Coveralls for the Safe Everyday Man

By: James Monahan

Always dress for the occasion. That is the cardinal rule for work. If you are a businessman, you’ll be going to work in a suit. If you’re a carpenter, a plumber, or a farmer you go to work in your overalls.

But if you work in a factory, or in some labor intensive area that requires you to be adequately protected, you’re going to need a good pair of coveralls.

Coveralls, unlike overalls, cover the entire body excluding the head, and the hands, and are the gear of choice for factory workers, mechanics, firemen, and those in contact with industrial chemicals.

The coverall is also known as a boilersuit. It is a full-length, one-piece suit that looks like the jumpsuits pilots use, except that they are lighter, and they are looser.

They are usually zipped up, fastened up front and not from behind using zippers, buttons, Velcro or studs. These suits present excellent protection for the wearer’s chosen field. The suit must not have lapels and usually has a long pocket on its right thigh to hold needed equipment.

Coveralls are a sturdy bunch. They may be made out of various materials; however, these materials must be sturdy enough to endure the wear and tear of a person’s job. It also must protect the wearer from stains, chemicals and other hazards present in that person’s job.

Some coveralls are made of nomex, which is a flame retardant. These suits are used in jobs that require a person to enter an environment with fire hazards. Some are made to protect the wearer against environmental factors such as wind, snow, water, etc.

The main concern of coveralls is safety. Overalls on the other hand, have made the leap from workman’s clothing to fashion statement. The same probably won’t happen in the case of coveralls as they are primarily protective gear. That is, of course, unless it is Halloween.

Aside from just wearing coveralls, those wearing coveralls are also equipped with safety gear and devices that pertain to their chosen field. For example, if the job requires protection for the person’s hands, gloves are issued. Helmets are also issued if protection for the head is required.

Coveralls are not only used by the labor force. In fact, even the military uses coveralls as standard uniform. For example the French police unit known as the CRS uses coveralls for uniform.

The US Navy also adopted the use of navy blue coveralls as their prescribed work suit. In the case of the US Navy, the coveralls bear the owner’s name and the words “US Navy.” It also bears the owners rank and insignia.

Coveralls also have their place in history. In World War II, when the working force dipped to lows due to the absence of the men who were sent to battle.

In their place, the Army hired women into the factories to make up for the lost labor force. These women were issued military coveralls as prescribed uniform. This was a first in the history of military conflict.

We are always urged to dress for success. Coveralls might not be glamorous or even flattering. However, if one truly is to dress for success, he or she must dress appropriately for his or her line of work, considering safety and practicality in every aspect.

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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about coveralls.

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