There are times when I have to stop myself from leaving the house wearing entirely Carhartt clothes—a Carhartt WIP jacket, my Carhartt WIP Clarks, usually a basic Carhartt tee, a Carhartt beanie in my bag. The century-old workwear brand and its youthful streetwear offshoot Carhartt Work in Progress are just what I gravitate to for a number of reasons. I grew up camping in this stuff—wearing it for actual hard work, whether it be traversing the woods of the Rocky Mountains or backpacking through the Tetons.
Given that, I know it will survive the wear and tear of my now-urban lifestyle. But, I also lucked out that Carhartt remains timelessly cool. The clothes I wore as a kid because they were tough enough for my outdoor lifestyle are now a streetwear staple, embraced by celebrities and skaters alike.
That's what makes Carhartt WIP's new collaboration with Awake NY so perfect. Launched by former Supreme brand director Angelo Baque, Awake occupies a more independent, forward-looking place in streetwear, so this is a collaboration that connects the past, the present, and the future. And for people like me, who are most comfortable with the legacy Carhartt, but dabble in the flashier streetwear with WIP, the Awake collaboration is an easy way to expand your closet into bolder territory.
The Carhartt WIP and Awake tees embrace the traditional look of the brand but with some modern changes. The front has the familiar pocket tee logo with the Awake branding, then there's that same branding across the entire back. It's an easy update to a classic look to make you stand out.
But perhaps my favorite piece in this collection is the Awake take on Carhartt's well-known Michigan chore coat. The jacket has bold, contrasted pockets (light blue on Hamilton Brown, blaze orange on bright blue, or hot pink on black) and the large logo on the back. It's a small—well, not small, but not entirely radical—update. The effect, though, is striking. Just like the collection itself.
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