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Icons: The History of the Dickies Bib

Icons: The History of the Dickies Bib

PRODUCTS | 08.07.2021

Dickies began as an overall maker in 1922 and has since become synonymous with the iconic bib style. Originally designed for workwear, bibs began to be adopted by subcultures and street style over the years, bridging the gap between functionality and fashion.

The durability of the material and versatility of the style meant that the Dickies bib resonated with everyone, from gardeners and tradesmen to musicians and skaters alike, making it a timeless piece with universal appeal.

Origins of the Bib

The Dickies brand began as an overall manufacturer known as the Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, which was established in 1922 when Texans EE “Colonel” Dickie, his cousin CN Williamson and his son C Don Williamson established the US Overall Company.

Since then, Dickies has grown from a small family-run business to a multinational corporation supplying a diverse range of workwear including casual and safety footwear, work trousers and jeans, safety wear such as overalls and hi vis vests as well as accessories of unsurpassed quality.

 

Evolution of the Bib

1920’s - Dickies Best Overalls were created in Indigo Denim, Heavy Whiteback Express Stripe and White Boat Sail Drill (Carpenter’s Overalls). These were full cut garments, triple stitched throughout and bar tacked at every point of strain.

1930’s - Dickies Dynamiter Overalls were created with bulldog denim made from specially treated yarn, tailored to your size. 

1940’s - Dickies 5-Star Super Overalls were created with long-wearing tough denim, a triple-stitched rip-proof crotch, elbow-deep pockets with double-ply bottoms, and adjustable suspenders for a tailored fit to suit tall and short men. The 5-Stars highlighted why Dickies was better than the competition.   

By the end of the 30’s and beginning of the 40’s, there were 6-10 different Dickies men’s bibs in denim, Liberty stripe and Express stripe in three different styles, plus chore coats and jumpers to match. The 5-stars highlighted why Dickies was better than the competition. 

In 1942, production was halted to produce wartime uniforms.

1950’s - In 1956, after an 11 year hiatus, and now with a booming core twill business, Dickies began to produce overalls again. The Dickies twill business was now the ‘big brother’ to the overall, but the painter and carpenter overalls were the precursor to the painter pant and carpenter and utility pants. Wearers were trading in overalls for denim jeans, which were now being adopted for on and off the job. 

1970’s, 80’s and 90’s - By the 1980’s, bibs were adopted by music culture and became fashionable as they came out in various washes (more on that in the section below!).

Although the overalls were originally designed as workwear pieces, they evolved over the years to transition into lifestyle garments that could be worn just as easily for everyday, casual wear.

 

Adoption by Subcultures

During the 90’s, Dickies overalls began to gain traction and appeal outside of their traditional workwear audience, due to hip hop icons such as Tupac, Beastie Boys and Eminem starting to wear Dickies, specifically the Dickies Denim Bib Overall

Tupac had his own customized pair of Dickies Denim Bib Overalls embroidered with his famous slogan “THUG LIFE” and Eminem in his early live shows would enter the stage brandishing a chainsaw, wearing an ice hockey mask and a pair of Dickies Denim Bib Overalls. 

As well as gaining popularity in the hip hop world, Dickies began to be adopted by skating subcultures around the same time, with its hard-wearing, functional yet fashionable pieces appealing strongly to the skate community. 

 

Modern Day Muses

Fast-forward to modern day, and the iconic Dickies bib overall is now seen everywhere. Its appeal spans from tradespeople, DIY and agriculture workers, to famous models, such as Emily Ratajkowski, musicians, actors and skaters.

Through the ages and across the continents, Dickies bibs have reached customers globally; the miners, the construction workers, the painters and endless makers and shapers and will continue to influence generations to come as we continue to embrace the future whilst not forgetting our past, ushering in the next 100 years as we brave the new. 

Iconic Products

The men’s Bib Overall, in indigo, black and brown, is one of the best selling Dickies products to this day; an authentic, durable dungaree that is made to last. Another essential and versatile dungaree style is the Ekwok Bib for men and women, which is crafted from hard-wearing 100% cotton and comes in 10 oz hickory stripe canvas and 12 oz rinsed indigo blue denim. Ekwok Bibs feature plenty of tool pockets perfect for carrying workday essentials, but their regular fit is also ideal for everyday wear. Other iterations for women include the Dovray Short Overall and Roopville Bib, both utility-inspired pieces with modern details. The women’s Higginson Bib is the latest addition to the range, dropping in July. 

Devil’s in the Details

It’s the finer details that sets Dickies bibs apart from the rest, featuring triple stitched seams, a large chest pocket, double tool pocket and hammer loop details. These garment details are fit-for-purpose yet aesthetically pleasing, multi-functional whilst universally appealing. 

How have Dickies bibs stood the test of time? The devil’s in the details and they are constantly innovating, making them essential garments for workwear and fashion purposes alike.


  1. Roopville Bib
    Roopville Bib
    €59.50 €85.00
    Sale
    -30%
  2. Higginson Bib
    Higginson Bib
    €99.00
  3. Bib Overall
    Bib Overall
    €89.00
  4. ,,,
    Bib Overall
    €89.00
  5. ,
    Bib Overall
    €89.00

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DICKIES     WORKWEAR SINCE 1922     FORT WORTH TEXAS U.S.A.

DICKIES     WORKWEAR SINCE 1922     FORT WORTH TEXAS U.S.A.

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