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Vintage Workwear- Modern Work?

cbrunt

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
Location
Maryland
Hey Gang,

There are a couple threads similar to this but not exactly where I'm heading.

Anyways I'm wondering who wears vintage 30-50s workwear to work? And more importantly what (if any) reeactions and/or comments you receive?

I work in a technical/engineering organization at APG as a contractor. The entire atmosphere here is "modern work"- Carhartt, denim, steel toe boots and plastic hardhats.

But since joining the Lounge have gone "full vintage" at least at work since its the easiest vintage look IMHO. 1960s Lee chore coat, fiber hardhat (modern SKulgard) button-up shirt, vintage jeans or chinos and either Indy Boots or cheap redwing clones (Eastland).

Long story short- most folks love to make comments- generally insulting; some more so than others. Especially when in full-denim. Canadian Tuxedo and Puerto Rican Jump Suit are the stand-bys. I made the mistake of wearing high-waisted Chinos and shirt and removed the chore coat and almost never heard the end of it... My immediate friends at work are of course no hassle- but outside them, or when I go to other places on base... well looks and comments are made.

Just wondering who else is in my shoes (or vice-versa).

Clint
 

Fletch

I'll Lock Up
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8,869
Location
Iowa - The Land That Stuff Forgot
I work in a technical/engineering organization at APG as a contractor.
Sorry, I'm drawing a blank on APG...Aberdeen Proving Ground? (I see you're in MD.)

Your coworkers obviously have an unofficial "uniform" and deviations are noted. That's interesting. The common wisdom that "men will wear any old kind of clothes" obviously doesn't apply in your workplace.

I'm guessing many, or most, are veterans used to wearing uniforms and being razzed for not wearing them correctly. That is the one situation where men will be VERY picky about each other's clothes.
 

martinsantos

Practically Family
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592
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
For men, at least, vintage clothes aren't so different than today fashions - if you use a suit. There are differences, of course - but not so strong. Really good suits are still using the same types of fabric.

The only thing that really is different is the hat.
 

Fletch

I'll Lock Up
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8,869
Location
Iowa - The Land That Stuff Forgot
True, but there's an important difference between "work clothes" for manual work and "business clothes" for office or other work. Most men who wear one rarely, or never, wear the other.

In manual work, a suit is not only impractical, but marks you as an outsider, or even from a different social class.
 

martinsantos

Practically Family
Messages
592
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Sorry, I didn't know this difference. I completelly misunderstood the meaning of the original post.

"Work clothes" would be in Portuguese "roupa de trabalho" - the clothes you use to work, whatever you do. From policeman's uniform, the office-boy casual clothes, etc, to the suits of the politician, laywer, etc.


True, but there's an important difference between "work clothes" for manual work and "business clothes" for office or other work. Most men who wear one rarely, or never, wear the other.

In manual work, a suit is not only impractical, but marks you as an outsider, or even from a different social class.
 
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martinsantos

Practically Family
Messages
592
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Of course you didn't!!!

And I thanks you for the help! (by the way, I wrote wrong before - I MISunderstood the meaning of the original post).

I have no way to get expressions like this (or slangs) if I do not get a little help like this one.


Sorry if I was presumptuous at all - certainly didn't intend to be. :)
 

Fletch

I'll Lock Up
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8,869
Location
Iowa - The Land That Stuff Forgot
I don't work with tradespeople, but all-denim makes me look like a convict. Altho I will wear chambray over denim.

Google image search for Canadian tuxedo brought up this:
2033237-Canadian-Tuxedo-0.jpg
The glasses and posture kind of give him away. He's being Mr. Irony.
 

cbrunt

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
Location
Maryland
Hey Fletch,

You are correct- Aberdeen Proving Ground. Should've specified! And you're pretty correct in your assumptions- many veterans or military retirees plus many very educated people so an un-official uniform. Sure, the occassional guy shows up in sweats but at least in our shop sweat pants or ratty/torn pants are discouraged (both openly and subtlely). My boss (a PHD no less) chided me for holes in my jeans years ago- but in the intent of putting on a professional appearance rather than being a jerk. I guess we're actually upscale-work around here- many wear Polos or button-ups and don coverals for the real work.

Not that my work-wear is ratty or sloppy; its just different. And as you say it is noted...

Martin,

Understand you taking "work clothes" literally. But yes, I meant more along the meaning of physical work.

Cheers,
Clint
 
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cbrunt

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
Location
Maryland
I don't work with tradespeople, but all-denim makes me look like a convict. Altho I will wear chambray over denim.

Google image search for Canadian tuxedo brought up this:
2033237-Canadian-Tuxedo-0.jpg
The glasses and posture kind of give him away. He's being Mr. Irony.

