Preview: Dickies Fall ’14 Collection

This fall, Dickies (asi/49675) is going off the grid: Its upcoming collection of durable work and performance wear hearkens back to the “lumberjack in the woods … put through the Dickies’ filter,” says Jen Holmes, an associate designer for the brand. Holmes and other Dickies representatives gave Wearables a preview of the fall 2014 collection at the company’s showroom in New York’s Garment District.

The new collection combines utilitarian, functional design with earthy colors and fresh patterns. Dickies delivers an array of durable, comfortable basics, many with a more tapered, trendy silhouette that can easily double as workwear and weekend-wear. “Versatility is a huge thing for us,” Holmes says.

New this fall is a partnership with CORDURA brand fabric. Five pieces in the Dickies Performance System for men are made with the durable nylon fabric, engineered to have the natural look and feel of cotton while providing superior abrasion resistance. Holmes describes the pieces – a hooded jacket, collared coat and three styles of pants – as “super heavy-duty.” Also featured for men are several styles of Work Tech Fleece, from pullovers to full-zip hoodies. Available in several vibrant colors, the lightweight poly-bonded fleece is smooth on the outside and brushed on the inside. The fabric is water-resistant to protect wearers from the elements.

The ringspun work pants for men – durable, but softer than older styles – features stain and wrinkle resistance and comes in slim taper, regular taper and regular straight fits. As Holmes explains, men have been buying pants with skinnier legs for their leisure time. “On the job, he also wants that same slimmer fit,” she says.

Other updates in workwear include softer fabric and updated construction of what Dickies’ dubs its “better work shirts,” available in twill, poplin, chambray and denim. The brand’s “ultimate server cargo pant” was designed with input from food servers across America. Available for men and women, the cargo pant features double pen clips, reinforced key loops, a stain-release finish and resistance to wrinkles and color fading. It’s available in black, desert sand and navy.

Another expansion in occupational wear stemmed from a collaboration with U.S. law enforcement. Dickies’ tactical collection was developed and field-tested by sworn police officers across the country. Included in the collection are lightweight ripstop pants, canvas pant, long-sleeve shirt, performance polos and EMT pant. The collection was developed with mobility and comfort in mind, with specific utilitarian features suggested by the officers themselves; these include magazine pouches, pockets for documents and cell phones, knife and mic clips, and a loop for sunglasses. The apparel is made from breathable water-repellent fabrics, and features UV protection, double-reinforced knees, hidden vents and expandable waistbands with grippers to enhance mobility.

“The law enforcement industry is an important market for Dickies and is part of the fabric of the brand,” says Alex Smith, senior vice president of occupational wear at Dickies. “We began outfitting men and women in the military during World War II and look forward to expanding our offerings in the tactical segment by meeting the needs of today’s law enforcement officers.”

Dickies is also expanding its offerings for women this fall, highlighting a head-to-toe look in its performance system with hoodies, fleece pants and a high-tech T-shirt that boasts fast-drying fabric with stain repellency, odor neutralization and UPF protection. “Women are really trending up for us,” Holmes says. Another new favorite for women: the updated Sherpa bonded-fleece jacket, with a roll collar and roll-up sleeves. It has a slimmer, attractive fit, while still providing warmth, softness and comfort. “Our sales team calls it a warm hug,” Holmes says of the jacket.