A History Of Workwear: Inspiration & Future Prospects

history of workwear inspiration & future prospects

A History Of Workwear: Inspiration & Future Prospects

Can you believe that jeans were initially designed as workwear for factory workers?

Yes, it was. 


Workwear Uniforms are what that gives an employee the sense and responsibility of belonging to an organization. The industrialization that happened in the 19th century is one of the significant contributors to rising in the usage of workwear for employees. 


Workwear was started initially of with a notion that it is suitable for industry workers given the nature of their work. Most of the workwear is designed in such a way that they are durable, to wear and tear. 


Jean material does not tear off easily, and it is generally a pretty durable material, and now you can understand why it was used for industrial purposes. 


There are pretty much many clothes that are in use today which derives its inspiration from workwear which we will see in the latter part of the article. 


Why the implementation of using workwear?


Workwear was primarily put into use as many industries started to emerge. The industry workers need to undergo a lot of strenuous activity in carrying out their work, and their clothes are more often than not susceptible to wear and tear. So they need a robust material which doesn’t tear off easily.


Few factory workers involved in work that might need safety clothing like welding caps, gloves and masks


Comfortable clothing was also necessary for workers as per their working conditions. Uncomfortable clothing is found to decrease the productivity of employees at work. 


Workwear also helps to identify employees of an organization, and it was easier for industrialists to work and identify with the workers of the organization. 


Instead of nudging employees to get safety clothes or design alike, hiring workwear manufacturers and designing workwear uniforms as a mandatory part of working makes it much more comfortable and work wears slowly glided its place into the work culture. 


Few popular domains of workers where workwear uniforms were implemented initially

  1. Factory workers working with large machinery 
  2. Builders and developers 
  3. Welders
  4. Plumbers
  5. Truck drivers 
  6. Animal herders
  7. Agriculturists
  8. Marine workers and much more 

Industrialization revolutionized not just the work culture but many things to a significant extent that even schools and entertainment centres started to implement uniforms into their systems. 


Popular inspirations are driven from workwear that is widely used in fashion wear. 


1. Tell me about the craze you have on leather pants and boots. Leather pants and boots were popularly used by cowboys. Leather pants and boots generally give a grip over the surface and do not quickly wear and tear of. 

2. Jumpsuits and suspenders. Jumpsuits are popular fashion wear clothes that girls and children wear nowadays. Jumpsuits were widely used by manual labourers, maritime workers and coal mine workers. The jumpsuit is a single piece of clothing that can be pulled up and worn like a pant and comes along with the upper body clothing. Same goes with suspenders as well.

3. Blue denim jean is the typical fashion trend that is prevailing and will continue to stay amongst us. Where did it arise from? Blue denim jean was used by manual labour workers to prevent their cloth materials from wear and tear. It was first produced in the 1870s and dates back to very long compared to now. It is surprising and commendable how jean has become a part of our daily clothing 

4. Skipper cap that is popularly worn by many as a part of fashion was originally designed for truck drivers. There were generally worn and were a part of their clothing to block the sunrays and glares.

Truck drivers driver generally drive for hours together and are more susceptible to develop headaches and migraines. Skipper caps and coolers help them cool down and sustain the situation. Well you know, skipper car and sunglasses were in trend for a more extended period of time. 

5.Coloured cotton neckerchief was popularly worn by manual workers and maritime workers to wipe off sweat. They were also bright and paired with contrast colours to detect them from a distance. 

Wearing a neck kerchief was widely in trend for a longer time. Irrespective of gender everybody used to wear a neck kerchief. It is still into the trend in many places. Few suspect that wearing a necktie would have originated from this. 

Future prospects of workwear

Industrial uniform manufacturers and manufacturing units are growing in large numbers as there is a constant need to design and provide workwear. Workwear manufacturing chains claim that there is a consistent 6 to 8 % annual profit in the men’s workwear. 


The global workwear market was rasing consistently and was expected to reach an optimum level between 2020 and 2025 before COVID. The COVID-19 has altered the future prospects of the workwear to a significant extent.


But still, there is a constant need for workwear uniforms in large once the situation gets better. 

Nevertheless, with the lockdown being lenient and many workplaces starting to open up again, the course might change. 


Things that workwear manufacturers need to keep in mind while designing a workwear


1.The sole purpose of workwear implementation is to ensure the safety of the workers. Design the clothing in such a way that you keep in mind the nature of the work and design extra equipment like hats, gloves, boots along with the uniform 

2. Don’t hesitate to be a little creative and play along as you never know when your design might become popular causal wear among the general public. 

3. Use appropriate materials to ensure the comfortability of the workers. Factory workers work for long hours and are susceptible to sweat, and get dirt on their clothes. Decide which materials work best for on this.

4.Given the situation, design the cloth with along with workwear uniform along with a mask and make it a part of the workwear 

5.Take the employees’ opinion into consideration while designing the workwear uniforms. Run a trail and test for the suitability and compatibility of the workwear uniform. 


Workwear uniforms and their history date back to long and are consistently involving over the years. 

With the evolvement of the work culture and nature, the uniforms are also evolving sparing some to the fashion industry.