Construction Work Shirts: The Only 5 Buying Tips You’ll Ever Need

by John Amato

A construction shirt is one of the primary must-have safety apparel for construction workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers it a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) and mandates all construction workers wear one on site.

But not all construction work shirts are the same—they differ in price, brand, quality, comfort, and design. 

Remember, your workers’ comfort and protection will determine the success of your project. 

So, only aim for the best construction work shirts, which have the following features: 

  • Moisture-wicking properties to improve your workers’ comfort
  • High visibility to prevent accidents and injuries
  • Well-fitting for proper mobility
  • Branded to enhance your company’s visibility

With so many options of construction work shirts available, choosing the best can get overwhelming. 

But with these 5 simple tips, your selection will be as easy as pie.

1 - Choose the Best Workwear Fabric

Jerzees 29M safety construction shirt

Unlike regular shirts, construction shirts need to be durable. 

Therefore, you want a hard-wearing fabric that’s:

  • Breathable: For air to pass through and help evaporate the moisture, keeping the skin cool
  • Moisture-wicking: To keep sweat away from the skin during hot weather
  • Soft and comfy: To prevent irritability and let your workers focus on the work at hand
  • Stretchy: For more freedom in motion and comfort in tasks requiring walking, bending, or stooping
  • Easy-maintenance: So it won’t need much preparation for the next project
  • Water-resistant: To keep your workers dry when it rains

Most construction work shirts are made with natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics, or a blend of both. 

Natural fabrics like cotton are soft, breathable, and comfortable, but they don’t allow moisture to evaporate quickly. 

On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like polyester are hard-wearing, long-lasting, and wick away moisture, but aren’t breathable.

Since construction work shirts need all these properties, the best fabric is a blend of natural and synthetic fibers

See other major differences in the fabrics below.

Fabric Pros Cons
Natural Fabric (Cotton)
  • Low maintenance
  • Soft Breathable
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Shrinks with time
  • Wrinkles easily
Synthetic Fabric (Polyester)
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable
  • Non-absorbent
  • Holds odor
Cotton Polyester Blend (Polycotton)
  • Lasts longer than cotton
  • Retains shape, size, and color
  • Comfy and breathable
  • Wrinkle-free
  • Fast drying
  • Absorbent
  • Moisture-wicking

Jupmode’s safety construction shirts are made with a blend of cotton and polyester to produce the most comfortable, high-quality shirts. 

The three safety shirts below are among our best-selling construction work shirts. We use various fabric compositions to suit each customer’s needs.

  • Jerzees 29M: 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester
  • Next Level 6210: 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester
  • Bayside 5040: 90% Cotton, 10% Polyester

2 - Ensure the Construction Work Shirt Is Well-Fitting

Jerzees 29MP construction safety shirt with a pocket

“Fit is everything.”

You hear this phrase a lot in menswear. But in construction clothing, it applies tenfold. 

Construction workers need clothes that give them the freedom to move when working. If they can’t move fast enough to get out of harm’s way because their clothes are too tight or baggy, that becomes a huge safety concern.

And besides their safety and comfort, well-fitting, branded construction shirts benefit your company in many other ways by:

  • Displaying a professional image 
  • Sending a subtle message that you care about your workers’ dressing
  • Freely advertising your brand to prospective clients

3 - Construction Work Shirts Must Be Highly Visible

construction work shirt with reflective tapes

Your workers must be visible to others at all times when working on a construction site to avoid accidents and injuries. 

To increase their visibility, choose construction shirts with reflective (retro-reflective) tapes. They reflect light back to the workers, alerting other workers and oncoming drivers of their presence. 

These tapes are super helpful, especially in risky environments with dim lights or during night-time road works.

Bad weather conditions like fog and mist also hinder visibility, which can easily result in accidents if your workers work around heavy machines or near the road.

For such conditions, invest in brightly-colored construction shirts for maximum visibility.

