7 Style Tips for the Working Man – Blue Collar Style Advice

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7 Style Tips for the Working Man – Blue Collar Style Advice
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Hi.
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Iím Antonio Centeno, the founder of Real Men Real Style.
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And today I’m going to be talking about style for the blue-collar men.
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And this is in support of my article over The Art of Manliness.
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You can go to the article by just following the link below.
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And if you find this talk interesting, if you want to learn more about menís style,
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make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
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Weíve got dozens and dozens of videos on menís style.
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And I donít just talk about blue-collar style, I talk about everything.
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And hopefully, youíll be able to learn something.
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So let me go ahead and jump right into it.
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What ñ you know, when you think about blue-collar style, it almost sounds like an oxymoron.
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Most people donít ñ when they think of stylish men, they donít think of the blue-collar
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worker, of the man who works with his hands, of the man who wears a blue collar because
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it can be soiled.
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Itís not going to ñ I mean, here I got a white shirt on and white cuffs.
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This shows that, you know, most of the time, Iím sitting at a desk, Iím working on a
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computer.
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I donít have a blue-collar job.
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I used to.
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And I used to work in construction.
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I worked myself through college, climbing and working on radio communication towers.
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We built them, we climb them.
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It was pretty very interesting work.
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So thatís ñ how did I survive?
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But in any case, there are three things Iíve come to believe which a blue-collar man needs
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to pay attention to and think about anytime he purchases something that heís going to
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wear.
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The first one is function.
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Any piece of clothing that he purchases, he needs to first make sure that it functions.
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So when he looks to purchase a pair of boots, he needs to make sure those boots actually
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work properly, that they have a steel toe, that they, you know have, the right amount
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of insulation if heís going to wear it in the winter.
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Looks are second.
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Looks are nice, and theyíre great for style purposes but function always comes first.
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And you should not compromise on function.
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So after function, it comes down to fit.
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And I remember there were times when I was climbing these radio communications towers
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in Iowa and weíd be climbing a tower and be covered with ice.
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And I had to make sure my clothing actually fit me.
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Eventhough, you know, it would have been easy to just layer up with all these cheap clothing
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that, you know, I guess I could put on like seven layers and sometimes itís seems like
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I did, but really I wore a lot of skin-tight layers, because when I was moving around on
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these radio communication towers, I had to have freedom of movement.
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And if youíre clothing doesnít fit you, youíre not going to have freedom of movement.
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And that actually holds true in custom clothing and it holds true in work clothing as well.
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Because when we think about it, your arms got ñ basically, the armhole, the larger
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that is, the harder itís going to be for you to move your arms.
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And if your crotch hangs too low on your pants or on your jeans, youíre not actually going
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to have the full freedom of movement in your legs.
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So pay attention to fit.
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In addition, if youíre wearing clothing, which is excessively loose and baggy, youíre
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having to retuck it in, or youíre not even tucking in your clothing, youíre just wearing
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it all over the place, then it can get caught on something sharp.
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And if youíre around heavy machinery, that you know, can suck you into you it, you know,
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that is a very dangerous situation.
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So weíve talked about function, weíve talked about fit.
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Now, letís talk about cleanliness.
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So at the end of the day you maybe covered in oil and grease.
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But when you start the day, you need to be clean.
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And this isnít ñ yes, I know, you can do your job if youíre dirty starting the day.
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And in some cases, if youíre on site, you know, there isnít going to be getting around
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this, especially if you donít have access to a washing machine or laundry or some way
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to clean your clothing.
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But I think itís a matter of pride.
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And it shows an attention to detail.
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If a man, even at the end of the day, heís covered in grease and grime, when he starts
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the day, he at least look sharp, his clothing is as clean as he can get it because, again,
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itís a pride thing.
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And if you donít pay attention to those details, if you show up to work looking dirty, then
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your fellow workers, they begin to wonder, you know, what kind of guy — I mean, if he
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doesnít pay attention to his own clothing, in those small details, do we want to trust
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him with the other details around the office?
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And if youíre a father, think about it.
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I mean, you donít want to be hugging your little girl right before sheís going, you
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know, to school and you get her dirty.
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You need to wear clothing thatís clean.
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Itís a pride issue.
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Yes, it takes a little bit of extra effort.
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And yes, you can probably get away with, you know, wearing the same clothing again and
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again.
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But I say cleanliness is one of those things.
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It shows pride in everything you do.
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So weíve talked about function, fit and cleanliness.
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Now, seven items that you should pay attention to as a blue-collar worker.
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The first one is going to be your footwear.
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And for most of us, itís going to be boots.
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So look for boots which are not only functionalÖ
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Öbut are stylish.
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So you donít want to go with something thatís old or cheap.
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Not only is it ñ not going to last as long, but itís never going to look as great.
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So great quality-made footwear that uses quality leather and is stitched together, not glued
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together, because that can actually be resolved.
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And over time, if you take care of it, if you make sure itís weather-sealed, itís
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actually going to look better as time goes on.
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So invest in good quality footwear.
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Number two, your jeans.
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Okay.
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So jeans were developed as workwear.
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But itís probably actually harder in the year 2011 to find a good pair of quality work
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jeans that it was in 1911; because in 1911, all the jeans were workwear.
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Nowadays, we see $500 designer jeans and we see, you know, $5 jeans which, you know, wonít
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even last two days on the work site.
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I recommend Leviís, Wranglers, Carhartt makes a great jean and Lee to some extent.
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Lee, not so much anymore, I think theyíve gotten more into the fashion side.
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But I have good look with Leviís.
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And a lot of it goes to where they place the rivets.
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I mean, theyíve got just a long history.
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And I know some people you know, they want American-made but you know, thatís for another
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article.
