Carhartt vs Dickies – Comparison
The right gear will help you deal with your tasks on the work site more easily. Bonus points if your work footwear and clothes make you look great at the same time with their superior style. While shopping for work gear, you’ve probably come across products from Carhartt and Dickies. These two brands are both popular for their high-quality work boots, jackets, and pants, suitable for various job conditions. It’s worth learning more about these brands’ unique qualities – what makes them stand out compared to other brands and to each other – so you can discover which one can give you better benefits.
- Carhartt Dickies are two popular brands that produce high-quality, durable workwear for different settings.
- Carhartt has more extensive product lines, using top-notch materials and advanced (proprietary) technology resulting in rugged styles and remarkable durability to take on challenging weather and tough conditions promotes ease of movement and are available in big & tall sizes.
- However, Carhartt’s products are generally more expensive than Dickies, have limited options for a slim fit, and can look extremely rugged.
- Dickies workwear options are typically more affordable than Carhartt, suitable for normal or mild work and weather conditions with lightweight and comfortable construction, versatile yet durable designs, and are true to size.
- Dickies workwear generally doesn’t have the durability offered by Carhartt products, though; their items are less suitable for challenging conditions and have logos that can be too flashy.
Founded in 1889 when the company started producing overalls, Carhartt continues to be known for hard-wearing work apparel (including shirts, jackets, pants, overalls, and more) that can be relied on in different job settings. Aside from the line of work clothing, the Michigan-based company has an extensive product list that includes boots (for work, hiking, and casual use), PPE essentials (including scrubs, high-visibility, and flame-resistant gear), and accessories such as hats, gloves, and thermals. The range of products features premium materials and designs that offer long-lasting performance in various environments, making them great investments that don’t disappoint regarding durability and function.
Key Advantages of Carhartt
Broader range of products
Carhartt manufactures different types of work apparel to suit the needs of a wider audience.
Aside from shirts, pants, coats, jackets, and overalls, as well as hoodies & sweatshirts for men and women, the brand also produces PPE and a wide range of accessories that combine superior form and function. There’s also a dedicated line of kids’ apparel and accessories, offering the same remarkable quality and performance for the young. In addition, Carhartt manufactures casual and work boots that offer the same level of top-notch strength and quality.
Premium materials and construction
Carhartt is known for manufacturing heavy-duty work clothing, footwear, and accessories. The brand doesn’t scrimp on high-quality materials and uses the latest technology, creating hard-wearing products that can keep up even with tough conditions. The premium construction and materials result in products with higher price points compared to Dickies and other brands, but the superb durability and performance more than justify the cost.
Clothing line has more advanced technology
Carhartt apparel features a proprietary, advanced technology to offer excellent performance and outstanding protection against the elements.
For example, the exclusive Rugged Flex technology infuses pants and shirts with ample stretch without making them bulky, while Full Swing technology in jackets offers a wider range of motion. Meanwhile, the Rain Defender and Storm Defender technologies prevent liquids from penetrating the garments for continuous comfort and dryness in wet settings.
More suitable for tough conditions
Carhartt products are built using the latest technologies and some of the most hard-wearing materials available to keep up with challenging environments. For example, the Carhartt Steel Rugged Flex Cargo Work Pants feature Cordura Stretch Ripstop fabric resistant to tears and abrasion, offering lasting durability when exposed to potentially dangerous objects in the work setting. In addition, the main seams often come with triple stitching to ensure maximum strength and resistance to damage, even with extensive use.
The heavy-duty materials and construction used by Carhartt result in rugged looks that work remarkably well in challenging settings. Most jackets, coats, and pants exude a tough vibe that’s preferred by those who want the hard-wearing qualities of the garments to shine through.
Ideal for challenging weather
Carhartt manufactures products – such as jackets – with materials and technology to make them suitable for challenging or varying weather conditions.
Rain Defender technology uses durable water-repellent technology, creating a water-repellent finish to stop liquids from quickly seeping in. On the other hand, Storm Defender technology offers waterproof technology through a laminated membrane that maintains continuous breathability for enhanced comfort. Carhartt uses these two technologies individually or in outerwear to offer maximum performance in wet conditions.
Available in big & tall sizes
Carhartt understands that not everyone can feel comfortable in “regular” sizes. Hence, the company developed a dedicated line of “big & tall” gear to address the need for more generous size offerings. The big & tall line features shirts, outerwear, flame-resistant clothing, and pants that are roomier and have a length that’s more appropriate for taller guys, offering improved mobility and comfort in and out of the work environment.
Promotes ease of movement
To make moving a lot easier, Carhartt enhances its products with fabrics and technologies that promote natural mobility.
