Did you know the original lyrics to Loverboy's 1981 chart topper Working for the Weekend were actually, "Everybody's welding for the weekend," written by guitarist Paul Dean during his day job at a construction site?

Actually, no, that's not true at all - maybe that's just a fantasy produced by a strange childhood.

Before continuing, let's get this out of the way: the fashion world stealing, borrowing, or taking inspiration from blue collar or physical labor-driven jobs is nothing new, and the design of the 3 Pocket Patched Pants from Mountain Research likely belongs in this category of influence. No one in his or her right mind, regardless of tax bracket, is opting to construct pants from 79 individual patches when a pair of Dickies khakis are $19.99. Out of necessity, often those with less will be forced to find creative solutions to problems that those with more can avoid with an acquisition of wealth so, therefore, clothes sewn and patched together, or one garment repurposed in to another, have a story to tell - whereas on the other side, a billionaire has the means to buy a new shirt every day instead of ever having to do laundry.

Now that that's out of the way...

Is it possible to pinpoint the age at which manual labor jobs fall out of fashion with the upper middle class? Sometime around a Confirmation or Bar Mitzvah? Driving a big truck (maybe there's a reason President Trump has so much in common with a child), being a painter, or working in construction - at some point these were all named as potential career paths by the youth of America's upwardly mobile. There comes a time, though, that you realize you're not strong enough to be a steelworker, or you don't know nearly enough about modern housing to be a carpenter, and that falling asleep after 90 minutes behind a wheel disqualifies you for long haul trucking, so you shelve your dreams and sit behind a desk. But you know what was the best of all those jobs, the one that if you admit deep down you still haven't given up on? Being a welder. Welding is awesome.

First off, in what other job is a mask that makes you look like a homebrew Tony Stark/Iron Man standard issue on you first day?  Next, a welding torch is pretty much as close as normal people get to real life lightsabers and flame throwers. But instead of maiming innocent Jedi sympathizers, you're bonding metal together to create insane sculptures and vehicles to take to Burning Man. Finally, how can you mess up welding? You put some metal next to some other metal, then you shoot fire at it. What's the hazard, using too much fire? That's impossible, like eating too much pizza or having too much fun. [Disclaimer: Please do not attempt to weld anything without proper training. It's unclear if this legally absolves us of your stupidity, but like those, "This message is confidential, etc, etc" footnotes at the end of emails, it helps idiots sleep at night].

Welding, like any other job that doesn't result in early death due to chair-induced stasis, is going to lead to rips and holes in jeans and shirts, and what better way to solve that problem than with a patch or two, or, in the case of these Mountain Research pants, a hundred and eighty-four? You may lack the manual dexterity and mental aptitude for life as a welder or carpenter, so the least you can do is dress in homage to them - and the other dream jobs of your youth - every once in a while.


Price:  $475

Brand:  Mountain Research

Store:  Couverture & The Garbstore

Why:  Khakis are, as a rule, lame, and are usually associated with visions of Jared from Subway and frumpy high school math teachers. These Mountain Research joints throw the traditional of khakis school of thought to the side and show what a little bit of imagination (and a lot of individual pieces sewn together) can do. The lighter color of these pants - and to be fair, khaki or tan in general - creates a notable contrast to the green, grey or blue color palette that can dominate mens' outwear. If you've ever woken up in a cold sweat, shaking from a nightmare where you opened your closet door only to find an endless rack of Jim Harbaugh khaki pants, these might be just the menswear Ambien that you need.