What to Wear to a Warehouse Job (Discussed)

People usually want to be dressed comfortably for work, however, not every workplace has that freedom. Luckily though, a warehouse job (depending on company) is a job that may permit a bit of freedom in this arena.

While it isn’t advisable to show up to work in pajamas, casual and comfortable clothes are a definite an option when figuring out what to wear in a warehouse job. 

Warehouse workers have many options when considering what to wear in a warehouse job. They must wear their personal protective equipment, commonly known as PPE. However, different types of warehouses will require different clothing. 

Since different warehouses cater to various needs, the nature of work can vary from heavy-duty machinery to lightweight moving about. Taking into consideration what the risks are and what kind of actions that one performs on a daily basis at their workplace is a key factor in deciding one’s work attire. 

For a warehouse job, you’ll often see a dress code similar to this:

  • Company work shirt – This may be a screen-printed t-shirt with company logo. Not all warehouse jobs provide a work shirt, but many do.
  • Pants – Companies usually ask employees to wear pants or shorts that are not too baggy (for safety reasons) and that are presentable. Some jobs may require a specific color of pant as well.
  • Boots – Not all warehouse workers wear boots, but some jobs require it. Other jobs may allow more comfortable shoes. This can vary dramatically by job.
  • PPE – The amount (if any) of PPE that is required will be determined by the company. You, of course, may choose to wear additional PPE if you feel it is necessary. Things like safety glasses and ear plugs are a couple common examples of warehouse PPE.
  • Gloves – For some warehouse jobs, gloves will be necessary to move inventory and unload trucks.

General Warehouse Job Uniforms

Since there are several factors to be taken into consideration, setting an appropriate uniform for warehouse workers can be a hassle. These workers need comfortable clothing to be able to move efficiently but also clothes that protect them from any hazards as well. 

Many companies assign uniforms to avoid accidents due to inappropriate work clothes. These companies typically provide a uniform that meets all the regulations and requirements, allowing the worker to move easily yet still be protected in case something were to go awry.

Some companies provide a standard work shirt, and then require workers to wear pants that meet the company’s dress codes. Usually these dress codes require pants that are not overly baggy, and don’t have holes. This can vary by company.

So, before thinking about your uniform or dressing for your job, talk to human resources to get an understanding of the expectations. Choosing a uniform to wear to work should not be an inconvenience, keeping things simple makes everyone’s life easier.

For the most part, employers try to remove that issue from their workers’ lives and provide them with the appropriate PPE. Most jobs will provide you with the PPE needed to perform your job safely, but you’ll always want to ask and verify that is the case.

Another reason a warehouse uniform might be affected by outside forces is cleanliness. For example, a person who works in an environment where their clothes can easily get stained, their best option would be to wear coveralls over their casual clothes. 

Manufacturing Warehouses

A usual uniform of protective headgear (hard hats), steel-toed boots, and fluorescent vest is seen in industrial manufacturing warehouses where there is a higher risk of getting injured. These basic requirements ensure that the employees are protected from any risks they could be exposed to while at work. 

Again, the company itself will set these standards, so it is best to ask your company what dress code requirements it has. PPE is often provided by companies, but not always.

Employees in manufacturing may be surrounded by heavy machinery and product, dangerously loud noises, and a multitude of risks (like sparks, debris) that could harm an eye. Companies should take appropriate measures to assign PPE standards and limit risk.

Steel Toe boots or shoes are more likely to be worn in places where one is at risk of having a heavy object fall on their foot or when working with heavy machinery, like a forklift. While others wear protective glasses in places where there is either flying debris, dust, or are at risk of exposure to ocular irritants.

Lower-risk Warehouses

In less dangerous environments, such as storage warehouses for non-hazardous items (i.e. clothes, toys, shoes), the employees are often times free to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. This will vary by company, and even in this setting, most companies choose to set a basic dress code standard.

Even in a lower-risk setting like this it is not uncommon to see workers wearing gloves and heavy-duty work boots. But typically these companies don’t have any uniform requirements (other than maybe a work shirt), as there are very little to no risks involved with the position. 

Again, this will vary dramatically company to company. Some warehouse jobs will give you a work t-shirt and not require any other dress code standard. Others will be very strict about footwear, pants, and PPE.

What Not to Wear to a Warehouse Job

Even though there might not be a uniform, the company could set restrictions on what not to wear. Despite the casual dress code, items such as flip-flops are not appropriate for the warehouse scene. The only acceptable footwear is closed-toed to avoid injury.

Any jewelry is also considered a hazard, whether it be bracelets, earrings, or necklaces. Any dangling jewelry can get caught in machinery or any protrusions in storage shelves and have disastrous repercussions. 

All workers who are near heavy machinery, such as in factories, or wood workshops have to be mindful of their jewelry. One minute of carelessness could lead to serious harm. For that reason, several companies do not allow employees to wear jewelry to avoid any possible issues.

This is yet another important subject one should discuss with one’s boss because breaking company policy can have dire consequences. To avoid any disciplinary issues, it is best to discuss all the rules and regulations with one’s supervisor before choosing their attire.

Workwear To Consider

When buying work clothing for a warehouse job, there are a few items that are common. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Steel-toed boots: Does your company require steel toe boots? These can be a bit of a nuisance due to weight, but help keep you safe and protected.
  • Wedge Sole – Wedge sole work boots are often used on concrete because they add comfort. It is not uncommon to see wedge sole boots in a factory. To read more, visit our article about the best flat sole work boots.
  • Coveralls: Coveralls can be an easy and cheap way to develop a uniform for this line of work. Some companies may require a coverall for certain types of jobs. 
  • Hoodie – If you work near a loading dock, you’ll likely need a hoodie or hooded work jacket for the winter months. To read more about hoodies, visit our article about the best work hoodies.

Choosing What to Wear to a Warehouse Job

Every job is different, and every company has different requirements. In general, wearing a clean t-shirt, clean pair of jeans, and work boots will work for most jobs. You’ll need to ask the company itself what PPE is required and provided.

It is best not to wear jewelry, accessories, and sandals to a warehouse job. These items can make you less safe and put you at risk. They also will likely violate a dress code.  

In the end, always ask the company to advise you on what to wear. Wearing something that is safe and professional is always the way to go.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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