Work pants are one of the best, most functional, and most aesthetically-pleasing clothing anyone can own. Two of the most renowned work pants are Duluth and Dickies.
These brands have provided work pants for skaters, carpenters, painters, and many more over the years. In this article, we will be comparing signature pieces from both brands to help you make a guided decision when you go out there to buy.
The Difference Between Duluth And Dickies Workpants
The striking difference between Duluth and Dickies work pants is in their versatility. While Duluth has the sole look of a work pant, Dickies are very versatile and are not restricted to the working environment but can be worn on different occasions.
History of Duluth Work pants
Duluth Trading Company is known for producing innovative work pants. They began in the year 1989 in Wisconsin by two brothers.
The first product they had was the bucket box, which is still available today. It is basically a tool belt that goes around the bucket, and you can load it up with working tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and the rest of them.
In the mid-90s, the two brothers sold the company, and it became a public traded company, as of 2015.
They opened their first brick-and-mortar store in 2010 with the intent of opening a lot more. An interesting part of Duluth is the way they open their stores.
You will never find any of their stores in places like New York City or Los Angeles.
They look for hotbeds of activity where people order their products, so when you see a Duluth trading store, it isn’t going to be in a place you imagine one could be.
They do their research and find out where people buy their products, and then they offer them a brick-and-mortar store.
Furthermore, they began to develop some really interesting products in women’s fashion, like yank tanks. It’s pretty cool that they are looking at their customer base and serving the needs that they see there.
They have begun to expand into activewear with their Alaskan hard gear series, making them top competitors with RAI and EMS.
Some of the products they are best known for, which have set them apart from other competitors, are their Long Tail Tees – the ones you could tuck into your pants and they would not come out, their Fire Hose work pants, and their Buck Naked underwear.
An amazing fact about the company is that only 12% of Duluth’s customers actually work in the building trades (carpenters, plumbers, and electricians).
A lot of their customers are young people who love that look and need a durable product to help them out with their outdoor activities.
- Great quality.
- Accommodative fit.
- Comfortable and breathable.
- Suitable for any kind of job.
- Incredible comfort technology.
- Heavy weight.
- Not suitable for all weather conditions.
History of Dickies Work Pants
The establishment of Dickies work pants can be traced to two cousins from Texas, Charles N. Williams and Eugene E. Dickens.
They started as a small country that succeeded through marvelous Genuity, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of hard work. They sold hats, but they were really using their hands when in 1980 they purchased a small apparel company called US Overall.
Four years later, they renamed the business after themselves: Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. Their very first product was an all-cotton button-fly overall.
They were simple and durable, and before long, they were flying off the shelves. As sales rose, new products came on line and the Dickies brand soon became known for comfort, toughness, and value.
By the end of the 1920s, sales had reached half a million dollars. Not even the great depression could stop Williams and Dickies.
They both refused to take salaries and added 200 employees to their workforce while other companies laid off their workers.
Being able to understand the American selling points, Dickies’ durability and value were more attractive than ever. From 1930-1939, sales doubled as workers wearing Dickies helped the nation get back on its feet.
During World War II, Duckies became the choice of the government as Williams and Duckies Mibukized their operations and introduced more than 9 million uniforms for the American armed forces.
By the end of the war, the company had 2,000 employees and manufacturing facilities that spared the continent.
It became a national brand, and it consequently didn’t have to work very hard for product placement as stylists and costume designers recognized the inherent authenticity of the brand.
Even in the office, America was losing its luster and returning to basics. Dickies leaned on its best expertise and its basic apparel to develop clothes that people can wear to work and after hours.
- Versatile fit.
- True to size.
- very affordable.
- Durable and comfortable.
- Remarkable breathability.
- Suitable for all weather conditions
- Built with cheap materials.
Head-To-Head Comparison Between Duluth And Dickies Workpants
Right away, we will be looking at the nitty-gritty between both work pants, to enable you to choose the pair that suits your work activities. We shall look at them under the following qualities:
- Size and fit
- Build quality
- Design and style
The Duluth work pants sold for $64.50 (regular) and 69.50 (big/tall). On the other hand, the pair of Dickies 874 I purchased was sold for $30.
This means you can get two pairs of a Dickies work pants, rotate them in your wardrobe, and have them looking crisp all through the season, while you only get to buy one pair if you are purchasing a Duluth work pant.
Everything in the Duluth work pant, ranging from its pockets, hem, and inseam, is triple stitched. All the stitching and seams are clean with no stray ends or fraying.
