Work wear

bykfixer

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Carhartt gear is everywhere these days. They make long lasting gear that's for sure. I prefer the sleeves on a warm duck cloth coat to not have the tight fitting cuffs that Carhartt has though. The bibs I bought a few years were like walking with 1/4" plywood lined legs for a while but man-o-man they are warm. And durable.

My company gave me a duck cloth coat one year made by a company called Dri-Duc that is waterproof. I mean GoreTex waterproof too. It could stand up in a corner for about 3 winters

Last year I tried a Walls duck jacket and between being soft like a 10 year old Cathartt and the poly filled fleece liner that thing is nice. A courderoy collar adds to the warm feel without a hood. But sometimes I like a hood piled up against my neck when it's windy.

This year I discovered the Boot Barn brand called Hawx. I found a duck parka that is broken in like a Walls and a sherpa lining makes it warm like a Walls. The cuffs are just the right tightness around the wrist with a sleeve that covers them so your gloves can be covered easily. The rear is C shaped to avoid a cold draft when bending over.

2 pairs of Gander Mountain flannel lined jeans turn 25 this winter. The seams around the pockets are gone but otherwise they are still good to go. One pair has a patch where I caught a leg on fire one year. Wrangler makes nice fleece lined jeans but those are too warm to wear indoors when the boss calls you into the job trailer. I am the boss now so I have some Cabellas courderoy flannel lined pants for this winter.

Snow boarder helmet liners work great under a hard hat. Nice, thin double layer of fleece keeps your melon nice and toasty. Either that or a welders helmet liner. And those are fire resistant.

I'm not above wearing a scarf at the construction site on cold windy days. And wool socks are my favorite these days. Polyester yarn is good too but I prefer thin woolen socks with Gore-Tex lined boots.

Gloves, to me are the toughest challenge. Between dexterity and warmth it's a compromise. In really cold weather I wear tight fitting Mechanix fast fit gloves under loose fitting leather gloves and remove the over gloves when dexterity is a must like zipping a zipper. And I wear a thin vest all winter. That really helps keep the chill under control. Polar fleece is ok but static is so bad with that so a nice golfer vest with fleece lining is my favorite.

How about you?
 

hsa

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Carhartt J140 active jacket over a Cabelas game day hoody. Spyder brand balaclava with Carhartt ear flap cap. Cabelas fleece lined jeans. Smartwool PHD ski socks. Cabelas Snow Runner boots with BOA lacing system. Gordini Antler glove (deer skin and prima loft). Sometimes "Free the Powder" RX mittens. Kinco 901 ski glove.
 

Poppy

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For work I typically wear a golf shirt, khakis, and Rockports.

For rugged outdoor really cold winter wear: I wear a Columbia, Gortex lined Quad Parker.

Around 1981, friends and I went snow goose hunting, and it was going to be damn cold. They recommended that I get a Quad Parka. It is a heavy cordura coat, that is gortex lined, and thinsulate insulated. That makes it warm, wind and water proof. It has a zip in thinsulate insulated under coat. The hood is insulated, has a brim, and is fully adjustable, with a pull strap in the back of the head, so you can set the height of the brim, to fit your skull. The velcro closure of the hood wraps around to the front of your face, and is wide enough that it covers your neck, and chin. The inner jacket, and outer shell have high collars to keep wind and rain out.

I think that the biggest complaint among users is that the outer shell is stiff.

After going on that hunting trip, where there was a constant 15-20 mph wind at our backs, and it was cold enough that the salt water froze, there was no going back. Winter wear for me HAS to include Gortex! (or at least some form of breathable wind and water proof membrane).

Since then I have had an EMS Eastern Mountain Sports, Gortex rain suit, with an adjustable hood, and zipper vented arm pits. That with a zip in fleece liner, and fleece hat under the hood, is all I needed most cold days.

I bought a Cabella's Gortex Down parka that didn't have an adjustable hood, and the cuffs were just bungie cord tight. I almost never wore it... I just didn't like it.

Over the years I bought LLBean, Cabella, and Columbia parkas. They all had to have similar features, including a water proof/breathable membrane, an adjustable hood, and a layered system of zip in insulation. My current winter coat is a Columbia shell, with a zip in puffy jacket that has a mylarized reflective lining. That puffy jacket is very warm and much lighter than fleece. The shell has four sets of bungie adjustments, one around the neck/collar, one around the face (in the hood), one around the waist, and one lower around the buttocks. They serve to keep the heat in, and the wind out. It also has the required adjustable strap on the back of the head of the hood, to adjust the height of the brim.

Cold weather pants will include a variety of long johns, fleece sweat pants, or jeans (flannel lined or not), and covered by a gortex lined light weight cordora shell. Sometimes, I'll wear Walls insulated bibs, or thinsulate insulated bibs, that have a gortex like, breathable membrane.

