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Carhartt vs. Carhartt WIP vs. DRI DUCK vs. Ariat: Differences and Reviews 2024

Carhartt vs. Carhartt WIP vs. DRI DUCK vs. Ariat: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Your work will be much easier when you have the right gear.When people discuss the best workwear, Carhartt is one of the first brands mentioned.They’re not, however, the only brand out there. Several brands similar to Carhartt provide quality work jackets, including DRI Duck and Ariat.Each brand brings its own set of strengths and focuses to the table, appealing to a wide range of customers with its specialized offers.But which one should you choose?What is the difference between Carhartt and Carhartt WIP?What‘s the difference between Carhartt and DRI DUCK?What‘s the difference between Carhartt and Ariat?Carhartt vs. Carhartt WIP vs. DRI DUCK vs. Ariat: which is the best workwear brand?In this article,I will delve deeper into each brand’s unique characteristics to see what makes them stand out and how each can benefit you and your job.

Cover Photo:carhartt.com
 

  • Carhartt/Carhartt WIP

Carhartt History and Origin

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Source:carhartt.com

Dating back to 1889, founded by Hamilton Carhartt, the Carhartt brand started its legacy just like any startup company.In the beginning, they started with two humble sewing machines and five workers. Possibly due to a lack of knowledge of the market, they worked in a small Detroit loft and struggled early on to break through.Hamilton, who was eager to understand his target audience, went to visit woodworkers to talk to them directly. The result was the iconic Carhartt bib overall that we all know and love today.With this staple on the way, they were a living example of the original slogan “honest value for an honest dollar,” which meant they were well-positioned for success.

Carhartt started expanding in 1910, both domestically and internationally. It had workshops in Georgia, Dallas, and several other places. Carhartt also included mills in Liverpool, Vancouver, and Toronto.Carhartt reached far enough to create innovative designs for military wear by studying soldiers and railroad workers to figure out their needs and priorities.His market research showed the care and effort that went into his designs, helping the company stand out.

Carhartt has been a titan in the world of workwear for well over a century.The brand is known for its rugged durability, stylish designs, and an array of options to cater to various professions and weather conditions.The robust profile showcased in plenty of Carhartt products can boost workwear’s style while delivering maximum functionality while on the job.

Carhartt Product Range

Carhartt garments are designed to withstand tough working conditions and provide protection from the elements. The brand offers a range of products including jackets, pants, overalls, shirts to cater to a wide range of industries and outdoor activities. 

Aside from the line of work clothing, the Michigan-based company has an extensive products and accessories 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. There’s also a dedicated line of kids’ apparel and accessories, offering the same remarkable quality and performance for the young. 

Carhartt Materials and Manufacture

Carhartt use 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.

One material that Carhartt is famous for is its Duck fabric that was first launched in 1915. It was known for its durability and breathability among railroad workers.However, Duck fabric is easily damaged by the absorption of water, so it must be paired with moisture-wicking or water-repellent materials for use outdoors. Carhartt has created different versions of the Duck fabric for various needs and requirements.Carhartt also heavily employs the Force Extremes 37.5 Technology in their wares. It can help keep you at a comfortable temperature, resist odors, and dry more quickly than other fabrics.

The company implements several technologies, including:

  • Force: Fights odors and sweat stains.

  • Rugged Flex: Increases the stretchiness of the clothing.

  • Storm Defender: Waterproof, breathable fabric.

As for manufacturing, Carhartt makes its products mainly in Asia and Mexico, with some products that are still made in the USA.

Carhartt Workwear Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Longstanding reputation for producing reliable and durable workwear.

  • Made from high-quality materials.

  • Exclusive technologies.

  • Superior durability.

  • Rugged style.

  • Promotes ease of movement.

  • Wide selection of cold-weather apparel.

  • Available in big & tall sizing options.

  • More suitable for tough conditions.

  • Limited options for a slim fit.

  • It can look too rugged for formal office settings.

  • Higher price points.

  • Only some people prefer the rugged look featured in most Carhartt pants and outerwear.

Where to Buy Carhartt Workwear?

Carhartt (1.5%-2% cash back)

Dungarees (3%-4% cash back)

Home Depot (6%-8% cash back) 

Moosejaw (5%-6% cash back)

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About Carhartt WIP

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Source:carhartt.com

Carhartt WIP (World in Progress), is an offshoot of the main Carhartt brand, which was founded in 1989.Arriving in Europe via Swiss designer Edwin Faeh, Carhartt became an instant success at his store, All American Concept. In 1994, he acquired the exclusive rights to sell Carhartt in Europe under a new label, Work In Progress (WIP). Two years later, he purchased the rights to producing Carhartt products outside of the US, thus cementing his status as the official European offshoot of the U.S.-born company: Carhartt Work In Progress (WIP). 

