Stylish, fashionable, contemporary not really words that you associate with workwear are they? Try robust, rugged or secure and you might get nearer the truth. Let me boggle your brain, however, what if we reversed those values. Crazy huh! What if we applied robust, rugged and secure to items of contemporary fashion. Hmm now is that just some clever word play or is there a point to be made about the development of workwear especially women’s workwear. Let’s face it workwear for women used to be workwear for men but differently labeled, oh and the footwear tended to come in smaller sizes. That’s changing though, not only is it changing it’s changing at a pace that you may not be entirely aware of. For instance take a look at these “bad boys” and yet they comply with safety requirements and have everything that you would expect from a safety boot. What’s going on then?
Basically manufacturers have realised that the requirements of style and safety are not necessarily mutually exclusive and they’ve noticed that there really is a very big market for safety wear and workwear. You have more manufacturers producing workwear and interestingly more manufacturers are beginning to cross over from fashion to workwear and vice versa. Consider Dickies Workwear or Snickers increasingly fashion brands as well as workwear brands. Think about Caterpillar, now is that a workwear house or the beginnings of a fashion house? I’m not saying that you’re going to see Dickies on the Paris catwalks anytime soon but then again who knows?
So that’s the real question I guess what do we want from our Workwear?
Let me make my position clear as I sit here behind a desk wearing caterpillar boots and a pair of jeans. Lets not forget that jeans were the original workwear and I’ve seen Armani and Versace jeans on sale at a price that would buy you at least a dozen pairs of good quality working trousers. Now we don’t stock Armani but we are stocking the type of products now that 10 years ago would never have been regarded as looking anything like workwear. So the range of product and the style of product that we stock has grown exponentially. We probably stock a product range of workwear that is 2 or 3 times larger than it was even 5 years ago. Workwear has joined the consumer choice revolution and if you need workwear, garden wear or safety wear your choice is increasingly varied. More importantly guess what? We’ve even got to the point where you can wear your workwear in the street or in the office and we are not just talking about jeans.