Origin: 1960s Royal Institute of Technology
In Sweden, Finland and Canada, boilersuits or coveralls are a mark used to identify Engineering Students at universities and polytechnics. The origin of coveralls comes from the Royal Institute of Technology in the 1960s which spread to Sweden and Finland in the 1970s. (From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_boilersuit)
The “boiler suits” eventually spread throughout Canada as well. Ryerson’s coveralls earned by Frosh Leaders, are called covies, in the colour postman blue. These are mainly identifiable by the ryEng diamond centered on the back of the covies and nickname above the right pocket. Black coveralls are the rarest and final colour of coveralls at Ryerson. They are worn by the Khannon guard and are not personalized like the other types. Ryerson also has white covies with the ryEng diamond printed on the back. These are meant for non-frosh leaders, most often purchased during frosh week. These are formerly known as ‘Spirit Covies’, people had to attend 9 events to “earn” them, with Tuesday-Friday frosh counting as 4 events. These covies were meant for people who wanted covies but did not want to become frosh leaders.
The coveralls are often decorated with patches, paintings and gadgets to show the owners interests and personality. Often, limbs or pockets of coveralls are traded with another school in an event called a ‘chop and swap’ where the coverall owner will sew the traded part onto their own coveralls.