As you can see, therefore, Carhartt is the main overall clothing brand, whereas Carhartt WIP is a division of Carhartt that was formed 100 years after Carhartt was originally founded.Since 2010, Carhartt WIP has worked with a number of like-minded collaborators, including A.P.C., Converse, Fragment Design, Junya Watanabe, Nike, Underground Resistance, and Motown.

Carhartt WIP focuses on urban fashion, catering primarily to a young, trendy audience. Carhartt WIP reinterprets the classic Carhartt work style by combining it with contemporary influences and streetwear fashion trends. Carhartt WIP garments are often characterized by more tailored cuts, modern patterns and colors, while maintaining the robustness and quality of original Carhartt products. 

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Source:carhartt-wip.com

Carhartt WIP Product Range

As I mentioned above, in 1994 a license was obtained meaning that the German designers Edwin and Salomée Faeh were allowed to create their own lines of clothing to be sold under the name Carhartt WIP.

Carhartt WIP focuses more on urban fashion and streetwear. Its product range includes stylish jackets, modern pants, t-shirts, hoodies, caps and accessories.Carhartt WIP garments often feature more tailored cuts and contemporary details, while maintaining Carhartt's work style inspiration.

Carhartt WIP Materials and Manufacture

The first step in producing a Carhartt WIP garment starts with the sourcing of fabrics at their HQ in Basel. These fabrics largely come from the EU, as well as Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Japan. 

Like most apparel brands, Carhartt WIP work with a network of global suppliers and manufacturers. However, the main hub of their manufacturing operations is in Tunisia, and has been since 1993. Today, they operate our own logistical platform and two factories here.

The EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) region represents a third of their total production and most of our iconic styles are produced in these regions. They also work with a large network of vendors located in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  

Where to Buy Carhartt WIP?

Carhartt WIP Official Store

SSENSE (up to 5% cash back)

ASOS (up to 1% cash back)

FARFETCH USA (1.6%-2% cash back)

  • DRI DUCK

DRI DUCK History and Origin

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Source:driduck.com

DRI DUCK is built upon a foundation of uncompromising quality, worn-in comfort and a love of the outdoors.They  go to extremes to design FUNCTIONAL, DURABLE and COMFORTABLE outdoor apparel that is guaranteed to elevate your life's adventures. DRI DUCK has quickly become known as a brand that represents extraordinary styling, innovative fabrics, the ultimate in craftsmanship and superior Customer Service. 

DRI DUCK Traders is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. The company also operates a Distribution Center in Edwardsville, Kansas. 

DRI DUCK Product Range

Dri Duck specializes primarily in outerwear and accessories that can stand up to rugged work in just about any type of conditions. They carry everything from classic chore coats to heavy duty, insulated winter jackets, as well as vests, hoodies, and bibs, making them a great option for people who spend all day working outdoors, and need durable clothes that can stand up to the elements. 

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Source:driduck.com

DRI DUCK Materials and Manufacture

They’re designed in Overland Park, Kansas, and manufactured in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and China, ensuring top quality and durability.While not made in America, DRI DUCK’s manufacturing process adheres to strict quality control measures and sources materials from reputable suppliers. This enables them to maintain a high standard of workmanship and offer competitively priced products in the global market.

It is the most comprehensive performance workwear line in the industry and is broken up into three important product collections;:

  • Rugged essentials apparel which feature the heritage canvas products constructed from Dri Duck's exclusive 12oz Boulder Cloth canvas. 

  • Technical performance outerwear which uses modern fabric technology.

  • Authentic wildlife series headwear

DRI DUCK Workwear Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Cheaper than other premium brands, offering excellent value for money.

  • Exceptional comfort and warmth.

  • Durable construction.

  • Compared to brands like Carhartt, Tough Duck’s range is a bit limited.

  • Sizing may run large, so double-check measurements before ordering.

  • It’s mainly available in Canada and select international markets, which can make it harder for some customers to get their hands on these products.

Where to Buy DRI DUCK Workwear?

DRI DUCK

S&S Activewear

  • Ariat

Ariat History and Origin

Established in 1993, two men worked for the existence of Ariat International. They are known as Beth Cross and Pam Parker.Ariat was founded as “The New Breed of Boot.” They were the first to integrate athletic footwear technology into boots for equestrian athletes. Today, their world-class product team builds innovative and award-winning performance products for all types of outdoor and work environments. 

