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Previously a long time Dickies 874 work pant fan..
on October 29, 2011
As the title says I was previously a Dickies 874 fan. I liked the cut of the pants, and seat wasn't baggy, but it was snug. the seams straight and fasteners zipper and hook function with confidence. Front Slash pockets and 2 rear welt pockets while standard fare I would not call overly generous especially the front pockets. The biggest annoyance, how old they look after just a few washings. Fade and pilling of the fabric generates a sigh from me who likes to look smart at work, and play alike.
Time for a change. Enter the Carhartt B290 Work pants.
While I have always been a fan of the Carhartt Dungerees and Overalls, both of which I own and enjoy. Their durable build and tripple stitch construction and Duck Fabric are made for hard work and play alike. As much as I would love to wear them to work all the time at the office, the Overalls would be a bit much.
The B290 work pants are a great addition with there more substantial fabric density of polyester cotton blend vs. the Dickies 874 work pant. The fasteners hook and zipper have a more robust feel though new the welt pocket buttons are a bother being so stiff and all the fabric. Stiffer is the word of the B290, in contrast to the more soft 874 work pant. Seams are straight and the tripple inner seam is a nice durable touch.
I have seen interesting comments in regards to the pockets here. It seems there is a variability in their capaciousness. I purchased one size Khaki smaller I am a between sizer more on that later) and they are generous and robustly sewn. Deep and able to swallow up my Droid 2 and fat wallet in one pocket while my assortment of keys....geez am I a locksmith or what collection with ease. The one size higher found the pockets perceptually shallower in space. Go figure.
Fit and wear.
As in the paragraph previously I note I am a 'tweener size wise. So I purchased the size that was lower size and fit is snug but still more room in the seat department. Sitting as much as I do my bottom is happy with the extra cut. The thighs are full in cut as well, but not making me looking like a circus clown or any such thing. Waist is a bit larger than stated, good for me in my chunky build, maybe not so for the more slimmer of set and build. Cuffs are neatly sewn and fit over my shoes nicely, and the permanent center crease is just that.
Going on my size to the right of the catalog, I am noticing only a slight waist bunching and fuller seat, I am not "Gansta" style or anything like that but I notice the hips and seat have more wider latitude than my smaller size purchase. (I ought to just loose more weight and stay with the smaller size.)
Washing I agree with other reviewers the pants remain a bit stiff, I don't really see that as a liability as just how the pant is. They are holding up well. Better than my Dickies 874 or even my double knee Dickies, another long time favorite of mine. Ironing is not really necessary as long as you remove as soon as your pant is dry from the dryer. I find removal and a firm snap shake fold and hang, and they are ready for work or play later.
Colors in this review, Black, Dark Gray, Khaki. I have not tried the Navy color, next to be added in my collection.
Shrinkage is very minimal so you can buy true to size with confidence. I believe it is a warm wash, cooler dry and all is good.
Keeping clean as worn after the wash is easy. Water just beads on the fabric due to its protectant embedded in the fabric. I have not spilled anything like coffee on them etc. so I cannot attest to the protectant efficacy in this area.
As an aside I received complements for dressing up more than usual. I had to laugh, because these are afterall work pants not formal or serious dress pants. Pretty funny I thought. I commented, it amazing what a little ironing will do kiddingly.
These pants are smartly cut for the work environment yet still have some of the tough values and durability that my Dungerees have, but in a more professional office friendly scheme. While they will never replace my suit pants anytime soon, unlike my Dickies 874 pants, they offer better fit, more robustness of build in the fabric choice, the tripple stitching inseam and the washing and still looking new vibe vs. the Dickies that look trashed after just a few washing showing wear and all.
The curiousities are the pockets that seemed to vary with my size choice, remember I bought 2 sizes and noted the pocket depth difference. The waist size can vary as well. If you can try them on before you buy it is always a safer bet, shrinkage not being an issue you can buy true to size so one upping to counter shrinkage is not really needed.
So in the metrics.
Fit for me at least a 5
Finish and construction 4.5 found some errant threads around the fly easily eliminated. Hook and fly perfect operation every time, the rear pocket welt buttons a bit fiddly when using them. Seams straight and neat. Tripple stitch inner seam a plus for durability.
Comfort and cut 5, the stiffness maybe off putting for some, but I didn't find it a bother. The generous cut is welcome for my frame at least anyway and is great in my sit down or run around world at work.
So in summary Carhartt continues at least for me to impress with the product quality and enhancement of my wardrobe for work and play whether a raincoat or my overalls, or dungerees, the B290 is a fine addition to my Carhartt clothes arsenal.
Thank you for your time reading my thoughts and opinion.