When you work a construction job, there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind. Not only do you need to ensure you’re adequately trained on the different tools and how to interact with your coworkers, but you’re in charge of much more than that.
It’s also your responsibility to take care of what you’ll wear while on the job. While you might relish this newfound freedom to decide what you’re going to wear while on the job, this puts quite a bit of responsibility on your shoulders.
When you pick out your work clothing for a construction job, there are some things that you need to ensure. In this article, we’ll be going over six tips for you to consider when picking out your clothing, and one tip we will emphasize is safety.
There are many ways that your clothing can affect safety on the job – not just your safety but that of your coworkers and regular citizens. We’ll discuss how material choice can affect safety, brand quality, different equipment you might want to consider, and more. So let’s get into these six tips on how to pick the ideal construction outfit for your job.
1. Prioritize Safety When Selecting Your Work Outfit
As we mentioned, the first thing we want to emphasize when picking your ideal construction outfit is safety. Generally speaking, most construction sites and work zones will fill you in on how to remain safe on the job. One general rule is to keep your construction outfit and appearance as small as possible.
This means keeping your sleeves and pant legs snug, your hair tightly bound and pulled back, any facial hair tucked away or covered and never overly long, and avoiding dangling jewelry. Pants should fit well and not need to be constantly pulled up, and shoe laces should be tightly knotted to prevent tripping or being caught on equipment or surfaces.
Another key piece of safety is not to be distracted. Avoid any additions to your construction outfit that are loud or obnoxious. You don’t want to be the reason one of your coworkers gets distracted and possibly hurt on the job.
2. Choose the Right Material for Your Needs
When choosing materials for your construction outfit, figuring out just which materials to go with can be challenging. There are a variety of materials that you might go with, including cotton, polyester, denim, and leather.
Leather and denim are the most commonly sought-out material types for construction outfits because of their durability and toughness. However, these aren’t the most breathable materials, so if overall comfort is a concern, you might consider a more breathable material. Let’s go over the pros and cons of some of these material types.
Cotton is one of the most common material types for clothing because of its many pros. It’s lightweight, stain-resistant, easy to wash, and highly breathable. It’ll keep wearers cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, its cons are easy to identify – it’s a material that can be easy to puncture and tear, so if you’re looking for a shirt that’ll stop a rogue saw blade, cotton isn’t it.
Workers in rough trades have been wearing denim clothing for over a century – there’s a legitimate reason miners are so often associated with Levi’s jeans. Denim comes with many benefits, and most of them are pretty obvious. Denim is hard to puncture and tear, which can come in handy when handling power tools or working in a busy environment.
However, it’s one material that will weigh you down in hot weather. Plus, it gets pretty heavy when it gets wet, so if you’re working in any environment prone to getting wet, we wouldn’t recommend denim. When in doubt, we recommend going with tougher material. If you’re wondering if we have any specific recommendations for work pants to wear on the job, we’ve got you covered with this article:
Polyester clothing can be pretty tough, but one of its drawbacks is that it isn’t quite so breathable. It’s a lightweight material, but its physical weight is a little bit deceiving, as it can trap heat and make you feel much more uncomfortable than a cotton material might.
Some pros for polyester, however, are that the material can resist light damage, tearing, and liquids. That means if you accidentally spill something on you on the job, a lot of it might slide off your polyester clothing due to the material’s hydrophobic nature.
Last but not least, leather is a material you’ll likely be wearing in at least one of two areas: your hands and feet. Leather gloves are an excellent addition to any construction outfit, as they are highly durable and make for a tough bit of armor for your fingers and palms.
When you’re handling rough, splintery wood, sharp blades, or any of the other hazardous tools and materials you can run into on a construction site, leather work gloves can come in handy.
Leather boots are the other item you’ll often see on a construction site, and for good reason. Thick leather is, again, highly durable and resistant to all sorts of damage. Now, it’s a good idea that if you are wearing leather or suede, you find a treated variety to wear. You don’t want to risk ruining your clothing because you happened to wear your leather out in the rain.
