The Best Workwear Pants to Toil, Labor or Otherwise Stunt in This Spring

Double the knees, double the fun

March 18, 2024 12:15 pm
two pairs of workwear pants on a steel background
Double-knees are your spring workwear hero.
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Hey! Yeah, I’m talking to you, soft hands. Ever swung a hammer before, Jack? Didn’t think so. You’ve got a lot to learn — after all, tough guys (read: workwear) are in, and if you want to participate, you’ll at least have to pretend that you’d be handy in a roofing-related crisis. Step numero uno, pal — swapping your jeans for a pair of heavyweight, preferably double-knee workwear pants, stat.

Luckily for you, I happen to know more than a little about the who, what and where of commandeering the best workwear pants on the market. Not because I’m a serious craftsman or anything (I type for a living, dawg), but rather, because it is my job to keep your metaphorical toolbox full of all the hottest styles and latest trends. And because workwear has been a thing for, I don’t know, forever? (This is not to suggest that you are too late to the Camber-sponsored party. Always room for another hand on the job site. Just don’t touch the forklift.)

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What Exactly Is a “Double Knee” Pant?

For uninitiated to the power tool brotherhood, double-knee pants, a common and tentpole style of workwear, refers to a pair of trousers (typically made from a durable twill or duck canvas, although the occasional wool or blend also pops up) that have been reinforced across the lower thigh and knee area for added protection and comfort when kneeling or moving heavy objects, hence the “double-knee” moniker.

How to Style Double Knee Pants

For all the tough-as-nails talk, going full construction site stolen valor probably isn’t the move, given that your tote telegrams your snowflake leanings. Try pairing the workwear bottoms with other rugged styles, instead — in 2024, GORPcore and workwear go hand in hand. Otherwise, channel your inner celebrity and lean into the workwear hero aesthetic previously unattainable with your lame, single-kneed pants.

Great, now you’ve got the language and the know-how — all you need is the ride. Below, you’ll find seven pairs, from Dickies to Louis Vuitton, of tasty double-knee trousers, all built to last and sure to deliver that blue-collar vibe your matcha latte-ordering ass so desperately desires. Scroll on for the best workwear pants for men this spring.

Life imitates art? Nice try, Oscar, but we know better. After all, Dickies’ double knees, a bastion of legit, centuries-old workwear becoming a must-cop garm is living proof of the inverse. The (no pun intended) workhorse of a label has long defined the parameters of what it means to make functional, durable clothing, all while maintaining an ultra-affordable price tag. While the brand has expanded into excellent skate options in past years, we still fully consider their OG loose fit double knees to be the best workwear pants they offer. They’re not the most comfortable pair out there, and certainly not the stretchiest, but they’ll always get the damn job done.

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Don’t have a workwear store in walking distance? Prefer to put on pants before you cop up? No need to fear — Abercrombie’s latest baggy workwear pants are available in virtually every mall in America (if it’s not already sold out, that is). Under $100 and devastatingly on trend, they’ll look great with your sickest hoodie or bootleggiest t-shirt.

Nearly a decade in, Kyle Ng and Ed Davis’ Brain Dead remains the top skate brand that doesn’t sell bogos or tri-ferg tracksuits, and their take on the work pant pays homage to the baggy, double-knee preference of trashers everywhere. Woven from a wool-poly blend that literally guarantees you’ll nail that Owen Wilson-style bluntslide, these Serge Utility Pants might as well have been dropped straight from skater heaven.

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Everyone knows Carhartt — they make a mean vest — but you might be less familiar with the Work In Progress sublabel, an offshoot of the workwear brand that prioritizes fashion-forward fits and premium materials. We vastly prefer their take on the double-knee trousers, with a more modern silhouette than the regular Carhartt jawns, better colorways (although you can still find the classic tobacco shade) and a 100% 12 oz. organic cotton canvas weave. They’re well worth the extra dough,

If you are one of those freaks dudes who prefer their pants with some serious stretch, you might have assumed you’d be out of luck when it came to blocky, double-knee pants designed specifically to protect and pad. Not so, buddy-o. Huckberry house label Proof offers a pair of trou that Frankensteins all the key characteristics of workwear and performance pants for a snappy finish and industrial look.

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Similarly to Dickies or Carhartt, Stan Ray’s storied history in workwear has produced a practical, no-fuss pair of 14 oz duck canvas double knees you’ll have to feel to believe. These pants are downright burley, without being overly cumbersome thanks to a relaxed and authentic detailing. An added bonus — they have more pockets than you’ll know what to do with.

Kudos to you if you can swing these Louis Vuitton joints — we certainly cannot, but hat doesn’t mean that they’re not seriously drippy. Excessive LV logo detailing can induce serious cringe, but on the double-knee paneling of these Italian-made, 100% cotton jeans, it looks sick as hell. Rock with a cowboy hat and you’re golden.

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