The Rugged Flex technology makes the fabric more stretchable for a wider range of motion. In contrast, Full Swing technology enhances garments to stretch and recover more efficiently.
Meanwhile, other features, such as a gusseted crotch, make it more comfortable and convenient to manage certain tasks.
Carhartt clothing items are designed to maintain their strength and reliability even with extensive use, so you can fully maximize their benefits for a long time. Premium fabrics are reinforced with hard-wearing materials such as Cordura, providing enhanced resistance against abrasion and tearing that may be high risks when working on tough job sites. The main seams of these garments are also strengthened with triple stitching to ensure they won’t break apart in the middle of a busy workday.
Discreet brand placement
Carhartt proudly displays its logo in well-placed areas in garments, making them visible enough without being too obvious about the fact. For example, instead of being splashed boldly across shirts or jackets, a small square patch bearing the brand’s logo is placed in inconspicuous areas. This makes it easier for the garments to blend in with other apparel, making Carhartt shirts, jackets, pants, and other clothing items ideal for those who aren’t too fond of flashy brand logos on their clothes.
Key Disadvantages of Carhartt
More expensive than Dickies
Generally, Carhartt products have a higher price range compared to the ones offered by Dickies. The price difference is justified by using top-notch materials and proprietary technologies that offer superior comfort, mobility, and protection against the elements.
The products that Carhartt manufactures typically outlast those by Dickies as well. However, there are better choices than Carhartt gear for those after the most affordable options.
Limited options for a slim fit
Carhartt often runs large and even has a line for big & tall options that are even more spacious than other brands’ offerings.
It can often be challenging to find a slim-fit option through Carhartt’s wide range of products. In addition, the generally roomy fit of Carhartt’s products makes them unsuitable for those who prefer clothes that fit more closely to the body.
Can look too rugged
Only some people prefer the rugged look featured in most Carhartt pants and outerwear. Those who want jackets, shirts, and pants with a more low-profile silhouette may want to check out other brands – such as Dickies – that offer more versatile styles.
Uses of Carhartt
Carhartt work gear caters to a wide range of work settings and weather conditions, making them suitable for the following professions:
- Construction workers
- Delivery personnel
Dickies started in the 1920s by producing durable denim bib overalls which were put to the test before long by industrious workers in different industries. The company continues the tradition of manufacturing workwear with straightforward styles, offering superior function without unnecessary details. In addition, the no-nonsense designs of Dickies apparel have made them versatile enough to be used at work and as streetwear staples, as influenced by the Southern California style and hip-hop culture.
Today, Dickies remains a popular brand for its versatility and affordability, with clothing options that remain highly accessible to more people.
Key Advantages of Dickies
Typically, more affordable than Carhartt
Dickies shirts, pants, jeans, jackets, and other apparel are typically more affordable compared to the products that Carhartt offers.
This makes Dickies a popular choice for those looking for the best value choice when it comes to workwear but who don’t want to sacrifice comfort and function. In addition, the lower price range makes Dickies garments more accessible to more people looking for versatile options.
Ideal for normal or mild work and weather conditions
Dickies products are typically designed with fairly streamlined profiles, so they don’t have the toughness or thickness of the materials used by other workwear brands (such as Carhartt).
These designs are ideal for normal or mild weather conditions requiring much thicker and sturdier construction.
The materials and construction of most Dickies garments are suitable for non-harsh conditions, where more robust styles may only lead to discomfort.
Without exceptionally thick materials and too-tough construction, Dickies workwear options easily maintain lightweight profiles.
They don’t feel too bulky, so they’re easier to use throughout the day, making them ideal for jobs that require continuous movements in normal (non-cold) work environments.
The lightweight construction makes them suitable for layering with other clothing pieces should the weather suddenly plunge.
Dickies shirts, pants, jackets, bibs, and other workwear items are built for comfort, so they’re ideal for jobs that involve walking or moving all day long. In addition, most garments are comfortably thin and ideal for mild or warm weather conditions, where thicker materials would easily feel uncomfortable after hours of use.
Dickies workwear choices may not be built with the most robust materials, but they don’t break down easily.
When used in appropriate (non-harsh) settings and with proper care, these products will offer superior functions that can be depended on for a long time. In addition, the fabrics used for these clothes are designed to maintain their original colors even with regular use.
There’s a reason why Dickies are popular for use on the job and as part of streetwear fashion. The straightforward designs are very easy to match with other clothing items, making Dickies products versatile enough to be enjoyed on and off the work area. In addition, their no-nonsense styles effortlessly blend in with casual and even in some professional settings, so it’s quite easy to maximize the products’ use fully.
True to size
Typically, Dickies apparel is true to size, unlike Carhartt products that tend to run large.
