Red Ants Pants vs. Dovetail Workwear for Women


Although apparel options for women working in non-traditional occupations such as on construction sites are improving, at least two companies focus their brands solely on women’s needs: Dovetail Workwear and Red Ants Pants.  

Both brands were started by women committed to providing women with apparel manufactured to fit women’s bodies comfortably and safely, filling in a market gap.  

Both also started with the input of those with high-level apparel industry experience. Dovetail Workwear’s Sara DeLuca – who started the company in concert with landscapers Kate Day and Kyle Marie Summers – had been an apparel designer for The Gap, Alex Mill and other major apparel and textile brands. 

Sarah Calhoun, who started Red Ants Pants, did so after input from a man she met in a coffee shop who had worked for Patagonia who noted she was reading the book ‘How to Start a Business’. While both brands are similar in many ways, there are also several factors that differentiates the two from each other.  

Designs and Workwear Products for Women

One is where the clothing is manufactured. Dovetail notes it manufactures its clothing ‘on Planet Earth’, working with suppliers and factories adhering to the brand’s values as they relate to human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption, following the United Nations Global Compact in choosing its partners as it ‘holistically examines all measures and impacts of apparel manufacturing’. The brand also noted that for environmental reasons, it does not set its dyes with chemicals or repeat wash its fabrics.  

Red Ants Pants manufactures all of its apparel in the United States. The brand notes it does so to support the local economy and develop relationships with domestic neighbors. 

Dovetail Workwear offers a wider range of choices – more than 50 options in pants, including options for shortalls, shorts, overalls, and coveralls. The brand also offers eight T-shirts, a three-quarter sleeve T-shirt, one long-sleeve T-shirt, and one tank shirt. Dovetail Workwear also offers five long-sleeve work shirts, one short-sleeved mechanic’s work shirt, three hoodies, and two shirt jackets. Specializations include flame-resistant (FR) pants, thermal denim designed to be 40 percent warmer than regular denim without being overly heavy or bulky, and apparel with inclusive sizing for a variety of women’s bodies from 000-24 and in multiple inseam lengths. 

DeLuca notes her brand focuses on problem-solving and innovating workwear for women in all stages of their lives, including fabrics and construction that accommodate pregnant women and those going through the stages of menopause with functional details such as drop seats and thigh guards. Dovetail offers three flame-resistant workpants that comply with PPE CAT 2, ASTM F1506, NFPA 70E, and NFPA 2112 standards. 

Red Ants Pants’ offerings include three pants, one work shorts, two aprons, eight shirts, four hoodies, one vest, three belts and buckles and two hats. Sizing and fit pants options include straight and curvy. Waist size options range from 27 to 42. Inseam length choices range from 29 to 35.  

Unique Branding

Both brands differentiate themselves from the business practices of traditional workwear apparel brands. 

Red Ants Pants has a ‘Where’s Your Ant’ challenge in that on each pair of Red Ants Pants, the seamstress has sewn one single red ant somewhere. Those wearing the apparel are challenged upon seeing another woman wearing Red Ants Pants to ask, “Where’s your ant?”. If the ant is in the same place on both pants, the women are asked to take a picture, send it in, and they both win a free Red Ants Pants T-shirt.  

Dovetail Workwear offers Pride Maven, a pair of selvedge denim pants with rainbow-colored selvedge denim stitching on the cuff.  

While it’s difficult for women in the construction industry to source apparel that fits their needs, it’s even more difficult for women who are pregnant. To that end, Dovetail Workwear offers the Maven Maternity pants. 

Each July in a cow pasture outside of White Sulpher Springs, Montana, Red Ants Pants hosts the Red Ants Pants Music Festival, which has attracted top music talent such as Tanya Tucker, who takes the stage this summer. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Red Ants Pants Foundation. Its mission is to develop and expand women’s leadership roles, preserve and support working family farms and ranches, and enrich and promote rural communities. 

Browse through a complete selection of construction pants for women using the IRONPROS product search tool.

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