Men at work

Dec 01, 2012

TailorMen traditionally, are less inclined to talk about, and spend time on style and fashion. This, I suspect, is the reason why there is a strong connection between men’s workwear and their fashion. It is an observation I have made recently, and it is more noticeable in the colder months. From flannel shirts to parkas to wax jackets and lace up boots these all originated as part of a workers outfit. Even the noble denim jeans were once just a trouser for the labourer.

Men, unlike women, have very few outfits that are solely for purposes of dressing up. As men, we are for more likely to use garments for multiple and often contradicting occasions. You see, a pair of jeans can be paired with a jumper to the pub, or can be worn with a shirt and blazer out for dinner. A shirt can be rolled up and worn to the beach, or it can be put with a tie and worn to work. We are great at this, even shoes can we manipulated to fit in with different outfits. The trainer can be worn for sports, or with jeans to the pub, and the trainer with suit look is even becoming more popular with the rise of the retro running shoe. Women on the other hand are unlikely to wear the same dress to work that they wore out the night before. Nor are they going to use the flip flops they took to the beach to go out with for dinner.

Even though nowadays men are growing incredibly fashion conscious their connection to workwear does not appear to be going away. In fact, it is perhaps clearer than ever. Dressing like a farmer is maybe a little bit 2010 but for a long time it was common place to see people dressed in flannel shirts, wax jackets and flat caps. Not to mention the tweed jacket, a garment which has been around the streets of London (far from any fields) for years now.  Another popular trend with men nowadays is the scruffy office worker; the blazer, shirt, slim leg trouser and lace up boot. It’s perfect for so many occasions, be it work, dinner or pub.  As for the chino, that was once the trouser of the sailor or fishermen. Brands such as Carhartt and Dickies who make labourers clothing are now popular with young men.

I’ll finish by telling you of a deal that me and my dad made, I think it sums up my hypothesis wonderfully.  He needed a new pair of shoes for visiting construction sites at work, while I quite liked the idea of a new pair of boots. Rather than buying two new pairs of shoes, we decided to get some steel toe capped Dr Martins. He has them in the day; I get them weekends and evenings. It works beautifully.

George Marsden

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