This means that there’s a lower risk of unwelcome surprises resulting from an incorrect fit, even if you went for your usual size. However, this doesn’t mean that the clothes fit tightly, as they still leave enough room for comfortable movements without a restrictive feeling.
Big & tall sizes available
Most Dickies workwear is true to size, but the brand also offers a line of big & tall products. These options cater to those who need more length and spaciousness for improved comfort and mobility, featuring the same versatile designs that Dickies is known for.
Key Disadvantages of Dickies
Less suited to demanding conditions
Generally, Dickies workwear doesn’t have the exceptionally robust materials and construction featured in other workwear brands, such as Carhartt. Also, they typically don’t have high-tech features that increase resistance to damage or offer protection against cold and wetness.
Not as durable as Carhartt products
The lighter construction and materials used for Dickies products naturally don’t last as long as Carhartt does.
While Dickies shirts, jackets, pants, and other apparel are durable enough to last with proper care, they’re still not as long-wearing as Carhartt workwear, especially if they’re used in challenging surroundings.
Logos are too visible
Dickies proudly displays its logo on clothing items, which can be a turn-off for some. In addition, not everyone may appreciate the big brand name splashed in front or conspicuous places on shirts, jackets, and pants, making Dickies workwear unsuitable for those who prefer more discreet brand display strategies.
Uses of Dickies
Dickies workwear has versatile styles that can be maximized in mild (non-cold) weather conditions, making them well suited for the following jobs:
- IT professionals
- Retail sales staff
- Truck drivers
Carhartt vs Dickies – Comparison Table
Personal Testing Experience
We had the chance to test quite a few workwear options from Carhartt and Dickies, but for comparison purposes, we’ll now focus on a jacket and pair of pants from each brand. The Carhartt Firm Duck Insulated Flannel-Lined Active Jacket features ring-spun cotton duck along a flannel lining on the body and hood that offers remarkable warmth. The versatile style fits nicely in work and casual settings, with rib-knit components and drawcord on the hood offering a more secure fit. However, it’s not waterproof and unsuitable for wet conditions. On the other hand, Dickies Fleece Hooded Flannel Shirt Jacket uses sustainably-sourced cotton and has a lightweight design that works well on and off the job site. The fleece lining in the hood and pockets offer comfortable warmth, but it’s also not waterproof, so it doesn’t seal out the wetness. Finally, we tested the Dickies Eagle Bend Cargo Pants for the bottoms, which were lightweight and comfortable enough for long hours of use. A relaxed fit offers effortless movements, with double knees for extra protection. The large pockets offer plenty of room for storing items. Unfortunately, these pants aren’t waterproof, so they’re inappropriate for wet surroundings.
Meanwhile, the Carhartt Steel Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Cargo Work Pants are built with Cordura Stretch Ripstop fabric that offers superior resistance to abrasion and tears for maximum durability. The material is enhanced with Full Swing and Rugged Flex technologies that provide ample stretch, promoting enhanced ease of motion and comfort. Multiple pockets provide more than enough space for essential items, while Cordura reinforcements on some components increase the pants’ resistance against normal wear and tear. These pants are slightly heavier than other cargo pants, though, so they’re not the most excellent choice for those who are after lightweight pants.
Carhartt and Dickies are popular apparel brands that manufacture high-quality workwear, including shirts, jackets, and pants. Carhartt stands out with a wider range of products, top-notch materials and construction, advanced (exclusive) technology, exceptional durability, and discreet logo placement. Carhartt workwear is more appropriate for tough conditions, features a rugged style, is ideal for challenging weather, is available in big & tall sizes, and promotes ease of movement. However, the brand’s products cost more than Dickies offerings, don’t have a lot of options for a slim fit, and can look too rugged. On the other hand, Dickies workwear is popular because it’s typically more affordable than Carhartt, suitable for normal or mild work and weather conditions, lightweight yet comfortable and versatile, has durable designs, and is true to size. However, these products are less suitable for challenging conditions, and aren’t as durable or have advanced tech and materials, as Carhartt products.
- Are big & tall sizes options available for all Carhartt and Dickies products?
- No, the big & tall options are offered only for certain shirts, pants, and jackets for both brands.
- Does Dickies only offer workwear for mild, non-wet conditions?
- No, Dickies also has insulated and waterproof (or water-resistant) products suitable for wet or cold conditions.
- How do Cordura sections improve Carhartt’s workwear?
- Cordura fabrics are extremely durable, so their addition to different components makes workwear less susceptible to premature damage, even with heavy use or exposure to abrasive materials.
- Can Dickies workwear be used in office settings?
- Some Dickies pants and shirts suit office settings with a laidback atmosphere. However, these products may look too casual for more formal environments.