What to wear in the workshop? After all this time, I still don't really know what's best but I certainly have dislikes.
Do not like:
* Materials which collect dust (wool, fleece, corduroy, anything fuzzy or static inducing. Actually, almost everything I own.)
* Any clothing which is close fitting and restricts movement, especially around the shoulders and knees.
* Anything new or even recent. Partly because new clothing feels weird and restrictive, partly because it's an utter waste to wear decent clothes in an environment where after half a day they'll likely be spotted with oil, glue, epoxy, shellac, wax and coffee. (J. and I do not see eye to eye on this.)
* Anything with dangling bits and pieces (shirt-tails, long cuffs, sweaters or jackets with excess hanging stuff below the waist). Belt sanders have a particularly nasty tendency to catch stray bits of clothing in the drive roller. (This is not especially dangerous, since the whole mechanism instantly jams solid like one of these ingenious table-saw safety mechanisms which prevent accidental or intentional injury to hot dogs. The jam may be impossible to remove; the only remedy then is to cut the pullover hem etc. off with the workshop scissors, which can never be found, so more probably with whatever edge-tool comes to hand. Tenon saws do not work well on knitted things.) Droopy overlong cuffs are much more hazardous, especially when using the jointer. ("When jointing wood, first remove any inconvenient blade guards. Keep wood pressed firmly on the in-feed table, being sure to pass first one hand and then the other directly over the cutter head. Push-sticks may be used, but they can be damaged if they slip into the revolving blades. Make sure loose clothing is worn. Eye protection may be worn, but can obstruct a clear view of dangling bits.")
* Anything designed for woodworking, especially anything with a logo (Lea Valley is a big offender in this category). In fact I hate gear - bicycling gear, sailing gear, gardening gear, hiking gear. I once (and only once) went on a hike with the local hiking club. I carried my lunch in Alex's old school satchel, and wore what I wear for ......well, for working or biking or gardening or sitting and reading, or writing this journal or going to lunch with grandmother or flying to Montreal*, which is what I'm doing tomorrow*. The satchel was rather disapproved of, the shoes were not really comme il faut, I didn't bring a waterproof foamy to sit on, and my old cords were not tucked into my proper hiking socks. And what on earth are gaiters? (gators?)
*Owing to the vagaries of this piece of software, tomorrow is in fact the 27th, not the 23rd.
*Which is a good reminder: it's 9.14 a.m., the Vancouver ferry goes at 3.50. and I haven't packed.
An amusing project, then, talking of specialized clothing for woodworkers:
Tenniel was careful to draw his weeping carpenter with a proper carpenter's hat, made of a folded sheet of newspaper. It's a very nice little hat, and does keep the dust out of one's hair. Printers wore them too.
Here's how to make one, with many thanks to R.A. Salaman's exhaustive, invaluable and wholly satisfying "Dictionary of Woodworking Tools":