Chances are the last time you wore overalls they were a denim OshKosh B’gosh pair your mother put on you as a toddler.
But Matt Jorgensen, Ben Waller, and Aidan Nelson — three friends who met while undergrads at Dartmouth College — are betting that’s all about to change.
They have created a new product, called Rousers, which they’re calling overalls for the “modern urban gentleman.”
But these aren’t your granddaddy’s overalls, or even the ones you wore as a kid. They feature a slim, modern cut and are made with premium chino fabric.
The company wants to bring refinement to the overall with tortoiseshell-patterned buttons and herringbone-patterned pocket fabric round out the details. Of course, we were sceptical.
“When you hear [overalls], it sounds almost like a little bit of a troll,” Jorgensen admitted to Business Insider.
But the choice to design overalls isn’t a joke — far from it.
“Overalls, to us, embody a lot of what clothing should be: fun, practical, and versatile,” said Jorgenson, who left his consulting job at Bain & Company to work full-time on bringing Rousers to market. “There is this feeling that fashion should be fun without taking itself too seriously.
For him, it was all about “building versus planning.”
“I wanted the opportunity to build something tangible where I had the responsibility and ability to f*** up or make something fly,” Jorgensen said.
Reaction to the new product has been very positive, he said. “Seeing that [overalls] can be stylish is, I think, surprising for a lot of people,” he told us. He added that people who tried the garments on praised how they felt and liked how they looked in them.
And “modern urban gentleman” isn’t just a code word for hipster. Though we imagine that early adopters will include farmers’-market-going, fixed-wheel-bike-riding, beard-sprouting Brooklynites, Jorgensen is confident overalls can break out of that niche market and be worn instead of a nice pair of jeans.
Still, the partners realise that wearing overalls is “an edgy look.”
“It’s probably not for everyone to wear a product that turns heads, but I think there are enough men out there looking for a unique look and don’t necessarily take themselves too seriously,” Jorgensen said.
I wanted the opportunity to build something tangible where I had the responsibility and ability to f*** up or make something fly
It wasn’t easy for the three friends to get a working prototype off the ground without any garment-making experience. Help was needed, and through a friend of a friend (of a friend), the group was introduced to contacts in the New York fashion world, which helped them take their crude drawings and cutouts to the finished product.
The overalls are only available via Kickstarter for now, and only if the project is funded. That doesn’t look like it will be an issue though, as it has recieved a very enthusiastic response, with 75% of its $US25,000 goal already met and over two weeks to go at the time of writing. Kickstarter has also featured the project as a “staff pick.” The overalls will retail at $US145, but are available for $US85 to Kickstarter donors.
If Rousers are successful, this is just the beginning for the trio. Right now they’re only available in grey, but they envision the pants in every colour, with slimmer cuts, a winter flannel version, and a summer linen version. Rousers are, of course, made in America, to go along with the garment’s Americana heritage.
If all goes according to plan, Rousers aims to become the next big e-commerce menswear brand.
Belt makers, consider this your warning.
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