As we’ve discovered in similar comparison articles, it isn’t easy to choose between two brands that produce items with just about the same high levels of quality, durability, and efficiency.
The same case applies to Red Kap and Dickies, two world-famous workwear brands based in the U.S but with vast markets in countries worldwide.
Today, we will explore the differences between the two brands and see if one company comes out on top of the other.
Let’s find out together.
1. Red Kap
Red Kap is a celebrated maker of working apparel such as shirts, pants, jackets, coats, aprons, hats, belts, vests, coveralls, hoodies, overalls, and sweatshirts. The company produces these items for both men and women.
Over the years since 1923, the Red Kap company has cultivated a rich culture of sharing, respect, and collaboration that has helped it innovate, succeed, and grow into a large entity with many locations worldwide.
History of the Brand
Red Kap Official Website
Red Kap began as Central Overall Manufacturing in 1923 by J. G. Hayes, Alexander F. Harlin, Claude H. Williams, and William Wirt Harlin, Sr.
The Central Overall Manufacturing company was a maker of bib overalls for boys and men. The two Harlin brothers and their cousin sold these overalls and labeled themselves Harlin Bros. & Williams.
The company felt they needed a simpler and more unique name. One of the brothers found inspiration from a Red Cap Brazil Smoking Tobacco packet and the Red Kap company was born.
The Red Kap American workwear company adapted the bright red jockey cap on the Red Cap Brazil Smoking Tobacco packet as their iconic logo. In 1927, the company came up with the famous Red Kap logo.
Red Kap was acquired in 1986 by VF Corporation and became part of VF Imagewear.
Red Kap’s headquarters are at 545 Marriott Drive, Suite 200, in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
The company continues to make durable and affordable workwear for plumbers, chefs, drivers, housekeepers, landscapers, construction workers, and woodworkers.
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Materials and Manufacturing
Red Kap uses various materials in crafting its workwear apparel. The materials include canvas, cotton, leather, Poplin, Polyester/spandex blend, Polyester/cotton blend, Ripstop twill, fleece, mesh knit, and nylon.
Red Kap also uses metal buttons and brass zippers to enhance durability in buttoned clothing and zipped pants.
Red Kap’s well-known technologies include TouchTex, TouchTex Pro, Dura-Kap, Mimix, OilBlok, Durable Water Repellency (DWR), and ZeroSkratch.
The TouchTex and TouchTex Pro technologies ensure that Red Kap work clothes have better moisture management, wrinkle resistance, and color retention.
While the Dura-Kap technology ensures the clothing lasts a long time with regular use. The Mimix technology makes workwear more flexible for optimum comfort.
To repel water from the clothes and avoid soaking, Red Kap uses the Durable Water Repellency technology, while the OilBlok technology repels stains.
The ZeroSkratch technology is an innovative one that features covered snaps and buttons so they don’t scratch you or your items as you work.
Red Kap’s various technologies and material usage help them make highly durable, comfortable, and affordable workwear for the professions mentioned above.
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Popular Red Kap Workwear Designs
Let’s take a quick look at some popular Red Kap work garments.
Red Kap Men’s Pro Pant with MIMIX
Image source: redkap.com
The Men’s Pro Pant with MIMIX includes many features such as Moisture Wicking, extra stretch, TouchTex Pro soft fabric with optimal color retention. The fabric is a mix of polyester, cotton, nylon, and spandex, and you can carry everything you want with the cargo pockets available on each leg.
Red Kap Women’s Short Sleeve Industrial Work Shirt
Image source: redkap.com
Made of a 65/35 polyester/cotton blend, Red Kap Women’s Industrial Work Shirt features a button closure, TouchTex technology for color retention, and hex-style pockets. It has a Durable Press wrinkle-resistant finish and a squared button hem that you can tuck in or leave out.
You can buy the work shirt in small, medium, large, and various sizes of X-large. The shirt is also available in black, white, petrol blue, navy blue, and light blue colors.
Red Kap Workwear FAQs
Below are some commonly asked questions about the Red Kap workwear brand and its products.
Are Red Kap Work Clothes Worth the Money?
Given their durability, high levels of comfort, and affordability, we say Red Kap working clothes are absolutely worth the money.
Where Are Red Kap Work Clothes Made?
As part of VF Imagewear, Red Kap work garments are made in various countries including Mexico and Honduras. (source)
Since its early beginnings in the 1920s, Dickies has grown tremendously to become one of the largest manufacturers of workwear in the world.
Dickies is known for its high-quality, easy-to-wash, durable, and quick-to-dry work garments.
