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Workwear Fashion – Style for Classic Gentlemen
In menswear, functional clothes last longer. They’re functional. That’s why so many military and workwear pieces go from front line to runway.
Wearable workwear for builders, dockhands, fishermen, and laborers They’re cozy and autumn-ready. They’re also durable.
“Workwear is timeless,” says Percival founder and creative director Chris Gove. Workwear transcends trends because it was never developed for a specific age or movement.
Fashion insiders love Carhartt’s Work in Progress line, which updates the appearance. Gove argues workwear’s longing for simpler times, when people had a craft and lived slowly, makes it relevant now.
Workwear lets desk-bound guys experience the romance of semi-skilled labor without actually doing it. Indeed, much of the workwear canon, especially Dickies and Carhartt’s Americana, romanticizes employment that is being automated or outsourced to developing countries.
Workwear is matte: heavy cotton drill, thick wool, deep indigo denim, butter-soft flannel, chambray, slub linen, and waxed cotton. These materials are quiet and attractive, gaining character with wearing. Gloss and “newness” are for the internet and luxury stores, which the appropriation of workwear partly opposes. So, go with Teeanime for all your doubts!
THE NEW RULES OF WORKWEAR
RELAX WHEN IT COMES TO FIT
The appeal of workwear is that it is functional, so it works even if you’re just running for the bus or riding your bike (rather than building a log home). The key to this is a relaxed and comfortable fit. Robust working pants, such as carpenter’s pants or raw denim jeans, should be worn in a more relaxed cut.
“Just make sure what you’re wearing is functional,” says Enzo Cilenti, designer for the British workwear company Carrier. “For example, fisherman trousers are unusually wide so that they may be readily rolled up for getting in and out of the water. Make sure it’s useful.”
MIX IT UP
Unless you’re a true dockhand or lumberjack, it’s advisable to avoid the entire look from head to toe. “To avoid looking like a pastiche, pair workwear with cleaner, fitted pieces,” advises Gove. “I appreciate the contrast of pairing a worn-in vintage workwear garment with something bright and polished to appear current.”
A washed denim or blue chambray shirt, for example, looks great with a tailored jacket or blazer. Similarly, flipping the equation, the appropriate kind of jeans can serve as a firm foundation for a more tailored-looking up top.
TOUGHEN YOUR ACCESSORIES UP
Workwear’s ruggedly masculine look can be channeled through savvy accessorising. Fisherman beanies may be overly hipster, but they’ll keep you warm, and a good pair of work boots will keep your feet dry.
Commuters of all types should look to outdoor brands for day-to-day bags that are designed to resist inclement weather and even worse public transportation while keeping personal goods safe.
USE COLOUR (CAREFULLY)
Workwear colors tend to be neutral, such as navy, khaki, sand, green, and brown. All of them can be worn tonally as part of a more streamlined look, but it pays to lighten up when it comes to workwear’s thicker, boxier cuts.
“Color pops help break up the workwear palette,” adds Gove. Knitwear in a strong color, such as a red fisherman jumper paired with a blue work jacket and deep indigo trousers, will assist to break up the outfit and make you look distinctive and unusual – but not too different. Workwear works best when it is understated and cool.
The most recognizable workplace item is the red and black check flannel overshirt. Despite its association with woodsmen, flannel shirts were also popular with jazz modernists such as saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.
They look great with raw denim jeans or cotton khaki pants. Avoid work boots in favor of brown or burgundy loafers or chukka boots to lighten the image.
Cargo trousers have made a surprising resurgence in recent seasons, and it’s simple to see why.
A pair made of sturdy cotton, with or without leg pockets, should be loose-fitting and slightly hemmed, and can be paired with a pair of classic sneakers for a laid-back all-American look.
The chore jacket, as seen on famed New York Times street style photographer Bill Cunningham, is a tough-as-nails menswear staple with a slightly boxy form and at least two huge front pockets. It perfectly crosses the gap between formal and dressed-down thanks to its rough design and rigid shape.
Layer it beneath a wool coat in the winter or over a T-shirt or sweatshirt in the summer for a basic smart-casual piece that can be worn all year.
Work boots, it seems to reason, come into their own during the winter months. Rain and snow will do nothing for your loafers and ice white sneakers, so lace up in some reassuringly robust shoes to keep everything on solid ground.
These look best with work pants or raw denim jeans and a thick heavy coat, but a somewhat more refined pair can also be used to bookend a suit to save your Derbies.
The padded gilet, which spent some time in the menswear hinterland, has returned as a handy piece of clothing, especially among Italian men, who don’t generally wear workwear.
Overseas, they layer it with a fitted coat or jacket, which we applaud, but it may also be worn over a cable knit jumper or flannel shirt for extra warmth.
Denim is the workwear fabric. Since the 1800s, blue-collar employees, US ranchers, and railroad workers have preferred indigo due to its durability.
Pair chinos, chukka boots, and a denim shirt. If you’re adventurous, try double denim workwear. To avoid looking like a man in overalls, choose contrasting colors.
Have you ever worked outside in winter without a beanie? We don’t, but it’s probably boring. That may explain why woollen head warmers are so important to the workwear uniform.
There are many beanie styles, but finding one that fits might be difficult. For workman-at-sea feelings, try a smaller fisherman-style or a classic cuffed version.