How Do Carhartt Pants Fit? (And do they shrink?)


In this article we discuss how Carhartt Pants fit. In my experience, Carhartt pants fit true-to-size, but it can vary a bit depending on the type of pants you choose.

***UPDATE*** – Carhartt now has their own sizing guide that can help you decide what size to order. Click here to view their size and fit guide at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com).

*This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (info)

If you are looking for Carhartt work pants, these are some of their most popular styles that I have tried over the years:

  • Carhartt B151 Lightweight Canvas Work Pants – These have been my favorite hot weather work pants for several years. They deliver the canvas toughness I need, but it’s a lighter-weight canvas that allows my legs to breathe better. This is the current price of these B151 pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Mine fit true to size in both waist and length:
carhartt-b151-work-pants
  • Carhartt B01 USA Work Pants – These B01 pants are made in the USA and feature a double knee that can handle knee pad inserts. In my experience these pants fit true to size, but expect a baggy fit through the legs. If you prefer a slimmer pant, these might not be the best option. This is the current price of these pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here are mine:
carhartt-B01-work-pants
  • Carhartt Rugged Work Khaki Pant – Out of all the Carhartt pants I’ve ever worn, this is the one of two different styles that I felt like was too snug in the waist, and had to size up. The length fit normal. These pants are good for those who prefer a clean, khaki style work pant. This is the current price of these pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here are mine:
carhartt-cotton-khaki-pants-top
  • Carhartt Relaxed Fit Dungaree Pant – 100% Cotton dungaree pants. Hammer loop and utility pockets. Multiple colors to choose from. Relaxed fit that I had to size up one size in the waist. Length was true to size. This is the current price of these pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here are mine:
dungaree-carhartt-pants-top
  • Carhartt Rugged Flex Rigby Pants – Flex, stretch material for easy movement. 98% Cotton/2% Spandex material. Utility pockets. Fits over top of boots. Relaxed fit runs true-to-size. This is the current price of these pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here are mine:
flex-work-pants-carhartt

How Do Carhartt Pants Fit?

In the sections below we will discuss how Carhartt pants fit. Just like with Carhartt outerwear, you can expect Carhartt pants to be tough and durable so that they can handle the conditions common to a work site. The material and fit does differ depending on what type of Carhartt pants you choose.

dungaree-carhartt-pants-top

Do Carhartt Pants Run Small?

In general, most Carhartt pants run true to size, but some types of Carhartt pants can run a bit snug in the waist line. The length of Carhartt pants (in my experience) has always been true to size.

I have had a couple pairs of Carhartt pants that I had to exchange for a larger waist. My recommendation (without knowing what type of pant you are interested in) is to order your normal sizing, but if you are in between waist sizes, order up.

Let’s take a look at a couple specific popular types of Carhartt pants:

  • Carhartt Cotton Khaki Work Pants
  • Carhartt Relaxed Fit Dungaree Pant

Carhartt Cotton Khaki Work Pants

carhartt-cotton-khaki-pants-top
carhartt-cotton-khaki-pants-backside

This is one of Carhartt’s most versatile pair of pants because it fits in style-wise both at the office and at a work site, and is tough enough to stand up to the conditions of a work site. These pants are perfect for those spending part of their day in the office, and part on a work site.

These pants are 100% cotton, made with a relaxed fit. They ran a bit small in the waistline and I sized up one size. The length ran true to size.


Carhartt Relaxed Fit Dungaree Pant

dungaree-carhartt-pants-top

This is one of Carhartt most popular types of work pants because it has the clean, simple work style, combined with utility pockets and durable cotton fabric. This is a relaxed fit pant, but I will caution that I did have to size this pair of pants up in the waist line (the length was true).

Although these pants are a “relaxed fit”, in my opinion they fit a bit tighter through the hips than some of Carhartt’s other relaxed pants do. My recommendation is to size up one size in the waist.

dungaree-carhartt-pants-front

Do Carhartt Flannel-Lined Pants Run Small

Some people are concerned about the sizing of flannel-lined Carhartt pants knowing that the pants will have extra material built-in for warmth. Do Carhartt flannel-lined pants run small?

No, the Carhartt Flannel-Lined Pants (style B111) do not run small. These pants are made with a loose, relaxed fit. Even though they are flannel-lined, they do not fit tight. They run true to size in my experience.

Do Carhartt Pants Shrink?

The answer to this question will obviously depend on what type of pants you buy. The short answer is yes, Carhartt pants will shrink a little bit, but overall it will be very minimal.

The pre-washed (Sandstone) pants will obviously have less shrinkage, and so will the pants that are made with a blend of materials. Following Carhartt’s washing instructions should help reduce shrinkage.

dungaree-carhartt-pants-back

6 Things To Consider When Buying Carhartt Pants

  • Toughness – Are you looking for heavyweight pants that can stand up to the toughest work environments? If so, you will want to buy Carhartt pants that have the heavyweight cotton duck canvas material. Carhartt’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Dungaree Pants are made with the heavyweight cotton duck material (12-ounce) and have a double-front to keep the knees from wearing out.
  • Flexibility – Do you prioritize flexibility in your work pants? Carhartt does offer certain styles that are made with a stretch fabric blend so that the pants move as you move. The Carhartt Rugged Flex Rigby Dungaree Pants are made with a 98% cotton / 2% spandex canvas so that they pants are easy to move around in. If you prefer flexibility, stick with a material blend that will give the pants some stretch.
  • Warmth – Do you need blanket-lined pants for extreme winter conditions? The Carhartt Flannel-Lined Washed Duck Dungaree Pants combine that tough, dependable material with the flannel lining to give you something that is both tough and warm. These pants have a very loose, relaxed fit.
  • Big and Tall – Do you need big and tall sizes? Carhartt does offer both 36 inch inseams and 38 inch inseams in certain styles. I wear the 36 inch inseam at 6’3″ at it has plenty of length.
  • Fit – Carhartt offer 3 basic types of fit: Straight, Relaxed, and Loose. They do not offer slim fit. Straight will be the most tailored fit, while the loose fit will be the roomiest fit. The large majority of Carhartt pants are cut with the relaxed fit, which is an in-between cut (not too tight, not too baggy).
  • USA Work Pants – Carhartt actually makes one of their most popular types of work pants right here in the USA. To read more about the B01 pants, and other types of USA work pants, visit our article about the Best Work Pants Made in the USA.

***Don’t forget, we cover a wide range of Carhartt gear. If you want to browse through our entire collection of Carhartt gear articles, visit our Carhartt Gear Guide. To read about Carhartt Summer Pants, visit our article about the Best Work Pants for Hot Weather. To read about Carhartt Pants with Knee Pad Pockets, visit our article about the Best Work Pants with Knee Pads.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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