Workwear as as System: Layering Truewerk

Most workwear is stuck in the past, leaving you with gear that lags far behind other performance apparel categories like outdoor and tactical. We’re not just talking about old-school fabrics but philosophy, too. Yes, Truewerk believes technical designs and performance fabrics are essential for mobility, durability and comfort, but what about when one product can’t tackle everything you’ll face in a day?

You can’t control the forecast, but you can control how you deal with what the day delivers. That’s why everything that Truewerk designs works as part of a greater, integrated layering system. Our different workwear options come together to give you precise control over what you’re wearing to match the circumstances on the job right now, such as layering for cold weather, the heat, or any other weather changes throughout all seasons. Using the right system of workwear layers can be one of your best tools, keeping you comfortable to stay in the flow.

From the beginning, we’ve designed mid-layers to slide effortlessly under jackets, used highly breathable fabrics for base layer pieces, and even created pieces to snap together so you can customize based on the weather and body temperature. As we continue building high-performance workwear for trade professionals everywhere, we’ll keep thinking about how each piece fits into the broader system, but enough about us—more about wearing clothing adaptable to the weather changes.

Infographic - The Three Layers of Truewerk Apparel

Layering 101

At its core, layering your workwear lets you take advantage of different materials and fit to quickly adjust to most conditions, providing the perfect temperature, protection, and comfort.

So when it comes to layering for cold weather, warm weather, or any other seasonal changes, why do materials matter? Throwing on your average cotton tee under a hoodie might do a decent job at keeping you warm, but as soon as you start to sweat, moisture gets trapped in, leaving you with a gross feeling. Or, if you have a shell with stretch but your base layer clings, you’re focused on your gear pulling and bunching rather than the task at hand.

Everyone’s body functions slightly differently. Whether you’re constantly overheating or tend to run cold, layering gives you the customization to adjust for weather or activity level. In general, here’s how to think about a workwear layering system that is adaptable for all seasons.

1. Base Layer: Next to Skin

A Truewerk base layer shirt.

On many job sites, there are periods of high activity—pulling, crouching, pushing—followed by periods with less exertion. During those high-energy outputs, your body generates more heat, causing you to break a sweat. The moisture you produce gets trapped against your skin as you transition into lower energy outputs, leaving you cold and uncomfortable. A base layer on your workwear that lets moisture escape and evaporate quickly while providing maximum mobility is critical to staying dry, comfortable, and focused.

Short or long sleeves: It’s up to you (and the climate). We use the B1 Sun Tee or Hoodie as our go-to base layers with superior next-to-skin comfort. A strong interlock knit fabric engineered with a wicking treatment spreads moisture and resists picks & pilling while maintaining four-way stretch. For a more professional workwear look, opt for a EDO Polo

2. Mid-Layer: Insulation

An industrial athlete wears a Truewerk mid-layer shirt and WerkPant.

Your second workwear layer for colder weather should help retain body heat without creating extra weight or bulk that will compromise your movement. Because the primary purpose of the mid-layer in an outdoor layering system is to keep you warm, it should be breathable, flexible, and provide insulation.

But that’s not enough on its own. A workwear mid-layer should also be easy to pull on and off as you warm up or cool off throughout the day and throughout the changing seasons. We designed the M2 Grid Half Zip, M2 Grid Pullover or Full Zip Hoodie, FLAC Shacket and M3 Woobie Hoodie with the capability to serve as advanced mid-layers. The S3 Solution Vest or M3 Woobie Vest provides insulation, protection and stretch, keeping your core warm while freeing up arm movement. M2 Grid Fleece has more insulation than a typical fleece with increased airflow to allow sweat and moisture to evaporate. M3 High Loft is an innovative fabric package of midweight synthetic insulation sandwiched between a wicking liner, providing stretch and temperature control.

The fits of all Truewerk mid-layers are just roomy enough to slip over any base and give you the freedom to move comfortably. They’re not too baggy, so extra fabric won’t get in the way by making it hard for the final layer to fit how it should.

3. Shell Layer: Protection

An industrial athlete suspended in a harness wears a Truewerk shell layer jacket and WerkPant.

Now we come to the outer and final layer of your workwear layering system. Shell layers for colder weather are your first line of defense against the elements, especially the wind, rain, and snow. Treatments like DWR and 3-layer bonded fabrics help fight against what mother nature and job site hazards throw at you. Retaining flexibility and breathability is key, which is why Truewerk shells allow moisture to evaporate without letting more in. If everything isn’t working together efficiently, you’ll spend crucial time being annoyed and distracted.

At Truewerk, you can count on high-performing outerwear for protection in all conditions. T3 Fabric, used in our S3 Solution Hoodie, T3 WerkBibs and T3 WerkPants, is our heaviest-duty fabric specially designed for winter performance. With a fleece-backing, these shells are soft on your skin. The softshell exterior provides superior water resistance and resists tears and abrasion. In extreme cold, the S4 Tower Parka and T4 WerkBibs provide necessary warmth with added insulation to layers for cold weather.

Build Your Own Workwear Layering System at Truewerk

Explore all of our workwear styles for any season at truewerk.com. Ready to get started? Build your own layering system.

Have questions or feedback? Contact us! Today's trade professionals deserve the best, and we are always testing, trialing and innovating to meet modern needs.

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