We know “The North Face” means — “Ghetto Clothes” — but what about Carhartt? I’ve heard a lot about Carhartt over the years, and a lot of guys I know wear Carhartt, but until recently, I never spent any money on Carhartt clothing.
Then our conversation took on a strange angle as we turned the corner together — he complimented me on my new water-repellant Carhartt jacket and told me he has a similar one in denim at home — and then he told me how great the quality of the Carhartt stuff is for so little money. I fully agreed with him: You can’t beat Carhartt for the value.
I spend a lot of time in the theatre and with dudes on the street, and I hang with those working in the gutters, and Carhartt is the brand of choice. Those guys are carpenters, handymen, building Supers and backstage tech guys who work hard and haul heavy stuff.
They like the Carhartt quality for the price and they really enjoy the fit of the clothes. If you order a Medium shirt, you know — unlike Esprit or Gap or somesuch — that the shirt will actually fit. There’s no silly sallying about “Urban Fits” or “Athletic Fits” or “Slim Fit” — Carhartt clothes Just Fit — no guessing or deciphering required.
I also finally found a pair of jeans that actually fit my body and look good without being baggy. I am crazy about the 1889 Slim Fit, Straight-Leg jeans. Wowser, are they great — because they reflect how quality jeans used to be made: Tough and set to last a lifetime.
The “Slim” fit on the 1889 series of Carhartt jeans is not tight or uncomfortable. Compared to the Gap 1969 “Skinny” jeans, the Slim fit Carhartt jeans are just right. The Skinny Gap jeans are actually more baggy and sit lower on the waist than the Carhartt Slim 1889s.
I can’t get over the historical fact that the Carhartt jeans are branded “1889” and the similar Gap jeans are branded “1969” — and that 80-year difference between the two pairs of jeans design is one of a millenium! The Gap jeans are thin and cheap. The Carhartt jeans are tough, everlasting, and extremely well-sewn.
The mark of a truly great pair of new jeans is how much they stain your legs when you’re done wearing them. I have two 1889 Slim fits and I’ve been wearing them for a couple of months, and even now, when I take a shower the next day after wearing them, my legs are slightly blue and the dye washes off my skin and down the drain. That’s how quality new jeans used to behave back in the day, and I absolutely love a return to that historic, experiential, quality. A pair of 1889 Series Slim-Fit, Straight Leg will set you back about $60.00 and they’ll likely last at least 30 years.
I started with Carhartt jeans just to dip my big toe into the Carhartt brand, and after discovering the fantastical reality of their clothing and accessories, I quickly moved into shirts and socks and coats and hats and some cool canvas pants with a perfect little side leg pocket for my iPhone. I love Carhartt’s fit, design across everything they make, and you can’t go wrong for the quality bought for the money spent.