Why Carhartt WIP is so popular?

American brand, Carhartt in recent years has led from the forefront when we think about the workwear renaissance. Returning from the 90s and early 20’s the brand goes hand in hand with a generation that embraces positivity, ethical clothing and gender-fluid fashion. One of the best-kept diffusion lines, Carhartt Work In Progress (WIP) is renowned for its street-inspired aesthetic reshaping the outstanding Carhartt legacy. Here’s everything you might want to know and why Carhartt WIP is so popular.

Carhartt wip


Why is Carhartt WIP so popular?

With over 100 years of heritage, Carhartt is certainly not a new name on the block. The beauty of Carhartt is that they have continuously created the same products they made in their early days. Their chore coats, trousers and beanies were worn throughout the United States from railroad workers to city constructions. 

That said, Carhartt’s laid-back branding and unintended rise in popularity has given them the ultimate ‘authentic’ label. Something in today’s culture consumers look for. They want brands to be true to themselves without trying too hard to chase the latest trends with no consideration for the planet. Carhartt’s originality has given them an authenticity that not all brands have managed to capture. 

In the last year searches for the Carhartt have increased +22% and are at a 50% increase for Carhartt WIP the diffusion line most popular in the UK. Mixing the old and the new Carhartt WIP predominantly houses the streetwear pieces with numerous collaborations from high fashions brand such as Marni to your old-school streetwear giants such as BAPE and Patta. 

why Carhartt wip is so popular

Image credit: Daily Mail

Current 90s nostalgia with oversized fits undoubtedly has contributed to the brand’s popularity. With the likes of ASAP Rocky to Austin Butler seen donning classic Carhartt, searches for the Detroit Jakcets are up 171% and overall Carhartt-related terms are up 91%. Most likely influenced by the 90’s hip-hop scene from Tupac Shakur, Easy-E and Nas to name a few. Carhartt’s rugged fabrics, bulky jackets and grit gained mass popularity as it aligned with their hyper-masculine ideals. This was probably the last time Carhartt boomed similar to brands such as Dickies which is now similarly in high demand.  

In recent years we have come full circle moving away from streetwear with utilitarian, high-end designers to practical outdoor and workwear brands. In many ways, Carhartt carries a streetwear aesthetic but similar to brands such as Solomun, Patagonia and others which are soaring right now, they were built with other purposes in mind. Comfort, practicality and functionality come above the way it looks. Made to last, these hard-wearing brands speak to the current market that consumes with sustainability in mind. Not to mention the cost of living crisis. 

What products is Carhartt popular for?

Looking at the products most searched for in the last year, here are Carhartt’s bestseller and their style notes.

Chore Jacket

The OG Chore Coat is made of 12 oz organic cotton Dearborn Canvas that has been given an ‘aged canvas’ treatment, resulting in a lightly worn finish.

why is carhartt wip so popular


  • Original loose fit
  • Diamond-quilted lining and adjustable cuffs for insulation
  • The Corduroy collar and front patch pockets offer tactile touches
  • Triple-stitch details provide extra durability.
  • Dearborn Canvas: 100% organic cotton
  • Square Label

Marni x Carhartt

The collection reinterprets Carhartt WIP’s signatures, lending workwear-inspired silhouettes a new guise through MARNI’s unique flair for colours, prints and shapes.

Letterman Jacket

Inspired by varsity style, this jacket features a diamond quilted lining. Finished with graphic embroidery on the front and sleeves.

Carhartt wip jacket


  • Corduroy: ribbed, velvet-feel texture
  • 100% Cotton
  • Nylon lining
  • Embroidered details
  • Spread collar
  • Press-stud placket
  • Side pockets
  • Contrast trims
  • Regular fit

Detroit Jacket

The Detroit Jacket was built for toughness on the backs of warehouse workers, farmhands and ranchers across America. This men′s jacket is made of cotton duck that′s rugged and durable.

Carhartt wip


  • Warm blanket lining down the body
  • Smooth quilted nylon through the sleeves
  • The drop tail hem provides extra coverage but leaves enough room for a tool belt.
  • 12 oz/yd² – 407 gsm
  • 100% Cotton
  • Soft Duck
  • Inner Lining: 61% Polyester/39% Acrylic
  • Corduroy trimmed collar with under-collar snaps
  • Left chest pocket with zipper closure, two interior pockets
  • Full-length front zipper with interior storm flap
  • Triple-stitched main seams
  • Relaxed fit

Double Knee Trousers

The Double Knee Pant draws inspiration from classic work pant silhouettes and is made in our 11 oz Fairfield denim. The trousers have been stone-washed for a more complex colour configuration. The double-layer knees offer extra reinforcement, while bartack stitching, rivet details, tool pockets, and a hammer loop nod to the style’s utilitarian influences.

why carhartt is so popular


  • Fairfield denim: 100% organic cotton
  • Relaxed straight fit, regular waist
  • Triple-stitched
  • Stone-washed
  • Zip fly
  • Square Label

The Carhartt WIP brand history

Hamilton Carhartt founded the Carhartt company in Detroit in 1889. His first products were work overalls made of denim fabric and duck, commonly called canvas. As you know this has become Carhartt’s trademark fabric.

the history of carhartt


Since its early years, the brand has always created “Best In Class” garments: high-quality, tailored, durable and comfortable. Founded in 1994, Work In Progress initiated a distribution network for Carhartt across Europe, introducing a selection of classic products from the original workwear range into a new market. Success was immediate; the authentic Carhartt products quickly became popular with both fans of traditional US heritage garments and with the nascent European urban culture scene.

The first product range designed exclusively by Work In Progress for Europe followed in 1997. Since then, under license and never without the expressed consent of the company HQ in Dearborn, Michigan, Carhartt WIP has carefully adapted, re-interpreted and re-fitted work wear cuts for the demands of active life in the urban environment, remaining true to Carhartt´s core values.


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Written by Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert