Nowadays workwear or functional clothing is not just for certain athletes or sportsmen’s or it is not either American style term ‘workwear’ – meaning office attire. Rather, it is a kind of utility clothing designed and built for manual labor, even if, from a style angle, it’s rarely actually worn for that. In this era
Workwear wearing has exploded in recent times, especially among youths due to its comfortable nature along with fashion aesthetics and practicality. Which has made functional wear in one of the top demanding types of apparel.
Let’s explore some leading functional clothing brands.
US-based brand Carhartt makes ‘real’ workwear since 1889, later becoming a skater favorite.
Carhartt offers a more modern take on hard chinos, sweats, carpenter pants and its much-copied chore jacket.
Since 1972, Stan Ray has been making clothing ‘with minimum fuss and maximum practicality.’
For practical people it would be tough to confuse a pair of its wide-legged chinos with a spanner – yet for all that. Lately, Stan Ray has extended its collection to include bolder colors and more graphic prints.
The New York-based Engineered Garments is one of the brands that look to workwear for its inspiration, as the name suggests. clothes that it says are more ‘engineered’ than designed.
Engineered Garments is better identified for its Big Yank-inspired overshirts and semi-formal blazer-style jackets.
The Japanese brand Orslow is perhaps one of the best workwear-inspired makers of clothing. Orslow is known as a timeless, anti-fast fashion brand with garments often made using time-consuming handcraft methods.
The garments are classic – work pants, chambray shirts, denim jackets – but the fabrics are world-class.
Newcastle-based Nigel Cabourn has been a menswear designer since the 1970s, back when he also started collecting vintage military-style workwear, which makes his archive today world-leading. That forms the basis of his contemporary updates of functional menswear styles, from British World War II army trousers to medical shirts and monkey pants.
Best known for his outerwear classics – the likes of his cameraman or Mallory jackets – Cabourn is huge in Japan. More recently he bought and relaunched the historic British workwear brand Lybro.
Usually, Arpenteur takes its design inspiration from French menswear, from the classic ‘bleu de travail’ work jacket to breton tops and simple overshirts.
Launched in 2011, plows through the archives of the old clothing factories it works with and then gently updates them to create its easy, casual styles. Everything is made in France too.
Started in Chatre sur Cher in 1931, Danton once made proper work clothing, from gardening aprons to chef’s whites. But lately, it has become a workwear brand.
Recent styles include the serge jackets, banded collar shirts, shawl collar pop-overs and T-shirts.
Designer and denim expert William Kroll’s brand Tender might look to long-lost methods – not to mention Kroll’s collection of British Rail uniforms – but the results are decidedly modern.
Old-school ways of making a pocket or a shoulder finish, for example (and rarely used dyes such as madder or logwood) come together in easy, hard-wearing garments, all made in England.
Established in 1922, Dickies is known for itself making uniforms during World War II and specialist clothing for the workers of the ’50s oil boom.
Lately, it has become a streetwear favorite, a simple, straight-legged chino made in a multitude of shades from a tough, wrinkle-resistant poly-cotton twill. Wear them with Vans or, come winter, a stout pair of Red Wing boots.
Fabian Jedlitschka and his wife Anna Schafer set up the American-sounding Pike Brothers. Pike’s best known for its custom fabrics – from the jungle cloth it has woven for its deck jackets, to the indestructible cotton ‘elephant skin’ it uses for waistcoats and trousers.