Field Service

Fashion in the Field: 7 New Styles for Techs

Field service isn’t exactly known for chic fashion, but the extreme conditions under which techs operate has put designers to the test…and they’ve managed to combine brains, brawn and — dare we say? — even a little bit of beauty into what technicians are wearing these days. The new “looks” below won’t be hitting New York City runways anytime soon, but they may just bring comfort, style and even more smarts to the business of field service.

Though it’s debatable whether Google Glass officially falls into the “geek” or “chic” category, the wearable computer is undeniably useful in the field. But what about the hefty $1,500 pricetag? Don’t worry. Industry observers predict the price will plummet when Glass goes mainstream next year. Only time will tell if Glass becomes a must-have fashion accessory, or a big-time flop…

One of the most iconic workwear brands out there, Wrangler’s upping the ante when it comes to durability in the field. Slated to hit stores this September, the new RIGGS WORKWEAR Construction Pant promises cottony softness combined with the military-strength reinforcement of CORDURA fabric. Priced around $45, these are an affordable, all-purpose option for any field service tech.

While most high-visibility gear looks more like a neon Hefty bag than actual clothing, Carhartt’s hard-to-miss zip-up is a refreshing addition to any field service tech’s wardrobe. Thermal-lined for warmth, the sweatshirt is comfy, has an $84 price tag, and looks good to boot.

A man (or woman!) in the field is nothing without his tools, and why not pack as many on as possible? Occidental Leather’s 9540 Adjustable Finisher isn’t cheap at about $180, but other than the price, what’s not to love? For one thing, it’s huge. With roomy pockets and plenty of compartments, every tool has a home. Soft edges that don’t snag or leave marks when bumping into walls along with superior comfort and adjustability are just a few of the must have features this belt boasts.

More an accessory than an article of clothing, suction cup grabbers aren’t just useful for the window washers who use them most. Providing stability and support, these grabbers go for $56 and are an essential tool for anyone whose job is a balancing act, from window washers and painters to electricians working at great heights.

Speaking of great heights, the men and women who paint the Golden Gate Bridge know a thing or two about balance. Since the GG Bridge is constantly undergoing a makeover, with paint crews working continuously to add new coats, their job is literally never done. Not only are they perched 746 feet above the San Francisco Bay, they’re often working in windy conditions, having paint flung at them constantly, which is why they need the sturdiest of all-purpose coveralls. And old favorite like Dickies will do the trick in this case, and at about $40 a pair, won’t break the bank.

Nothing says business like a hazmat suit — just ask the guys who suited up to get to the bottom of the poisonous letter sent to President Barack Obama. Not that every service tech is sifting through hazardous substances on a daily basis, but with plenty coming into contact with everything from lead-based paints to advanced weapons, more techs are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals than you might think. One big drawback? They cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars (unless, that is, you’re looking for Halloween costume).

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