In the year 2012, a renowned wealthy family called The Fishers Family, a major shareholder in other companies, bought the clothing company known as Ariat International.The Fishers Family declared their commitment to helping Ariat International with their goal at that time, which was global expansion.In order to achieve this, they turned Ariat into a lifestyle brand. 

In 2020, Ariat International was recognized as the largest equestrian apparel and footwear company, owing to its global expansion in sales in countries like the United States, Japan, Mexico, Europe, and Australia.

Ariat Product Range

Ariat offer a diverse range of clothing and accessories to cater to different lifestyles and professions.However,they focus on equestrian and western-inspired apparel, footwear, and accessories. Their product lineup includes riding boots, breeches, show clothing, cowboy boots, and casual wear. Ariat’s specialization allows them to tailor their products to the specific requirements of riders and horse enthusiasts, providing comfort, flexibility, and style on and off the saddle.

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Source:amazon.com

Ariat Materials and Manufacture

The central factory from which Ariat jeans are designed has its location in the United States. Nonetheless, jeans are manufactured worldwide.Ariat incorporates advanced technologies such as moisture-wicking, stretch fabrics, and supportive footwear features to enhance performance and comfort.

Ariat denim is manufactured using advanced sustainability processes while the finishing is performed by denim “artists” that give every pair a unique look.

Ariat Workwear Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Premium quality products.

  • Exclusive technology.

  • Responsibly sourced leather.

  • Wide range of size options.

  • Extensive range of work jackets.

  • Wide selection of Western boots.

  • Some boots can be too bulky.

  • Generally, Ariat products cost more than Carhartt.

Where to Buy Ariat Workwear?

Ariat (6%-7% cash back)

Amazon

Zappos

Carhartt vs. Carhartt WIP vs. DRI DUCK vs. Ariat: Comparison Side by Side

1. Price

Carhartt/Carhartt WIP - Generally, Carhartt items are priced higher, reflecting their long-standing reputation and the quality of their products.As Carhartt WIP and Carhartt sell different clothing lines geared towards different target markets, it can be expected that they will sell their merchandise at different costs.As a fashion wear brand, Carhartt WIP will have a heftier price tag, simply because fashion wear is often more expensive than practical clothing.

DRI DUCK - DRI DUCK’s products are not made in America.This enables them to maintain a high standard of workmanship and offer competitively priced products in the global market.

Ariat - Ariat work boots and clothing lines cost more than Carhartt’s products. The cutting-edge, proprietary technologies and top-notch materials can justify the significant price difference. However, Ariat still isn’t the best option for those searching for brands that offer the most affordable workwear choices.

2. Quality and Durability

Carhartt/Carhartt WIP - Carhartt manufactures products known for their lasting strength and rugged styling, proprietary technologies for maximum functionality and comfort, lots of choices for cold-weather apparel.Carhartt WIP clothing, on the other hand, is mainly streetwear, so the need for it to be extremely durable isn’t there.This isn’t to say that Carhatt WIP clothing won’t last – in fact, its quality and stitching feels high-end. It simply isn’t as indestructible as the workwear clothing Carhartt sells, simply because it doesn’t need to be.

DRI DUCK - While not made in America, DRI DUCK’s manufacturing process adheres to strict quality control measures and sources materials from reputable suppliers. By partnering with manufacturers in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and China, DRI DUCK can remain competitive in the global market while maintaining their commitment to quality and sustainability.So, rest assured that your DRI DUCK apparel is designed with care and crafted to withstand the test of time, no matter where it’s made.

Ariat - Ariat is primarily known for its exceptional craftsmanship in the realm of Western and equestrian apparel. While their products may not have the same level of heavy-duty durability as Carhartt, they excel in providing high-quality garments that are specifically designed for riding and horse-related activities. Ariat incorporates advanced technologies such as moisture-wicking, stretch fabrics, and supportive footwear features to enhance performance and comfort.

3. Fit and Sizing

Carhartt/Carhartt WIP - Carhartt, while generally comfortable, has received mixed reviews about their fit,and this is arguably one of their biggest areas for improvement, mostly in their bottoms department. Some customers have reported that their sizing can be unpredictable.On the whole, Carhartt WIP clothing tends to size smaller compared with Carhartt.

As a rule of thumb, when ordering from Carhartt or Carhartt WIP, it’s best to size up on the pants, with some exceptions. As for the rest of their clothing items, sizes usually stay consistent. Due to the quality of their clothing, it’s rare to see much shrinkage or shape changes to clothing, so it’s safe to stay true to size when ordering items like T-shirts, jackets, or hoodies.