A neat contrast stitching was used on the Dickies work pants. This stitch type is not only embellishing but also of great durability.
Size and Fit
I found the Duluth work pants to be a little bit small, and because I love having a little room in my pants, I had to go for an extra inch on the waistline.
They have a high rise and feel a little bit tighter, even if they are the exact size you shopped for.
It sat nicely on my waist with a straight cut through my hips and thighs. They are pretty versatile and can be worn for different occasions aside from work environments.
The Dickies work pants are true to size. However, if you are caught up in between the sizes, you would want to consider a bigger size because they do not have a lot of stretch in them.
They are straight-fitting from the hip and start to taper a bit from the knee downwards. The knee is a bit narrow, so if you have a big booty, then you would want to go up a size on these.
The thigh opening gave me plenty of breathing room for my legs, and the 8½-inch leg opening makes it very versatile. I could pair it up with a boot or just regular sneakers.
The Duluth work pants are made in several colors and configurations, and I really like their flares because of the full range of movement they grant me.
One of the amazing things that Duluth offers is that they put gussets in the crotch area so you have freedom of movement.
The gusset is a diamond shape that really allows you to squat and grab something, work on one knee without being pinched.
It is so accommodating that you can carry any object over your head because the pants you are wearing let you move and are not restrictive in any way. With really heavy pants like this, being able to move freely is a luxury.
They feel pretty much like a duck canvas would (a dense, plain-woven cotton fabric). I had a cut on the work pant and realized that it was built to not allow the cut or snug spread the way denim does.
It doesn’t rip right across; you really need to do serious damage for it to continue and have riveted stress points.
The Dickies work pants are built to last. They are very light in weight, breathable and comfortable. However, its materials are a little stiff right out of the store but will soften after some wear.
The buttons on the pockets are tailored strongly to ensure close security. They are also dyed to match the color of the pants.
These Dickies work pants do not rip off easily, but I would not recommend that you use them for heavy-duty jobs.
Their lightweight may not be able to withstand so much strain since they have zero stretch in their material.
The Duluth workpants are built with 10.9 oz. of cotton canvas. Interestingly, it broke in for a material so tough as that.
Despite several frictions from various tedious job activities, the pants exhibited no indications of real wear or tear.
They’re super tough! Do keep in mind that since the material is thick, these may not be pants you’ll want to wear during summer. They can be very heavy when washing.
A 65% polyester and 35% cotton twill weave fabric was used in the construction of the Dickies workwear pants.
This means they are very durable, stain resistant, and wrinkle resistant. They are less expensive and their lightweight makes them easy to wash.
Design and style
The Duluth work pants come with numerous pockets, and they include a large cargo pocket at the side made of the same material as the rest of the pants.
They can contain hand pliers, screwdrivers, and levers. It gets pretty heavy because they are sewn into different layers.
You have one layer, which is the main pocket, and they leave another layer at the top, making it have high utility. The pocket has some nice flaps and this makes it secure.
The front pocket is 12 inches deep and has a secondary pocket in it, which is also the same fabric as the rest of the pants. I won’t forget to talk about the stitching employed in sewing the pocket on the pants.
They are super durable and won’t wear out any time soon. The back belt loops are pretty wide (up to a 4-inch rise) and can accommodate a decent-sized belt.
I purchased the most popular Dickies work pant, which is the original 874 Divkies. It has a narrow pattern and tapers down below the knee.
It has a vintage Americana style and its logo is located on the right back pocket area of the work pants. They have reinforced belt loops for more security. A zipper with Dickies inscribed on it is used as a fastener.
They are very versatile, and because of their versatility, they do not have numerous pockets like the Duluth work pants. It has a welt back pocket with bottom closures to ensure security.
On the tip of the waistband, just after the zipper, a hook and bar fastener was placed, and this made the pants have a nice snug around my waist without necessarily using a belt.
II chose the Dickies work pants over the Duluth work pants. This is because they are lighter, breathable, and go with more outfits.
When I wear the Duluth, I feel like I have to be doing something more rigorous and it has to be fall, spring, or winter before I can rock them because, in the summertime, it is way too hot to wear something like that.
The Dickies work pant is just so classic. Whether you are a skater, going to the office, or going on a date, they are a great option.
Just as our jobs are different, so too are the work clothes specific to our job activities. The type of workwear pants you purchase is a very great determinant of your efficiency while working.
Having dished out the qualities of work pants from both Duluth and Dickies, you are now knowledgeable about which brand suits your job activity or fashion taste.