In the fashion world, functional is often viewed as a dirty word, one which sees style sacrificed for practicality. However when examining men’s work clothes, it is possible to see that you do not necessarily have to forget about looking good whilst getting your hands dirty.
The classic workman stereotype can be encapsulated in Bob the Builder’s appearance. A pair of overalls tucked into chunky, thick soled boots portrays what many see as conventional building attire. Yet, upon closer inspection these garments have more of a fashion impact then many would give them credit for.
A perfect example of work clothes entering the realm of more mainstream fashion can be seen with CAT boots. With a durable rubber sole and manufactured from tough leather they are well suited for the rough and tumble of building sites but despite the tough exterior they are also popular as for all the young dudes. The recognizable honey colour accompanies denim well, and the chunky nature of the boots gives a more rugged masculine appearance.
John Deere is a less talked about brand, who embody the spirit of the Wurzles, as not only do they produce clothing but also a wide range of heavy farming machinery. This unconventional approach is endearing as it is hard to imagine the likes of Dior designing a tractor. One garment from them which especially stands out is the duck barn coat. With oversized pockets and a rich tan colour accompanied by a tartan lining, its distinctive style stands out and offers a new alternative on the done to death Barbour wax jacket.
Bob the Builder has a recognizable pair of faded blue dungarees and for those looking to emulate him, but in a chic manner, Dickies does not disappoint. They offer a range of dungarees and overalls including the bib-and-brace. Whilst being aimed almost exclusively at those with practical intentions, the Dickies overalls themselves can be considered style icons. The armless nature of the garments allows for layering, with a shirt or t-shirt easily fitting underneath and the unusual shape with trousers joined to a top allows for a unique look.
So the workman look is going strong. It allows for the creation of a playful image with bright coloured, oversized garments but with a strong masculine undertone. Although not appreciated by all, it offers something different to a wardrobe and I would certainly recommend you embrace your inner workman.–