Best Workshirt?

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Forum topic by Pete Tevonian posted 12-06-2010 08:27 AM 2133 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pete Tevonian

78 posts in 2335 days

12-06-2010 08:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: clothes question

I’ve been looking for a while for a good shirt to wear in the workshop that will:
1. shed dust and dirt easily
2. withstand snagging on sharp corners of wood or shelves, and not rip
3. fit relatively closely to avoid safety issues from power tools, but
4. be generously sized enough to fit over another shirt, or be warm enough to wear in a slightly heated garage workshop in the midwest.

My old barn jacket satisfies 1 and 2, but it’s just too bulky for any hand work. I wonder if very light-weight leather shirt/jacket would work. Some kind of more modern fabric that is inherently anti-static?

Does anyone have any recommendations for places to look, or brands to try?

Thanks in advance.
—Pete in Wilmette, IL

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

16 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 12-06-2010 03:48 PM

I like heavy long sleeve tee shirts with a pocket. I almost always push the sleves back to my elbows. These qualify for your points 2 and 3 and do a pretty good job on 1. When turning, I put on a turning smock over the shirt. That does a very good job of shedding the dust and chips.

I think your objectives 3 & 4 are, in some degree, in conflict.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View chrisstef's profile


15454 posts in 2423 days

#2 posted 12-06-2010 04:12 PM

Carhartt makes a shirt / jacket that i leave in the shop. Cant destroy those things even if snagged on a nail.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3130 days

#3 posted 12-07-2010 03:25 PM

We are allowed to keep our old uniforms (if we take the shoulder flashes off :-), and thats what I use in the shop, they don’t shed dust worth a darn but are pretty near indestrucable and don’t seem to absorb any of the gooey stuff you may run into LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View ellen35's profile


2719 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 12-07-2010 03:54 PM

I just wear a turtle neck and a flannel shirt… a la my avatar!
Works fine! If it rips, so what… I’d rather rip a flannel shirt than my arm!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Stormin's profile


193 posts in 2206 days

#5 posted 12-07-2010 04:21 PM

If you have a Wood Craft store nearby they have a vest thats works well for me .This is the site Just cut and paste.

-- I started off with nothing I have most of it left

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8082 posts in 2845 days

#6 posted 12-07-2010 04:23 PM

Try Carhart, Lands End and Cabela’s.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3114 days

#7 posted 12-07-2010 04:33 PM

Why not get some LJ shirts??

View syenefarmer's profile


429 posts in 2497 days

#8 posted 12-07-2010 05:24 PM

Anything that I won’t wear out in public any longer becomes shop clothes.

View Pete Tevonian's profile

Pete Tevonian

78 posts in 2335 days

#9 posted 12-07-2010 06:43 PM

Thanks for the posts, everyone. I did look online at Carharrt yesterday—they have some promising shirts or shirt jac’s. That may be what Chrisstef was talking about. And I like the idea of just leaving it in the garage so it doesn’t need to be constantly cleaned or brushed off. Here’s the link:

Mark, you mentioned uniform shirts. Carharrt also has a couple “work shirts” made of either light or medium weight twill. Sort of like a barn jacket, I could see the twill being a good fabric. Tough and not too fuzzy, to avoid collecting too much dust, but also breathable and washable.

We’ll see. I’ve passed along the options I found to Santa. I’ll let you know what I get and how it works!

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2649 days

#10 posted 12-07-2010 06:58 PM

If you are in Texas, the Brazos brand that is sold at Academy Sports and Outdoors has some heavy canvas long sleeve work shirts that will fit the bill, but be warned, you will want an undershirt with them. They are scratchy… I have the work jacket and other than I managed to break a snap on it, I haven’t been able to kill it in 5 years… LOML is getting tired of looking at it. I am just starting to like it… I think it’s because the dye in the fabric is finally fading… I like fades she doesn’t….

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Anthony Finelli's profile

Anthony Finelli

52 posts in 2197 days

#11 posted 12-07-2010 07:04 PM

I use a carhart shirt/jacket like chrisstef and i absolutly love it….extemely durable

-- Salem, New York "Find something you love to do and you will never have to work another day of your life"

View JuniorJoiner's profile


463 posts in 2857 days

#12 posted 12-07-2010 07:16 PM

I wear a canvas shirt , plaid flanel lined that i bought at eddie bauer. they sell something similar at LL Bean.
keeps me as warm as i need to be.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3302 days

#13 posted 12-07-2010 07:30 PM

I wear short sleeved Carhartt T shirt with a pocket in warmer times. When it gets a little cooler I add a long sleeved turtleneck under the T. And the next step when it gets a little cooler I add a long sleeve Denim shirt over the other 2. I might add that my shop has a Hot-Dawg heater and a thru the wall AC unit. Another tip is to get as many pockets on the shirts as available you can never have too many pockets my shop vac remote occupies one of them.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2494 days

#14 posted 12-07-2010 07:46 PM

Wolfs Tooth….

Sorry, with all the Carhartt talk I couldn’t resist…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8082 posts in 2845 days

#15 posted 12-07-2010 07:50 PM

Here’s a link to Cabela’s twill shirts. They also sell Carhart, and seem to be less expensive than on the Carhart site.

Cabela's Shirts

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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