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Five things to consider when buying work shorts

With the official start of summer later this month it is the perfect time to look at updating that workwear wardrobe to prepare for the warmer weather.

Shorts are a practical alternative to full length trousers for when the sun starts shining, offering the perfect solution for the demands of a variety of jobs while keeping cool in those warmer climes.

We look at the top five things to consider when purchasing your summer workwear to give you a better idea of the options.

From how to get the best value for money to materials and styles to consider, it is a quick run down of everything to consider before swapping your work trousers for shorts to keep you cool when working this summer.

1.      Durability

When it comes to workwear durability is a key factor. Not all materials are the same with different shorts offering different levels of strength so look carefully at the material before buying shorts. Depending on what you need them for you will need to think about whether the material can stand up to the test. The most hardwearing types of shorts will either use cotton canvas fabric or ripstop.

Both are very abrasion resistant and durable. However, if you need something that is very tough canvas might be the better option. Just be mindful it can feel a bit stiff to start with and trap heat so ripstop is a lighter weight more summer-friendly fabric. As the name suggests ripstop is designed in such a way that it discourages rips and tears.

If you don’t work in a very heavy-duty environment there are also more lightweight workwear shorts that will offer a comfortable alternative to long trousers in the summer. Just be mindful that they make sense for your job though as lightweight work shorts won’t hold up in more active roles.

2.      Comfort

When it comes to comfort there are four distinct things to consider:

Stretchability – With most jobs you will be moving, bending and crouching quite a bit so it makes sense to have shorts which incorporate stretch fabric. A small amount of spandex in the material allows shorts to be more flexible. However, do be mindful that they may not be as durable in the long run due to the stretch.

Length – Think about how you want the shorts to fit. Obviously, your height matters but in general 10” shorts will often just finish above the knee. Longer cargo options may go as far as 13 inches and shorter work shorts finishing well above the knee may have an inseam of 8 to 9 inches.

Crotch Gusset – This is an extra piece of material sewn into the crotch to improve fit and flexibility. There are two main types a diamond gusset which is smaller and the longer inseam gusset which stretches the full length of the short. Different shorts will fit differently so it might be useful to look at whether a gusset will improve the fit for you.

Breathability – Moisture-wicking, breathable fabric can make a huge difference in the heat. It allows body heat to escape and, in some instances, can even help to regulate body temperature to a degree.

3.      Pockets

Pockets are the perfect way to provide that extra storage solution on the go to keep your hands free on the job. But how many pockets are enough?

Too many pockets can add weight to your work shorts while not having enough can be a problem too.

Here are a few design options to consider:

Cargo shorts – With lots of storage space cargo shorts offer the most pockets. If you want to cut out the bulk though look for low-profile zip cargos which take away the bulk making them more streamlined.

Carpenter shorts – More practical for those looking for tool loops and bands most carpenter shorts have small utility pockets down one leg making them less bulky than cargo pocket styles.

4.      Fit 

Most shorts are made with a loose, relaxed fit which provides more freedom of movement on your job. However, there are slim fit options which may be suitable for more petite builds. It might also be good to consider for female employees who will be looking for a different fit to male colleagues. Look at what style of fit the shorts offer and keep in mind whether they have a looser or more slimming style.

5.      Waistband

Maybe one of the most overlooked elements of your work short designs waistband styles are not only crucial for comfort and fit but also offer practical solutions such as belt loops.

Look for hidden elasticated waistbands which allow shorts to be custom fit and offer flexible support compared to the more traditional bunched elastic style.

Don’t forget to look for belt loops as well as some work shorts have less belt loops and if this something you need for a tool belt for example it is important to check that you have what you are looking for.


Looking for help in getting the right summer work shorts why not give us a call and see if we can find you the perfect solution?

Our talented team can help you chose from cargo or carpenter styles and help find the perfect combination of comfort and durability for any role.

Don’t forget there are no minimum orders as well so whether you need 1 or 101pair of shorts we have you covered !


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