You Look Marvelous!

Updated Feb 5, 2013

Watch from Timex

There may be only a few essential accessories in a trucking man’s life, but like chrome on his truck, they are very important. A good pair of sunglasses, well-worn leather boots and a buttery-soft wallet are more about image than they are about necessity.

Truckers surveyed on say that sunglasses are the most important accessories for their truck-driving image. Other accessories such as boots, belt buckles, wallet, watch and the ever-popular trucker hat contribute to swift sales at truckstops.

Some of you are like trucker Jeff Gross, from Columbus, Miss., who says he doesn’t mind paying extra for brand names like Oakley when he’s shopping for sunglasses. “You get what you pay for,” Gross says. He’s looking for quality and comfort and is willing to spring for the hefty price tag on designer sunglasses. Not so for Jim Kiley, a trucker out of Galva, Ill. He buys cheap and in quantity. His wife, Carol, says he’s always leaving them, stepping on them or sitting on them. “It’s not worth it to him to spend the money on expensive sunglasses when he’s just going to have to turn around and replace them,” Kiley says.

No matter what your spending philosophy is, the object of your desire may be just a truckstop or mouse click away.

What Time is It?
Not just for telling time, watches today can do everything except fill out your log book. Even an inexpensive version can be waterproof, glow in the dark, ring an alarm and count laps around the parking lot. The more you spend, the more features you can get. But if you just need to know what time it is, you can’t go wrong with this reliable version from Timex for $39.95.

Cool Shades
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then sunglasses block not just the UV light but give an aura of mystery. When choosing a pair of sunglasses, look for performance and perception, including UV radiation and infrared radiation protection. But mostly, look for cool. Like Nicholson in Easy Rider or Cruise in Risky Business, cool shades make the man.

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Two shade philosophies exist side by side. One – buy frequent cheap ones and replace often – or spend a lot and hang on to them. The black frames from Mirage at left are $9.99, and the Oakley Monster Dogs at right are $145.

A Place to Stow Your Dough
Cash, that increasingly rare commodity, needs a home away from the bank. The wallet you choose can’t be too bulky, nor can it be unsubstantial. In other words, you have to find the right wallet for your needs. If you happen to be wallet shopping in a truckstop, you can find one like this deluxe leather wallet for $17.99 with a biker logo and chain to give it that extra oomph. Mostly, you just want to hang on to it. And the cash inside.

Cover Your Head
Movie stars made the quintessential trucker hat suddenly chic. Hollywood types swarmed truckstops looking for the shiny, corporate-logoed ball caps you couldn’t give away before they got hot. What was up with that? Truckers are divided on the best kind of hat for a long haul. Some swear by the concrete cowboy image complete with cowboy hat, and others say you don’t need more than a ball cap. No matter your preference, tip it in the presence of a lady. This black felt cowboy-style hat from Turner Hat Co. sells for $39.95.

Down and Denim
There’s a pair of jeans for everybody from babies to old men and everyone in between. You can get them stone-washed, faded, ripped, sun-blasted, bell-bottomed, flared, boot cut, loose, tight, stretchy or studded with rhinestones. But there’s only one classic blue jean for the working man – $29.99 Levi 501 jeans. Jeans tough enough for a tough job.

Buckle Up
Belt buckles can say anything you want them to. They can declare what kind of beer you drink or how you plan to vote in this year’s election. They can even hold the belt together that keeps your pants on. You told that your belt buckle is not your priority accessory. Which doesn’t mean you don’t care about it, just that you care more about your boots or your sunglasses. This $14.95 belt buckle from American Trucker by Siskiyou Buckle Co. is silver outside with the American Trucker logo. The inside inscription reads, “I’d rather be truck’n.”

Kick Up Your Heels
Ostrich, lizard or just plain leather? Work or play or just plain old kicking the tires, boots are made for walking – and strutting. Some truckers have more than one pair; others don’t bother with the pointy-toed cowboy icons at all. If you do, pay more and plan to keep them forever. These boots from Tony Lama sell for $129.99.

Got a Light?
You never know when you might need a light. And if you do, flick this slim, silver lighter with a Harley Davidson logo. This lighter sells for $22.95.

Get Collared
You have to cover up anyway, so choose a shirt with a collar. It doesn’t have to have a crocodile on the side or a polo pony either. But a collar is a step above a t-shirt. It gives a more professional look and says you take the job seriously. This hunter green version sells for $19.99.

Got a favorite time-saving or life-improving device you’d like to recommend to your
fellow drivers? Send your ideas to Kristin Walters at [email protected] or 3200 Rice Mine Rd. NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406.