Gloves:
When it is particularly cold, I'll wear gortex lined ski gloves. I do have a pair of thinsulate insulated, gortex lined, three finger shooting mitts, that aren't as warm as they once were. I recently purchased surplus military extreme cold weather three finger mitts, that use wool gloves as the insulation. They are pretty warm. I am sure that the current version is warmer.

Hat:
I have a smurf blue, thick fleece hat that wraps around the back of my neck, and covers my ears, with strings to tie it under my chin. As a teen ager, I could never wear it in public. It is unbelievably warm and comfortable. Better than a helmet liner. Put that baby on, and cover it with a gortex lined hood, and one couldn't ask for more.

Face mask:
I had both, a neoprene one, and a fleece one. Fleece is much more comfortable.
 
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bykfixer

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One year at my work on a blustery January morning my project was a couple of hours outta town. It was final inspection day on a 2 mile road widen job and the high was forecast to be in the 20's. So I put on my best bridge inspector winter gear (Browning duck hunting clothes) and waited for the bosses to arrive.

They all showed up with office dweller attire with a light jacket over it and commenced to making fun of my eskimo attire. "What are you cold?" one said chuckling. My response was "that's ok 'cause in 20 minutes I'll be auctioning off some of this stuff to you guys"……

We stood in a circle for 10 minutes chatting it up and the big boss says to me "do you know of anything that needs to be corrected?" I said "nope". He said "meeting adjourned"… they weren't laughing at me anymore.
 

Poppy

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Lol, yeah, when my kids were in high school, my wife and I would go to some of the football games. We'd dress with long John's, or maybe full out snow suits. I'd pull a fleece blanket to sit on out of the trunk of the car. We would enjoy the game and marvel at the kids strutting around almost bare chested, and other parents in lightweight but stylish jackets with their legs clenched together and shoulders drawn to their ears.

It amazes me how often adults come poorly dressed for outdoor activities when the temperature drops.

Life is a lot easier as an adult, when you don't have to worry about what other people think, about how you are dressed.
 
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bykfixer

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Back in the 90's when Nascar ran the Richmond race in February folks tended to under dress for the occasion. Some years the weather was great but one year it was in the 30's for a high. And if you sat on the finish line side of the track the sun never rose high enough to warm up the fans.

Many were like you or I at a football game Poppy. Most were not. So many people were trembling the bleachers felt like we were having a minor earthquake. The folks at the cold beer truck were pretty lonely that day. Everybody was in the hot chocolate line.

By the finish the stands that held about 75k at the time were practically empty. My only regret was my leather jacket sleeves had stiffened to the point they could hardly bend. I was plenty warm with layers but I never wore that jacket to that track in February again.
 

Poppy

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We went as a family to a monster truck show in the NJ Meadowlands. The day was unseasonably warm. The sun was strong, and some people were dressed in shorts, and short sleeve shirts. To wear a sweat shirt during the day would have been too warm.

As we were getting ready to leave home, we noted that there was a chill in the air, and wind was picking up a bit. We each decided to bring at least a hooded sweatshirt, if not a coat. When we arrived, I pulled a small fleece blanket out of the trunk, to lie across someone's lap if needed.

The temps continued to drop, and the young couple sitting in the row in front of us, were dressed for the day time high, not the coming evening low. They had a small child with them too. The father took off his long sleeve shirt, and put it around the child, and he sat there in a T shirt. The best I could do was to give them my blanket.

I went to the gate, to see if they would let me go to my car to retrieve some of the fleece shirts and jackets I always have in the car. If I left, they wouldn't let me back in.

They suffered in the cold much longer than I would have. My hat's off to the father for being a hero, hopefully, he learned how to use his weather app.
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bykfixer

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Recently I was at a close out store called Gabes where I buy gloves and warm hats each year to give away. I gave my "crew" at work dual layer fleece caps for hard hat liners and some nice gloves. We've had some rather chilly mornings recently but my "crew" chooses to be cold. Well one guy is prepared and wears warm attire. One fellow doesn't even bring a coat with him to work.

Eh, screw 'em. I did my part. When the coatless fellow complains how cold it is I just reply "really? I hadn't noticed"……
 

Poppy

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Mr. Fixer, I wouldn't feel sorry for the guys you work with either. Construction guys who work outdoors? If they don't know how to dress for the elements, who does?

I buy these gloves at the Home Depot, every now and then.

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They are cheap enough to be disposable, about a dollar a pair, in a five pack.

Here in NJ, all gas pumps are "Full service" we aren't supposed to pump our own. Sometimes when I see an attendant pumping gas without any gloves, and it is cold out, I'll go to my trunk and pull out a pair. They aren't particularly warm, but they are better than nothing.
 

bykfixer

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Went back to the local Gabes closeout store since Mrs Fixer's elf costume has begun to disintigrate. She teaches dog owners how to get their dog to behave and wanted to find a what she calls "cute" outfit.
She found a Christmas sweater skirt and a sweater with Santa standing next to two snowmen saying "chillin' wit my snowmies".

