Designing Workwear for the Flow State: The T3 WerkBib

Question No. 1 in solving flow-state clothing: WTF is “Flow State”? The folks at Headspace describe it as that sense of fluidity between your body and mind, where you are totally absorbed by and deeply focused on something, beyond the point of distraction. Time feels like it has slowed down. Your senses are heightened. You are at one with the task at hand, as action and awareness sync to create an effortless momentum. Some people describe this feeling as being “in the zone.” This is the flow state, and it’s accessible to everyone, whether you’re engaged in a physical activity, a creative pursuit, or even a simple day-to-day task.

It’s not easy to figure out how to achieve flow through better workwear design. We put a lot of R&D into our flow-state clothing engineering. But we always know where to get started: There’s always an obvious problem to solve.

Typically, when we decide to launch a new product, it’s because we know what’s out there doesn’t rise to the performance standard you need on-site and can’t provide the right conditions to keep you in your flow state. The greatest power of flow-state clothing is that it supports you but also stays out of your way. When you become uncomfortable, cold, easily tired, or you can't move freely, your flow is going to be off—which is how the T3 WerkBib was born.

The Beginnings

Truewerk founder and CEO Brian Ciciora saw an unmet need for flow state clothing in the workwear industry.

Our CEO and founder, Brian Ciciora, realized when talking to our customers that they spend a lot of time having fun and living good lives, from working hard on the job site to playing hard hunting or snowmobiling on the weekends. As a result of these hobbies, trade professionals have dabbled with outdoor brands that use performance fabrics. They learned on their own through trial and error how to achieve flow in their outdoor recreation.

Yet, that level of performance was nowhere to be found in their workwear. Carhartt wasn’t providing it, so we saw an opportunity to create flow-state clothing for hardworking people in the trades.

“We Need a Flow State Work Bib”

Our community was telling us they needed a bib that fit their way of life on and off the job site. Telecommunications provider company Vertical Limits was a major driving force in these conversations. One of the most vocal advocates came from a prolific member of the telecommunications community, Brian Bicknese, VP of Safety and Training at VL at the time, begged us to produce a bib that could withstand the demanding conditions his crew of tower climbers faced on the job without the weight bulk of traditional workwear.

They needed a piece of flow-state clothing that you could rely on 7 days a week. Something so comfortable and well-designed that it keeps you in your flow, no matter what you’re doing. He knew that Truewerk knows how to achieve flow at the job site, and that we would be able to come up with a good work bib design.

We were quick to answer Brian’s call. We believe that the people doing things like serving cell phone towers and making sure the lights come on should be among the first to benefit from advancements in fabric technology that can provide an unprecedented level of performance.

It was time to fix what was broken in the workwear world and develop a bib that does things better: smartly-designed, well-made flow-state clothing that delivers the performance you guys and gals deserve.

Infographic - Designing Workwear for Optimal Performance

Building a Better Work Bib

How to achieve flow on the job site: The T3 WerkBib is men’s fit / unisex, black, and is available in sizes S – 3XL

For some, working outside in the winter means enduring the cold temperatures, so staying warm is crucial. Every solution we saw compromised flexibility for warmth with bulky, stiff fabrics. We knew our T3 fabric—which was already tried and true—was the answer to figuring out how to achieve flow with a good work bib design.

Light and Flexible, But Still Abrasion-Resistant

Flow-state clothing needs to be as light and flexible as possible while still doing its job. Our 3-layer fabric is completely bonded together. It’s not bulky, giving you freedom of movement yet is just as durable as a Carhartt bib and outperforms with an abrasion-resistant, tough outer layer.

Keeps You Dry in Terrible Weather

Do you know how to achieve flow on the job site when you’re drenched to the bone? Neither do we. Designed to be a complete moisture management system, T3 WerkBibs feature a DWR coating applied to a quick-drying hydrophilic fabric. When conditions exceed what the DWR can withstand, the 10k/10k waterproof breathable membrane on this flow-state clothing picks up the slack. And finally, an inner fleece layer is soft next to your skin or additional insulation which easily slides over a base layer.

Offers Versatile Design Adjustments

When thinking about how to achieve flow with the WerkBib in a variety of different job site scenarios, we ended up optimizing the design for the job site and made our bib versatile in ways that outdoor brands couldn’t with pocketing and features recommended to us by experienced industrial athletes. Check out this video by Kyle Stumpenhorst of RR Buildings  for his insight on the benefits of each feature like the “weather barrier that snaps around whatever boots you’re wearing” to keep the “snow and wind from coming up your pant leg.”

At an Affordable Price

It wasn’t enough to create the perfect bib. It isn’t enough to just be “flow-state clothing.” We also needed to make it accessible and affordable. By using our T3 fabric and selling directly to you, our bib has the performance mountain climbers would pay $600 for less than $200.

Our Bib Keeps You In Your Flow

You need to be thinking about the details and scenarios when you design flow-state clothing, or it won’t get the job done. On the T3 WerkBib, technical patterning with knee articulation, reflective detailing, pockets, gaiters, and zippering are all designed to enable you to stay in your flow state for as long as possible. There’s no distraction from flow like hardware that pinches or binds when wearing a harness.

The knee-pad pockets are as much about warmth as they are protection when you’re kneeling in the snow, so we used stronger fabric to optimize their performance. Because who knows how to achieve flow when they’ve got freezing knees? It may sound silly, but little things like this matter. When workwear gets it wrong, it eats up more of your energy and comfort on the job. If you know, you know.

Our favorite part of this flow-state clothing design? It’s actually the zippers. Full-length leg zippers make going over boots, layering and commuting easier than ever. Last year we even launched the T3 WerkBib’s perfect partner, the Transit Pant. Designed to fit underneath the bibs, it gives you an additional warm layer that doubles as a comfortable jogger for - transiting - in your truck or just relaxing off the job.

A diagram showing the key features of the T3 WerkBib

Get in the Flow

Truewerk thanks you for the privilege of being able to listen and engage with industrial athletes across the nation. We are guided by—and grounded in—our customers’ experiences. The T3 WerkBib is a prime example of how we will never stop looking for opportunities to reinvent workwear as you know it through the principles of flow-state clothing design.

Questions about how to achieve flow on the job site through modern technical workwear? Ideas or requests for new products? Drop them in the comments below, or better yet contact us.

P.S. If you own, manage or work for a trade company like Vertical Limits and are interested in partnering with us to outfit your entire crew (and please do tell us what else you might need that we don’t already make), check out our uniform program.

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