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Two Iconic Painter Pants, Compared

Whether it’s the broad side of a barn or the canvas on the easel, a pair of painter pants can help get the job done, even if there’s no job to be done other than getting a fit off.


A pair of painter pants is designed to help get the job done, whether it’s coating the broad side of a barn or detailing a canvas on an easel. Hell, even if there’s no job to do, they’re an ideal for getting a fit off. They’re equipped with utility pockets, have straight legs and are breathable in the warmer months. But with so many versions to choose, which one do you pick?

Two of the most popular pairs are from Dickies and Stan Ray, both storied workwear brands. With slight differences between them — in more than just price — they both have merits and faults, so we set the two side-by-side to see their differences.

Dickies Double Knee Painter’s Pant

Fabric: Both brands use an all-cotton drill fabric, with Dickies weighing slightly more at 8.75 ounces versus Stan Ray’s 8.5 ounces. The tighter weave of the Dickies fabric eeks out that extra quarter ounce, but it also feels softer than Stan Ray. Though both pants offer a natural cotton color, Dickies is closer to eggshell while Stan Ray’s leans more toward cream.

Hardware: Both brands feature a zipper fly with a tack button; Stan Ray uses YKK zippers and Dickies uses Talon zippers. The talon zipper was smoother to operate.

Pockets: 9 pockets, 2 loops. Maybe this is overkill, but maybe not for certain painters. There is, however, a cell-phone-specific pocket.

Fit: The silhouette here is a very regular very straight fit and noticeably trimmer than the Stan Ray’s. The addition of the yoke at the rear of the pant also helps to shape the seat much better than the Stan Ray pants.

Construction: Triple-needle stitching appears in both pants, but the Dickies pair is just slightly less polished. This can be seen on the inside of the pants at the fly as well as the pocket bags.

Buy Now: $20

Stan Ray Single Front Painter’s Pant

Fabric and Hardware: At 8.5 ounces, Stan Ray is barely lighter than Dickies. The fabric itself has a looser weave and more nep, which some people will find appealing.

Fit: The silhouette on Stan Ray’s is certainly wider than that of Dickies. While Stan Ray might call it a regular fit, most would call it wide. The absence of a yoke means the seat lacks shape — some people may need to use a belt or make a trip to the tailor.

Pockets: 8 pockets, 1 loop. The pocket bags of the Stan Rays use a strong ripstop fabric as opposed to Dickies which uses the self-fabric of the pant itself.

Construction: Stan Ray’s construction is overall better and cleaner than Dickies. Most notably, the fly and pocket bags have cleaner construction with less overlock stitching. The belt loops are also filled on the Stan Ray pants which adds durability.

Buy Now: $47

Which one is right for you?

Dickies: If you want to save some scratch and a phone pocket is the only actual utility pocket you’ll use, pick up a pair of Dickies.

Buy Now: $20

Stan Ray: The Texas-made alternative is great if you’re okay with digging a little harder and paying slightly more to find a pair that has better construction. Also, get Stan Ray if 9 pockets and 2 loops are just too much.

Buy Now: $47

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