Let Workwear Do the Heavy Lifting

Let Workwear Do the Heavy Lifting

How the carpenter pant became a men’s style classic

Who can say why it happened. Maybe it's the return to classic workwear, or the skatewear influence on men's fashion. Perhaps it's just a reaction to living in sweats for the better part of the last 18 months. But suddenly work pants feel like exactly what we want to wear.

Built to withstand serious abuse, there's something reassuring about pulling on a sturdy garment in such uncertain times. It feels almost like armor. Which makes sense given the history of the carpenter pant.

Originating in the early 20th century, these pants were cut from stiff fabric and reinforced with extra stitching and rivets to prevent ripping. They were often finished with extra-wide belt loops to accommodate a bulky leather work belt, additional pockets for storage and a “hammer loop” - typically located on the left leg. As tools got heavier, the loop became less of a place for workmen to store their hammers and more a place to clip carabiners or rest a paint brush.

During the ‘70s, the pants broke out from the job site and onto the sidewalk. People wanted to be casual, they wanted to express themselves and society's views on gender-appropriate clothing had shifted as both men and women embraced the hardy pants. They often decorated them with artful splatters of paint. And the hammer loop? It became a spot where people would tie on a bandana.

By the ‘90s, skate culture and hip-hop had embraced the pants because they were so hard wearing. The straight-leg styles were seemingly impenetrable to the whims of precious fashion trends. They were basic in the best way. No big bold graphics, no unnecessary details. The pants were anything but pretentious - they were (and still are) pragmatic and cool because they give off an IDGAF cool. (Some brands at the time even used that superfluous hammer strap as a spot to showcase an oversized logo.)

Our new Carpenter Pant does the lineage proud, because they’re made for function without ignoring style. They’re cut from a triple-stitched cotton blend (with 2% stretch for mobility) and finished with oversized patch pockets and a custom metal D-ring at the waistband. The fit is comfortable and relaxed. Of course, we couldn’t forget the hammer loop. What's more, these wider-leg, tough-as-nails work pants go with anything you already have in your closet, so pull them on with everything from hoodies and sneakers to sweaters and loafers.

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