“That’s my favorite place to stand in any process,” Kanye West recently told GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch, as the two gazed into the vast Wyoming sky atop a pair of matte black armored vehicles. “In the middle.” And what, exactly, does one wear in the middle of transforming a 4,500-acre ranch into a utopian campus dotted with sprawling James Turrell-designed housing units, as Mr. West finds himself doing at the moment? Workwear, of course. When he’s not stunting in god-tier blazers from Dunhill, Kanye is nearly as big a proponent of tough, utilitarian, construction-site clothes as Bob Vila. He regularly steps out in enormous denim Carhartt chore coats, and showed up to last year’s Met Gala in a $40 jacket from Dickies.
But there’s another classic American workwear label that Ye adores, one you might not have heard of: Key Work Wear, an 122-year-old company from Wisconsin. Kanye sported two pairs of their heavy canvas trousers from his own closet—one in perfectly faded black, the other a dusty tan—throughout our May cover shoot. Like all great work pants, their appeal lies in their no-nonsense practicality, which makes them an especially solid option for right now. They’re crisper and cleaner than your sweats, baggy and comfortable enough to hang out around the house in, and hardy enough to carry out long-overdue household tasks without worrying about stains or split seams. Best of all, unlike the clothes Kanye designs himself, a pair of Key pants won’t break the bank: you can nab them on Amazon right now for as little as $26.