Types Of Workwear
Work wear. Corporate wear. Uniforms. Chorewear. Functional wear. All are different, but overlapping sectors of the clothing industry. Sportswear is also part of functional wear. They cover a wide variety of garment types for manual workers, functional craftsmen, sportsmen, or office workers.
Often , one garment can serve several different functions. Sometimes the same basic garment can be used, with some adjustments to make it specific for another task. A work trouser may serve a plumber and a carpenter equally. But maybe the carpenter needs some extra pockets. Maybe some aspects of the work trouser can be used to design a horse riding trouser, or a climbing trouser. The work trouser is ergonomically designed to allow for ease of movement, but may be too bulky for the new function.
It is often these niche markets that are the most successful. But they do require some development to get right. Therefor it is very important to have a good starting point for your new design. Otherwise it becomes too complicated and expensive. Your starting point may come for two or more existing garments that are totally different to their new function.
If you are designing a garment for something that is already catered for you need to take note of what the competitors have done and why. They have already done hours of research, development and testing of their product. Why not use what they have already done, but add to it.
Workwear is designed primarily for manual labourers or functional craftsmen. The clothes need to be extremely functional, provide rugged protection and be robust. Workwear garments would include overalls, chore coats, carpenter pants and utility vests.
Workwear garments are ergonomically shaped to provide ease of movement, and have a variety of pockets, tabs and belts, along with other accessories to aid their work. Carpenter pants are designed with holster pockets, and darted knee panels to allow for bending at the knee.
Other examples of workwear could include military wear such as trench coats and field coats. Or hunting and fishing garments. There is a fine line betwen workwear and activity wear, but ther are inter related.
Corporate uniforms create a dress code that is both professional and comfortable. It provides a form of branding for the company. Corporate uniforms must be durable, functional, stylish and easy to maintain. The uniforms should reflect the companies core image and values.
Corporatewear fabrics need to be robust and easy to maintain. As The clothes need to be worn every day, they need to be crease resistant and easy care.
Workwear As Fashion
For some time workwear and utlity styling has been very fashionable. There is something quite fascinating about the construction of functional garments, from hunting jackets and riding jackets, to military wear. They are utility clothing, constructed primarily to be functional rather than attractive.
At the same time, it is their functionality that makes the clothing look attractive. They are cheap, functional and long lasting.
Jeans began life as workwear, but today just about everyone wears them, either for function, or for fashion, or both. Workwear jeans can be extremely cheap, while fashion jeans can be extremely expensive.
Corporate clothing is a very competitive but growing sector of the clothing market within the U.K. While it is a good niche area of clothing with plenty of potential for startup companies, cost and quality is vitally important . Unlike a business that sells directly to the public, the customers are generally established hard business people with tight deadlines. They can decide to reject garments for any number of different reasons, real or invented.
Sports wear is an area of functional wear. Much of sportswear can be used for a variety of sports and fitness activities. A wrestling leotard is very similar to a rowing unisuit, or a weight lifting outfit. A cycling bib is similar, but is made for a specific body position and has added padding in the form of a chamois. A cycling top is similar to a running top, but again the cycling top is more ergonomically shaped for the specific riding position. It is longer at the back and may have back pockets that the running top does not have.
Much of sportswear is also used in other areas of life because of their comfort and warmth. Polo tops are now everywhere in the form of basic leisure wear and also in uniforms, because they are comfortable, easy to wear and easy to care for. Track bottoms are commonly worn on building sites.
Much workwear requires specialist factories with the right machinery to provide satisfactory results. While I normallly try to encourage UK production for most things, workwear is an area that often needs to be manufactured abroad due to the high work content and high volume required. However, I would suggest developing the designs in the UK rather than abroad.
I have been involved with developing styles for workwear of all types over the years. And I have developed corporatewear for high end, iconic British brands, such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, and The Dorchester Hotel.
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