For ladies who do a manual job outdoors, it can be really hard to find hardwearing, comfortable clothing, suitable for the environment you work in. There are lots of options for men, but not so many for women. In fact, and I'm not sure if it might be a reflection on our society, but if you search for 'women's workwear' online, you get an awful lot of results giving options for outfits for the office. Not quite, sexist search engines! So, when Scruffs Workwear offered to send me one of their jackets to review, I was really happy to oblige, as it seems this area of necessary apparel has been a little bit overlooked. Obviously, workwear isn't just ideal for those who do a manual job, it's perfect for dog walking, rambling and other outdoor pursuits where a warm, robust exterior is essential for your comfort.
The jacket I chose was the Women's Expedition Jacket, priced at £54.95 and available in sizes 8 to 16. This one looked especially warm and cosy in the picture and also benefitted from Thinsulate branded padding, as well as nylon ripstop fabric, which I thought would be especially useful for gardening and other pursuits where thorns are likely to be a problem. It also included breathable 4-way stretch panels under the arms, which are designed to maximise the potential for movement, as well as to help regulate body temperature, which is obviously very important when you are hard at work. This is my friend Zoe, who kindly rushed round when the sun finally came out, to stand in for Jade, who was at college. Zoe is one of the loveliest people you could meet and she is also tiny, like a pixie. The jacket I chose was a little big for her which is why she doesn't appear to have hands. They have been devoured by the very efficient elasticated inner cuffs, which provide extra protection against the cold, or make handy mittens, if you're a pixie.
You can tell straight away when you see this jacket up close that it's a very high quality item. It's heavy and thick and, Zoe assures me, very warm. There's a bit of a mystery with the description on the website, as it's listed as having four pockets, but. try as we might, we could only see two zipped outer pockets and could not find the mentioned internal storage pocket, or external chest pocket. I'm wondering if they will one day turn up, hidden in the very thick outer layers, but at the moment I have to describe them as absent. One aspect which was very much present, and we loved, was the big fluffy fur trim on the hood. It not only provides extra protection against the elements, it looks pretty stylish too. It's also removable, for when the weather does not require you to channel your inner eskimo. I am really impressed with the quality of this jacket and I am confident it will be around for some time, even when it's being put through its paces in the garden!