A history of work trousers

Denim flared trousers have been worn by merchant seamen and dockworkers since the late 18th century. Although denim trousers had been worn as workwear for many years before this, it was on May 20th 1873 that the blue jean as we know it was born.

One day a tailor named Jacob Davis was asked by a labourers wife to create some trousers for her husband that would not fall apart. Jacob then went on to design a pair of denim trousers that featured metal rivets at points of strain such as the corners of the pockets and the bottom of the button fly.

This design instantly took off and Jacob decided to take out a patent on the idea almost instantly, but he needed a business partner in order to kick-start the process. He decided to write to Levi Strauss, the man from whom Jacob had purchased the materials to make the trousers and being a keen businessman Levi saw the potential of the product and agreed to the proposal and the two men received a patent on May 20th 1873.

Shortly after, colossal success came from the pair’s new riveted jeans, although then they were known as “waist overalls” or “overalls” until 1960 when people started to adopt the name “jeans”.

What are Modern Work Trousers made from?

Work trousers today extend to more materials than just denim though. We use fabrics such as polyester and cotton to make our clothes not only durable but breathable too, which was hard to achieve when using denim due to its thick and heavy nature. Breathability is necessary especially during physical work as it is likely that you could get hot and sweaty and this hot air needs somewhere to escape to. Trousers that are designed for work are often made from durable materials in order to prevent them from breaking while under heavy use. The idea is that the will not break or fray when the wearer is either working on their knees or if they snag on anything. This also helps to protect the wearer so that any dangers on the worksite do not rub or cut the skin. Many offer additional knee reinforcement for more extended wear as well.

Work trousers with knee pad pockets are available so that manual work that requires the user to be on their knees will not cause pain or damage to the wearer. Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians, Tilers, Floor Fitters, Upholsterers and many more professionals are prone to osteoarthritis, which is a condition that affects the joints in the body. When working on your knees you should treat knee pads similarly to how you would use a hard hat to protect your head and steel toe caps to protect your feet.


Cargo work trousers feature lots of large pockets on each leg. Having lots of pockets while working is essential such as you can easily store pencils, tape measures, and necessary tools in cargo pockets. Having multiple pocket trousers allow you to keep everything that you are using separate from each other and on hand for when it is needed without risk of dropping anything. Our website even features holster trousers for tools so that you can carry even more on your person at all times. This means no need to keep going to get tools, equipment or accessories as you will have everything that you need with you already.

Work Trousers in Fashion

Different elements of workwear have debuted in the fashion world over the years. During the 1980s Donkey Jackets and Doc Martin Safety boots became fashionable street attire in the UK. Nowadays we’re seeing Cargo work trousers rise in the fashion world amongst both men and women.

Work Trousers come in a variety of different forms and each of them ideal for different jobs. Many of these styles become fashionable over time as well as being a practical and essential piece of workwear.

Browse our range of Workwear Trousers today

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