As college debt tops the $1 trillion dollar mark and 1 in 4 students defaulting on their college debt, the blue-collar jobs are gaining new traction.
There is something to be said for a hard day’s labor and honest work. These blue-collar jobs allow young people to enter the workforce with little to no debt, learn on the job, and fill vital roles with a paygrade similar to their college-graduate peers.
However, for the style-conscious individual, these “Dirty Jobs” pose a real challenge to their sensitive style.
Here are some pointers on how to maintain your sense of style in these dour jobs.
There are two types of mechanics: the kind who leans all the way into the car and gets as greasy as possible, and the one who lays out protective towels and attempts to minimize mess as much as possible.
Two mechanics can do the same job, and one of them will look like he just started work, and the other will look like a coal worker from the 1920s.
The difference in their cleanliness is a reflection of their awareness of their environment and how carefully they are working.
Who says you have to wear the same damn shirt all day long. Always keep an extra around. On your lunch break, you can swap out for a clean, fresh kit.
As a bonus, keep a bottle of shout handy and treat any spots on your dirty clothes right away. It will help keep them fresh and ready to go at all times.
We’re shamelessly stealing this style from the blacksmiths of old. these heavy leather aprons were not only stylish, they were extremely protective.
Shop around for the right one. They make some with big pockets which is handy for holding your tools in. You can even get one big enough to hold bigger tools like your cordless impact drivers for faster access and better productivity while you work.
A leather apron adds a lot of respect. When you add this bit of style to your wardrobe, you immediately stand out from all of the other drones in the workplace.
Nice Belt Buckle
It’s hard to find a belt that stands out. A handmade plain leather belt will work out well.
However, another great aspect of your belt to work on is the buckle. Big buckles don’t work well when you are leaning over cars, but there are a lot of stylish, small buckle designs that give you that little bit of pizzazz that you are seeking.
Steam Punk Safety Goggles
We’re all supposed to wear safety goggles, right? Why not get a pair of acetylene goggle, add clear lenses and wear those?
While everyone else is wearing that normal, boring, safety eyewear, you are hanging out in your leather apron, clean shirt and steam-punk styled safety glasses.
You look like you mean business, and you do.
Leather Wrist Guards
Depending on your job, these may get in the way. However, leather cuffs with snaps for easy removal are a great way to both accessorize and protect your body.
You might also look to invest in a rugged, yet stylish, over-sized watch. The right watch, paired with the rest of the accessories, speaks volumes about how much you value the importance of time.
Aggressively Remove Grease
Keeping your clothes looking super clean is always going to be hard when you are working around equipment.
One of the ways that you can get greasy stains out of your clothes is to pretreat them immediately.
Dish soap is a surprising hack that works well for getting grease out of clothes. Dab a little bit on the greasy spots and rub it in. The soap will start to loosen the embedded grease before it gets in the washer.
Fels Naptha is a cheap way to get stains out of your clothing. A little to your laundry detergent or choose one of the detergents that include it as part of their formulation.
The longer a grease stain is in your clothing, the harder it is to remove. Every night when you get home, check and spot treat your clothing to keep them looking fresh.
Any accessory you wear should not have strings or other hanging items that can get caught in moving machinery. Make sure that all articles of clothing have a quick-release mechanism, even if you have to add them to your clothing.
You never want to be in a situation where you might jeopardize your safety for the sake of style!