Thanks to Mascot, Roger Bisby is a dedicated follower of workwear fashion
Danish workwear manufacturer Mascot has always had a good range of well-designed clothing to offer the building worker and these latest additions show that they are keeping up with modern design trends. Like it or not, fashion is playing an increasing role in workwear. In fact, if you look at the major manufacturers they seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Stretch fabrics are all the rage and the body clinging cut of these trousers will no doubt appeal, especially to the young.
My wife gave all my baggy trousers to the charity shop so, on her orders, I am also now in the skinny trouser brigade. The problem for me was that, when I tested this particular pair of trousers, it was flaming June and, as the temperature was pushing 29 degrees centigrade, left to my own devices I would have been wearing shorts, but duty called. I soon found that the body clinging cut leaves little room for air to circulate and, even though the fabric is a breathable nylon with a bit of Elasthane thrown in to help the stretch, being a synthetic, it felt a bit on the clammy side in that climate. I dare say that for most of the year in the U.K., or Scandinavia, you would not experience any discomfort at all, but for those relatively few summer days it is worth bearing in mind.
There is the usual array of useful pockets that you would expect to find on work trousers, but the stand-out feature is the side-loading kneepad pocket with zip. Unfortunately, Mascot didn’t send any kneepads, so I used some from another well-known Scandi trouser maker. They fitted just fine and, importantly, stayed in position when I knelt down. I must say I really love the convenience of the side loading and, as long as it isn’t patented, expect this idea to catch on across other ranges. If PPE is going to be effective it has to be convenient to put on and take off and this side loader fulfills that requirement.
The second item of clothing on my test is the knitted jacket or cardigan. This is a great looking stylish garment but it is also technologically advanced with a breathable fabric that is windproof and water repellent. It will stand a shower but not sustained rain and, in that respect, it is similar to soft-shell jackets. Once again the body clinging stretch fit is a key feature but there is no restriction in movement.
There are wear panels where you need them and a ventilated under arm to help the moisture escape. The high collar with zip will connect nicely with a hat for the cold weather and the storm flap has holes so you can breathe through it rather than fogging up inside. At one time I would have been hard pushed to find the kind of weather that justified this high neck but last winter’s ‘Beast from the East’ gave us all the opportunity to find out what works. To tell you the truth I didn’t actually see a lot of my fellow building workers out on site. Maybe they just didn’t have the clothing or the will to brave the beast, but I found it was not so bad when you got out there and a hell of a lot better than sitting in doors watching the dial going round on the gas meter.
So, the key message is that if you get the right clothing you can work through most weather, you might not be able to lay bricks but, wet trades aside, there is work that can be done.