You won’t see Jaime Glas' women's clothing designs on a fashion runway. However, you might see them on women in the oil and gas industry, where 22 percent of workers are female but safety gear was, until recently, made only for men.

Glas graduated from LSU in 2012 with bachelor's degrees in petroleum engineering and finance. She quickly discovered an uncomfortable reality for women in the oil and gas industry: On rigs and in the field, she spent many days wearing men’s safety gear. 

“As a new young engineer, you feel like a child wearing your dad’s clothes,” she said.

Glas interned for Chevron for three summers as a student, and then took a full-time position as a production engineer in East Texas. She held other petroleum engineering positions with the company, then left for Austin in 2016 to work for another energy company in budget and planning.

One day, coming in from the Texas oil fields, her idea for a women’s line of safety gear was born.

“My boss wanted to take me to dinner in town, but he wanted to go straight there. His fire-retardant clothing was jeans and a shirt and looked like normal clothes. I was wearing a clown suit (oversized men’s clothing), and I had to wear it into the restaurant for dinner.

"I decided then and there to change it,” said Glas, and soon afterward she set to work, researching safety regulations and specifications, manufacturing, marketing and design.

“Call it Hot Stuff,” her mother said as soon as Glas shared the idea. Originally from New Orleans  — her grandfather started Perino’s Nursery and the family still owns it — Glas and her parents now live in Baton Rouge.

Since then, the title has morphed into HauteWork, a play on "hot work" — an industry term for welding or any sort of work requiring a flame and a special permit.

The 29-year-old engineer filed for the LLC in 2014. She put together a test and survey group of 150 women who were friends or friends of friends, including all of her female co-workers at Chevron.

“That’s how I started sizing,” said Glas, whose women’s safety gear collection ranges from extra-small regular to 4X curvy.

Although the collection is utilitarian, color has not been sacrificed. The jumpsuits are available in 16 colors, all named for her female colleagues — Olga Orange, Su-May Blue, Mackenzie Mint, Kelly Crimson, Wendy White. In addition to four styles of jumpsuits, there are also tees and pants.

Glas launched a website at the end of last year, not really expecting the internet to be her primary sales channel. She envisioned the bulk of her sales coming from contracts with energy companies after alerting them to her product. Within the first few months, however, more than 300 jumpsuits had sold online to individual women who felt the same way Glas did about wearing man-style clothing with the crotch down to their knees.

Besides being uncomfortable and clownish-looking, ill-fitting gear is also a safety hazard, Glas said. The oversized uniforms issued to women can be cumbersome, especially with excess fabric at the cuffs dragging the ground and sleeves that can get caught in machinery.

Women make up 22 percent of workers in the oil and gas industry, according to the Boston Consulting Group, which issued a report last year on gender balance in the industry. Glas believes there are 300,000 women in this country who have had the same experience she has at some point. She recently quit her energy industry job to devote all her time to her solo endeavor.

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Style and fashion aren't foreign to Glas, who loved vintage clothing as a high school student. But with HauteWork, safety comes first.

“From a design standpoint, this is not sequins and feathers everywhere. You have to rein it in,” Glas said. This is clothing with strict regulations. “We have to have long sleeves and long pants, and items have to be made of flame-resistant materials. Zippers have to be covered on the front and back with fabric.”

Glas’ forte is expressing “freedom within structure.” 

"In a male-dominated industry, we don’t want to stand out. It has been ingrained in us that you should just look like one of the men. But women don’t want to wear men’s work clothes,” Glas said. 

Glas recently presented her new business at the Houston auditions for ABC’s reality-TV series "Shark Tank," where hopeful entrepreneurs vie for investors and business partners. Property mogul Barbara Corcoran just might see Hot Stuff Safetywear as a hot piece of real estate.