Dickies has been a go-to name for work wear for generations. The company’s garments are tough, cheap, and available almost everywhere. Dickies’ new Moto Collection adds abrasion-resistant cloth to familiar designs. It’s not the kind of stuff we’d trust to save our hide on a real off, but it’s perfect for wearing in the garage or on a quick rip around the block after cleaning out your carbs for the 1,000th time. The Eisenhower jacket’s contoured arms and gusseted shoulders are comfortable enough in a riding position, but an attractive price is the real winner.
Shop pants typically fit like they’ve been imported from 1950, with high waists and baggy legs. The Moto chinos can be had in a variety of fits, and because they’re made from the same tough textile as the Eisenhower jacket, they’ll stand up to years of crawling around on the concrete while you clean chains and change oil. Dickies threw in a contoured waist to keep the things comfortable on a bike too.
A good pair of boots is as at home in the garage as it is in the office. Red Wing has been making its Iron Rangers for over 100 years. Like the Dickies threads, the boots are made to take a beating, but they’re comfortable enough for daily wear. The Vibram sole stays stuck even on wet concrete, and a thick leather upper will last for years with proper care.
The CDC is pretty clear about dermal absorption. For many workers, toxic substances enter the bloodstream through the skin, not the lungs. Disposable shop gloves are our go-to for keeping the nasty stuff off our hands and out of our bodies, but the cheap, thin parts-store variety are about as durable as a paper towel. These 14-mil bruisers walk the fine line between being tough enough to resist tearing and thin enough to maintain dexterity. At $20 a box, they’re more expensive than the kind you’ll find at the dentist, but you’ll use fewer per project, reducing waste while you’re at it.