shopping hack

I Found a Way to Make $35 Dickies From Amazon Look Good

The author Katy Schneider wearing her Dickies overalls.
The author, seated in her self-hemmed overalls.

That the best overalls are from Dickies, a workwear brand started in Forth Worth, Texas, in 1922, comes as no surprise. The brand is utilitarian, classic, and a mainstay of the normcore look: In 2016, it did a collaboration with Opening Ceremony that included corduroy pants, carpenter jeans, and the pièce de résistance, a pair of pin-striped overalls. The overalls are seen regularly on famous and fashionable people, like Eminem (famous) and Carrie Bradshaw (fashionable).

A woman interested in purchasing Dickies has a number of options: You can spend $127 at ASOS for a tailored pair, $79 at Urban Outfitters for a cropped-at-the-ankle version, or $110 for a pale pink pair at Opening Ceremony. Or you can buy a classic men’s pair from Amazon for $35.

In theory, of course, the last option is the obvious choice: You won’t have spent over $100 on something you could buy elsewhere on the internet for a quarter of the price. The problem is, of course, whether they’ll look anywhere near flattering. In my experience, it is possible to make utilitarian menswear work on a woman’s body: Last year, I purchased a pair of men’s Dickies painter’s pants for $19.97 at a surplus store in Arizona, and after a single go-round in the dryer they fit perfectly (a slightly feminized version of the same pants sell on Urban Outfitters for $59 plus tax and shipping. Ha.).

But I got to test those in person — not buy them online sight unseen. Ever the intrepid service journalist, I decided to order a pair of the Amazon Dickies to see if $35 men’s overalls would work on me — if they did, I figured, I could conclusively tell you, the readers of the Strategist, not to bother with the slightly feminized, extremely up-charged versions for sale on Urban and ASOS. I am five-foot-six, a women’s size four or six, and ordered the Dickies Hickory Stripe Bib Overalls in the smallest size available: a men’s 30 W by 30 L, the same size I bought the painter’s pants in.

When they arrived, I slipped them on in the bathroom at work. They were long, and slightly loose on the top, but I was impressed by how well they fit my legs, hips, and butt. I cut about six inches from the legs so they’d be cropped at the ankle, and tightened the straps as far as they’d go. There was still a little excess fabric in the chest, but otherwise, they looked great, in a slouchy, weekend-ish way. And best of all: I suspect that after a few washes, they’ll become nicely soft and worn, like a vintage store find but without the hassle of the hunt.

And the painter’s pants, which I wear high-waisted and cuffed.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

I Found a Way to Make $35 Dickies From Amazon Look Good