What are Bib Overalls for Construction?


As their name implies, overalls provide chest-to-toe protection, helping to shield workers from various hazards and conduct their job with a measure of safety and security.

Overalls are designed to serve as protective garments against heat, thermal, and electrical effects, as well as chemical and hazardous materials. They provide plenty of pockets and other storage capacity in which to carry tools to enable an uninterrupted workflow.

Evolution of Bib Overalls

Wikipedia notes overalls were first made of denim before being constructed from other materials. The first known mention of them dates to 1776 as protective working garments for slaves; historians also note they were invented in the mid to late 1890s at Levi Strauss & Co. to serve as protective clothing for physically demanding work. Workers embraced them for their durability, with Levi Strauss & Co.’s slogan for them from 1880 to 1890s being ‘Never Rip, Never Tear’.

They continued to evolve to include a bib, hookless fasteners, and belt loops to replace buttons for the over-the-shoulder straps.

Consumers also have embraced them, such as women covering their form after giving birth. The Overalls Clubs formed in the 1920s protested the rising cost of clothing. In the 1930s, they were worn by the poorest segments of the American population, including many workers. They became popular among American youth from the 1960s onward.

In present times, overalls are a common offering among brands serving the work apparel industry.

Where to Buy Bib Overalls

Among the several choices offered by Truewerk is the T3 Werkbib for men. It runs large, designed to fit over a base layer. It offers 3L bonded fabric with four-way stretch, internal gaiters, low cuffs reinforced with ballistic nylon, double-stitched seams, and articulated knees with removal knee pads. Two-way full-zip legs enable quick dressing/undressing. Covered pockets keep tools stored and close at hand. It can be paired with the brand’s M2 Transit Pants underneath for ultimate severe weather protection. The T3 Werkbib features adjustable shoulder straps, a full front zip opening, a zippered fly, two key clip loops, an adjustable cuff tab at the leg opening, and stretch rib knit at the waist. Pockets include a chest drop-in phone pocket with snap, chest reinforced knife or light pocket, left thigh utility pocket with insert flap, two hand pockets and two rear pockets. The overalls have two tool hooks at the hips. The Werkbib is designed to be abrasion- and tear-resistant with fleece backing. The fabric is waterproof and windproof.

While many brands offer alternatives for women, Dovetail Workwear focuses only on women. Among the brand’s overall choices, the Freshley features 15 nested pockets for stashing screws, wrenches, brushes, pliers, and phones. The bib has four nested pockets, including a hidden zipper. The front pocket features the TwineHole, an eyelet through which to thread fine-gauge wire spool, twine, or yarn. Freshley overalls are reinforced at the back cuff and on the front panels of the knees. The bib overalls feature a crotch gusset, reducing wear on the seams.

Dickies offers an abundance of choices, including the men’s Reworked Utility Bib Overalls for those who like the look and features of Dickies vintage workwear roots. It is designed to offer the brand’s classic bib construction and wearable versatility. The 100 percent cotton twill overalls are reworked with contrast stitching throughout and are designed for a regular fit. The black bib overalls feature all metal clasps and closures, metal tack buttons, user-friendly adjustable length sliders, a hammer loop and utility pockets, including an integrated pencil pocket inside the large chest pocket and rear patch pockets. The overall features a contemporary clean finish hem and front side entry slash pockets. Dickies has offerings for women as well. 

Carhartt’s overall offerings for men and women include the Storm Defender Loose Fit Heavyweight Bib Overall, constructed for hard work in hard rain. Rated 10k, they are made of heavyweight 100 percent nylon. Storm Defender technology stops the water from getting in and lets sweat out. Wind Fighter technology enables wind resistance. Double-layer knees accommodate knee pads. The overalls also feature an adjustable waist and suspenders, a multi-compartment bib pocket with secure zipper, hook-and-loop cargo pockets, mesh-lined ankle-to-knee zip opening, reinforced nylon kick panels and knees for added durability and hook-and-loop adjustable bottom cuffs.

Check out BRUNT's new workwear collection for spring and summer! 

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