The workwear aesthetic is defined by functional, rugged items, both clothing and accessories, that were originally designed for people such as carpenters, fishermen and construction workers. These items are designed to be used every day and to withstand the type of abuse that comes with many of these professions. Traditional workwear pieces include carpenters pants or classic denim jeans, trucker/chore jackets, and of course, the classic flannel overshirt. Workwear often features sturdy fabrics, reinforced seams, and copious amounts of pockets to accommodate tools and accessories. We also see a lot of looser, boxier fits for added comfort and mobility. Workwear also gets better with age, with many people seeking out vintage and thrifted pieces because of the added character and uniqueness added through time and use. While initially designed for practical purposes, certain workwear items have evolved into fashion statements, with brands incorporating elements of utility wear into mainstream styles.

“The appeal of workwear is that it doesn’t date,” says Chris Gove, founder and creative director of British menswear brand Percival. “It was never designed for a particular era or movement, so the purpose and appeal of workwear remains relevant, transcending trends.”

A traditional workwear outfit (Left), compared to a more modern example of the workwear aesthetic (Right).

Workwear is appealing because of its comfort and functionality, even if not being used for its intended purpose. This is the reason why I chose it for my upcycling aesthetic. My upcycling project is going to be making a chalk bucket for indoor rock climbing (mainly bouldering), with the main material being denim reclaimed from an old pair of jeans. The interior lining of the chalk bucket will be a flannel/fleece material, likely also recycled/reclaimed, to reduce chalk dust and provide a great user experience. The bucket will also have lots of functionality, in the form of pockets, brush loops, and buckles, adding to the overall workwear aesthetic.

An example of a Chalk Bucket by Organic Climbing

As this bag gets used, the chalk will accumulate and give it a used, weathered look, which adds to that vintage workwear vibe that is so sought after. The usage of rugged fabrics like Demin will ensure that it remains rugged and durable, and I can throw it around without fear of it ripping or deteriorating. This will an item designed to be used hard, and will patina and improve with use and wear over time


  1. On Point Fresh,
  2. On Point Fresh,–622481979768617294/
  3. Organic Climbing Deluxe Chalk Bucket,


  1. On Point Fresh, Workwear Fashion for Men
Previous Post
Upcycle Aesthetic: Organic Shapes and Knife Woodblocks
Next Post
Upcycle Project Aesthetic: Artificial Japanese Bonsai

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Max!
    Your post was very well thought out and you went into great detail about the characteristics of the workwear style and its functionality. I think that your idea to create a chalk bucket is very creative and the use of workwear fabrics fits well into the abrasive environment of rock climbing. I appreciate that you also planned out the inner felt liner which is similar to most chalk bags. I was wondering, do you already have a plan to lay out stencils for the fabric to be cut out and sewn together? Great project and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  • Maddox Mitchell
    February 1, 2024 3:54 pm

    Hello Max! I liked your description of the workwear aesthetic and thought Chris Grove’s comment on the aesthetic to be interesting and applicable. The first two photos you provided also gave me a good understanding of your interpretation of the style as well. There appears to be is quite a large spectrum of clothing that can fall under this aesthetic and maybe this is due to my lack of knowledge on the subject but the first photo gives a country cowboy vibe to it and the second photo gives a more modern streetwear take on the workwear aesthetic. I do like the take you have on this aesthetic making it an accessory and even more so a functional accessory like a chalk bucket. I’m excited to see where this goes!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.