Practicality and durability are foundations of mens lives, and therefore, menswear design.
In fact, many of today’s “classics” originated as workwear garments or military-issued apparel. Denim jeans, flannel shirts, lace-up boots, fatigue jackets, etc. The efficiency of these garments made them popular in the US during the economic crisis of the 1930′s and, of course, the rationing periods of WWI and WWII.
In mid-century America, a good suit was the cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe, but for many in the lower and middle class, breaking it out for every special occasion wasn’t practical. Instead, men figured out ways to look presentable in their casual clothing and workwear – similar to the dressy/casual trend that is very popular today.
Growing up on a ranch in Texas, Alex‘s style has always been rooted in classic workwear. After working at TSB for a couple years, he’s figured out how to use the staples in his wardrobe (many of which he’s owned long before moving to NYC) and style them for a non-workwear context.
Here’s three examples of “Dressed-Up Workwear”.
1. The Site Manager
This worker’s jacket is the perfect example of a cross between workwear and dress.
Navy blue like a classic blazer, but cut from a heavy-duty cotton. Multiple machine-stitched pockets for reliable storage. No shoulder padding or internal canvas, for ultimate flexibility and range of motion. The collar and high button-stance also create pseudo-lapels while allowing for maximum body coverage and protection from the elements.
In my opinion, this is a great outfit for a construction site manager or factory foreman who needs to be protected, but also have an air of formality or authority to his dress.
If your job at the site calls for a trouser rather than a jean, go with a thick and durable cloth like corduroy, moleskin, flannel, tweed, etc.
Like the jacket, these wingtip boots are a classic combination of utility and style. While these aren’t construction grade, there are plenty of good looking boots that offer full toe and heel protection, and thus are more suitable for a work site.
- Navy Worker’s Jacket by Levi’s
- White Club Collar Shirt from J. Crew
- Vintage Burgundy Wool Knit Tie
- Burgundy linen pocket square by Michael Andrews Bespoke
- Yellow Watch by Orvis
- Indigo jeans by Uniqlo
- Grey Wool Socks by H&M
- Brown Leather Wingtip Boots by Stafford