1. Work Jackets and Work Coats
When outdoors, on site, your workwear is the most important protective garment layer you should have on, whenever it's appropriate. A work jacket or coat will protect you from uncomfortable weather conditions and hazardous job elements considering your health and safety. These are key three critical features when looking for a work jacket or coat:
- Tough fabrics (weather-resistant).
- Rugged construction (durable).
- Adjustable or ribbed cuffs (secure fit).
2. Work Coveralls and Overalls
Coveralls mainly referred as to bib and brace overalls or dungarees are a must-have item for tougher outdoor or indoor jobs. This type of workwear is ideal for when working in cold environments, on the muddy ground or rigid, uneven surfaces and potentially hazardous conditions. Most work overalls and coveralls are insulated for extra warmth and have reinforced triple stitched seams to withstand much harder wear and tear than regular pieces of clothing. Other features specific to this type of workwear include:
- Two-way leg zippers that make it easier to put protective garments on and take it off without a need to remove your footwear.
- Utility pouches and tool pockets, hammer loops and holsters to keep your work gear secure and handy when on the job.
- Double knees with an added fabric layer are meant to protect your knees when kneeling or leaning on hard and rough surfaces.
- Internal or external storm guards and cuffs helping retain heat and prevent water entry.
3. Work Pants and Jeans
Usually, the best durable work pants are made from either heavy-duty denim, tightly woven cotton duck, fire hose or waxed canvas. Work pants for men and women have useful features such as roomier seats, thighs, reinforcement triple stitching and rivet inseams. Many work jeans have traditional five-pocket designs and a variety of cargo style pants. Few extra useful features to look for in right workwear:
- Utility pockets and tool holders.
- Double knee pouches to clean out debris.
- Extra holsters or belt loops to help support heavier tools.
4. Work Vests
Work vests are superb body-warmers with extra storage for keeping work tools handy at all times. You can wear one over a shirt or under your work coat when working outdoors and for extra protection preventing a hazard. Best work vests (except Hi-Visibility Vests) are insulated and have a large cargo front pockets. Also, a sleeveless vest design does not restrain movements where more flexibility may be required on the job.
5. Work Shirts and Sweatshirts
These days heavy-duty shirts and sweatshirts to be worn for manual or physical work are available in a variety of t-shirts, short-sleeved button-up shirts, long-sleeved flannel shirts, hoodies and many other designs that you can choose from. Most work jumpers and shirts are made of comfortable and durable fabric like cotton or a poly-cotton blend for greater resistance and extra padding layer for maximum warmth. Depending on style and purpose garments may include multiple features (zippers, hoods, pockets, buttons, etc.).
6. Work Shorts
Work shorts are ideal for whenever its hot outside or warm on the job site. Especially for trade professionals such as roofers, landscapers, gardeners and builders during the summertime. Invest in a pair of work-guard shorts with a comfortable waistband, knee pads, tool pockets, smartphone pouch and a stylish fit. Most popular and durable materials to choose from is a cotton and nylon blend, fire hose canvas or denim. Choice of designs may include such features as cargo pockets, tool holders and double stitched durable seams.
7. Thermal Underwear and Leggings
Protect yourself from getting cold on the job site, by wearing thermal underwear or leggings underneath your work clothes, when working outdoors especially in cold winter times. The best quality thermal clothing should effectively absorb (draws-off) liquids and provide additional insulation needed. Thermal base layers are available in the choice of lightweight, mid-weight and heavy-weight fabrics, depending on your preferences and work conditions.
8. Work Gloves
We agree that every tradesperson must have some calluses as proof of their hard work, but many jobs would be so much safer with the protection of work gloves. Best quality work gloves are crafted from a heavy-duty, leather-like goatskin or deerskin, or sewn from sturdy duck cotton and abrasion resistant nylon or latex coating. Consider wearing a pair of thermal gloves with an additional layer of insulated lining that is ideal for working in cold conditions while retaining protection for your hands.
9. Work Hats
Although construction helmets and hard hats are mostly recommended for any building works, a comfy work cap or hat is very useful for protecting your head from the sun, snow wind or rain when on the job. There's a variety of designs and materials to choose from. Fleece beanie or knitted bobble hat, tweed flat cap or cotton baseball cap, insulated trapper hat or military cadet cap is an essential workwear accessory to comfort you throughout warmer weather or chilly winters.
10. Safety Glasses and Shields
All safety specs and goggles must comply with British/ European health and safety regulations to ensure that you are safe and protected on the job. There are different types of protection depending on the complexity and requirements of the work you do. Some safety eyewear will stand up to UV impact while others designed to resist heat and abrasion: some have side shields, thickened lenses, toughened glass and made of low energy materials. Other features to look for when choosing protective eyewear are:
- Polarised or photochromic lenses: ideal for when working with reflective surfaces and dealing with a glare.
- Ski mask style goggles with an adjustable headband: provides extra protection from debris, hazardous elements and particles.
- Non-slip moulded nosepiece and rubber-tipped temples: to help keep glasses securely in place, for stability and comfort.
Never substitute regular spectacles or sunglasses when using tools that require PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) approved safety eyewear.
11. Work Footwear
When it comes to choosing the best work shoes - good quality boots are an invaluable asset almost at any job. Built of very durable materials and designed to provide all-day support most work boots or trainers have strong upper leather layer and a shock absorbing midsole cushion to protect and keep your feet comfy throughout the day. Some models must meet HSE requirements and approved codes of practice for the avoidance of hazards on the job site. Other features may also include:
- Steel toe caps and shanks for additional protection
- Petrol and oil resistant soles for anti-slip traction
- Water-repellant or water-resistant outsoles for durable wear
Even though proper safety footwear is essential for protecting your feet - don’t forget to choose wisely and get the best fit for that particular job.
12. Safety Wellies (Wellingtons)
Apart from well-known CAT lace-up shoes and dealer rigger boots, you must consider a pair of waterproof wellies as the best option for when working in muddy circumstances. Wellington work boots combine a comfortable pull-on design and rugged features capable of withstanding rougher environments. Most have a rounded toe and a slip-resistant rubber outsole. All models also include waterproof materials and construction for added protection from rain, snow and mud.
13. Work Socks and Overshoes
Unlike regular socks, most work socks are designed to provide additional comfort, better durability and the best fit for your work boots and wellies. Worker socks are crafted with thermal cushioned lining for warmth and reinforced heel or toe sections to ensure the best protection of your feet. No doubt, a pair of wool socks is a must on the job site in chilly winters. And don't forget to wear disposable overshoes when working indoors to prevent a mess on the newly laid out carpet or when required. Choose a bigger size to fit it over your work boots and have a spare one, as it can tear easily.
All the best labels' specialising in work clothing share one very important feature - design a durable wear. We do agree there might be lack of more stylish garment choices when it comes to workwear fashion. However, its durability is what really matters and should be considered before purchasing.