So while I was waiting for that I ventured into the work wear section. The last time I was there they had about 500 hi-viz jackets and all kinds of Carhartt stuff. Last evening it was all gone except for one hi-viz jacket in my size and a few ridiculously stiff and bulky Carhartt jackets.They had some hi-viz ski bib type coveralls too.

But they had lots of work wear from brands I'd never heard of or expected like Sketchers. I knew Sketchers had ventured into the work boot realm, but now they have work clothes too apparently. Bear brand, Bernie brand, and one brand of US made clothes called Smiths. All they had by Smiths left was generic thin summer weight t-shirts. Let's see, there was some Columbia duck jackets…I did not know they had ventured into construction/farmer/rancher type work wear.

Now Columbia products and Carhartt are usually pricey but the Cat gear (the bulldozer company) products were even higher. There was one thick flannel shirt lined with poly fill under diamond tucked polyester that Cat normally charges $200 for. Really? $200 for that? I can't see it. Now if it were union made in say California, perhaps I could see it being $100. The tag said made in China. Caterpillar brand giant Tonka toys used to litter construction sites everywhere, but a crane builder company called Link Belt is rapidly changing that. Instead of Catterpillar yellow, Link Belt grey and red are spreading around construction sites faster than the Rona virus. And price is the reason, but that's a different matter.

Wrangler has seemingly branched off with a line called "Rigs". I was impressed by the Rigs stuff I saw. Apparently aimed at the iron worker sect. What impressed me was how thin yet rugged the items are. A hooded duck jacket was not all bulky and stiff like cardboard and the liner was a nice warm feeling textured cordora type cloth. Yet even the sleeve liner was a non plastic feel without being grabby when pulling it off. The only one they had left was a 4x and since I'm not even close to the size of "the Rock" (Dwayne Johnson) it wasn't practical. Plus I have other nice jackets.

I did buy a Rigs vest last time I was there. A "slab" of duck canvas with an uninsulated flannel liner, it's great for breaking the wind chill while raking leaves or as an extra layer. For warmth while sitting in the bleachers at a Friday night football game? I'd predict the wearer would regret not wearing something warmer.

I did buy that last hi-viz jacket. It's a brushed polyester shell that doesn't feel stiff and clammy like most hi-viz outter wear and has a poly down filled fleece liner throughout. The sleeves are lined with poly down under a diamond tucked polyester to slide on and off easily. A basic jacket with an elastic waist and sleeve cuffs that aren't so tight they feel restrictive. I have tried on dozens of hi-viz jackets and that $34 jacket was by far the most enjoyable to wear last evening. It's oversized enough to wear over a nice poly down filled hi-viz liner I've had for a few years now. That liner came with a hi-viz rain coat, but in winter it's just too plastic feeling. Now I have a great jacket to wear over the liner.

My company keeps giving me a three-way hi-viz jacket stamped with the company logo. Yet it's a rain coat type outter so each time one is delivered I give it one of the crew. Apparently another one is slated to be delivered next week. I have a new crew member so…… plus I can walk around without being a company billboard with the one from Gabes.
 
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pnwoutdoors

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For fairly cold weather, I've got a Carhartt J14 "Santa Fe" #14806, in black (discontinued). Nice coat, tough canvas exterior, warm quilted interior, with enough style to the look to be cool. A little big for me, but it allows layering or a thinner sweater, for the really cold days. Like it a lot.

image-J14BLK-550-550.jpg
 

bykfixer

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I wanted to mention stretchy jeans. What a marvelous invention!

A few years back I went to Target to find some khakis to replace an old pair. They did not have any. But they did have some tan jeans that stretch on the clearance rack in my size. It was a strange sensation to go to step over a guardrail in fairly form fitting jeans and they did not put up a fight. It was as if they had turned into sweat pants for the task. Now they were the peg leg type for hipsters who like to show off their $50/pr socks so they don't play nice with work boots.

But this year when I went to put on my winter jeans they did not want to button. Not because they went on strike or shrank while in the attic all summer. I had outgrown them. Ok, I got fat in 2020 and added to it in 2021. So I tried a pair of relaxed fit stretchy Levis Signature and those things are great.

They just give like they are made of the same stuff those leggings but they are denim. Wrangler makes some called 5 star. They cost a little less than Levis but are just as easy to wear. I had switched to Dockers type pants for years because my jeans always put up a fight at times.

It was easy to find Dockers type trousers on clearance racks for around $12 so instead of wearing $35 jeans that fight me all day I wear (what I call) trousers. This winter I'll be wearing stretchy jeans while I take off some weight and when that comes they'll still fit because they won't be stretched at the waist in order to fasten.

