High visibility clothing is clothing that stands out from the surrounding environment and is easily seen by other people. This type of clothing is often used by workers in hazardous environments, such as construction workers, police officers, and firefighters. Women’s high visibility clothing is designed to fit the female body and provide the same level of safety as men’s high visibility clothing.

High Visibility Clothing is designed to protect workers; however, incorrect or ill-fitting high-vis clothing or workwear can put the wearer at greater risk. It can be uncomfortable, restrict movement and cause rashes or sores. It can also cause severe injuries from heavy equipment, exposure to burns, cuts from sharp edges, and abrasions from rough material. High Visibility Clothing is among the most commonly used PPE across several industries and is also primarily purchased in either unisex or male sizing. The High Visibility Clothing industry has not yet caught up with the trend that an increasing number of women are moving into more industries.

However, studies show that these high-quality clothes not only protect from injury but can also boost confidence and improve employee morale, “clothes can have profound and systematic psychological and behavioral consequences for their wearers” –  The British Psychology Society.

1. The Market Potential for Women’s High Visibility Clothing

According to the BLS, women make up approximately 47 percent of the total workforce in the United States. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) report says that the number of women working in construction increased by 17.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, reaching well over a quarter of a million (276,000). The overall job growth stood at 3.7 percent in all construction occupations.

In 2018, the percentage of women in the construction industry stood at just 9.9 percent. In 2020, they constituted 10.9 percent of the entire workforce, signifying a steady increase in women’s employment within the past two years.

These figures highlight that the number of women in the construction industry is increasing year over year. Women are also now more open to multiple roles in the industry, ranging from trade jobs to construction management.

Nine percent of all construction firms owned by women achieved over $500,000 or more in revenue. Compared with the rest, only eight percent of firms were able to accomplish the same. These statistics reveal that female leaders help achieve above-average profitability and positively impact profits and collaborations in the building industry.

2. Why Women’s High Visibility Clothing is a Must

Women’s body features are not the same as men’s; therefore, clothing designed for men in mind might not be the right or comfortable fit for a woman. In addition to the safety considerations, providing workwear options specifically for women creates a more welcoming environment. It signifies that these essential workers are important and valued in their fields. This can go a long way towards creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture.

Improper protective wear can lead to injury or other workplace hazards.

An example of well-fitting protective clothing and poorly fitting protective clothing for women

The fit and comfort women’s safety clothing should features as following:

3. The features of Women’s High Visibility Clothing

4. Guidelines for purchasing Women’s High Visibility Clothing

As a rule, the bodies of women have entirely different proportions than men. We have naturally smaller frames; wider hips; much larger chests; shorter arms and legs; narrow shoulders; and smaller feet and hands. What this means is that safety clothing designed for men is not actually going to fit you properly.

4.1 High visibility women’s safety vests and safety T-shirts

Men’s safety vest VS Women’s safety vest
Men’s safety T-shirts VS Women’s safety T-shirts

4.2 High visibility women’s Safety jackets

Men’s safety jackets VS Women’s safety jackets

4.3 High visibility women’s pants

Men’s safety pants VS Women’s safety pants

4.4 High visibility women’s coveralls

Men’s safety coveralls VS Women’s safety coveralls

5. The key size measurement and how to measure women’s High Visibility Clothing

The most common measurements for women’s clothing are bust, waist, hip, and shoulder width measurements. We’ll take each of these in turn.

5.1 Bust

To measure a woman’s chest, wrap the tape beneath her armpits, fully encircling her body around her shoulder plates and the fullest part of her bust. For best results, she should wear a non-padded bra and relax her arms at her sides. Make sure not to cinch the tape so tight that it compresses the bust.

5.2 Waist

A woman’s natural waistline is typically the narrowest part of her torso, an inch or two above her belly button. To measure the waist, encircle it with the tailor’s tape and measure the entire circumference.

5.3 Hip

The hip should be measured around the widest part of the hip and buttock, about eight inches below the waist. This is another circumferential measurement, which means you’ll want to encircle the body with the tape.

5.4 Shoulder Width

This measurement will require a partner. If you don’t have a partner, measure a shirt directly. Either way, it’s helpful to refer to a shirt that fits well on the shoulders. Start the end of the tape on the outside edge of the shoulder where you want the yoke of the shirt to start. This is where the horizontal part of the shoulder meets the vertical part of the arm. Measure up over the curve of the shoulders and to the outside edge of the other shoulder.

The key size measurement

6. Why is Women’s High Visibility Clothing Sometimes insufficient?

The truth is that a lot of the women’s High Visibility Clothing doesn’t work well. The biggest reason is that many manufacturers don’t really care about great products for women, they go for the easiest option of making the women’s High Visibility Clothing smaller and in “girly” colors, ending up with ugly and uncomfortable women’s workwear.

A great women’s high-visibility clothing should be created specifically for women, embracing the real must-haves for today’s working woman: PROPER FIT, COMFORT, AND FUNCTIONALITY.