As a woman working in male dominant industries, such as welding and fabrication, it can be difficult to find functional work wear that also fits my body properly. When it comes to Personal Protective Equipment, proper fit isn’t just about making a fashion statement. Loose or baggy clothing can get caught on or entangled in moving equipment, cuffed sleeves or pant legs can catch flying slag or embers while metal working, belt buckles can scratch paint on that restoration you’ve been slaving over for months.
Depending on a woman’s specific body type, attempting to adapt male sized work wear to the female form can result in the previously mentioned situations. For example, my body type is a bit unique, as I am small, but curvy – 5′ 3 1/2”, with a 34” chest, 26” waist, 36” hips, and rather long arms and legs compared to my torso. As a result, finding well fitted, non-stretchy pants, and long sleeved attire, have always been a bit of a challenge for me. And that’s just while shopping in the women’s section of clothing stores for daily wear.
So, you can imagine how delighted I was when I discovered the AngelFire brand in 2008. Frustrated with the limited welding gear options available to me at local suppliers, I was searching the Internet fruitlessly for a welding jacket that would fit my body…when, there it was:“AngelFire – Women Are Different.”- Woo hoo! Yes, we are. I’m for equality and all that, but our bodies are different from men’s. I already trusted their parent company, Black Stallion/BSX, from using some of their welding gloves, and seeing all the guys in the shops wearing their male brands of gear. And, not to be too girly here or anything, but it doesn’t hurt that the AngelFire products are super cute! So, I ordered their Women’s TruGuard Welding Jacket in a size Small, and put it to the test.
Here’s what I’ve found over the years of using it in real world applications:
– Excellent fit! Sleeve length is perfect on me.
– Adjustable cuff and waist straps
– Functional, adjustable Welder’s collar (keeps out UV light and any flying pieces of slag, etc.)
– Buttons and hardware are easy to manipulate while wearing thinner, TIG style gloves
– Well thought out, functional inner and outer pockets – perfect for keeping things like pens and pieces of Tungsten/filler rod within easy reach
– Slim fit is flattering, as well as safe
– Colors are cute without being overly effeminate, and hold up well under wear
– 9 oz. Flame resistant cotton feels light on skin without being itchy or irritating
– Too light/short for heavy duty/messy applications, such as Overhead, Stick, or Flux-Core
Welding (just throw some leathers on over it and you’ll be fine)
– So lovely, you will feel bad when you break it in!
Overall, the AngelFire TruGuard Welding Jacket is the perfect fit for any woman looking for functional safety protection while performing TIG or Oxy-Fuel Welding, or other light fabrication jobs. It’s available in a range of sizes, from XS to XL. To top it off, they make several other products just for women that I haven’t yet tried, including a few types of welding gloves, a welding beanie, and a more heavy duty Hybrid Jacket made from a combo of flame resistant cotton and pigskin. And, they all come with the same matching color scheme and catchy AngelFire emblem, so you can coordinate your welding gear!
(Sorry, another girly moment slipped out there. I’m from LA. Even if I’m the only one
who sees what I’m wearing, I get excited when it all matches.) My sister, who doesn’t fabricate at all, but is very fashion oriented, said of the brand – “Aww, it’s so cute! It makes me think of a bunch of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ out there, welding and stuff.” Well said, sis. I feel ready to kick ass while looking good when I put this jacket on!
Rock on, fellow Angels!