You look mahvelous!

Be cool, be safe at the same time

Who says being safe means looking drab? Check out these items.

JUST DUCKY

Competing with brand names like Helly Hansen, Oakley and even Adidas has caused Mark's Work Wearhouse to provide us with more than just coveralls and dungarees. The stores carry entire lines of work shirts, pants, footwear, and jackets. Currently, Mark's sells a duck jacket that can be worn several different ways: just the shell, just the liner, with or without sleeves. This jacket, made by Dakota, can be purchased in either black or brown.

SAY CAN YOU SEE

We all know how important it is to wear your safety glasses. Fortunately, there are a large number of companies making safety glasses. It's no longer necessary, or even beneficial, for all workers to wear ugly, hard pieces of plastic that wrap around the head. Companies like Fox, Harley Davidson and Uvex have lines of safety glasses, as does Oakley, which is both industry-accepted and fashionable.

WHAT'S UP DOC?

Dr. Martens has a line of steel-toe boots that are comfortable because of its patented air-cushioned sole, which it calls "Bouncing Soles." The boots are also widely accepted as some of the most fashionable boots ever made.

ON BENDED KNEE

Many people know the shame of owning a pair of jeans with a blown-out knee that their mothers desperately tried to make last by ironing on a patch that never quite matched the colour of the original denim. Thankfully, construction workers, who are notoriously hard on their jeans, never have to go through that again since the invention of double-knee work pants. Well-known work wear manufacturer Dickies, which has produced clothing for almost 90 years, is among the companies carrying double-knee work pants come in varied sizes and colours.

NOW THAT'S COOL

Warm temperatures can cause concern to those who work mostly outdoors. Staying cool while still wearing protective clothing can be challenging. Helly Hansen has spent the last 133 years perfecting clothing for all climates while remaining a leader in fashion. This summer, Helly Hansen released the Lifa HH Cool base layer. It is to be worn next to skin and works by wicking excess heat and sweat away from the body to provide long-term dryness.

THIS WILL WARM YOU UP

With cold temps ruling Alberta for around eight months of every year, staying warm on the job is a necessity. Luckily for anyone who works outdoors in the cold, many companies have come up with innovative ideas on staying warm. TechNiche International's IonGear battery-powered heating vests provide warmth for up to 12 hours at a time. The vests come with five temperature settings and rechargeable batteries.

WOMEN MATTER

Traditionally, women have fit themselves into men's clothing to work in the trades. The thing about women is that they are not built the same way, and men's clothing does not account for any curves in the body. Carhartt now makes an entire line of women's work pants made from the same durable fabrics as men's but made to fit women's bodies. These pants, along with the rest of the line, can be ordered at carhartt.com.

As well, women don't generally want to sacrifice their femininity for safety, and now they don't have to. Moxie Trades produces and entire line of safety gear made especially for women who want both safety and fashion. Hard hats, safety glasses, tool belts and the company's original flagship product: the classic Betsy pink work boot.

THAT'S USING THE OLD NOGGIN

Hard hats have come a long way in recent years. They now come with rain gutters so the water rolls off the front instead of down the back of the neck. They can be fitted with visors, ear protectors and rear-view mirrors. They even come insulated for work in cold temperatures.

Forget about plastering yours with decals. (P.S. - It's time to lose the Keep on Truckin' sticker.) TASCO produces a line of hard hats embellished with the name and logo of teams for your favourite NHL, NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB and NASCAR teams. The hats comply with industry standards, come with an anti-glare peak and are slotted to accept attachments.

Want to really stand out? Get a cowboy hard hat. Though made from plastic instead of felt or straw, the hat still looks and functions like a cowboy hat. It still provides sun and weather protection for faces, necks and ears. It is not recommended, though, for horseback riding.



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