Hands down, the most common question I’m asked is for a list of PPE for women. There are lists out there from organizations, associations, and other industry pros; but this is MY list. You may not agree, but at least you’ll have a starting point with my recommendations – from head to (steel) toe.
I’ve been hooked on the KASK Zenith safety helmet since I first laid eyes on it. If you’ve seen me on a jobsite in the past 5+ years, I’ve had a KASK on, no matter how weird people thought it was at first!
Eye and Face Protection
I’ve got a few recommendations for safety glasses, first, the Ergodyne Erda line – it’s the first eye protection I learned of that was geared towards women. I have the Erda in multiple colors and lenses to take me from a dark jobsite to a sunny day and everything in between. As I write this post on March 6, 2023, it appears Ergodyne no longer carries this product, so check out their other offerings and hang on to your Erdas if you have them!!
I’m a big fan of HexArmor safety glasses because they are super lightweight, bendy, and have blue light lenses. Check out their entire line, they’re all winners depending on your needs for your specific work environment.
For manufacturing settings, I love my Stoggles safety glasses, they are just so dang cool. Visit my Favorite Things page for a Stoggles discount.
Three years (and counting) of a pandemic, and I’ll bet you have a favorite N95 by now too. If not, check out the Moldex Airwave and the 3M Aura. Both masks are fantastic for all day and even multi day wear. If I had to choose one in a hurry, it’d be the Airwave – it’s lightweight, packable, easily adjusted, and the strap doesn’t slip on my hair. With the Aura, I have to wear my hair in a ponytail to anchor the top strap or it slips either way on my hair.
I really appreciate when companies consider their environmental footprint, and have been very happy with all types of the Final Fit Safety plant-based earplugs. The plugs AND their packaging are biodegradable!
Body Protection and Apparel
Whenever I need to wear FR for a site visit, my go to brand is Carhartt. They’ve come a long way with their women’s products, and it’s nice to no longer have to wear the men’s denim – oof, those were some crazy days wearing the men’s painter pants, yikes. Beyond their FR in women’s sizes, I really like their leggings and sweatshirts. Carhartt has become SUPER popular in the past few years, so you’ll have to compete with people buying their gear as streetwear – stay strong and check the clearance section of their website often!!
I’m currently a brand ambassador for Utility Pro Work Wear, which has an extensive line of women’s tops, jackets, and rain gear sets. Their longer tunic length jackets and women’s cut soft shell are my favorites.
For the long winters and the cold fall and spring season, it’s nice to have options for jackets and hoodies. Tough Duck makes some of my favorite high vis hoodies and flexi fit snow bibs. My enthusiasm for their snow bibs was captured in a photo!
Radians has been a great option over the past 5+ years for women’s cut safety vests and jackets. In fact, I have an early edition of their first women’s safety vest that is no longer made in exactly the way it used to be, so like the Ergodyne Erda glasses, I’m hanging on to my vest! The Radians bomber jackets are so cool, I love wearing them in the spring and fall.
Dovetail is my go to for new work pants and innovative products like their overalls that make going to the bathroom on a jobsite easier. Visit my Favorite Things page for a discount code for their products.
Xena Work Wear blazers have become my uniform. Paired with a t-shirt, blouse, turtleneck, really any shirt – the blazer elevates my look and makes me polished. The blazers are packable, easily washed, and retain their shape. The pockets, OMG the pockets, have enabled me to leave my purse behind to have hands and shoulder free site walks, meetings, and public speaking. If you’re on the fence about needing a blazer, don’t be, you need this one! I have a discount code for Xena on my Favorite Things page.
For footwear, Xena Work Wear has been my favorite since they launched. I have a few pairs of their boots and love each of them for different reasons. I wear the Omega on construction sites, the original Gravity in offices and manufacturing settings, and their latest – the Valence chelsea boot is another versatile option for all of those settings and more. Again, check out my Favorite Things page for a discount on Xena Work Wear, including their boots.
When I’m not in work boots, I wear Vans slip ons, so the Mellow Walk Jessica are another favorite for general industry settings.
While I never had the opportunity to wear any maternity specific workwear while pregnant back in 2012, there are so many cool products on the market now to meet the needs of pregnant workers!
Covergalls just launched a maternity collection that includes tops and bottoms.
Dovetail has a maternity line that is currently in presale mode, use this link or visit my Favorite Things page for a Dovetail discount.
Would you like me to test something for you? Add something to this page? Reach out!
The CPWR has updated their womens PPE and gear page, there are a lot of similarities in our lists and some other resources, check our pages often for new items!