FFX – Your Destination For Workwear

FFX, or Folkestone Fixings, is a one stop destination for power tools, handtools and work wear. Founded in Folkestone in 2003, the company has stores in the South East as well as an online store. The online business is one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of power tools and power tool accessories, hand tools, fixings and fasteners, and general construction consumables. It is also a brilliant place to go for work wear, stocking brands like DeWalt, Makita, Dickies, Silverline and Snickers, all at very competitive prices.

My husband Pete is the perfect person to talk about work wear. In his job as a loft conversion specialist he needs protective, hard wearing clothing that will stand the rigours of a job that involves heavy lifting, climbing and working from heights. As well as these requirements, Pete still has to look smart and presentable as he is working in someone’s home, and is a public face for the company he represents. I asked him to test drive some pieces from FFX, and he was impressed with the cost and quality of the brands they are able to supply.

Pete chose three pieces of clothing from the work wear section. The Roughneck 95-155 Wind Blocker Fleece comes in sizes that go up to XXL, and is great for wearing when working on a roof as it is wind proof and water resistant. Unlike some fleeces that are baggy in cut, this has a more fitted look, and also has a another great safety feature in that it has reflective piping, this not only makes it look more attractive, but is good if you are working at night. It looks smart, but, as it comes in black, it is also a practical choice if you are working in a dirty environment.

Pete also chose a classic black t-shirt from the Snickers range. You may think you could literally wear any t-shirt for work, but the Snickers t-shirts cost less than £8 and have features that make them perfect for wearing everyday in a physically challenging environment. In short, they offer:-

  • For a long service life, reinforced at the shoulder seam and back of neck
  • Lycra in the neck rib helps maintain shape – wash after wash
  • Printed neck label to avoid itching

These are t-shirts that look smart and are hardwearing, very important when the work you do is physical, day in day out. You need your clothes to work with you, not against you, and that is exactly what the Snickers t-shirts do.

The final items Pete chose are probably the most important. A good pair of work boots has to be able to withstand the rigours of a building site/workplace, protecting the feet from scaffolding, falling masonry and power tools. But they also need to be comfortable enough to wear all day, and to be long lasting, you don’t want to be replacing them every few weeks.  Pete will only wear DeWalt boots, as he says they are the only brand that are instantly comfortable, you never have to wear them in first. The DEWALT Extreme 3 Safety Boot have a lightweight construction whilst also offering high levels of safety for the workplace, they are also, at under £40, brilliant value for a boot that are heat resistant and oil and slip resistant.


Keeping stylish at work

Work might make you feel a little plain every now and then, with the realities of work wearing you down somewhat. However, there are ways you can help make yourself feel that much better throughout the toughest of days. Simon Jersey take you through some of the ways you can help yourself look and feel stylish while at work.


Style is an individual consideration

No matter what you wear at work, you should always be aware that there is no real “objective” right answer when it comes to style. Essentially, you should always be looking to strike a balance between what you think looks professional with what makes you feel professional.

That is, you might like the idea of wearing high heels at work, but if they’re uncomfortable to wear after a short while, you may start to get distracted by that discomfort, which could reflect on how professional you come across to other staff and customers. It’s a simple fact that feeling professional makes you feel more confident. And that air of confidence will be immediately apparent to everyone you work with.

You should also consider that how you dress does affect your attitude in interesting ways. In fact, you might think that clothes have absolutely no bearing on how you’re perceived, or how you act, but a study published in 2007 found that what people wore at work affected how they acted. For example, a more casual uniform made staff feel and act in a more friendly manner, while wearing a full suit made them feel and act more productively and authoritatively.

Style throughout the year

Even if your workplace doesn’t have a uniform, you could consider making an unofficial one purely for your own benefit. For example, singling out around five or six trousers, shirts, shoes, dresses, etc., for an unofficial uniform offers you a wide range of customisation options for a different look each day that still leaves you looking and feeling professional.

That doesn’t have to be the end of it either. Just having the core of an unofficial uniform in place can be a jumping off point for further unique alterations depending on how you feel. For example, you can easily add a splash of colour and personal flair to your attire by adding a scarf if you feel like it. The uniform can be as flexible as you want it to be in order to feel and look at your best.

You should also make sure that you have optional additions to your uniform based on the season. Things such as lighter and airier clothes during the summer, when it’s far hotter, can help you stay comfortable no matter what the work day throws at you. The same applies for the winter, when thicker, more heavy duty clothing will be necessary.

By the end of the process, you will be left with a solid selection of clothing that is perfect for any work-related occurrence, at any time of the year. Considerations such as these will help you balance comfort with appearing effortlessly professional in any situation.

Clothes To Create A Great First Impression At A Job Interview

So you’ve applied for that dream job, updated the CV and bingo! you’ve got an interview. You know that you would be perfect for this position, but now you have to shine at the interview. You know that you can dazzle them with your knowledge and answers, but the reality is that your first impression starts the minute you enter the room, before you’ve even opened your mouth. The way you look and present yourself is truly your first impression, and so it pays to look the part.

For the majority of jobs the first impression needs to be of someone who is smart and presentable. There are a few roles where looking edgy and original can be a plus, but for most roles you need to look professional, and this can often mean a suit, for both men and women. For women, this can be a bit of a minefield – do you opt for a traditional feminine suit with a skirt, or aim for a more masculine aesthetic by opting for trousers? Is the colour black to funereal – would grey or navy be a better choice? And, if you do opt for a skirt, what exactly is the right length? Too short can look unprofessional, to long can be frumpy.

If you are looking for a look that will strike the right balance, something that is stylish and presentable, well cut but not too ostentatious, and business like without being overly sombre, you should check out the ladies suits by Lucy Alice. The Lucy Alice range should give you plenty of food for thought – maybe a dress with a matching jacket could be a more modern option for you? Or, if you do opt for the traditional two piece, they have five different types of jacket so you should be able to choose a cut that actually suits your figure, after all, there is nothing that looks more slovenly than an ill fitting suit – just look at Donald Trump for proof.

The Lucy Alice collection has formal work wear that goes up to a size 26 in most items, which is another really positive aspect of the collection, and allows you to mix and match to create a range of different work wear looks that will make an impression from that first interview and beyond. So, if you are planning on a career move or change, make sure you have the work wear pieces to keep up with your progress.