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JOEL Joel's Blog

Professional Status


Professional Status 4Dr. Matt Taylor, a physicist and project scientist for the Rosetta mission (the team that landed a probe on a moving comet) recently gained fame for reporting on the mission on the BBC - while wearing a lurid bowling shirt.

You could make the case that he singlehandedly jazzed up the image of scientists all over the world, and if that's so, perhaps we owe him a debt of gratitude. It did bring home the point that every profession has its professional wardrobe. You know, the clothing and image that immediately establishes someone as trustworthy, serious about what they do, and imbued with the appropriate knowledge. Doctors wear lab coats, bankers wear suits, Chefs wear toques and aprons, and Thomas Lie-Nielsen wears a vest.

That's why I'm so pleased we have started to stock Blaklader workwear. The Blaklader line is designed in Sweden and is one of the leaders of what is known as "European Workwear." For me, it's striking that there is such a thing. In Europe, craftspeople are typically paid better than than craftspeople are in the US, and crafts jobs have more structure and training. It's no wonder that a craftsworker would want clothing appropriate for the hard wear shop clothing gets, with pockets and protection where it's needed. It's clothing that will make your job easier and more comfortable.

In the US, we expect our professionals to look the part, and their wardrobe choices help shape our expectation of their professionalism. It's really no different with workwear.

The line is designed with the same cleverness and practical ideas that we appreciate in fine tools. Destroying your knees on the job? Here are pants with reinforced kneepad pockets and two kinds of insertable cushioning . Utility pockets where you need them - and in the right number.

In other news the two books by John Whelan, "Making Traditional Wooden Planes" (update: out of print as of 2019) and "The Wooden Plane: Its History are once again back in print and the Festool Vecturo is out on the marketplace in force. We are already sold out of the Festool Toolie and Festool Apron - both limited seasonal items that we apparently understocked. Sorry about that.

Join the conversation
12/03/2014 Peter
I've had a lot of success using "tactical" pants in the shop. Designed tougher, water resistant (though stains do... stain), reinforced where needed, and excellent pockets to hold my chisels and pencils on your upper thigh. About the same price, too.
12/03/2014 DM Wyant

Are these typical European sizes, where they seem to enjoy wearing their clothes 2 sizes small? I find a EU XL to be about the size of a US medium.
Yes - these are American sizes
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.