The Fall 2012 Carhartt catalog — shot on location in Alaska — is filled with men. "Real" men. These are not models, posing in slim-cut suits, like you might see in J. Crew. They're men. Working outdoors. Doing things we think of as manly.
As a recovering catalog enthusiast, I looked at Your LL Bean Boyfriend with interest, having often lamented that there are never price tags on the things you really want. But when my sister gave me the Carhartt catalog, I was slightly shocked at how unusual it was, compared to the way men's clothing is usually presented. One could craft a research paper about the differences between this catalog and J. Crew or LL Bean, taking special care to question whether it elevates and romanticizes Americana, beards and brawn. One could spend hours exploring the images and what it means to be masculine, as it pertains to the way we live now. But let's take a quick gander, shall we? Because your Carhartt Boyfriend is not like your LL Bean Boyfriend or your J. Crew Boyfriend. Your Carhartt Boyfriend doesn't stand around in a white room wearing square spectacles and laughing. Your Carhartt Boyfriend is different.
For starters, your Carhartt Boyfriend has a plane. He can whisk you away to anyplace you desire, provided he can find it on the map. But also, your Carhartt Boyfriend knows about some places that aren't on any map. Places deep inside your heart.
Your Carhartt Boyfriend may not be young, lithe and metrosexual, but he gets shit done. He gets his hands dirty. He sees things through. He's never heard of Mumford and Sons, but he can make a banjo with a stump and a pocket knife.
Your LL Bean Boyfriend wishes he had a sailboat, but only has deck shoes. Your Carhartt Boyfriend kayaks through white water just to get to home every night. The commute's a pain, but the tiny island where his log cabin is located has its charms. Electricity isn't one of them.
Your LL Bean Boyfriend might buy you lobster. Your Carhartt Boyfriend has a muskox farm, but he doesn't make a big deal about it.
If he does mention it, it's because he loves his work, okay?
Your Carhartt Boyfriend's hands are rough, but the gorgeous handcrafted wooden canopy bed he's making for your wedding is smooth as silk.
You look cold. Your Carhartt Boyfriend will make a fire with his bare hands, or at least strike the match on his chest.
Your Carhartt Boyfriend won the Iditarod but skipped the press tent and the award ceremony and just kept on going, because it felt right.
Your Carhartt Boyfriend doesn't watch TV, but he heard someone sort of based a sitcom character on him… Toned down, obviously. Someone named Rob Swanson?
Your Carhartt Boyfriend can reverse frostbite with his mind.
Once, your LL Bean Boyfriend crashed his Range Rover and your Carhartt Boyfriend saved his life.
Your Carhartt Boyfriend thinks tattoos are silly.
Someone gave your Carhartt Boyfriend a wallet with a bottle opener on it, but Your Carhartt Boyfriend prefers to remove bottlecaps with his teeth.
Your Carhartt Boyfriend doesn't dream much, but when he does, he dreams of you.
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