What is going on with Dickies work pants?

I am having one hell of a time trying to buy new Dickies work pants that fit. I’m buying exactly the same pants I’ve been wearing for nearly 13 years.

The last time I bought these pants at my current weight (~225 lbs) I bought pants with a 36-inch waist, and they fit perfectly. A few years ago, when I switched to a new job, the stress of that job contributed to my losing a lot of weight and I bought new, smaller-waisted pants. Now I’m back up to 225, and I’ve tried to buy the same exact pants again with a 36-inch waist, and they’re not even close to fitting.

I used to buy the pants at a locally-owned store, but more recently I’ve tried buying them at Walmart (both local store and online). But, I assume as part of trying to hit Walmart’s price points, these same pants sold there are slightly downgraded. They have a plastic, stitched-on button rather than the riveted metal button. On top of that, there are literally no size indications on the pants other than the paper adhesive sticker for store display purposes (the “good” version of these pants has the size on a sewn-in fabric label inside the waist of the pants), so when the Walmart Dickies didn’t fit, I just assumed they had been mislabeled.

So, screw it, back to the locally-owned store. I picked up a pair of these exact pants, with the riveted metal button and clearly-marked size sewn into them. 36 inches. I got them home and put them on and … I can’t get the button to within four inches of the buttonhole.

I thought that, well, maybe I weigh the same, but with age and time maybe my weight is just sitting lower than it used to. So I dug out my old, original 36-inch Dickies and tried them on. They fit perfectly.

WTF. I don’t think the old ones are just “stretched out”. These pants aren’t made out of an even remotely stretchy fabric, and additionally I only ever *lost *weight after I bought the old ones. I’ve never gone above 225.

I could understand if the new pants were “a bit snug”. But they’re not even *close *to fitting.

What is going on?

Welcome to the world of unreliable sizing. Women have dealt with this craziness for years. You just have to try on. I know men hate that. It’s truly the only way to be sure.

FWIW, I’ve had the same problem with Levi’s jeans for the past decade or so. Even within a particular style and size, I find a lot more variation in actual fit than I used to. I no longer just grab the right size at the store and check out – I know that, if I don’t actually try on a pair, there’s a substantial chance that it won’t fit.

Went back to the local store today to exchange my latest purchase, and made sure to try on the new ones first. Ended up with a 38-inch waist.

I wonder how much the factory has to do with it. My old 36-inchers were made in Guatemala, the Walmart versions were made in Honduras, and the new ones were made in Nicaragua.

I think this is it. I bought a few sizes through Amazon just to figure them out, knowing I’d have to return some. I am a Tall so waist versus inseam is always a pain.

Lack of quality control at the manufacturing point, usually overseas. I’ve also noticed a deterioration in the quality of material and stitching. The last Dickies tees I bought felt like they were choking me. Worst fit, ever. Same for Carhartt tees. The material is now a crappy grade of cotton.

How did you ever fit into 36 waist pants at 225 lbs? I only went up to a 36 waist when I ballooned up to 190 from 170 lbs. (I am 5’8" tall, if that matters.)

I’ve definitely noticed a decline in quality of material. I have a 26 year-old sweater that has outlined sweaters I bought 5 or 6 years ago, and clothes generally seem to last about half as long as they used to. I hadn’t experienced ‘fit’ issues until my last shopping trip. I also wear 36 inchers and 2 of the 5 or 6 pairs that I bought last month are squeezing my crotch while the rest are fine.

Different body shape, I guess? I’m also 5’8". I suppose the cut of the pants could have something to do with it as well, or where the waist sits.

I’ve got a short, 30-inch inseam. I was getting worried about continuing to find pants with that inseam as my waist size got bigger.

What I do:

Measure a pair that fit me well.

Go to store, measure the pants/shirt/whatever to get a suitable match. (Taking into account shrinkage or future stretching.)

Use the label size as only an approximation to narrow things down.

I’ve seen two pairs of pants labeled the same size in the same store but with greatly differing waists and lengths.

I recently tried to buy another pair of mail-order jeans. The brand shall remain nameless out of respect for the company.
I ordered the same size as all my recent purchases. When the jeans arrived, they were way too long. I laid an older pair of the same marked size on top of them and the new jeans were about 3 inches longer. I sent them back and they called and said the jeans measured only about ½ inches longer than the label size. I asked for a “short” pair of the same label size. After a couple of weeks, they refunded my purchase price. :frowning:

The company seems to be sincere about their business practices, but the jeans they are getting from their manufacturer are putting them out of business.

I don’t believe the problem is limited to Dickies.
Here is a youtube video by someone who claims to be knowledgeable about the clothing business.

This has been a problem with Dickies for years. The cut changes, the manufacturing locations change, quality control sucks, I have Dickies in three different sizes that all fit the same, and a couple of pairs in those sizes that I’ll never get into.

I use to wear a 36 at around 225 pounds. That was almost 40 years ago though.

Not trying to hijack the thread, but I have the opposite problem with Dockers slacks (standard cut, pleated front khakis). The sizes run just fine and I rarely have a problem, but the material is different in every pair I buy, unless I buy two or three pairs at a time. One time they will be soft and not wear well. The next time they will be quite stiff and uncomfortable. Sometimes the material takes starch and ironing very well. Next time it won’t. Drives me nuts.

I’ve always had to try on pants. I generally buy slacks or jeans (I’m a guy) and I will grab sizes I think will fit, usually within a range (maybe 4 inches apart). And yes, I’ll find two pairs of pants with the same measurements that fit differently if they are different styles.

I don’t notice that much problem with the size for the type of pants I generally buy, but what I want to know is why they seemingly only make inseams in increments of 2 inches. In my case 30 is too short, 32 is too long. Where is my 31 inch inseam? I buy 32, and unless I keep the pants really cinched up tight, I’m treading on the hem. Of course, maybe I want the hem lower than it’s supposed to be. For jeans and now cargo pants, my fashion sense, such as it is, goes back to days of bell bottoms when it was considered fashionable to have the bottom of them dragging on the floor. I still want them just a little bit off the floor.

Be happy you’re not a woman- I’d be thrilled with increments of 2 inches . We get something like “short” ,“regular” ,“long”. ( if there are any choices at all) But actually, the reason for the limited inseams is cost- it’s more expensive to make twice as many sizes.
For anyone who has never seen fabric being cut , the fabric is rolled back and forth until there are many layers. Patterns are then laid on top arranged so as to result in minimum waste. Then the patterns are cut out. Lets say you can fit four patterns on top of the cloth, so you have to go through this process four times to cut 16 sizes. Double the number of sizes, and you have to go through the process eight times to cut 32 sizes which is going to take twice as much of the cutter’s time for the same number of garments. Sales aren’t going to double because you now offer 1 inch increments, so you are still going to produce the same number of garments.

I also find it hard to believe that a pair of genuine 36 waist pants would fit someone weighing 225 pounds, even if the cut ballooned the thighs and seat out dramatically.

225 isn’t that big on a guy. My excess weight sits mostly at/above my hips. And cargo pants are usually pretty loose in the butt and thighs anyway.

It may not be that big on a guy- but it’s normally going to be larger than a 36 waist if you’re talking about “excess weight” . Unless you have a belly and are letting it hang over the front of the pants.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk