A Proud History Of Dickies - The Evolution Of The Workwear Brand

Old time American band in Dickies workwear, outside original Dickies factory

At Dickies Workwear, we’re always looking towards the future with new ideas and innovative developments – that said, we also believe it’s imporOld Dickies advert of traditional workwear suitstant to remember our roots.

Our team recently unearthed a treasure trove of vintage advertisements and logos from the Dickies Workwear brand, and it certainly proved to be a trip down memory lane.

As proud retailers of Dickies products, we were intrigued by this insight into the brand’s evolution over the years, and we’d love to share this part of our history with our customers, both young and old.

The Dickies brand began as a bib-overall manufacturer known as the Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, which was established in 1922 when Texans EE “Colonel” Dickie, his cousin CN Williamson and his son C Don Williamson established the US Overall Company.

Since then, Dickies has grown from a small family-run business to a multinational corporation supplying a diverse range of workwear including casual and safety footwear, work trousers and jeans, safety wear such as overalls and hi vis vests as well as accessories of unsurpassed quality.  

Let’s take a look at the Dickies timeline:     

1930s: The Beginnings of American Workwear Style

During the early years, the Williamson-Dickie brand grew slowly but steadily despite the Great Depression. This price list from 1938 clearly shows the brand’s target audience as the All-American family of the 1930s.     

1930s All-American style promotional advert for Dickies Workwear

1940s: Military Ties

During World War II, Williamson-Dickie was sequestered to produce uniforms for the US armed forces, and following the war, the company returned to civilian production. The post-war years saw the company grow significantly thanks to C Don Williamson’s strategic expansion throughout the United States.    

Old photograph of Workmen wearing Dickies Workwear Military style clothing

1950s: Quality Workwear for the World

This was the era that saw Williamson-Dickie go global; Texan oilfield workers introduced the brand to the Middle East, and before long Dickies workwear had expanded into the Middle Eastern and European markets. Back home, the brand appealed to customers with a focus on quality for the “Man of Production”.

1950s advert for Dickies Workwear showcasing the Man of Production

1960s: Campus Tigers

During the 60s, Dickies adopted a strategy of selling to the “main man on campus” – targeting those who would buy the brand’s “campus casual” range. This decade saw a series of “campus tiger” ads aimed at young men looking to make an impression with their choice of college clothing.    

Dickies workwear casual college clothing advertisement from the 1960s

1970s: Affordable Workwear

In the 70s Dickies continued to focus on consumers in search of social status, but also started appealing to price-conscious customers by advertising their products’ value for money. Armed with the slogan “We’re Basic” and a range of affordable prices, Dickies added another dimension to their already successful marketing strategy.        

1970s affordable workwear advertisement for Dickies Workwear

1980s: The Growth of Women's Workwear

During this decade the brand started appealing to a more diverse audience, with the expansion into women's workwear, as well as men's. The typical Dickies customer of the 80s was one who balanced hard work with fun and friendship.   

1980s Women’s Workwear advert for Dickies Workwear


Dickies Workwear is an internationally recognised brand with a long history of quality, style and affordability. Each product is designed to be durable and longwearing, with only the latest technology used to provide wearers with the most effective safety features. From plumbers to electricians and even executives, consumers in a wide array of professions choose Dickies as their preferred brand. Looking back across the years, Dickies Workwear is prouder than ever to be a leading distributor of this prestigious brand!

woman wearing dickies redhawk ladies overall