Uniform(t) is an exhibition about the uniforms used in the Swedish postal service. It tells the story of how the Post Office dressed its employees from the beginning of the 1800’s until today. The exhibition starts in a period when wearing a uniform is a sign of status in Swedish society. Dark blue broadcloth and brass buttons fill the wearer with pride and create respect among the general public. Wearing a uniform is compulsory for postmen and shows who you are and what job you are doing.
In the 1960’s, the sentiment is different. It is easy to get a job in the Post Office, and to be identified with a group of people wearing uniforms does no longer appeal. Women are recruited to deliver mail. But the female uniform is inspired by the uniforms worn by civil aviation air stewardesses. The peace movement is influential: male employees refuse to wear uniforms reminiscent of military ones and the brass buttons finally disappear.
The fashion of the 1980’s is sporty and the Post Office lets its new uniforms follow fashion. But the employees argue that it is their right to express their identity by wearing their own clothes.
In the 1990’s the Post Office ceases to be a public corporation and becomes a company. This is marked by introducing a completely new colour in the uniform collection, burgundy.
The 2000’s bring great changes to the Post Office. The trademark is updated and the uniforms become so-called profile clothes. The basic colour of the new clothes reverts to blue. Today the Swedish and Danish Post Offices are called PostNord and all employees are to wear the same uniform. The uniform is still dark blue but with details in the colour PostNord Blue.
Postmuseum has on display many examples from its large uniform collection: Spectacular dress uniforms, the early postmen’s trousers with leather trim, cool summer uniforms made of linen, uniforms of very fine wool, Beaver nylon, polyester and cotton. Clothes that are carefully tailored to withstand wind and weather, cold and heat. Protective clothing of treated wool against the rain, leather for motor cycle postmen and fur coats of wolfskin against the cold.
It is an exhibition focusing on power, fashion, hierarchy and identity.
What does the company want to communicate through their uniformed employees and what do the wearers think? The uniform makes its wearers anonymous at the same time as it draws attention to them. It borrows your identity for a while as you are part of a group.
Open until August 2018
Tuesdays–Sundays 11 am–4 pm
About Swedens role as a transit country between east and west during the first world war.
Opening November 24 th 2017.
A playful exhibition on communication. Type the typewriter or practise handwriting with chalk on black boards. Create secret cipher text and try mirror writing.