Speaking of looking like a convict, Fletch... Chambray shirt and dungarees (and glasses) once earned the remark that I looked like I worked in a prison library...!!!

clint
 

TheLibrarian

New in Town
Messages
38
Location
Manchester, CT, USA
At least I am guessing that you gentlemen can wear vintage to work. I feel half naked if I wear vintage or vintage-inspired clothing and no hat. And have you ever tried doing work on a computer all day with a hat brim coming between you and the screen?

Since gents are expected to remove their hats indoors, I don't think this would be a problem for you. But for a lady...

Although I have done it once or twice for special events. The kids especially love it. And when you try to take pictures of a group of children, it is nice to be able to tell them to "look at the lady in the hat" and have them know exactly where to turn!
 

Fletch

I'll Lock Up
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8,869
Location
Iowa - The Land That Stuff Forgot
What I'm hoping for is that we hear from contractors or tradesmen outside a military atmosphere. Will they be as zealous about noticing "uniform" infractions or will only impractical or fancy clothing get comments?
 

handlebar bart

Call Me a Cab
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2,623
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at work
What I'm hoping for is that we hear from contractors or tradesmen outside a military atmosphere. Will they be as zealous about noticing "uniform" infractions or will only impractical or fancy clothing get comments?

zone9and10004.jpg

[huh]
But seriously. My clothes get destroyed so I make no effort to be fashionable. For the price of an overpriced pair of pants I can buy a years supply of pants at the thift store. We don't see too much costumey stuff......unless of course a certain person has lost a bet.:eek:
 

cbrunt

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
Location
Maryland
zone9and10004.jpg

[huh]
But seriously. My clothes get destroyed so I make no effort to be fashionable. For the price of an overpriced pair of pants I can buy a years supply of pants at the thift store. We don't see too much costumey stuff......unless of course a certain person has lost a bet.:eek:

Glad to say I work in a fairly controlled environment.
 

Xavier_Godshore

Familiar Face
Messages
59
Location
Simi Valley, CA
I'm a white collar worker, not a blue collar but in the industry I work in (graphics/film, etc. - doing grunt work, not in an administrative position) dressing vintage in Apple Computer consuming/casual Hipster territory gets attention.
At least once or twice a week I'll come in with a shirt, tie, braces, vest, two-tone wingtips and a shellacked head of hair. In an extremely casual environment (my baby boomer boss is a Hawaiin shirt addict) I get comments all day long. Some positive, some benign. As I work in media I wear a big set of modern looking, noise-canceling headphones, and click away on a mouse, I will often get the comment , "you look like a telegraph operator on the Titanic".

I take public transportation to work (a train and a bus) and though I never have gotten comments, people's glances last a little longer. I was just noticing yesterday that strangers are a little kinder to me (not that they are generally mean) when I dress vintage. They're also more apt to ask me general questions like, "is this the train to...?" or "what platform does the southbound train come in on?" when I dress vintage as opposed to when I'm not. Maybe it makes me seem a little more approachable somehow? Trustworthy? I'm not sure.

workphotograph.jpg
 
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cbrunt

One of the Regulars
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221
Location
Maryland
Xavier,

Glad to see you doing what you want. Our duds may differ but what we're doing is the same, with similar reactions. The telegraph operator dig at least shows the maker of the remark has some sense of the past! I've also been called the Denim Nigthmare by one of my closest friends and coworker when its all denim for me. He's a Star Wars nut who I tease in return and its all in fun- Hell, be bought a Tan-Tan sleeping bag "for his son"... Sure...

Thinking back I should have specified vintage of any type in any work-environment. Focused on my own "environment" and frustration when I originally posted.

So anyone that wears vintage to work- and your experiences, good or bad- please chime in!

Clint
 
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Mahagonny Bill

Practically Family
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560
Location
Seattle
Long story short- most folks love to make comments- generally insulting; some more so than others. Especially when in full-denim. Canadian Tuxedo and Puerto Rican Jump Suit are the stand-bys. I made the mistake of wearing high-waisted Chinos and shirt and removed the chore coat and almost never heard the end of it... My immediate friends at work are of course no hassle- but outside them, or when I go to other places on base... well looks and comments are made.

Ok, I know what a Canadian Tuxedo is but WTH is a Puerto Rican Jump Suit ?

As for comments, try not to let it bother you. I work in a semi-industrial environment and I dress about the same as you describe. I get the occasional crack when I'm at a production plant, but I just brush it off. If you are going to do anything that is slightly different than the rest of the pack, you are going to draw both negative and positive attention. The negative comments are the price of the positive ones. If you give it time, people will come around....or get tired of ragging on you ;)
 

David Conwill

Call Me a Cab
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Bennington, VT 05201
Men in clothes like you describe built your workplace, what have your coworkers done that makes them feel so superior to those men?

At least that would be my response in your position, if I even felt compelled to defend myself.

-Dave
 

cbrunt

One of the Regulars
Messages
221
Location
Maryland
Thanks for the replies guys. All good advice and I'm taking it. Cyncially, I really don't value most opinions from co-workers after knowing many for 14 years and seeing their "true" selves... But just get tired of hearing it...
 
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