle strap construction more strength where a common poly-satin back panel may not hold as well.
That custom vest became the starting point for a new custom server’s vest. The restaurant owners liked the idea of the adjustable buckle, as they really wanted the staff to look neat and polished. The servers in this particular restaurant carry checkbooks, and often find that they need to use both hands and store the check book somewhere else. Adding a pocket to the front would obscure the tailored appearance of the uniform. Rather than consider an apron or pant pocket to store the checkbooks during work, they asked us to design a vest with a back center pocket to store the checkbook out of sight when not in use. The combination of the adjustable buckle and the back storage pocket solved the problem of seeing the bulkiness of a full pocket on an otherwise perfectly neat uniform.
The pocket is the perfect size to fit a checkbook or even a small tablet like the iPad mini, which some restaurants are already using. Other features of this fully lined vest include a longer length than most server vests and its Visa polyester, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant fabric—a fabric that saves time for workers during laundering and also saves money by eliminating dry cleaning. We’ve come up with a versatile, adjustable and sharp looking vest with a neat, sturdy back pocket that looks very professional. This garment solved multiple problems for the customer.
In need of a special garment for your client and not sure where to start with custom design? The expert production team at Executive Apparel has years of experience and an extensive custom archive for inspiration. With hundreds of fabric and notions suppliers at our fingertips, sourcing the perfect material or accessory for your project is easier than you think. Our team loves at the chance to challenge themselves and solve the customers’ problems. You won’t be afraid to go after custom business with enthusiasm when you know you can count on Executive Apparel’s custom design and production management team!