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Is the Carhartt beanie a millennial basic?

Not just workwear anymore.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Mar 3, 2020

The Carhartt beanie is EVERYWHERE, some have even ventured to call it a “millennial basic.”  The 30-year-old workwear classic reached peak popularity with its beanie this winter. 

Not only is it flooding Instagram (17,932 hashtagged posts and counting), it’s also cramping your morning commute – the F train has a showroom for Carhartt beanies. Besides its colorful quality, and it arguably being the most affordable item of the Carhartt WIP collection (you can buy it from Amazon for as low as $15), what’s the real appeal here?

 

 

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Carhartt was a workwear company that’s been around for almost 150 years. Founded in Michigan, and intended as an apparel brand for railroad workers and blue-collar manual laborers, its rise to street-style cool has baffled fashion experts. So, how exactly did it become the nautical flags of the F train?

According to experts, this boom began with Carhartt’s own brand evolution. The founding of Carhartt Work in Progress in 1989, which fused the workwear aesthetic with streetwear silhouettes made it a phenomenon. It made the brand instantly and certifiably cool. Many celebrities, including Rihanna, were seen and photographed wearing Carhartt (and the staple beanie), and almost overnight became a new fashion sensation. The brand even got the Rizzoli book treatment.

We asked reached out to our community for comment. “I like it! It’s a good staple,” says advertising exec Addis. This sentiment was echoed by several others, however, there were a few detractors.

“It loos like Carhartt and Hurley had a baby – wood shop kid meets skater boy,” observed Andi, who works as au pair in Paris. Skater boy seemed to be a common reference point. “If I see another skater boy in one of these I’ll scream,” DMed Pitfpullfan69.

Don’t get us wrong, we get the appeal. But we also expect a certain level of individuality in the fashion capital of the world (sue us). We love the Carhartt beanie but we don’t want to see it on everyone’s head, right?