I never thought I’d say this, but dressing like a tradie is so in right now

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Hard Yakka.

Few professions have a brand as firmly established as our nation’s unsung fashion heroes: tradies. 

Considering our entire political spectrum hangs on the support of the CFMMEU, it’s surprising that Hard Yakka hasn’t permeated the fashion scene sooner.

With the current Dickies craze we’re entrenched in, fashion is already borrowing heavily from tradie culture. Look past the dirt and sweat, and you’ll find a workforce rocking some time-weathered, super wearable and just plain cool clothes. Hell, plumbers are single-handedly keeping the short short business alive.

I’m sure there’s something to be said about our obsession with paying a bunch of money to emulate the working class. But I’m also of the opinion that we should probably just lean into it – even those of us who can’t remember the last time they did manual labour more intensive than dragging the bins to the curb. 

So, in the spirit of roughing it up a little, here’s our roundup of essential pieces needed to steal your local tradie’s look. 

Dickies 1953 Relaxed Fit Utility Pants
Price: $89.99
From: dickiesaustralia.com

When it comes to pants, there’s really no choice but Dickies. As mentioned, they’re everywhere right now, and for good reason. Get yourself a pair of classic utility trousers for maximum comfort, maximum durability, and maximum pocket capacity.

Hard Yakka 3056 Long Sleeve Tee
Price: $34.95
From: hardyakka.com.au

I honestly just think this is a cool shirt. An easy, breezy long sleeve T-shirt is a solid essential even in warm weather – sun protection, people – and this one sits adjacent to graphic skater tees with its minimalist branding. Also, there’s a pocket, because #tradiecore is nothing if not practical. 

Hard Yakka Rayosan Cotton Drill Shirt
Price: $52.99

Even tradies need to get fancy with a collar other than blue sometimes. I have a Hard Yakka button up in my wardrobe that’s kept kicking for years, and is one of my all-time favourite throw-on pieces. Whether you’re going classic with a navy or chambray shirt, or branching out into a pop of yellow or orange, an oversized collared shirt has a lot of versatile style potential. 

JB’s Hi Vis Polar Fleece Jumper
Price: $35.40
From: lodworkwear.com.au

I’m of the firm belief that confidence gets you everywhere, research shows not as far as a high-vis vest does. Incorporate some super neon shades with your outerwear, whether it’s a hoodie, crewneck or zip-up. I’m partial to JB’s selection, mostly because of the colour combos outside the classic yellow/orange/black. 

Blundstone #510
Price: $169
From: generalpants.com/au

Blundstone boots walk a fine line between fashion and functionality. While you probably don’t need the steel toe cap and high-tech safety features of the brand’s more intense workwear styles, there’s something addictive about a really, really comfortable pair of boots. Opt for a chelsea silhouette with tougher, more workaday details like rounded toes, textured soles and oversized pull tabs.

Carolina Lemke x Kim Kardashian West Rider Sunglasses
Price: $150
From: carolinalemke.com

Nobody knows sun protection like a tradie knows sun protection. Wrap around sunnies – farewell, annoying side glare – are basically the calling card of the profession, and your look isn’t complete without a pair. Cast off your reservations about looking uncool, it’s time to make a statement and protect your precious retinas all at once.  

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