Carhartt: Working It in a Working Man’s Brand of Jeans

Credits - Photo: Geology Ninja Inc., Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home, Featuring  - Adam Ford

By virtue of circumstance, I have been exposed to, I suspect, an underrepresented market of shoppers: trades people looking for function and form in their clothing. I am 90 percent through a total-overhaul-down-to-the-studs bathroom renovation and have had my lot of workers in my home.

Plumbers, tilers, painters, electricians, general contractors and commercial cleaners have all walked in and out of my home. Other than my renovation, they don’t seem to have much in common. There’s no discernable trait that is easy to see. That’s until I look at the back pocket of their pants. * They’re all wearing one brand. They’re wearing… Carhartt’s. Say what?

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, this brand was seared into my mind as a workingman’s brand. This holds true but it’s limiting and not reflective to the current state. It appears that they’re not just for checking cattle in the middle of winter or working under the hood of a pickup. I am the most surprised to learn that they can be flattering. I’m emboldened to say stylish, even.

As with any individual, the style of a person needs to reflect their lifestyle. I wouldn’t recommend the merit of a three-piece Bordeaux coloured slim suit to a carpenter as a must have piece in their wardrobe to supplement their current suit selection. I would be more likely to suggest that to a senior manager at an upscale restaurant. But these jeans are something. I’m not going to proclaim that Carhartt’s are “The perfect (damn that word) jean for everyone. Go out and buy it now.” But they could be a great choice for some of you.

For the fella in your life that wants to transition from working onsite to meeting buds at the pub for dinner, Carhartt Series 1889 jeans may be the ticket. Let me tell you a little about these diamonds-in-the-rough jeans. I am impressed with the relaxed, yet tidy cut of the leg. The brand nailed the medium wash that seems to disguise some the unavoidable mess of the day. Be it saw dust or a touch of dirt, it seems to blend right into the jean’s subtle fade and distress marks. Of course these jeans are still durable as you expect from the trusted brand. They’re not straying from their proven quality. Quality aside, let’s get back to the style factor. Please trust me when I say they hang off the hipbones just right. Once the work day is done, all one needs is simple switch from steel toes boots to a casual kicks and a fresh shirt and the Carhartt’s are good to go. Maybe the best of all, one can get all of this versatility for under $60.

As I have a public love affair with wearing men’s clothes I must admit I’m tempted. If they don’t work out for me, I’m sure glad I can admire how well they work for my fantastic renovation crew.

* I understand outside of a styling profession or perhaps fitness or plastic surgery industries, looking at a hired professional’s pants would be inappropriate. It’s pretty amazing that I consider checking out people just another day at the office.

A special thanks goes out to Adam Ford from Upkeep Group for modelling his personal assets and sprucing up my home.

Sarah G. Schmidt