The Best Places to Buy Women’s Workwear
The number of women working in trades has been steadily increasing—and so have the options for quality women's workwear.
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Dressing for success in the workplace takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a woman in the trades. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women working in traditionally male-dominated areas like agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities are substantially underrepresented.
In recent years, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has reported that more and more women are entering the construction workforce. Recognizing what was once a gaping hole in the workwear market, retailers have stepped up their efforts to design and produce workwear that meets women’s needs.
Here is our list of the top places to buy functional and safe women-focused workwear.
Carhartt makes some of the best outdoor workwear on the market—including women’s workwear. Their clothes are knows for their rugged, dependable performance with a focus on blending function and fashion. Their pieces are built to last, and a repair service ensures they do. If you’re on a temporary job, you’ll be grateful for their rental workwear options.
There are plenty of helpful accessories like work socks or hats, but the main attraction are the bib overalls and coveralls. These standout pieces serve up practical and thoughtful details like strong triple-stitched main seams, rugged-flex stretch technology and a plethora of utility pockets to stash essentials. The Flex Canvas Coveralls are an everyday, do-it-all one-piece wonder with an adjustable tab at waist, convertible sleeves and a relaxed fit through the hip and thigh.
The Super Dux Insulated Bib Overalls are made for outdoor work or play. They’re water-repellent, wind-resistant and lined with 3M Thinsulate to keep you warm in the coldest weather. Ladies will appreciate the zipper drop-seat that allows restroom use without having to remove the overalls. Carhartt also makes excellent women’s work pants and utility leggings that are durable enough to get you through any workday, no matter how grueling.
Known for dressing people for extreme weather, it’s no surprise that Patagonia also sells cold-weather workwear for women who brave the elements while on the job. Particularly notable: their long-standing commitment to the environment and sustainability. Their Worn Wear program allows you to trade-in gently worn garb in exchange for a credit toward new purchases, you can then save money by buying this pre-loved merchandise for a discount.
For women’s workwear, the All Seasons Hemp Canvas Bomber is a classic jacket that can be worn year-round. The abrasion-resistant fabric is warm but breathable, and an easy-to-work zipper operates even while wearing gloves. There are roomy compartments to keep tools handy and safeguard your phone and valuables; plus hand-warmer pockets ensure palms stay toasty.
Another essential workwear piece: the All Seasons Hemp Canvas Vest, a durable, easy-wearing staple for core warmth on chilly work days. It has plenty of pockets and is lined with smooth taffeta, which slides easily over layers. By the way, if you’re wondering whether to shop at Patagonia vs North Face, we did the research on both retailers.
Dovetail Workwear creates apparel made to fit women of every size and body type. Their clothing and accessory line bends the rules with garments that go from motorcycle rider to maternity wear. Their tradeswomen-approved fabrics are field- and abrasion-tested, optimized for functionality and deigned specifically for women who work.
Dovetail’s women’s workwear is known for being rugged and moveable, including the Christa DIY Pant, which feels like sweatpants but performs like a work pant. The slim-fit, pull-on bottoms have seven pockets, double-layered knees and a hammer loop. They are also made of moisture-wicking thermoregulating fabric to keep you cool and dry. Their selectional of functional work shirts is first-rate, like the Givens Buffalo Flannel classic plaid button-up. It has a flattering fit with a hint of stretch for easy movement during a hard day’s work.
When you think of Ariat, you probably think of boots. However, the brand has an extensive line of women’s workwear, too. Their motto: Workwear as tough as the women who wear it. That means you’ll find an assortment of durable but still comfortable pieces designed to tackle any task. Also impressive: the brand’s eco-friendly initiatives. Their Bluesign-approved clothes are made with ethically-sourced wool and cotton.
Shop for wardrobe workhorses, like the Rebar Foundation Zip Shirt, a tough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside top perfect for layering under a hoodie or fleece vest. It’s moisture wicking, stain-repellent and designed for greater arm mobility so you can move about freely. An inclusive size range (XS to 3X) offers both standard and plus fits.
And because Ariat is a leading brand for boots, their footwear is a worthy investment, too. The Treadfast Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is expertly constructed for safety and performance. Whether at a farm, ranch or warehouse, these kicks keep your feet dry and comfortable, no matter the job conditions.
Modern workwear brand Truewerk aims to reframe what it means to work in the trades. They appeal to contemporary and creative professionals with their protective and functional gear that doesn’t sacrifice durability for comfort. Truewerk specializes in lightweight and flexible workwear that’s optimized for performance. They blend technical and traditional fabrics so you’re always comfortable and productive while on the job. More to love: Military, first responders, government employees, teachers and students receive a 15 percent discount.
For warmer climates, you’ll want the B1 Sun Hoodie, which is built to keep you cool and comfortable while also providing sun protection. When the temperatures drop, opt for the M2 Grid Hoodie, a pullover with an abrasion-resistant outer surface and soft inner fleece lining. Add a fleece jacket and you’re set for any season.
Truewerk also makes women’s work shorts, an item more difficult to find among workwear brands. The T1 Werkshort is a moisture-wicking, double-woven design complete with riveted pocket corners, double-stitched seams and a gusseted crotch. Workers love it for the plethora of pockets, water- and tear-resistant fabric and four-way stretch for enhanced mobility.
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