9.09.2013

What to Wear | Construction Site

One of the biggest challenges I have of going to a dirty jobsite as a female architect is knowing what to wear. Oftentimes these meetings are on site with the contractor, before or after this meeting is with the client, and you may have additional meetings off site that you want to be prepared for as well.

The above picture is my opinion of what you need for a successful jobsite visit:
  • Jeans, plain and simple. - A darker color in a boot cut fit is preferred, but anything else will get dirty or get you made fun of by contractors, no skirts!
  • A collared button up Shirt. - I am showing a white one with some accessories for a pop of color, but these extras would work best for wintertime. If it is summertime, I would suggest a collared shirt with a pattern, maybe a vertical stripe, and perhaps a belt. You want to be taken seriously, and there is something about a collar that can do that for you.
  • Boots. - No, they don't need to be that rugged for a regular basis, but I would suggest keeping a pair similar to that in your car, if nothing else. The weather is unpredictable and on a muddy jobsite, you are likely to need them once in a while. Boots are not only useful, but sometimes required on certain jobsites. No heels or flip flops for sure and no flats until the site is paved and dried in!
  • The right Tools. - Make sure you have everything you need including the drawings, measure tape, pen and paper, etc. Although I don't normally prefer a shoulder bag for my day to day use, I do prefer a shoulder strap while on the job site. You need to be hands free to carry the drawings, take pictures, and write notes; too much stuff in your hands can hinder that.
  •  Protection. - Anyone who will be on a job site from time to time in their lifetime should have their own hardhat. But did you think about your eyewear? This is a great place to add a statement piece as well. Boots also falls under this category.
Although I believe that the best thing you can bring to a meeting is mental preparedness, having all the right tools and clothing can be a part of it - for your safety if nothing else. I keep most of these things in a small tub in my trunk since you can't always plan your site visits. Just remember to change before you get there!

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