How Is Women’s Industrial Workwear Different to Men’s?

There’s much to be said for what the rise of feminism and the women’s movement has achieved in terms of gender equality in the work force – today, fortunately, more and more women are able to follow their dream and enter a career in heavy-duty outdoor labour and other potentially hazardous industrial work places. Unfortunately, the workwear industry has been struggling to keep up with women’s expanding hands-on involvement in traditionally male industries and so workwear designs still tend to favour the male physique. That’s until recently. New ranges of workwear, designed specifically for women, can now, thankfully, be found to display more attention to the female physique in their construction.

Workwear specifically constructed for women is important because the flexibility and comfort of garments worn in potentially hazardous environments can affect the safety of workers. For women working in outdoor, low-light conditions, high visibility polos, vests, jackets and tops are just as essential as they are for men. So are fleece knit and weather-proof items for the colder months. Women working in the trades sector, such as carpenters, painters, plasterers and plumbers require durable cotton workwear such as long sleeve shirts, cargo pants, cotton drill utility shorts, as well as cotton drill coveralls, overalls, action back overalls, bib and brace overalls, cotton dust coats and lab coats. Essentially, women have exactly the same workwear needs as men – but their bodies are really quite different.

That’s why recent additions to workwear ranges feature a variety of garments that are just as tough and durable as men’s but feature a different cut, to accommodate the differences between women’s and men’s body shape with fuller fit pants, adjustable waists, low rise waistband shorts and easy fit overalls, as well as button-down shirts with a bit more give around the chest. Some workwear for women also favours more flexible or fitted materials, for example, certain brands produce a modern variation on thermal long johns just for women that are made from specially designed figure-hugging fabrics.

Luckily for women, just about everything necessary for their comfort in work wear is now available in designs produced just for them, such as relaxed fit carpenter’s pants, bib and brace overalls, dungarees, waterproof breathable rain jackets, relaxed fit flannel lined jeans, Henley shirts, Sherpa lined vests and anything else normally associated with the world of work wear for men. With rainwear, flame resistant garments and high visibility work wear also just as readily available for women as for men, there’s nothing standing in the way of women’s domination of the industrial work place.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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