Vintage Workwear Cinchback Pants From 1940’s

Today I want to highlight this Vintage Workwear Cinchback Pants From 1940’s. This pair is part of my denim archive. I use these kind of vintage pants a lot during my denim workshops. Read more about my denim workshops here.

This particular pair is a perfect reflection of the American denim heritage. It was made during the period that denim pants were made for hard labor. People were in need for a durable and strong pair of pants that last a long time. And that stands the hard and long days of work. It was produced before World War 2. The period when jeans was not a fashion statement, but just a practial garment to use for your daily job.

This pair is from an unkown denim brand, which you see more from this era. Perhaps it was produced by JC Penny or Sears, Roebuck and Company, both an American chain of department stores, which produced a lot of private label denim items and brands.

workwear pants longjohn

workwear pants longjohn

The jeans has a beautiful and typical worn look of a vintage pair of jeans. The fabric is changed by time into a light blue colour. As you can see the pants has several dark dirt work spots on it. And the pants is also repaired a couple of the time to extent the lifetime.

workwear pants longjohn

workwear pants longjohn

workwear pants longjohn

The top button of the jeans in unbranded, which makes it difficult to see the brand name of the pants. The rest of the closure has the laurel leaf buttons. You can’t see it very clearly as there’s a lot of rust on it. These kind of buttons were used during World War 2 as a symbol of peace. This kind of buttons were very common during World War 2 as all suppliers were forced to use standard hardware in order to conform to rules set by the War Production Board for the conservation of raw materials. The laurel leaves on the buttons were added on the buttons as a symbol of peace, protection and victory. Laurel leaves were also commonly put under pillows at night to gain inspiration through dreams.

This pair is from an unkown denim brand, which you see more from this era. Perhaps its produced by JC Penny or Sears, Roebuck and Company, both an American chain of department stores, which produced a lot of private label denim items and brands.

This pair is from an unkown denim brand, which you see more from this era. Perhaps its produced by JC Penny or Sears, Roebuck and Company, both an American chain of department stores, which produced a lot of private label denim items and brands.

This pair is from an unkown denim brand, which you see more from this era. Perhaps its produced by JC Penny or Sears, Roebuck and Company, both an American chain of department stores, which produced a lot of private label denim items and brands.

The pants has also the classic coin or watch pocket. The pocket is strength with exposed rivets. On the waistband you see extra buttons, so you can wear the pants also with suspenders.

This pair is from an unkown denim brand, which you see more from this era. Perhaps its produced by JC Penny or Sears, Roebuck and Company, both an American chain of department stores, which produced a lot of private label denim items and brands.

For the fabric of this pants they used a non-selvedge right hand twill. As a lot of workwear pants, also this pants is triple stitched for extra strength.

workwear longjohn

On the backside you see the position of the backpockets. The pockets were placed more at the side. You also see under the waistband, on the yoke, of the pants a cinchback. The cinchback is removed, but you still see some parts of it. It is common for workwear pants from this period that they have a cinchback, suspender buttons and belt loops. The wearer could choose easily how we would like to wear his pants, with a belt or suspender.

workwear longjohn

workwear longjohn

workwear longjohn

The backlabel on the back of the pants is removed. This makes it also more difficult to know which was the brand of the pants. The stitching is still visible as you can see. The yoke is also triple stitched as the rest of the pants.

workwear longjohn

The pockets has a classic shape, but what is interesting to see is that they have a sort of Levi’s arcuates sewn on it. Levi’s protected their aruates stitching in 1943 with a registration as a lot of competitors used their arcuates. Until 1943 a lot of denim garments were produced with these arcuates on their backpockets. On the entire pants you will see orange thread, something that was a standard for a lot of workwear 1940’s garments.

Notice also the exposed rivets on the backpockets. Later in the ’40’s they were added on the inside after a lot of complaints. Consumers complaint regarding scratching furniture and saddles with these exposed rivets.

workwear longjohn

workwear longjohn

workwear longjohn

Under the right backpocket there’s a tool pocket. Tool pockets were used to storage their worktools during the job.

workwear longjohn

Near the left backpocket is nice authentic repair. Something that gives vintage pieces some extra character.

workwear longjohn

workwear longjohn

All in all this Vintage Workwear Cinchback Pants From 1940’s is a perfect piece of American history. It captures the spirit of a denim period before the big denim boom after World War 2 in the fifties kicked-in.

If you have more information about this particular pants, please let me know by writing an email to: wouter@long-john.nl.

Read also the previous post about another 1940’s denim pants from my archive here.

Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.