DRI DUCK - They fit true to size. 

Ariat - Ariat boots prioritize the ultimate in wearer comfort. These boots cocoon your feet with cushioned and supportive insoles, giving great arch support and decreasing tiredness even after extended hours of usage. The ergonomic design and padded collars provide a snug and comfortable fit that prevents chafing and irritation. Ariat's can run a bit larger. Suggested sizing is true size or ordering 1/2 size smaller than your street shoe size.

Comparison Table


CarharttCarhartt WIPDRI DUCKAriat
Founded1889199420031993
RangeExtensive range of products for various industries,including Flame-resistant workwear.Urban fashion and streetwear(including jackets, modern pants, t-shirts, hoodies, caps and accessories)Essential items such as jackets, bib overalls, and pants.Equestrian and western-inspired apparel, footwear, and accessories
DurabilityExceptionally durable and long-lastingDurable enough for daily useGood durabilityExcellent durability
Size and FitKnown for roomier designs.Mixed reviews on fit, with some finding sizing unpredictable.Size smaller compared with CarharttTrue to sizeRun a bit larger
PriceMore expensiveMost expensiveMost affordableMost expensive

Conclusion: Which Brand Should You Choose?

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.If you’re a professional construction worker that requires sophisticated technology, Carhartt would be the perfect investment.

Carhartt WIP is a division of the main brand and has a separate clothing line. It is more fashion-focused and sells mainly to European and Asian markets. It is important to note that although Carhartt and Carhartt WIP are separate brands with different orientations, they share a common value base focused on quality, durability and functionality.

In general, Dri Duck's offerings are built more for mild-winter days, not the extreme cold. 

Ariat manufactures premium products using exclusive technology and responsibly sourced leather, offering a wide range of Western boots, more size options, plenty of choices for work jackets, and a host of safety features – but these products are generally more expensive than Carhartt.Ariat is the superior pick if you want high-quality, handcrafted clothing and footwear that is both comfortable and stylish.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is Carhartt trendy now?

Carhartt isn't just workwear, though. It's been worn as streetwear since the late 80s, when the slimmer Work In Progress line launched, and it's only become more of a fashion staple since then. Consumers love the brand for the same reason no matter what they're doing: Carhartt makes high-quality, durable clothing.

Why did Carhartt get so expensive?

Carhartt is so expensive for a few key reasons: Its jackets are made of tough, high-quality duck canvas, a trademark of the brand and a hard-working material. Its coats are also built to last for years, driving up the price tag.

What does WIP stand for Carhartt?

They started by selling Carhartt's authentic workwear. In 1994, they were granted a license to create their own lines of clothing under the name Carhartt Work in Progress (WIP). WIP is the streetwear version of the Carhartt brand, often marketed as comparable to Stüssy or Supreme.

Where does Carhartt make their clothes?

They produce these products in four facilities located in Kentucky and Tennessee. Carhartt also owns and operates manufacturing and finishing facilities in Mexico.

Are Carhartt sizes accurate?

Carhartt clothing (jackets, coats, pants, overalls, shirts etc) are cut generously. Since Carhartt clothing is usually worn for active work and outdoor environments, garments are sized and cut for comfort and freedom of movement. Therefore, in most instances, you can order your usual correct size.

Should I size up or down in Carhartt?

For outerwear, bibs, and tops: If you prefer a slimmer fit or are between size, try sizing down. For bottoms: If your measurement falls between sizes, buy the larger size.

Why Carhartt is not made in USA?

American textile and clothing industries hit hard times in the 1980s and 90s. Many moved manufacturing overseas to keep product costs low, and Carhartt was one of them. When demand for the brand increased and their product line expanded, Carhartt moved most manufacturing and finishing to Mexico.

Do Carhartt WIP sizes run big?

Due to its workwear heritage, Carhartt WIP clothing generally runs slightly large. This results in a relaxed fit that offers ease of movement and easy layering. If you're in between sizes and prefer a more regular fit, opt for the size below.

Is Dri Duck made in China?

Their products are designed in Overland Park, Kansas, warehoused in and distributed from Edwardsville, Kansas, and manufactured in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and China.

Is Ariat a UK brand?

No. Ariat is an American footwear, apparel and accessories brand for equestrian sports, work industries and other outdoor activities, located in Union City, California. 

Who owns Ariat?

The Fisher family.

Are all Ariats made in China?

Most Ariat boots are manufactured in Mexico and China, with some models being produced in Italy and Vietnam. Note that outsourcing boot production is a common practice among big brand companies because it's typically cheaper to outsource labor than to manufacture in the US.

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