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Sturdy Work Pants Make Fashion Statement

Even men who don't need durable garments for work appreciate their comfort and blue-collar backstory.

In a Nutshell

*Workwear has become high style these days.

*The era of the skinny jean is over, with more men opting for roomier work pants.

From cement-stained cargo pants to worn-out boots, traditional workwear is working overtime these days, doubling as a fashion statement for stylish guys.

According to GQ, work pants are “sturdy, comfortable and look downright cool on pretty much everyone, from skaters to artists to everyday guys.” The appeal of Carhartts, Dickies and other durable pants, according to style site The Cut, is their “roomier fit, wider leg and workwear backstory.” Celebrities are also embracing the new street style. Earlier this year actor Chris Pine sported a pair of Carhartt overalls at Heathrow Airport.

“It’s the young millennial crowd,” says Fred Haws, owner of Carhartt Workwear & Haws USA Inc. (asi/43861). “They take pride in how they look, and it’s not just about accomplishing the job, but more like looking fashionable and feeling comfortable.”

Haws says it’s the stitching that makes work pants unique. “The pants are designed to give a strong point on the accents of the stitching. They just have the right stitch. It’s comfortable when you’re standing or sitting. The color, structure and material just make it look fashionable.”

Workwear has even made an appearance on the red carpet. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller wore a custom “duxedo” made of Carhartt pants, jackets and a vest to the ESPY Awards in July.

The era of the skinny jean is officially over. Instead, many guys are choosing the comfort and durability of work pants. Distributors and decorators who sell workwear brands can perhaps capitalize on this trend by broadening the scope of who they target with such rugged gear.