When talking about tradie uniforms, not many people mention style and fashion. However, there’s no reason why worksite wear can’t be fashionable while also being functional and comfortable. No matter if you’re a builder, a cleaner, or a site manager, your clothing can tell a story of who you are as a person. Even with a uniform, you can express your individuality. Today, workwear comes in many great styles and options with cuffed pants, slim-fit t-shirts, contemporary prints, and a broad palette of colors—not just orange and yellow or navy and khaki.
Even if you have to wear company-provided uniforms, there are ways you can stand out and look better than everyone else while keeping the same level of comfort and workplace wellbeing. Of course, your workplace is not a runway, but it never hurts to attract some positive attention and feel better about yourself. What you wear often boosts your confidence and makes a great impression on important people who have a say in your career. So if you want to look and feel great in your tradie wear, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make it functional
Tradies need to be productive and efficient, so your workwear needs to provide you with functionality. What does that mean? Well, functional wear is durable, comfortable, and flexible (easy to transition from the office or worksite to your after-work life). Tough materials that can withstand wear, tear, and weather are your best options, as long as they have excellent breathability.
When choosing your t-shirts, opt for something with high visibility but without the cuffs (which can cause chafing). Pants and jackets should provide you with the best protection from the outside weather, debris, dust, and sharp objects—reinforced knees and elbows are a must.
Focus on the fit
Of course, your clothes need to fit well, but why? Well, wearing clothes that don’t fit you will not only make you look sloppy, but they can be highly uncomfortable. And when you’re working in any type of trade, being comfortable can make a difference between a job well-done and an injury. Let’s say your clothes are overly baggy—they can easily get caught in the machinery. On the other hand, clothes that are too tight can restrict your movements and expose your skin to dangerous conditions.
When choosing your tradie outfit, make sure everything fits you perfectly. When purchasing your clothing online, look for websites with precise sizes. For example, check out websites selling workwear in the UK, and you’ll see that they have a wide range of sizes, but also an extensive size chart where you can get all the measurements and pick out the perfect wear for you. If you have items that are too small or too big, try to retire them or donate them to your colleagues (if they are in good condition, of course).
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-woman-wearing-safety-helmet-and-vest-standing-near-the-steel-structure-8961126/
Most manufacturers only focus on staying cool in the summer, but what about tradies who work all year long, having to withstand cold temperatures, rain, and snow? You can prevent freezing on site with sporty hoodies with high-vis details. Hoodies are some of the most versatile clothing items, and they offer comfort and warmth. The front zip style is maybe a bit more practical because these hoodies are easy to zip down and take off for the best temperature control.
Customize your wear
If your employer is very flexible about your workwear (or if you’re a flexible boss), why not give your workwear some interest by customizing it? For instance, some manufacturers can add patches to show support for your favorite team, your love for specific brands, or just write your name on your workwear and an embellishment. These custom moments can show off your brand or simply make working a bit more interesting.
Keep it clean
One of the most important parts of dressing well as a tradie is the level of hygiene. Every time you get dressed, your clothing should be freshly washed and pressed. You might leave your shift covered in dust or grease, but it will make a difference if you start your day clean. It’s all about being proud of your work and being respectful to your bosses, colleagues, and company. This is even more important for business if you’re self-employed because all clients want responsible and clean contractors.
You might not get a lot to say about what you’re going to wear to work, but being clean and fitted will make a difference and allow you to stand out with your crisp tradie outfit.
Written by Mike Johnston