Wednesday May 10, 2023

Technical Focus – The Ultimate Utility Trouser

Technical Focus – The Ultimate Utility Trouser

In fashion terms, the utility trousers and cargo pants so common in the 90s and 00s have made a strong comeback, with pop icons and fashion influencers alike being seen pairing them with everything from mini tees to baggy hoodies. In the world of workwear, on the other hand, the utility trouser has remained a staple of the wardrobe for more practical reasons. That being said, the demands on workwear are ever changing and it is prudent of uniform suppliers to respond to customer needs and concerns with designs that cope with the rigours of each working environment.

Head of Design & Innovation at Tailored Image, Caroline McAdam, has many years of experience in responding to such demands and recently spearheaded the design of the ‘ultimate utility trouser’ for a bespoke brief. These unique trousers feature 16 individual pockets designed to facilitate a very specific and vital role in society.

‘Like most clothing ranges,’ Caroline explains, ‘utility trousers are available in a range of styles, fabrics and resulting price points and many standard “off the shelf” garments will be suitable for a variety of roles. Investing in higher quality garments for your employees will generally result in greater longevity of wear and provide a garment suitable for the rigours of even the most demanding roles.’

Specialised protection is often required for work trousers, including padded knee protection for joiners, mechanics etc, high vis material for that standout visual in factory environments and fire-retardant fabric qualities which are vital for many Tailored Image orders including Dublin Fire Brigade. Comfort at work is another important consideration and stretch fabric provides that ease of wearing.

‘Perhaps the most vital ingredient in providing practicality of wearing for our customers is the addition of pockets,’ continues Caroline. ‘For many of our customers, vital implements must be close at hand in order for them to successfully carry out daily tasks. This came to the fore most recently during focus groups we conducted for the National Ambulance Service at the outset of their uniform journey with us. Of particular concern for paramedics attending road accidents and house visits was the constant need to rifle through their paramedic bags to retrieve important equipment to enable them to attend to patients with ease. Given the importance of speed in these scenarios, the desire was expressed by several paramedics to increase the number of pockets in their trouser to enable to them to have dedicated spaces for all pieces of equipment.’


The National Ambulance service is a vital resource and Tailored Image felt it imperative to not only listen to their concerns, but to ensure they were addressed to the fullest extent. The brief was not straightforward in that the company was tasked with providing additional pocket storage in a way which would not adversely affect a person’s role – for example by getting caught on door handles or proving too bulky.

As Caroline explains, ‘We worked tirelessly to provide a bespoke solution which responded effectively to the rigours of this vital and very emotive role, including the development of a ground-breaking gender specific utility trouser, with 16 pockets in all. The trouser has engineered to withstand the toughest environments and conditions while maintaining a neat, professional profile and provides a suitable storage solution for each particular piece of apparatus in a way which does not hinder or obstruct the work required of paramedics. This solution is practical yet ergonomic, constructed from the highest quality materials and featuring a comfort self-adjusting waistband. The pocket placement and angles were all considered to ensure fully dexterity when accessing apparatus and free range of mobility and flexibility when performing their challenging roles.’

‘This project is typical of our approach to uniform provision,’ concludes Caroline. ‘We respond to every brief as a unique project and we delight in providing an approach to technical detailing which assures the exact solution a client seeks. In this case in particular, we take great comfort in the fact that Tailored Image is aiding such a critical resource and genuinely help to save lives.’