Thursday, February 6, 2014

what I wear to work

I see some of you, headed to work in the summer in cute dresses, skirts, and sandals.  A lot of you wear makeup and nail polish and your hair is perfectly blown out.

That is not me.

Those summer clothes hang in my closet for the rare weekend I'm actually home and not working.  If I wear cute clothes to work, it has to be in the winter, which means it often doesn't happen, since cute clothes and shoveling paths and steps don't really mix.

In the summer, we have to be ready to jump on the helicopter at a moment's notice and go fight fire.  Here is what we wear to work every day:

Nomex fire-resistant pants.  These come in many styles, all designed to flatter nobody.  They usually have a plethora of pockets, in which we stuff things like phones, handheld radios, notebooks, and snacks, giving us strange bulges on our legs.

See? So not cute.
 Big boots.  I can always tell where my employees are by following the clomping sounds.  These boots must be leather, at least 8" tall, and have vibram soles.  All of them are destined to become uncomfortable at some point.

Clomp clomp, I can hear you.

T-shirt.  Most firefighters accumulate many throughout the years.  Enterprising vendors set up shop outside fire camps to sell shirts emblazoned with the fire name and usually a helicopter, raging flames, and an elk or two.  Established crews have their own crew t-shirt which most people out of inertia just wear every day.  It is considered bad form to wear the shirt from a crew you have not been on, no matter how you acquired it.

The minions complained that our crew shirt was black and therefore too hot, although some appreciated black's slimming properties.
Ponytail or braid.  Forget about having nice hair during fire season.  You can go two weeks without a shower in some places and you're wearing a hard hat all the time.

The Fire Braid, at fire camps near you

If you are sitting in the helicopter, you are also wearing:

Flight helmet.  This is to protect your head and also so you can hear what's going on through the intercom and on the radio.  I kind of cringe when I watch shows like the Bachelor (and not just because it's the Bachelor), when I see them only wearing headsets on helicopters.  Sure, their hair looks great, but what if there's a crash? Their heads! I guess I think about weird things.

My minions all want my helmet because it's a military conversion and not the standard white government issue. I'll never give it up, minions. Never!
Flight gloves.  You can't text with them on.  But you shouldn't be texting anyway.  Your job is to look for aerial hazards and help the pilot with the mission.
It gets pretty warm wearing these when it's 90 degrees out.
Nomex fire shirt.  The same premise as the pants.  The same unattractiveness.  These come in other colors, but yellow is the most common, so we can see each other in the woods.

Anyone want to take my picture for a Glamour Do? Anyone?

What do you wear to work? Can you choose, or are you anti-fashionistas like us? If you work from home, do you dress up?


  1. I work at home, so either yoga pants or pajama pants, but sometimes I put on a cute sweaterdress, just because. Also, the neighbors have seen me going to the woodpile in a robe more than once.

  2. We always want what we don't have and I want those pants and boots! I wear casual clothes to work. Since I work with youth, it's a lot of jeans and comfy clothes. I try to dress fashionably, but save the real nice stuff for when I go out. Since I never go out, I never get to wear the really nice stuff:(

  3. I partially work from home, and on those days I wear yoga pants and in the summer a tshirt, but right now it's a hoodie, with fluffy socks. On days I'm at my clients, it depends on the client. I have one lady who expects you to be business casual eventhough it's a home office at her home. And a younger couple which is more laid back, so I wear jeans and a decently nice shirt there. I guess I dress a little different every day! ha!

  4. Working at my computer this morning in pjs and a robe--when I looked at the clock it was almost 11. Definitely not a fashionista day, if I ever have one.

  5. I have an office job now, but when I was in college, I worked for the police department and had a lovely, fashionable outfit of polyester pants (not no matter what), a shirt and tie, and boots. I wasn't allowed to wear jewelry except a watch, and that had to be plain. I thought it was the ugliest outfit in the world, but can you believe, I got hit on so much wearing that hideous uniform! I still really, really hate the pants, and I don't even have to wear them anymore.

    1. You know, it was the same thing with the park ranger uniform I used to wear. I guess it's the "women in uniform" thing!

  6. Oops, that was supposed to say "HOT no matter what", not "not no matter what".

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