by Tom Stratton


A firm staple in streetwear, a must for skaters, hip hop heads, and...
A firm staple in streetwear, a must for skaters, hip hop heads, and subcultures across the globe. Dickies also happens to be the most popular workwear brand in the world. Managing to come so far from their beginnings creating durable uniforms for the working classes, they have somehow managed to hold on to their roots and ethos that made them successful in the first place.
It was two cousins who’d dabbled in other industries who first bought clothing company, United States Overall, in 1918. Four years later Charles Williamson and Emmett Dickie would rename the company after themselves and Williamson-Dickie was officially born. A true example of staying true to what they set out to create; Dickies first product is still one of their most popular: the Dickies button down overall.
They made their name through their reputation for comfort, toughness, and value. It wouldn’t be long before Dickies became the staple workwear choice for the American working classes. Through the 1930s Dickies were so popular that they weren’t even affected by the Great Depression. In fact, due to the founders’ refusal to take a wage, they actually managed to double profits and increase their workforce as the rest of the country fell into sharp decline.
It was the people wearing Dickies that had a hand in helping the country out of the Great Depression but it wouldn’t be long before those people had another big fight on their hands. As World War II broke out, the US Government turned to Dickies to help. The company created more than 9 million uniforms for the armed forces. Such was their impact that by the end of the war they had over 2000 employees.
Post-war America was about to see a revolution in attitudes and styles and Dickies would be right there with them. As the world rebuilt Dickies started to branch out into new lines, reflecting the generation’s new found freedom. The 60s and 70s were the true start of what Dickies are today: while still the reliable workwear manufacturers they’d always been, they started to introduce more casual styles for after-work wear (or no-work wear).
The 80s and 90s would only bring more growth as the MTV Generation started to take notice. Dickies, like Carhartt, was being picked up by rappers and the kids were soon to follow suit. As soon as Dickies made its way to the skate park it had become a global phenomenon amongst this new generation while still catering for workers as they had done for 70 years or so.
Now at over 100 years old, Dickies is showing no signs of slowing down. Still beloved by skaters, musicians, subcultures around the world, it is still the number one workwear brand known as always for comfort, durability, and value. Oh and they look cool as fuck as well.