Starting in San Francisco, but taking the world by (quiet) storm at present, what Americans call workwear is the big fashion story at present. The kind of clothing that was worn by cowboys and farmers, factory hands and forestry workers has become a huge fashion statement.

It seems that fashion responds to our primal urges and what most people want now is a job, or at least to look as if they’ve got one, and that means that the basic uniform of the manual worker or tradesman has become one of the most popular fashion looks around.

What’s hot

If your staff wear high-vis clothing, then green is the new black, the bright lime-green used in High Visibility vests was all over the catwalks at the beginning of the year, but glowing orange was nowhere to be seen.

Caterpillar and other work boots, worn with thick cushioned work socks turned down over the top of the boot cuff, were also much in evidence.

The old blue-collar of blue collar workers is trending as a huge hit. Work shirts in shades of blue are outselling other colours three to one in Japan! Worn with the sleeves rolled up, these durable work shirts are not in factories but in the bars and clubs frequented by Japan’s students.

What’s not

Anything too light or lightweight has been ruled out – chunky sweatshirts and heavy boiler suits are in, as are thick work trousers with cargo pockets but right out are thin cotton trousers, slip on shoes and skinny jackets.

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