I wear clothing until it falls off my body or until my wife refuses to leave the house with me – whichever comes first.
My favorite sweatshirt is one I bought my first day of college in 1986. It’s a U.S.-made Champion sweatshirt and has always served as a reminder that buying cheap clothes is false economy.
Recently I’ve had to replace some of my work clothes because my Army surplus pants (also from the Reagan years) gave out. And my shop is colder this year, so I needed an extra layer for winter.
I’m not a contractor, so I’m not looking for technical gear with two sandwich pockets and a catheter. I want well-fitted stuff for the shop that won’t get caught in machines and will last for years. I know I will catch some crap for not just duct-taping rags to my body that I’ve stolen from the Goodwill bins behind the liquor store. But that’s not me.
I’ve written about Pointer jeans several times. They’re made in Tennessee – have been forever – and are well-priced and durable. I just wore out my first pair after three years. Not bad.
Recently the brand has become a darling of the lumber-sexuals, so avoid the company’s fancy stuff. You can still get a good pair of jeans there for about $50. Watch for sales; they have a lot of them.
I like monkeys. Who doesn’t? So the Ben Davis line of work clothes is great – every one comes with a monkey logo. The downside is that this brand, which has been around since 1935, makes a lot of its stuff overseas. The quality, however, is very good. Especially for the price.
I recently bought some hickory-stripe shirts made in Pakistan and was really happy to be able to get them in tall sizes. My arms are somewhat simian. And the tall size ensures my tender bottom will not suffer the drafts of winter whence I bendeth down. If you are OK with overseas stuff, Ben Davis is hard to beat.
This is my big indulgence. I have always wanted a French work jacket from Le Laboureur ever since I saw one in England years ago. They are hard to get in the United States, so I bought mine from The Shopkeeper in the U.K.
Recently Hand-Eye Supply in the United States received a shipment of Le Labourer stuff, including the moleskin jackets. This is the real stuff. It fits extraordinarily well. Breaks in nicely. And is warm and breathable. It is the perfect winter companion for the shop. Heck I love the thing so much I wear it while editing and writing. Yeah, $120 is a lot. But in retrospect I would have spent more.
— Christopher Schwarz
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.