A complete guide to work trousers

work trousers red

Vintage work trousers and jackets from France and Japan are making a comeback among the young and fashionable from Tel Aviv to Montreal to New York. Worn in, study, and bright blue. The vibe of good craftwork is coming into vogue as handmade and recycled items from crafts and professions such as metalworking in the forge to carpentry and handmade pottery make a revival. 

A comfortable outdoor work trouser made by companies like Engelbert Strauss  can also be found “new” if you aren’t keen on the holes and wear and tear from the vintage pants you might find. 

And consider that if you are using the trousers for professional use you will need to consider size so they will need to fit well and may need pockets in exactly the right places. They can be used for everyday use and no longer need to be baggy like in the days of yore. If you want to work close to your bench and prefer slim trousers, plenty of options are available too. 

What are work trousers?

Work trousers   are trousers that are made to take a beating. They are pants you wear when you are engaging in physical work which can range from heavy lifting and moving wood around in your woodworking shop, to the kind of pants that will work with you in photography when you are out in location, or maybe you are a general handy person who likes to keep your hands busy. 

Why are work trousers important?

Typically work trousers are made tougher than regular clothes with reinforcements and rivets for deep and quick bending, with pockets that will make sense when you move or need a handy place to put your scissors wrench or screws. 

Some workplaces will cover the cost of work trousers. And make sure they are available for men and women. In the UK it is the law (links to PDF).

Lacerations from sharp objects are the most common injury that can be prevented by wearing work pants and safety shoes . Some brands make them heavy duty materials to help reduce the chance of a sharp object such as metal or glass from reaching and piercing your skin.

They should be separate from your everyday clothes, especially if you work in the shop with materials such as heavy grease, insulation or pottery glazes and clay –– materials which may be toxic and which you don’t want inside your home environment. 

Work trousers should stay in the shop and be used when working. Leave them hanging in the shop or workroom at the end of the day and wash them when needed. Keeping work-life trousers separate also makes for a healthier balance between work and play. 

Modern work trousers and work shorts can do much more than classic denim jeans, says classic trouser maker Engelbert Strauss. Consider that most people have good tools and work shoes. However, many tend to neglect the subject of work trousers. You often see men and women wearing denim jeans or similar pants or shorts on the building site. The lightest of rain falls down, and the denim jeans soak it up. They hang heavy on the legs, stay damp for hours and the legs are cold while  at work. 

havie upcycled hipsters

Making work trousers

With dozens of makes and models of the modern work short and trouser look for a brand that suits your lifestyle. I’ve seen aprons and bibs for bartending, carpentry and pottery that fit the bill and likely, your size. Havie in Tel Aviv makes clothes this way, upcycled from old army tents. 

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