Are you thinking of taking up a painting job in the near futureYou’ll need the right paintbrush(es) or paint spraying tool, the right buckets, the right paints, and the right clothing. After all, you don’t want to dirty up your beautiful ripped and hole-laden jeans and that rag you call a T-shirt with messy, messy paint.
One piece of clothing that every painter in the world is obligated to own is painter pants. These baggy pants are the true sign of getting down and dirty despite their bright color. In this article, we’re going to focus on how painters got pants named after them and how you can pick up a quality pair of pants.
Why Are Painter Pants Called Painter Pants?
The TLDR reason is that it’s what painters wear and have always worn. Back when our ancestors were making primitive paintings on walls, they were already sporting these fashionable oversized pants (citation needed).
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In truth, it’s actually quite impossible to pinpoint where the trend began. Painters acknowledged the need for a specific pair of pants to prevent splotching their civilian clothing with paint, and the rest is history (or lost in history). To this day, any professional painter worth his or her salt will wear painter pants to the job site.
However, back in the 1920s, painter pants were actually an extremely popular piece of clothing. You didn’t need a paintbrush to wear these pants, but people were sporting them to school, to the burger and shake shack, and to Lover’s Lane in Old-School, USA.
Painter pants were then picked up by several organizations, one of them being the Women’s and Gay Liberation movements during the early 1970s. Activists wore the pants as a political statement against the notion of there being jobs and clothing that only a certain gender was allowed to wear.
Nowadays, any professional painter will have a couple of painter pants in his or her work wardrobe. They’re extremely roomy and hold a ton of different knick-knacks you’d need at the job site (brushes, hammers, putty knives, etc.).
Why Are Painter Pants White?
Painting can get pretty dirty, especially if you’re using high-pressure paint sprayers that shoot jets of spray everywhere.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “If the job is so dirty, why wear white?” Like, don’t painters worry that their clothes will be covered in hard-to-remove paint, forever staining their precious painter pants, rendering them virtually useless in the field?
Believe it or not, the color of the pants doesn’t actually improve painting performance, but the white dye or cloth of painter pants is simply tradition.
Some people speak of white becoming the official color of the painters’ union, but history shows that painters sported white bottoms even the union mandated the color. However, during this time, non-union workers would wear pants of different colors out of good faith in following their union worker counterparts. Today, anybody – union or otherwise – wears white.
If you’re still confused as to why a person with a dirty job would wear clothing that would make the tiniest drop of paint a million times more visible, we could argue that keeping their pants spotless is a true sign of a highly skilled painter. In fact, don’t world-class chefs also wear white in the kitchen?
Painter Pants Buying Guide
Now that we got the history of painter pants out of the way let’s spend some time talking about how you can pick up a pair of high-quality painting pants for your next job. In truth, there are very few variables that affect how good painter pants can be, but regular jeans or sweatpants are in no way a perfect replacement for these work pants.
Pants Size and Length
Obviously, you’ll want a pair of pants that aren’t undersized nor a pair that is excessively oversized.
Number of Pockets
When it comes to painter pants, it’s all about the pockets. Having deep pockets is great for storing any paint brushes or tools you’ll need while at work. We recommend prioritizing deeper pockets over numerous, shallower pockets, but it ultimately depends on how large a pocket or pockets you actually need.
Hooks and/or Compartments
Painter pants aren’t just fashionable, but they’re handy to boot. If you don’t have a toolbox for your extra paint brushes, tools, putty knives, tape, or paint sprayer tips, you’ll want to keep them all on your person at all times. Take a look at how many hooks and other compartments are available in the pants and decide whether you need them.
The true sign of a painter is getting down on his or her hands and knees to reach low areas. For this reason, you’ll want to pay attention to how padded the knees of the pants are. Some pants come with double padding, offering double the comfort when working at an awkward position.
Theo only material that works well with painter pants is cotton. Don’t even attempt to try sporting polyester pants. Even though polyester is easy to clean, it’s doesn’t breathe as well as cotton. You’ll most likely be working in warm, humid environments, and the last thing you need is to be up to your paintbrush in sweat.
Cotton does rip quite easily, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t durable cotton painter pants out there. Make sure that any potential painter pants you’re considering buying can handle wear and tear and the seams are stitched without any faults.
Pants or Overalls?
Painters have the option to keep it traditional and stick with the pants or keep it stereotypical and get overalls. It’s really up to you since only you can determine how comfortable you are wearing one of the other. The only thing we can say about overalls is that when working on your knees, the shoulder straps may dig into your shoulders a bit.
So there you go – a quick informational piece of why painter pants are called painter pants and a guide on how to determine whether you’re getting a high-quality pair. You absolutely cannot begin painting without a nice pair of painting pants. In fact, it might even be against the law.
Getting painter pants might require a bit of research in order to find the perfect pair. However, as long as they’re comfortable, come with enough pockets, have hooks and other compartments for storing small items, and are made of cotton (NO POLYESTER), then you and your pants should be good.