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PRODUCT REVIEW: New Carhartt Detroit Jacket

Short Story: The Detroit Jacket is an iconic style for Carhartt, one that has been around for decades and hasn’t changed much...until now. The new Detroit Jacket is familiar, but different.  At first we were pretty skeptical (like most changes from tradition), but this update makes the Detroit Jacket more practical for every-day wear and less like a cardboard box with a zipper!  And that’s a win in our book.

Carhartt Duck Detroit Jacket at Dave's New York





The new Detroit Jacket next to a customer's old Detroit Jacket





Long StoryThe Carhartt Detroit Jacket is a time-tested style. First developed in the 70s, this jacket has seen 5 full decades of wear and use from people across all industries. The shorter waist-length was built for all types of work, and combined with its warmth and ruggedness, the Detroit jacket became a staple in the workforce. 

What really drove this jacket to workforce fame was the durability and styling. This jacket was no-nonsense and didn’t have any flash or bells & whistles. What it did have was a great intrinsic value in its work-to-price relationship. It was a jacket that you could afford to buy every year, built with the ruggedness to last a decade. 

It is for all of these reasons that we were uneasy when we heard that Carhartt was updating this timeless classic. We (like many traditional dealers and wearers) were skeptical that the jacket would lose its authenticity and function. We were also afraid that it would lose its value in the eyes of those who have worn this jacket for their entire career. 

When we got the first batch of the new Detroit Jackets, we noticed right away that the rinsed canvas was not as firm or stiff as the original, and that the blanket lining seemed softer too. We found that having a softer canvas meant that the jacket was more flexible when you first put it on, rather than feeling like you’re wearing a cardboard box. The fit in the sleeves was better, so it looked like you were wearing the right size, rather than a wing-suit.

We ultimately realized that the update was right for the times. People want something broken-in, but not worn-in. People look for both fit and comfort, and you have to be able to blend the two. They are still looking for durable (which this canvas is) garments, but they’re not willing to sacrifice fit, function, or style. 

Despite being a bit skeptical initially, we and our staff have tried the jackets on a bunch, and we think the changes are positive overall!  Guess sometimes it's ok to break with tradition after all!

We can’t wait for you to come in and try the new jacket on, and we hope you’ll share your opinion of it with us!

- Adam

Shop Carhartt Detroit Jackets

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Dave - January 11, 2023

Not happy with the new design at all. The old detroit 125 that I’ve worn and continued to buy fits great., the new made in India jacket fits weird and so narrow in the arms and shoulders it hurts. Will not buy this version ever!

Jeremy - December 25, 2022

As for me the changes being made are not welcomed especially the traditional straight leg pants. Unfortunately there comes a time when complete overall changes are to much and another brand selection become necessary. As many new interesting and durable brands are moving in.. Carhartt as I see it can’t keep up and is floundering. As everyone I know likes the designs but after purchasing is not so thrilled with the look and fit. Sorry but that’s the facts

Alex - December 7, 2022

Hello I just wanted to ask what size would yall recommend. Does this jacket run big? I’m 5’ 6" and about 190 to 195 ibs so would yall recommend medium or large?

Wi - October 12, 2020

Which one who has softer canvas between carhartt detroit workwear and carhartt detroit work in progress?

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