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Again, Leviís, Wranglers, Carhartt, in some cases, Lee.
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All right.
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Cotton chinos.
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This is an alternate if youíre going to be in an office, in moving, you know, between
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the workwear.
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Go with darker colors because you can expect it to be stained.
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And if you need something higher level in your trousers, look for maybe, what to say,
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gray wool flannels.
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So gray wool flannels, very versatile.
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You can wear with a dress shirt.
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And gray wool flannels they can actually take a little bit of dirt, a little bit of staining,
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although I wouldnít recommend it because they are usually, you know, dress pants.
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But the darker the color, the less chance — you know, if you get something on it, a
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little bit of dirt, you know, no oneís going to see that.
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Okay.
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Letís talk about quality eye protection as the number three item.
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So oftentimes, Iíll see a man and heíll be working on a side or heíll be working,
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you know — actually, mostly at his own home.
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And heís not protecting his eyes.
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You need to buy good eye protection.
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And the difference between good eye protection and you know, bad eye protection, in my opinion,
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is you need to find something that fits you, thatís comfortable, that you enjoy wearing.
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Because if it meets all of those criteria, youíre actually going to wear it.
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And if youíre wearing something, youíre going to protect your eyes.
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I mean, think about it.
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If you screw up your vision, because you just donít like the way these things look on you,
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you donít like, you know, people make fun of you, I donít know, maybe at the work site,
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of your pair of sunglasses which, they actually, slit, you know, they donít allow you to see
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better.
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You know, what have you gained?
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So donít buy those $10 sunglasses.
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And thereís a big difference between a $10 pair of sunglasses and going out and getting
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a pair of those sport Oakleys.
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Whenever I was in the Marine Corps I would always see all of the other marines, and that
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was on of the things that marines splurge on, is they got a good pair of sunglasses.
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Because they realized that under harsh conditions, they need to be able to see.
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And so we all had this sports goggles or this sport ñ not goggles, but glasses, you know
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the ones that wrapped around.
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Because you could jump off of a truck, you could jump off of a helicopter and those glasses
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stayed in place.
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You were firing your weapon, those glasses stayed in place.
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Very important.
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Invest in good quality eyewear.
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All right.
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Your work shirt.
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A lot of times I see guys working on a site and theyíre wearing t-shirts.
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And I used to do that a lot, you know, when I was working in the summers in Iowa.
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Itís not very smart.
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Because when you think about it, you want to get a quality cotton work shirt which is
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going to be breathable, it is going to protect your forearms, and you can even roll up and
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protect your neck.
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Oftentimes, shirts theyíre made from really flimsy materials or synthetic materials and
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they tear very easily.
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And if you rub up against something sharp, you donít want it to go right the shirt and
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then scratch up your chest or scratch up your stomach or to scratch up your arm.
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You want a material thatís a bit tougher.
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Yes, youíre going to probably sweat in it a bit more.
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But you know what?
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Thatís a small sacrifice for, you know, making sure that you keep all your layers of skin
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or you donít get a huge cut with it and you know, and start bleeding all over the place.
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You have a few options.
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Cotton is a great fabric and cotton, you know, it comes in different weaves.
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Usually the work shirts which actually you see a lot of, you know, our group in West
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Texas, where you saw a lot of other guys that were still on rodeo, I think thatís a great
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work shirt.
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You look at it.
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Itís tough.
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Itís durable.
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It comes in darker colors.
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So whenever they got knocked off of, you know, knocked off a buck or knocked off a bull,
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these guys were able to pick themselves up rushly thereof and jump back on.
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Very durable cottons.
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So you can find that a lot of — look in western stores, youíll find a lot of great work shirts.
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Also denim, itís a great shirt.
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Itís a bit heavy, hot, you know, you donít want it for summer wear.
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But chambray — so this is not going to be as durable and a lot of times itís going
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to be a bit more expensive.
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But you can find some great chambray on sale.
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You know, you have to look for it and this is great for lightweight.
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And if you get hot, roll up the sleeves.
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You know, you at least have the option of rolling it back down if you think youíre
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going to be in a situation that calls for it.
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All right.
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Letís talk about the hat, headwear.
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I see guys out working, theyíre wearing baseball caps.
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It just doesnít cut it.
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Look for a cap or a piece of headwear that allows air circulation.
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A straw haw is great.
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Something that, you know, you donít nee to wear a cowboy hat.
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But Iím talking about something thatís going to protect your neck, going to fully protect
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your head, and allows your head to breathe.
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The last thing.
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Carry a handkerchief.
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A red handkerchief, something bright.
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Why something bright?
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Oh, because youíre not always going to be using it to blow your nose, which a lot of
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people say, ìOh why donít you use a tissue or a paper towel?î Well a handkerchief can
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be used for so many other things.
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So youíve got a long piece of pipe that youíre carrying in the back of your truck.
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Well, take your handkerchief and tie it off or tape it and all of a sudden, youíre marking
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for, you know, a long load.
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You cut yourself and you slice open your hand.
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Well, youíve got a handkerchief there you can push on and apply pressure.
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I mean you need to hold down, you know, two pipes together and you donít have any tape
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with you and you need it to hold together right then.
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Well take the handkerchief and tie them together.
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There are so many options to consider handkerchief.
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All right, weíve talked about boot, jeans, cotton chinos, and wool flannels over there
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with the jeans, quality eye protection, work shirts, hats, handkerchiefs.
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Okay.
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So Iíve covered a number of items that the blue-collar man should pay attention to.
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And if you want step up with style, look for items like that that have a little bit of
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style; but donít go too crazy, always pay attention to function, always pay attention
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to fit, and lastly, always make sure your clothing is clean.
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Okay.
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Antonio Centeno with Real Men Real Style.
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Make sure to subscribe and check out all of other videos.