Welcome to the Era of the Double-Knee Warrior

New York-based clothing designer Todd Snyder has a famously sharp sense of what American men want to wear. Over a decade ago, at J. Crew, he accurately predicted that they were ready for a slimmed-down and shortened business suit. Then, at the helm of his eponymous brand, Snyder found an audience ready for a softer, more Italian tailoring silhouette, as well as Champion sweats and limited edition New Balance sneakers—clothing that reflected the omnivorous tastes of a growing number of young-ish men looking for a home somewhere in between high fashion and streetwear. So it might come as no surprise that Snyder’s most recent collection, dubbed “New Americans,” is full of the garment that everyone—you, the guy who just skated past you, your favorite rapper, and your uncle who dabbles in carpentry—is wearing right now: the double-knee pant.

To many twenty-something guys in particular, the double-knee pant, specifically the pairs made by Detroit-based workwear giant Carhartt, is the new 501. “They’re what I wear every day,” says designer Hayato Arai of the Double Front Work Pant from Carhartt, which began selling the signature style to farmers in the ’30s. Arai cites the weight of Carhartt’s durable duck canvas and the chill, tapered fit as keys to the pant’s universal appeal. “They’re not too formal, but they still have a tasteful vibe,” he says.

A look from Todd Snyder’s “New American” collection.

There are, of course, many pieces of clothing that have hit a cultural saturation point in recent menswear history. Remember when every brand was making a cool fleece? To appreciate the unique cross-cultural power of the double-knee, one simply has to follow the memes. Blue collar TikTok and fashion Instagram alike have turned double-knee pants into a stand-in of sorts for the New American himself. On fashion-adjacent shitpost accounts like Nolita Dirtbag, that guy is called the “double-knee warrior.” You’ve probably seen him in line for pizza at Scarr’s, or better yet posted up outside Aimé Leon Dore, Carhartt double-knees on his legs and Nike Dunks on his feet. (He might be a fuccboi, or he might have just read the Sean Thor Conroe novel of the same name.) Meanwhile, farmers on TikTok make videos poking fun at guys who want to wear Carhartt until it’s time to do “Carhartt shit.” In response, those guys make videos on TikTok, where #doubleknee videos have over a million views, poking fun at their own obsession. “Am I… better than everyone?” mouths one double-knee warrior as he slips on his first pair of vintage Carhartt carpenter pants.

Carhartt’s version is just shy of $50. Perhaps because of the low barrier to entry, the double-knee wave is the rare fashion phenomenon that’s both top-down and bottom-up. A kid who’s trying to figure out the most au courant pant silhouette might get a pair because he sees Travis Scott or Daniel Day-Lewis wearing them. (When Day-Lewis wore a pair of Carhartt double-knees in 2018, the moment went instantly viral among a certain segment of clothes-obsessed dudes on the internet.) But he’s just as likely to get a pair because someone he follows on TikTok makes a video, of which there are dozens upon dozens, showing off their vintage haul.

Source link