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    Work waistcoats (also known as vests, bodywarmers or gilets) are sleeveless upper-body garments that are designed to carry out one or several purposes, including keeping the wearer warm without restricting arm movements and providing easy access to small, essential tools that can be carried in the pockets. Being sleeveless, waistcoats and bodywarmers allow workers from all backgrounds to continue to comfortably wear their normal work attire, such as suit jackets or other clothing, beneath the waistcoat, ensuring additional warmth alongside freedom of movement. A work waistcoat can also provide an additional layer of protection against the elements for the upper body while leaving the arms and head visible, especially in dangerous construction and roadside environments where maximum visibility is essential.

    There are standard types of waistcoat available that can be worn where high visibility clothing is not considered an essential element of workwear or PPE, and as such they are designed with more of a focus on providing added comfort and functionality without restricting freedom of movement. Some designs feature various pockets available for the storage of small tools and equipment, while others feature more specific additions, such as radio loops and ID display pockets.

    At RS, we have a range workwear waistcoats available in mens, womens and unisex styles with and outer softshell layers typically made from nylon or polyester. Our curated range features bodywarmers and gilets from leading brands such as Delta Plus, Parade, Snickers, Timberland and Uvex.

    Key features of work waistcoats

    • Added functionality, elemental protection and warmth without restricting freedom of arm movements
    • Can be used to carry small yet essential tools or equipment, negating the need for additional bags
    • Can be worn when visibility is not an essential concern or part of required personal protection equipment (PPE)

    Optional special features of work waistcoats

    • Anti-static materials for ESD Protected Areas
    • Flame Retardant materials provide additional protection

    Waistcoat styles

    • Standard - no pockets, just an additional layer of warmth and elemental protection
    • Executive - with storage pockets and additional features, including a radio loop, phone and pen pockets and a clear ID display pocket
    • Two Tone Executive - two contrasting colours (Yellow and Navy or Orange and Navy) to make the wearer more noticeable, with storage pockets and additional features such as a radio loop, phone and pen pockets and a clear ID display pocket
    • General Work Waistcoats - Multi-pocket designs, available in black, beige or grey

    Who wears work waistcoats?

    Work waistcoats aren't particularly limited in who can wear them, but there are some careers in which they may be more typically worn, including:

    • Roadworks engineers
    • Rail industry operatives
    • Security
    • Construction and building sites
    • Oil rig workers
    • Warehouse operatives
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