Remember when all the hot punk girls were wearing tight black Carhartt cargo jeans with the ankles cuffed? (Apparently they are good for something called "hard labor" too?) My roommate had a pair that I habitually swiped until they were more mine than hers, and I loved them but had to give them up when I got my own apartment. At that point there was a rumor/urban legend that Carhartt had changed the cuts of their pants and you could no longer get them in the skinny fit, and I didn't really try very hard to replace them. (Does anybody know if this is really true? It's entirely possible that they simply stopped carrying that cut for a single season at Fred Meyers or something. And although there is a "slim fit" listed on their web site, it's hard to tell without trying them on.)

With the recessionary workwear trend in full swing, however, you might be pleased to know that there is a new store in town (out at 10243 NE Cascades Parkway, near the IKEA) called, aptly enough, The Carhartt Store, specializing in nothing but all things Carhartt: clothing, shoes, and accessories. It's not actually owned by the company, however, but was opened by Oregonian Buzz Wheeler, who also owns the Coastal Farm & Ranch stores.

While I intend to remain the only American I know who has never set foot inside an IKEA, I'm tempted to check again on those slim fitting dungarees... if indeed they do still exist.

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UPDATE: Photos of the new store after the break.

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