When I think about outdoor pursuits, rarely do I consider the mechanical work it takes to prepare for or clean up after them – especially cycling. Sure, I make the packing list and stage the gear, but with mud season threatening, pre-ride tech’ing and post-ride rig-cleaning is my new reality. But if there’s one thing I don’t love about bike maintenance, it’s the wear and tear and the grease and grime left on my cycling clothes afterwards. For these reasons, and for far too long, I handed off this task to my husband. But, times have changed.
At first, when I stumbled across Dovetail Workwear, I thought I found my fall wood harvest and spring gardening workwear. Little did I know they’d become my go-to for gear maintenance. Designed by women for women, the Dovetail Workwear Freshley Overall gives gals a fresh option for everything from tooling around the gear cache to jumping into full-on gear-tech mode.
Pros: These overalls were comfortable, perfectly fitted and incredibly functional. The Freshley Overall in black stretch denim are made with a cotton/poly/elastane blend and available in a range of waist and inseam lengths. They had a nicely fitted style and I was able to fine-tune the fit for an afternoon of working in the garage or a day hauling firewood, thanks to the fully adjustable and slightly stretchy suspenders and the button-equipped hips. I could wear a t-shirt under them or a puffy and they still fit great! I also liked how functional they were with just about any kind of footwear. I’m 5’3” and 128 pounds and wore a size 6 with a 30” inseam. This size combination was long enough to wear with thicker soled boots, but easy enough to roll while wearing sandals. They were also fitted enough to wear with a single layer, but flexible enough (thanks to those side/hip buttons) for layering in colder weather.
On the durability front, the nearly full-length double-front leg panels were a great feature. When working in the garage and messing with gear, I tend to brush up against or get caught on sharp edges and create pulls in traditional jeans or even tear other fabrics. Thankfully, the Freshley held up to my abuse, unscathed.
Finally, can we talk pockets? The Freshley features 13 functional pockets. I can easily fit my cell phone (iPhone XR with case) into the left leg pocket and smaller hand tools, pens/markers, chapstick and more into the remaining pockets. I especially appreciated the size and location of the front bib pocket for everything from snacks to easy-to-grab accessories. Two of the front pockets also feature buttons to secure contents, but didn’t get flipped up or stuck open if they weren’t fastened.
Cons: Overall, they’re one of the most comfortable and functional womens-specific overalls I’ve ever worn (and I’ve worn a lot). However, if a one-piece garment isn’t your style (note: there is no drop-seat for quick bathroom breaks), the Freshley Overall might not be for you. If you do drop ‘em down to relieve yourself, make sure the suspenders are clear of the ground below you!
Where I took them: Into the garage and backyard to work on bikes and skis as well as the mountains for firewood harvest and garden for end-of-season crop management.