Dickies

Dickies painter pants from Whistle in SoDo

It’s been percolating for a while, but for me the workerly utilitarian trend spiked when I met and interviewed Ruben and Isabel Toledo last year. Isabel was inspiring, for sure, but so was Ruben in his snug, worn-in Carhartt jacket and white painter paints. They were so perfect; crisp and stiff like raw denim, and just a little short in the leg like the look was lifted right from some old black and white image of his grandfather. I’ve been on the hunt for an authentic pair to call my own, but haven’t had any luck finding my size. And then I spotted the new worker-dud emporium Whistle on First Ave South near Herban Feast’s SoDo Park.

Whistle exists for folks who do real-deal hard labor, not just those of us who have co-opted the look for the sake of style. Still, if you’re a Filson-bag carrying, Pendleton-wearing member of the whole heritage brands Field House aesthetic, you should go check it out.

Brands like Woolrich, Redwing, Carhartt, Dickies, and Key are stock and trade, and available without the we-know-this-stuff-is-cool mark-up.

Case in point: My Ruben Toledo-esque white painter pants, pictured above. They were $25.

ralph lauren

A look from the current Ralph Lauren spring/summer 2010 collection

Whether you take it full-on, rugged blue collar style or just hint at some jacket shapes, hammer rings or subtle engineer stripes here and there, the Americana look feels just right for spring.