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Equipment for Women
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Clothing should be comfortable but not loose enough to catch on things or tight enough to rip when you get into those awkward situations. People are staring at you enough as it is.

Carhartt and Dickies used to have women's clothing lines. They've both been discontinued. Carhartt pants and jackets are rugged and nice for work, but you'll have to look for them in men's sizes.

Boots can be difficult to find in the right size and also made in U.S.A. In the Bay Area, I like to go to the Shoe Depot at the 39 Colma Blvd in Colma off of highway 280. They will work with you to find boots that fit. Stompers Boots also has a good selection, at 323 10th St. in SOMA San Francisco or www.stompersboots.com. I personally like ironworkergear.com because they offer Thorogood boots which are affordable and made in the U.S.(although the smallest they offer is a men's 7, which is about a woman's 8.5) Ironworkergear also offers tufftoe, an easy way to save the toes of your boots, they are ironworkers (Randy and Debbie Rude) and despite their name are super nice.

Gloves of course come in many different styles and sizes. Wells-Lamont (http://www.wellslamont.com/tmp_work.tpl) makes their leather palm glove in small sizes and down to even a children's size. In San Francisco they can be found at Fox Cole Hardware. Knox-fit — cotton gloves with a canvas cuff, the kind that ironworkers use — makes medium and I think small. They can be ordered by the dozen through ironworkergear.com. Tillman makes a welding glove in small, in heavy leather and lighter "TIG" welding weight. They can be ordered through Airgas at 525 23rd St. in San Francisco.

Fox River makes socks "designed to fit a woman's foot." They are made in Osage, Iowa and donate a portion of sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All good reasons to buy. They have a website at www.foxsox.com, and can also be ordered through ironworkergear.com.

Tools can be a problem. www.barbarak.com and www.tomboytools.com offer some tools, but they are also kind of girly, and probably not the ones you want to take to the jobsite.

Respirators should always be fit tested. Even if a company is fool enough to tell you to get your own, they are responsible for you working with protection that fits right. If they don't give you a test that involves something that smells rankly of peppermint or banana (yuck) or makes you cough, it is not a proper fit test.

If you have any other suggestions for tools and clothing for any trade, please contact us!