What You Should Look for When Buying Work Shorts

8th Oct 2018

If you’re already on the market for some new work shorts then you’ve most likely been and checked out a few reviews online. It’s actually somewhat difficult to find out information about work gear this way. And, a working person such as yourself needs the right gear for your trade. We understand this. And just like one size doesn’t fit all… one pair of shorts doesn’t fit every trade.

Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, builder or mechanic, the work shorts you wear are going to be different to most other trades. However, besides your safety needs such as static and tear resistance it’s mostly going to come down to comfort. It’s critical that you’re working in gear that feels good and isn’t going to irritate you all day.

We planned on writing up 10 product reviews/options with variants of price and quality, however that’s most likely going to overload our Tradies with information they just don’t need.

So, instead we’ve put together a list of what you should look for in your work shorts that will give you the best results from your workwear expenses.


The material used in the work shorts you buy are going to play the largest role in your comfort at work. We’re sure you’ve debated buying a pair of cheap work shorts and aren’t sure what the major difference is when it comes to higher quality brands.

The main difference?

Cheap materials reduce durability and breathability. You just don’t get that out of your more reliable brands such as Hard Yakka King Gee. More often then not, you actually end up spending more money by going for a cheaper material because they wear out ridiculously fast and are uncomfortable, hot and make you sweaty.

(TRADIES HINT: you don’t want that… you’re already given enough times to spit the dummy on an average day. Let alone an average day with a whole mess of chafing going on between your thighs.)

If you’re after a super tough pair of work shorts then we recommend buying shorts with a ‘cotton drill’ construction. ‘Cotton drill’ is constructed as a diagonal pattern in the weave. This makes your workwear both durable and breathable, being an ideal option for most trades. King Gee’s Narrow Tradie Shorts are a perfect example of what to look for when considering a ‘cotton drill’ material.

A newer fabric in the workwear market is ‘Nylon’. The Jet-Lite Utility Short by JetPilot uses a ‘nylon’ blend which resists absorbing moisture and dries easily. These shorts wick moisture away from skin and dry quickly, making them ideal if your working in moist conditions.

Another thing to keep an eye out for in the material is key stress areas of the shorts. The pockets and crutch areas are the main parts of the shorts that are under stress and it’s important that you buy work shorts with reinforced parts. You will get to be with them for longer and won’t have any embarrassing days with a ripped crutch and your undies hanging out.


Ventilation and durability aren’t the only functions of work shorts that you need to consider though. Coming in second is pockets. If you have no place to put your tools then your shorts are next to useless and you might as well have worn none to work.

Luckily, most workwear brands have taken this into consideration and have a wide range of shorts with different amounts of pockets to suit your needs. Often when ready a tag/description you will see:

  • -Phone pocket,
  • -Ruler pocket,
  • -Cargo pocket,
  • -Holster pockets,
  • -Coin pockets…

There’s a lot of pockets. In fact, these Hard Yakka Ripstop Cargo Shorts have 9 total pockets in them!!

The main thing to look for in your work shorts pockets is if they are reinforced. This is definitely a box you want ticked on your order. Without reinforced pockets you will quickly build up holes and have your gear falling out everywhere.


Zips are most likely not the first thing you would consider when choosing a pair of work shorts. Hence, why we’ve placed them further down the list. However, have you ever bought a nasty pair of work shorts that have been binned cause the zips started getting stuck?

It’s annoying, right?

Always take the time to ask, or look at the quality of the zip in your shorts. This is something that the JetPilot Utility Short does very well! They all feature a YKK Zipper, which comes from the worlds foremost zipper manufacturer. So many manufactures use them because they are such high quality, and when your lashing out on your workwear you want to be buying work shorts that have a damn good zipper in them.


Sizing seams like a no-brainer… we know. But trust us, you need to consider it when buying new gear. There are so many sizing options and fits in work shorts these days and it’s important that you go with the right fit to suit your needs.

King Gee offer short, medium and large shorts to cater for your preferred fitting option. Again, it all comes down to your needs and what fit you’re going to be the most comfortable in.


Lastly, you have to put consideration into the price. And more often then not, you get what you pay for. If you want a pair of shorts for doing the odd job around the house once a month then going for something less durable and made of cheaper fabrics might be more suited to your needs.

However, if you’re going to be working in them everyday then we don’t recommend going for a cheaper option. By investing in higher quality gear, you are investing in work shorts that will last twice as long, saving you time and money in the long run.

There are a ridiculous amount of work shorts out there for offer. Which is why we can’t narrow it down to a top 5, or even a top 10. At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference, depending on your trade and type of work. However, once we know and understand your needs we can throw a few recommendations your way.