Since I know you’ve all been curious, I thought it’d be fun to give you a quick break from the heavy stuff. What does TPT actually wear on an average day? Well, the trucking life calls for a diversified closet portfolio since your geographic locale and weather conditions change daily, and without adequate space to house a wardrobe it can be difficult to have the right things to wear when they’re needed most. Thus, it’s important to think practically when it comes to choosing trucker wear.

For most truckers, attire is simple. Either you wear a company uniform or you wear your favorite grubby ol’ t-shirt and jeans. Most companies that force their drivers to wear uniforms usually provide a range of items for varying weather conditions, but that range is often a small one and not of good quality. Still, that’s better than nothing, since drivers’ wages aren’t typically high enough to buy the proper raiment. For owner operators, though, who actually make a decent wage and have a bit more sartorial freedom, clothing choice can be more pragmatic, suitable, and condition-appropriate. They typically earn more, which means they can and should feel a bit more willing to splurge on the right clothes for the job.

Since I’m in the latter category, and an estimable preppy trucker no doubt, let’s take a brief look at what I’m wearing today as an example. It’s 3˚ Celsius near the Canadian border, an odd temperature to clothe for when in and out of a truck all day. Not quite freezing with virtually no wind to speak of yet still cold enough to feel the chill, it’s crucial to wear layers today that are easily removable, breathe well, and are generally light. Nothing heavy.

So, first layer. I’ll start with a simple black, slim-fit Calvin Klein undershirt for both comfort and fit. Then I’ll throw on a black pair of lightweight Eddie Bauer jeans for a sophisticated yet also hard-wearing touch of class. The all-black look unquestionably stylish and also befitting a superficially masculine culture, it complements my average height and athletic build while maintaining a relatively low public profile. In keeping with my monochromatic theme, I pop on a 100% cashmere J. Crew crewneck sweater, also in Stygian black, for a soft, warm, and breathable main layer. Add to that a black leather belt by Trafalgar and a fully water-repellant pair of Ecco GORE-TEX approved boots, I’ve now completed my first layer. Yes, of course I’m matching my boots to my belt.

But I’m not quite ready yet to tackle the elements. Barbour is one of my favorite brands. Making weather-proofed outerwear since the late 19th century, they offer some of the best wax jackets and quilted vests you can find. And today, it’s to the black side of my Barbour collection I go. First, over that super soft cashmere sweater, I layer on a black quilted vest with a velvet baseball collar and all the right pockets to accommodate my wallet, phone, and other accessories if I decide to remove the final layer, which is a car coat-length wax jacket with double vents, a tartan plaid lining, and a corduroy collar. This combination allows me to easily full zip, part button, or remove entirely any of three layers and adjust to varying weather conditions throughout the day. Plus, I’m literally waterproof from nearly head-to-toe. Not bad.

It’s also important to note that I have on-the-ready a packable Tumi umbrella in case of light rain, a pair of gloves to keep my hands warm if temperatures uncomfortably dip, and an Eddie Bauer beanie. You never know when conditions will change, so it’s best to be prepared. No dandy has ever been so practical! So as you can see, it’s definitely possible to be fashionable while out on the road (without spending a fortune), and one can be comfortable and weather-ready, too.

This concludes my surprise fashion exposé, but it may again randomly appear in the future when you least expect it, so keep your eyes peeled.

And keep on preppy truckin’.


Image Credit: Robbie Noble

T.C. Dankers

T.C. Dankers

Sociologist, management consultant, entrepreneur, and blogger, Tom is the original “preppy trucker.” He sees things differently. Living the odd double life of both trucker and social theorist, he offers a unique perspective on a wide range of American business, culture, and social justice issues.

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