Survive the summer in style with these ‘cool’ workwear tips

As summer continues, it's time tradies stuck out in the scorching summer sun make the switch to some cooler work threads. 

By Jarrod
5 Min Read

As the days get longer and temps continue to soar through the roof, it’s time tradies stuck out in the scorching summer sun make the switch to some cooler work threads. 

Now, I’m not talking about whacking on your favourite singlet and a pair of $3 thongs from KMart. Alongside the heat, you’ll have to contend with some pretty harsh UV rays that can cause serious damage to your skin if left exposed. 

According to the latest Cancer Council data, tradies are ten times more susceptible to exposure to deadly UV rays than an indoor worker, with 58 per cent of tradies surveyed last year saying they either had or knew a colleague who had skin cancer. 

As a nation, 2 in 3 Australians (over 17 million people) will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. 

It’s safe to say the Aussie sun is no joke, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck sweating bullets in your high-vis jacket and long pants. To build your summer work fit, you’ll have to find that perfect blend between being comfortable and having some protection on the tools. 

What to look for in your summer gear

If you’re on the hunt for some new summer threads, you’ll need to ask yourself these four questions:

  • Is it made from the right materials?
  • Will it survive the worksite?
  • Does it offer you good protection? 
  • Is it good value for money?

The perfect summer workwear should tick all four of these boxes, but there are a few key elements to look out for in some of our favourite tradie gear. 

Breathable materials

Ask any tradie out on site, and he’ll tell you the number one most important thing during summer is staying cool. If you are going hard on the tools or are stuck outside for long periods of time, you need workwear that will help you stay cool and can handle the river of sweat rolling down your back.

Choosing highly ‘breathable’ materials is a must for any summer workwear. Try looking for gear predominantly made from materials like cotton and polyester.


Breathable materials are important, but what you really want on a hot summer’s day is air flow where it counts. Look for clothes that have vents or slits under the arms, down your back or behind your legs so you can keep your cool until knockoff. 


No matter the project, every tradie is going to need some sort of protection on the job. Whether it’s harsh UV rays, an ominous-looking hand saw, or the occasional upturned nail, work sites are a minefield for potential cuts, bruises and burns. 

That’s why your workwear will need to provide you with some level of protection. Ditching the singlets and footy shorts for a lightweight shirt or long pants could mean the difference between making it home at the end of the day or paying a visit to the emergency room.

The same goes for footwear. Save the thongs for the beach and invest in some sturdy steel-capped boots with air vents, and wear lighter-weight socks.


While fabrics like silk and nylon are great for breathable summer clothing, tradies aren’t exactly known for their ‘soft touch’ when it comes to work wear. Most fabrics would be lucky to survive a couple of days on the job site. 

A good piece of work kit will keep you cool and won’t rip, stretch or break on the job. Try looking at items with stronger fabrics and reinforced stitching, seams and bar tacks. 


The last thing to look for when choosing new summer workwear is whether it will be good value. A great piece of work gear is an investment, so it’s better to buy a few great pieces that will last a long time over buying cheaper items in bulk that will need to be replaced every other month. 

Consider whether your summer work gear can also be used during the cooler autumn and spring months to maximise their use. For example, lightweight pants might be better than shorts as you can wear them on slightly cooler days.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.