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Why Gen Z started wrapping Dickies around their waists

Spoiler: it was TikTok

Why Gen Z started wrapping Dickies around their waists Spoiler: it was TikTok

Among the many trends that are born, die and suddenly multiply on TikTok, one that has spread enormously in recent months is the one concerning Dickies' 874 pants. For many years the pants of the American brand have been a bit of a go-to for everyone, from the very young of Gen Z to fashion insiders looking for a nonchalant basic that doesn't come from the fast fashion world, passing through skaters and streetwear lovers. Now, however, a new trend, which has many names and which we could summarily define as "foldover", has seen more and more users styling their pants by turning up the waistband in order to expose the internal branding and create a sort of belt. The foldover trend is so widespread on TikTok that, in its Discover section, the social network has opened a page called How To Fold Dickies that currently has 37.5 million views.

@kaitlyn_bui first pair of dickies & i see the hype #amazonfinds #dickies #dickies874 #springoutfit #outfitinspo original sound - </3

The reason for the birth of this trend is practical: the foldover technique is mainly diffused in the female audience, and the model 874 by Dickies is a model with a masculine fit. Instead of tightening the waistband of a pant that is baggy by nature, therefore, it is preferred to simply turn up the waist in order to fit it better. The technique, however, is not new: after asking their providers of vintage clothes in the Milanese markets, the writer has discovered that the fold at the waist of the pants exists (at least in Italy) from the '50s and fell into disuse in the '80s - those who did it had probably received a pair of pants from their older brother or father and, to adjust the length, turned the waist creating thickness and a sort of makeshift belt that held the pants tight. It's clear that we're talking about a post-war DIY technique and therefore has little to do with the modern revival of the trend - although there are some interesting parallels with the Dickies foldover craze we see today on TikTok.

Already during the pandemic, many clothing hacks had spread on the social network, which were not only tips for everyday styling, but were also a way of developing a sense of community, of telling about an innovation that, although small, could come from individual users and not from the top of the brands. To this has been added, in the post-pandemic, the tendency to slouchy outfits - and therefore the return of the baggy, of the misplaced detail, of the visible adjustment and rejection of the "immaculate" outfit and a preference for the informal and sporty. There is also an economic issue to consider: Dickies are cheap and can be ordered on Amazon, in a similar way to what happened with Jeffrey Campbell's viral shoes.  Not to mention that the trend creates branding for a product, Dickie's 874s, that is known for its absolute discretion, lack of logos and elevated basic status. Apparently Gen Z wanted to elevate them even more.