3. Adjust Your Outfit for the Job
If you know what your day on the job will consist of, then you should plan out your construction outfit accordingly. There’s no one-size-fits-all construction outfit you will implement for every job.
If you’re conducting any plumbing or indoor work in a hot space, you will want to plan an outfit that will do well in a cramped space. In other words, you won’t want to wear shorts and a tank top if you’re going to work in a cold crawlspace, and you won’t want to wear heavy denim if you’re working outside when there’s a downpour on.
Look for waterproof outfit options that will do you well on a rainy day at a construction site. CAT makes a quality pair of waterproof work boots with the much-needed steel toe that all construction workers should have. If you’re working on a site with heavy machinery and power tools or just find yourself carrying heavy loads while on the job, it’s more than a good idea to wear steel-toed boots – it’s necessary.
In need of some great quality steel toe work boots then we have you covered below:
4. Select Outfit Additions Based on Practicality
It’s a good idea to add in whatever accessories or additions possible to ensure your job can go a little bit easier. To aid with this, we recommend adding accessories that will serve a purpose for you while on the job. Various construction outfit accessories and additions that can help you include the following:
- Bandanas – Bandanas are versatile clothing accessories that can serve many purposes if you incorporate them into your construction outfit. A bandana can block the sun, serve as a napkin, kleenex, or sweatband, or even act as a bandage or tourniquet in a pinch. This versatile cloth is an excellent accessory for anyone working a tough job.
- Cell phone clip – Keep your phone on you in a way that isn’t distracting or inconvenient. You never want your phone to rest in your pocket while on the job, as it’s too easy for your thigh to quickly become a load-bearing object. Instead, keep your phone safely tucked away on your waist with a cell phone clip.
- Sunhat – Keep the sun out of your eyes and off your skin. A quality sun hat can help you avoid a nasty sunburn on the job and retain high visibility. You must always be able to get a great view of what you’re working on when you’re working a construction gig. We have got you covered if in need of a great quality sunhat here.
- Balaclava – Help keep your face warm when it starts getting chilly without compromising your vision or mobility and still allow you to remain communicative with your coworkers.
- Rain boots
5. Choose a Reputable Brand for Quality Work Clothes
There are many brands to check out and consider when choosing your construction outfit, but it’s a good idea to stick with brands you know and love. However, you also want to consider which brands have a good reputation for delivering quality clothing. Some brands we’re pretty fond of include Carhartt, Levi’s, Dickies, and Duluth Trading Company, to name a few.
The benefits of buying from a well-known brand are numerous. Not only are you getting a product that comes with an excellent reputation, but you’ll be able to avoid the whole exploration process that can come with trying to shop around brands that you don’t know.
With good quality brands that have been on the market for decades, you know which products are the most sought-after and which ones to avoid. For example, Levi’s is known best for its blue jeans, while Carhartt, on the other hand, is famous for its sturdy outerwear. You may need to shop around for your construction outfit until you find exactly what you’re looking for.
6. Factor in Price Without Compromising Quality
We always recommend that you spend as much as you can bear parting with when shopping for your work. You don’t want to compromise performance while on the job, especially when putting together a construction outfit. The work is just too demanding to cut corners.
If you can avoid tripping over a fraying thread by investing a few more dollars into your jeans, then it will always be our advice to invest that extra money.
However, we understand that most people are working on a budget. Maybe you don’t have much money to throw around and want to try to balance and find a happy medium. Consider checking out thrift stores, vintage stores, and resellers online to find vintage goods. You might be surprised at how many quality pairs of jeans, leather jackets, and boot options there are among previous owners.
Summing it All Up
We hope these six tips we provided will prove helpful to you when planning your construction outfit. It’s always important to remember that while outfit planning can be a good time, you always need to prioritize safety. No one wants to be the reason someone got hurt, and no one wants to get hurt themselves.
The first step to protecting everybody on a site is ensuring you have everything you need, including a durable construction outfit that is built tough and can withstand the wear-and-tear nature of a construction gig. Good luck with your outfit planning in the future, and we hope these tips will give you some good ideas!