Read also: Dickies vs Ben Davis, Work and Outdoor Wear: A Comparison
History of the Brand
Dickies Official Website
Dickies was started in 1922 when C. N. Williamson, his father, and his cousin E. E. “Colonel” Dickie bought the clothing company (U.S Overall Company) the cousins had started in Texas in 1918 with some friends.
After buying the company and splitting it equally three ways, the cousins and Williamson’s father changed the company’s name to Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company.
In the 1950s, the William-Dickie Manufacturing Company became an international entity when it expanded into the European and Middle Eastern markets when Texas oil field workers introduced Dickies workwear to the Middle Eastern oil fields.
What started as a maker of bib overalls became the largest workwear company with other items like denim jeans, women’s workwear, shirts, and chore coats.
Dickies has a company division in Europe called Williamson-Dickie Europe Ltd. The European division sells Dickies workwear and streetwear in Europe and the Middle East and is located in the United Kingdom in Westfield, Somerset.
Besides the U.S markets, Dickies work garments are also sold in Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Poland, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Taiwan, Germany, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Chile, and the Philippines.
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Materials and Manufacturing
Initially, Dickies made its working garments with 100% cotton. The company shifted to making its workwear using a polyester/cotton blend in the 1960s, which resulted in more durable clothes.
Among the first workwear pieces that Dickies made with the 35/65 cotton/polyester blend were the 874 Work Pants, which form the Dickies Uniform when worn with the Dickies Work Shirt.
Dickies also uses other materials and fabrics such as denim, Duck/Canvas, 100% cotton, twill, poplin, and cotton/polyester/spandex blend.
Dickies uses various technologies such as Repel Pro, Flex, DuraTech, Temp-IQ, Moisture Wicking, Wrinkle Resistant, Water Repellent, and Industrial Wash.
The Temp-IQ technology features a responsive system that helps the clothes regulate your body temperature through Warming Temp-IQ for warming up and Cool Temp-IQ for cooling down.
To ensure the clothes keep moisture away and remain dry, Dickies uses the Moisture Wicking technology.
The Wrinkle-Resistant technology features clothes with a chemically handled fabric that resists wrinkles to retain the ironing on your clothes all day long.
While the Flex technology enhances mobility and comfort, the Repel Pro ensures oil and water are kept at bay. DuraTech ensures your clothes have optimum durability even with regular use.
Work garments made with Dickies Water-Repellent technology have a special finish that makes water bead up on the surface and roll off rather than soaking into the fabric.
Dickies workwear with the Industrial Wash technology can withstand over 50 industrial laundry cleanings.
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Popular Dickies Workwear Designs
This section of the comparison would be incomplete if we didn’t mention some of our favorite popular Dickies workwear designs.
Dickies Men’s Original 874 Work Pant
Image Source: dickies.com
The Men’s Original 874 Work Pant from Dickies is a widely popular garment made of a 35/65 cotton/polyester blend. The pants feature Dickies’ Wrinkle Resistant and Stain Resistant technologies.
Dickies Women’s Relaxed Cargo Pants
Image Source: dickies.com
The Dickies Relaxed Cargo Pants for women are inspired by military pants, and now are available for different types of jobs. They are made of 100% cotton and have many pockets so you can carry all your needed tools.
Dickies Workwear FAQs
Curious about what other people ask about Dickies workwear? Below are some common questions around the Dickies brand and work products.
Are Dickies Work Clothes Worth the Money?
Dickies makes tough, comfortable, durable, and high-quality working garments that are worth the money in our opinion. Additionally, the clothes are fairly cheap for the value they give.
Where Are Dickies Working Clothes Made?
Dickies makes its workwear in the U.S, China and other Asian countries, the Middle East, Japan, etc.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Both Dickies and Red Kap are celebrated American workwear brands with markets in the U.S and other countries worldwide.
When it comes to materials, both brands share many common materials, such as the cotton/polyester blend that ensures clothes are a bit more long-lasting. Technologically, each brand has many innovative technologies for improving its work apparel.
Both companies also make a wide variety of work garments, with common types being work pants, work shirts, and women’s workwear.
Given the above similarities, it is hard to choose between Red Kap and Dickies. If it helps make your decision easier, we personally recommend the Dickies brand. You not only get durable workwear but also the prestige that comes with wearing clothes produced by the world’s foremost workwear manufacturer.
In the end, the decision will depend on your particular workwear needs. Maybe you’re looking for that particular pant or shirt that you can get from only one of these brands. Either way, you’ll have added a great piece to your work wardrobe.
Always buy Redkap, think both brands are similar but Dickies always feels like a tighter fit and the pockets are smaller. Redkap is always a little looser which is good for me, do a lot of bending and stretching while I’m working, works great for me for my work day