Anyone who’s ever spent a day in an active, messy or outdoor working environment knows how important having durable and comfortable work pants is. When I talk about work pants, I don’t mean the old pants that you no longer wear, but pants specifically designed to withstand abuse and many washes. So regardless of whether you’re new on the job, or you just want to add another pair to your collection, there are a couple of important factors you need to consider when buying the ideal pair of work pants.
The first thing to consider when shopping for work pants online is the fit. There are three types of fit – slim, relaxed, and classic. The relaxed fit offers extra room in the thighs and seat. The slim fit is a modern fit – these models have a slimmer leg fit, but they’re still designed to fit over work boots. And the classic fit is the golden middle between relaxed and slim fit work pants.
The next thing you need to consider is the fabric/materials they’re made of. Generally, most work pants are made of denim or cotton, and both types have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Denim becomes more comfortable as you wear it and wash it. Furthermore, denim can be fleece- and flannel- lined and thicker than cotton, making it ideal for working in colder weather. But on the downside, it’s less durable. Cotton, on the other hand, is less prone to tearing and snagging and it is a great wind blocker. Further, some cotton work pants are very breathable and perform well in high-heat environments. On the downside, cotton requires a breaking-in period and not all cotton work pants are inherently flame resistant.
Different fabrics have a different weight, and that’s something you also need to consider. You’ll find work pants online that weight 14-ounces (400 grams), and are reserved for heavy-duty use. Lighter fabrics are less durable but are ideal for work in warmer temperatures. Oftentimes, light fabric work pants will come with double knees and reinforced seams to add durability while still maintaining their light weight.
And lastly, consider whether you want the pants to have special features. Many of these features are designed to add durability or utility, such as the aforementioned reinforced seam construction, flame-retardant properties, heavy-duty zippers that are made to withstand grime, dirt and repeated use, extra belt loops, fortified belt loops or wider belt loops, durable water repellant treatments, bartacks or rivets.