So, I have kept it quiet for a very long time, hoping that a few more pairs would show up on their website for me to secretly gobble up, but alas, it seems they might be gone forever, unless we can garner support. I am talking about the best work pants ever! The Carhartt Series 1889 Double Front Work Dungaree. This was a limited series that Carhartt issued back in 2015, that was based on original designs when the company was founded. Now, I have worn regular Carhartt carpenter style work pants for years when I am actually doing construction or remodeling, but I have always had a problem with the “relaxed fit”. Even when they fit me in the waist I am swimming in huge wide legs and a flat ass-section. Not so with the 1889’s! They are a nice slim cut with a button fly! Same heavy duty duck canvas as the standard bullet proof pants, but they actually have a flattering cut. I discovered them in 2016 when I was searching for heritage work pants. I had been looking at selvedged work pants that retailed in the $200 – $300 price range when I came across these at $69.00. I ordered a pair to try them out and was instantly in love. I wore them a few times as fashion jeans with my Redwings and received multiple compliments, so I raced back to order another color. By the time I went back to the website in early 2016 they were already out of the standard duck-brown color in my size, so I ordered a pair in mushroom brown to go along with my original moss green pair and put in a “notify me” note for a notification when they were back in stock. Shortly after I got a note from Carhartt saying that they were discontinued but that they would notify production that I was interested, and that retail stores might have some left. My next visit to Portland I checked 2 stores to find that they never had them. My next visit to Seattle I hit a flagship store, where I was told that they briefly had them, but they were out and that they got lots of requests for them to come back and that they would notify production that I was interested and give me a call if they came back in. Since 2016 I have emailed several times and checked the website monthly to see if anything was happening. Nada! I even ordered another back-up pair in moss green in the wrong length, knowing I could hem them when my others wore out. Yes, they are THAT GOOD. Now I figured I would talk about them a bit and drive some traffic to their website to spur activity and hopefully entice them to rerun the style. So, here are the standard website photos (I haven’t photographed my personal pairs):
Once there, I encourage you to add them to your wishlist and/or send a note to Carhartt to bring them back. Maybe, just maybe, you will be lucky and they will have your size. If they do have your size, order them right away. You won’t be sorry.
They fit true to size and they are rugged. They say “relaxed seat and thigh” on the website, but I can assure you they are a straight cut. Not overly skinny, but slim and straight. Just right. Not hipster. I am 6’1″ and 195 lbs with a 34″ waist and a 32″ inseam. That is what I ordered and they are perfect, if not a tiny bit loose in the waist. I don’t dry mine in the dryer, so they did not shrink at all. The length is also a tiny bit longer than a standard 32″ pant, but not enough to cuff them. I love the button fly, it is my preferred fly enclosure. The vintage style tags are also a plus, setting them apart from standard Carhartt work pants.
For a while I was wondering if they would issue them under the Carhartt WIP label, since they are heritage, but not even over there have they shown up. I personally would pay $100 a pair for these and I am sure you would too, once you try them on.
Help a brother out – visit the web page, email them, wishlist them, and then thank me later if you get a pair. And don’t be offended when your mates on the worksite compliment you on your pants…
Ralph Lauren has been round and round with great ideas and new selections based on trends and emerging technology. Over the years the company has tried many offshoots that were well designed, but folded them back into their regular collection after brief unsuccessful runs. RUGBY and Denim & Supply are two of the most recent. RUGBY was a great line of collegiate-inspired clothing that was priced below the RRL line, yet offered many of the same great designs in different materials. Sadly, it went away after 2 years and was replaced by Denim & Supply, which was targeted more at the 20-something crowd. There were some gems within the line over the 2 or so seasons, but in order to make it affordable they were forced to use less expensive materials in their manufacturing and they sacrificed quality. Again, it was folded into the regular Polo line last year. I can only hope it will force the Polo line to gain a bit of the edginess that both the RUGBY and D&S lines had, as Polo has been flavorless for 2 decades, almost as if they are waiting for the 80’s prep movement to swing back into fashion. Once and a while you can find a piece in the Polo line that borrows concepts from RUGBY and D&S, but it is rare and a bit watered down to cater to the conservative Polo customer.
This season RL has introduced the first of its customizable garments, most likely playing off the success of smaller makers lines like Hometown Jersey. Their first foray to put their toes in the water is a customizable knit sweater, where the buyer “designs” their own knit sweater with changeable elements. It runs $198 and they promise it is delivered in 4 weeks. I took a stab at it and this is what I came up with:
Time will tell whether this is a successful product, or whether they will add different styles, such as Rugby shirts. RL has always made great patches, so we can only hope they move forward in this arena. I still think their best work is in RRL, but most of the time the prices make it prohibitive to add much to the wardrobe, especially when most of it is manufactured in China. The designs in RRL are great, but sometimes the Chinese materials don’t warrant the premium pricing. If RL can expand the customize program and keep the pricing down I think they will find success with this part of the line. Hometown Jersey is more affordable than RL’s first sweater option, and because Hometown Jersey is a small U.S. company with a quality handmade product, and the fact that they have amazing friendly people at the helm, I am less inclined to jump on one of the RL sweaters. I like RL, but I REALLY like Hometown Jersey, so I will wait to see what’s next in the line for RL.
Our latest trip to Ecuador was fruitful in the antique hunting realm. We picked up some great pieces. One of them is this amazing Dali-inspired oil on canvas by an artist signing as A. Rivera.
I have been researching to find information on the artist but have come up empty. We know for sure it is not a registered Ecuadorian artist, but outside of that we have no clue. We are dating it to the late 40’s or 50’s by the age of the paint crazing and the appearance of the canvas.
Oct 15: We have now discovered that the painting is a copy of a Salvador Dali painting from 1938 entitled “Burning Giraffe”. Our guess is that this painting was painted by a student in the 1940’s as a study. We will continue to research the A. Rivera signature to find out if there are any other works out there that represent his/her originals. In the mean time we will enjoy this well done copy in our home.