First off, congrats on the new role! I think most people’s dream job would involve time spent indoors and out, so it sounds like you’ll be living the life. Second, I don’t know when guys decided that being dressed “appropriately” and being dressed “comfortably” were mutually exclusive, but I’d like to use this question to set the record straight. You can look great at the office and at the construction site without pulling over to a rest stop McDonald’s to change in the bathroom when heading from one to the other.
I think guys often underestimate the good looking-ness (yup, that’s a word, I just made it up and it’s already in the dictionary. go check it out) ((don’t go check it out)) of the humble dress pant.
You don’t need to fall back on suit separates to get an office-worthy wardrobe. And unless you’ll be swinging a hammer, you don’t need to revert to faded jeans and flannels on-site.
Keep your dress pants to a few neutrals that work well with a brown shoe, which will probably be the easiest to keep clean. Navy, olive green, and khaki all work well. You can add color on top as you see fit.
There’s plenty of options for amassing this dual-functioning wardrobe at a budget-friendly price point. I’d check out Lands’ End Canvas and Banana Republic for pants. If you need to go more casual, try a cotton trouser. Khakis. Chinos. Whatever you want to call them. For the price and fit, the ones at Bonobos really can’t be beat.
For shirts, an Oxford cloth button-down shirt (OCBD) should serve you well in both work sites; try L.L. Bean Signature or Brooks Brothers. Just make sure it’s a slim fit – we want to keep billowing to a minimum here. If you can get away with polos, look for ones long enough to tuck in, and buy a belt that matches your shoes.
Speaking of shoes, spend as much as you can afford on a pair that can take you from the field to the office. You want these to last. Depending on your office dress code, a style from Clarks, Red Wing, or Cole Haan (with that shmancy Nike Air technology) should help make the trek easy and attractive.