How long will they last? Well that really depends on what you do at work all day. I'd predict Joe the plumber who crawls under houses often won't get much life from them like he would a pair of Diluth Trading fire hose pants. But for a person who gets a few years from normal jeans these will probably do the same.

I suppose other companies will or are making them also but at WalMart the Levis and Wrangler can be had for under $20. It's 2021, one should not have to tolerate uncomfy jeans and now one does not have to any longer. Today I wore a pair of "straight cut" Levis to clean the gutters and rake the leaves. They fit fairly closely yet it wasn't much different than wearing sweat pants when climbing or bending. The relaxed Wranglers will be for cooler temps since the denim is a little thicker.
 
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Olumin

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I cant stand those skinny jeans. I wear traditional straight cut & every time I buy new ones a sales assistant is eager to point out that those are „for old people“. The more form fitting kind has even gotten popular with older folks. The times we live in.
 

bykfixer

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The only form fitting attire (skinny jeans etc) I own is stuff that was not that way until I decided to get into shape……round.

Now some of them are proving just how durable buttons are. So far no "byoing" like that scene in Soul Men where a button on Bernie Macs old costume popped off like it had been shot from a wrist rocket.lol
 

bykfixer

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For fairly cold weather, I've got a Carhartt J14 "Santa Fe" #14806, in black (discontinued). Nice coat, tough canvas exterior, warm quilted interior, with enough style to the look to be cool. A little big for me, but it allows layering or a thinner sweater, for the really cold days. Like it a lot.

View attachment 20573
I have a really dark green/brown, almost black Walls like that one. Just the right length for bending or sitting without a sudden cool breeze reminding you to tuck in your shirt or so long your head snaps back when you sit down. The lining is awesome too.
It was in Wally World in a weird place like greeting cards and was clearance priced at iirc $15 or something really ridiculous like that.

Trouble is each time I wear it my voice gets all gravely like I'm turning into Kevin Costner in Yellowstone or something.

The other day I went back to Boot Barn to buy some Hooey boot socks for my boss. They're polyester socks that feel just like you're wearing morona wool and are 2 pair for $10 vs $12+ each for morona socks. My eyes got fixated on a Hawx sherpa lined duck vest. I left with a vest and some socks. They had Carhartt that were very similar but I liked the Hawx more.
88F5DE3A-BA84-447E-8D25-0A1A4D41970E.jpeg



Goofey looking but they stay covered with a shoe all day so I don't care.
E7ADD44F-FC3F-4BB6-80F2-248A35D1362C.jpeg
My boss is in charge of overseeing a gigantic bridge over the Ohio river where it's cold cold cold at times.

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Socks matter.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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Speaking of socks...
Used to get silver threaded(?) socks from Duluth but no more. If anyone has a line on socks like that please let me know. Some silver infused socks have some kind of coating, or some such thing, but that seems like it will wash out so I am looking for actual silver in the threads, for antibacterial effect.
 

ekardscribner73

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This is a fun discussion. Excellent thread.

+1 on Darn Toughs. Incredible value even at $25+ per pair. I have 12 pairs of T3006 boot socks and a million pairs of their super thick "Extreme Cold Weather" sock, a full-cushion 88% merino blend. Got some for my wife, too. Both super durable. Their standard Hiker socks are slightly more odor resistant due to the lower nylon content.

I recently got a Carhartt "Loose Fit Washed Duck Coat" and I love the sleeves on this one. Somehow they finally nailed the length and overall fit. Used to hate them on a stiff duck chore coat I had--the elastic cuff liners would always flip inside out. Not so much on this new one.

I've been trying to find civilian pants similar to my issued USMC trousers. I've done a lot of foul-weather work with these and for how non-technical they are, they sure do work, especially when used with layers. For now I've been eyeing simple Carhartt and Duluth Firehose trousers.

ETA: @KITROBASKIN I have some silver ion-infused baselayers that I like for the same reason. I find wool to perform just as well. I recently did a five-day hiking event through snow-covered mountains wearing the 88% wool socks and got away with taking only two pairs and rotating them. Sweating buckets carrying 100+ pounds. My silver ion stuff seems to eventually get to a point where it's just sour, whereas the wool just ends up smelling more...wooly.
 
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Poppy

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I had a pair of dress wool slacks, that never got washed, only dry cleaned. Eventually they started to show their age, and more and more I wore them not as dress slacks, but just, every-day pants. They even started to get washed, not dry cleaned anymore. They were warm, comfortable, and durable. They made me wonder... WHY do I live in jeans?

Jeans are hot in the summer, and cold in the winter.
Dress wool slacks, have a lining in them in the thigh area, so they are not scratchy, and they are flexible, and warm even when wet.

Still... I live in jeans. :ohgeez:
 
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