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SO SOCAL: The Best...The Beautiful...And the Bizarre
: URBAN ARMOR

Who's Wearing the Pants Now?

May 02, 1999|Leslee Komaiko

L.A. street gangs used to cut off navy Dickies just below the knee, letting the fringe dangle over spanking white tube socks. A few years later, in the mid-'90s, skateboarders began buying their Dickies large enough to slide low, often shockingly so, on the hips. Now, the cotton-poly work pants have moved uptown--and onto women.

The women of the all-female bartending staff of the low-light Bar Marmont on the Sunset Strip wear black Dickies with skimpy black Calvin Klein tank tops. Owner Sean MacPherson prefers a discreetly sexy uniform, the bartenders say, though the pants that Texas-based William-son-Dickie Manufacturing Co. created 77 years ago for oil workers still attract attention. "I get compliments all the time," especially from other women, says bartender Shari.

She likes the pants, which Mar-monters get for $19.98 at the Cali-fornia Surplus Mart, because they resist fading and wrinkling. Fellow bartender Tricia thinks Dickies look great on her dad and other guys, but not on her. "They make your butt look flat," she complains.

That's why colleague Julia pays a tailor to give the flat-front style a snugger fit. First she washes them at least 10 times to soften the fabric. "I hate new Dickies," she sighs, citing the same reason that gangbangers and asphalt-scraping skaters dug them: They're practically bulletproof.

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California Surplus Mart, 6263 Santa Monica Blvd; (323) 465-5525.

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