Utility Pants: The Most Versatile Piece of Workwear Clothing

An active workplace requires people to wear proper protective gear and proper workwear clothing. While the former depends on the workplace itself, the latter, especially when it comes to pants, doesn’t vary as much.

Utility (work) pants are a pretty versatile clothing item which can be worn almost everywhere whilst providing protection and comfort. In fact, work pants are more durable and more convenient than your old pair of jeans. They are also made of fabrics that perform better in rugged environments. While they are not usually as comfortable as dress pants, if you know what to look for, you can get a pair that offers most of the aspects you prefer.


Work pants materials are usually either denim or cotton/ cotton duck/ canvas. Utility pants made of cotton/ cotton duck/ canvas are more durable than those made of denim. Cotton duck is a material that has a smooth surface whilst being sturdy – this material is great when working outdoors as it blocks the wind.

Denim pants, although not as durable, are way more comfortable and they are usually thicker thanks to fleece/ flannel lining – this makes them ideal when working out in the cold. Cotton/ cotton duck/ canvas workwear pants are going to be less prone to tearing and snagging but like denim they also have a break-in period. Cotton/ cotton duck/ canvas also perform well in high-heat situations but are not flame resistant.


A pair of utility pants can have a relaxed, classic or slim fit. A relaxed fit can offer some additional space around the thighs and the seat whilst a classic fit would be ideal for the average person. A slim fit pair is one that has leg openings made for work boots. This type is slimmer than the classic fit, but still it’s not meant to be tight.


Unless you are not going to move a lot, having a light pair of utility trousers is always a plus. This shouldn’t be at the expense of protection though. Anything close to 400 g is usually considered heavy – heavy pants are usually thicker which can make things uncomfortable in warmer temperatures.

Additional Features

One special feature that is great when working outdoors is DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment which is applied to the fabric in order to give it water-resistant properties. YKK zippers which are also known as heavy-duty zippers that can withstand grime, dirt and repeated use and last longer than your standard zippers. Having rivets (metal pieces that go on the seams) on workwear pants means more durable seams.

Types of Utility Pants


Cargo pants are probably the most popular of work (utility) pants. These have a lot of pockets and loops which allow you to have more tools easily accessible. Because of this, cargo pants are great for construction workers. Cargo pants are also known for their looser waistline which significantly adds to the comfort.


This material is extremely durable and it is very difficult to make a tear in it.


Canvas pants are wrinkle and stain-resistant making them ideal if you work in a messy environment. You won’t have to wash them or iron them as often as painter pants.


Although painter pants are not as convenient as canvas pants when it comes to cleaning, they are convenient when it comes to carrying a lot of tools with you. Like cargo pants, painter pants too have a lot of pockets and loops but they do not provide the same level of comfort.

How Do Men’s Pants Sizes Work?

Men’s pants sizes include two set of numbers in the form of “NN” x “NN” and W: “NN” x L: “NN”. The first number signifies the waistline size and the second is for the length of the pants.

How to Soften Work Pants?

Since work pants can be uncomfortable sometimes it’s important to loosen up the fabric a little bit to make wearing them more comfortable. This is done by adding 1 teaspoon of mild detergent into the washer and 1 teaspoon of water and liquid fabric softener to the dispenser.

Set the washer to a hot or cold cycle depending on the washing instructions on the pants. Then, repeat the washing but this time with a ¼ cup of vinegar added to the final rinse cycle. When done, place the pants in the dryer (if the tag says you can) and add a little bit of fabric softener. Have the machine set on low heat. Make you you put the pants on while they’re still not completely dry as to break them in.