Most construction workers wear green or orange safety shirts for daytime visibility. These fluorescent colors are bright and easily noticeable from afar. 

Related Article: Custom Construction Shirts: Safety Green vs Safety Orange

However, ensure that your chosen color contrasts with the surrounding background to let the workers stand out and be easily detected.

  • If your construction site is encompassed with greenery, go for orange safety shirts. They’ll contrast with the background and increase your workers’ visibility.
  • If your site’s background has heavy machinery and high buildings, green safety shirts are ideal. According to OSHA, all machinery on a construction site must be painted orange, so a fluorescent green provides the perfect contrast.

4 - They Must Comply With the Safety Regulations

OmniSource construction work shirt with reflective tapes

Not all PPEs and workwear are designed equally. The US has placed strict measures to ensure all workwear fits its purpose. 

Before purchasing any safety construction shirt, ensure it complies with the current safety guidelines issued by OSHA. OSHA requires all construction workers to be visible at all times, whether they’re interacting with the public, machinery, or oncoming traffic. 

This is done to minimize the occurrence of work-related deaths and accidents, a plan that seems to work because the regulations have drastically reduced work-related injuries and death by 40% since the 1970s.

Below is a summary of the regulations for construction work shirts by OSHA:

  • Workers must only wear short or long sleeve shirts. No sleeveless shirts on site.
  • During the day, fluorescent-colored shirts must be worn on site, specifically safety yellow or safety orange. The shirt’s color should contrast with the surroundings.
  • At night or in poorly lit environments, the shirts must have retro-reflective strips for increased visibility.
  • The retro-reflective strips ought to be at least 50 mm wide, form an “X” at the back of the shirt, a continuous strip around the waist, and vertical stripes at the front. 
  • The shirts should snugly fit in the sleeves and around the waist to avoid getting stuck on a piece of machinery.

Regarding logo placement on construction work shirts, the safety regulations put in place mandate that your logo must:

  • Not block any of the retro-reflective material
  • Be small enough to avoid interfering with the shirt’s visibility
  • Have a uniform color—multi-colored logos will crowd the shirt’s background color

Observing all these rules on your own is a daunting task that consumes a lot of time. 

Fortunately, at Jupmode, we’ve branded lots of construction shirts and learned the nitty-gritty of the industry in the process. 

Our safety shirts meet the ANSI safety regulations to ensure your workers wear industry-approved workwear. Reach out to us, and we’ll handle everything, from design creation to printing or embroidery.

5 - Consider the Climate of Your Workplace

short sleeve construction shirt ideal for warm weather

Before purchasing your construction work shirts, ensure you research the climate of your site’s location.

If it’s winter, the temperatures have dropped, and the evenings become less visible, go for shirts with features such as: 

  • High-visibility to make your workers more identifiable as the evening approaches
  • Long sleeves made with thick fabric for maximum warmth
  • Moisture-wicking properties to keep them dry and comfy

If it’s summer, you’ll experience warm, hot and humid weather, so you want to pick lightweight and breathable construction shirts for maximum comfort. A long sleeve shirt made of lightweight fabric is also ideal as it helps to protect your workers’ skin from the scorching summer sun.

safety shirts

Protect Your Workers With the Best Construction Work Shirts

The construction field is a challenging industry that requires maximum protection. Help keep your workers safe with the clothes they wear. 

A construction work shirt is an effective PPE that workers must wear at all times on site. 

The shirt must be highly visible, well-fitting, comply with OSHA safety regulations, and appropriate for the weather. The fabric used must also be durable and of the highest-quality.

Jupmode specializes in making custom safety-compliant apparel for construction companies and contractors to protect their workers from work-related injuries. 

We offer the best custom screen-printing and embroidery services for construction shirts and other workwear such as safety vests and hats. 

Get started today with your workers’ construction shirts by filling out our custom quote request form here

If you’d love to know more about construction work shirts, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help.

"Faster turnaround on our t-shirt order than expected! I would highly recommend this company to everyone I know!!"
- Patrick P

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