Workwear invades Lincoln


Isabel Bruce

Student Hildi Harrington arrives at Lincoln High School wearing Carhartt utility pants.

This article was written by a student in Intro to Mass Communications, the class that precedes The Cardinal Times.

Walking through Lincoln High School, the naked eye would be able to spot the otherwise strange trend. Carrharts, Dickies, Lees, Wranglers. Brands seen exclusively on farmers, construction workers, and other manual labor jobs, for years. 

In 2021, workwear is the newest fashion trend. When asked about workwear Barry Sims said, “I just kinda started wearing carhartts, well actually 20-30 years ago.” Sims who works as a consulting Forester is a great example of the intended consumer for any workwear brand. To understand this growing workwear craze we have to take a step back.

According to the company, Carrharrt was founded in 1889 by Hamilton Carhartt. On the website the Carhartt values state: “We honor the shared values of hard work: dependability, honesty, and trust. We exist to serve and protect hardworking people.” 

People like Barry Simis were the original consumers. Simis works at Trout Mountain Forestry. An OG Carrharrt fan, he requires clothes that can survive his job. 

“So most days because we’re out in the field,” said Sims, “whatever I wear has to be able to get dirty, and is durable.” 

According to Complex’s “90 trends of the 90s” Workwear rose in popularity in the ’90s; we owe this to the golden era of hip hop. The biggest icons would show up to events wearing Dickies, Carharts and Wranglers. Gear Patrol designer Darryl Brown says, “It was a product of their environment. But as they gained traction within pop culture, they brought their art and clothes with them.” 

With the recent resurgence of 90s fashion, American Workwear brands “making clothes that are durable and built to last” are one of the newest growing fashion trends amongst teenage Americans. 

Lincoln Sophomore, Hildi Harrington is an avid Carhartt fan. 

“I was walking through Cabelas,” said Harrington when describing her first experience encountering Carhartts, “and I was looking for pants. . . I tried a pair on and I was like, “I really like these, cause they have a lot of pockets, and that was, that was it.” 

Like Harrington, many students find themselves gravitating towards workwear not from just a fashion standpoint, but from a similar standpoint of those who wear Carhartts for work; practicality and comfort. 

Workwear is becoming more and more popular especially with the comeback of 90s fashion trends, so the next time you find yourself wondering where you should find your next pair of jeans, maybe check out your local Cabelas, Coastal or Dicks.

“I think if it’s comfortable and you like wearing it, then it doesn’t really matter,” said Harrington.