Why I’m Ditching My Carhartts for Dovetail Workwear Made for Women, By Women

Does a durable women's overall that works hard in the garden, shop or studio — and also looks good on you — sound too good to be true? I had to find out.

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April 02, 2020

Honestly, I’ve always loved overalls. I loved them as a kid, traipsing around in jelly shoes with rainbow patches on my pockets. I loved them as a teen when they were super stylish, the baggier the better. And I love them now for wearing all weekend in the garden.

Dovetail Workwear

Dovetail Workwear

The difference now is that I want them to fit me as a woman, not me as a child or me as a teenager in the 90s. I want to channel Rosie the Riveter, not Pippi Longstocking. Enter Dovetail Workwear.

I discovered this brand on Instagram and knew I had to try them. I was intrigued to learn that the brand is made by women, for women. Founded by three women in the Pacific Northwest — two gardeners who co-owned a landscaping business, plus a former landscaping client with a career in the apparel industry — the brand champions women in trade, physical and outdoor occupations and celebrates their unique contributions while addressing their unique needs.

Yes, women have unique needs. (Surprise!) But to try other brands, you’d barely know it. Look, Carhartts are a classic, and for good reason. But they’re a classic for men. While they do have products like overalls and work pants for women, in my experience, they’ve never fit right. And by right, I mean a way that makes me feel confident in both my ability and how I look. Carhartts, to me, have always felt stiff, either too restrictive — as in, the fabric doesn’t give — or too huge.

Dovetail’s Freshley overalls, on the other hand, are made in either stretch denim or stretch canvas that allows mobility but isn’t so stretchy that it magically becomes two sizes larger while you’re working. Honestly, it’s the perfect amount of stretch. The straight legs work great for me — not too skinny, not too wide. And the fact that they offer four choices of inseam length is a huge plus for this shorty.

Bonus features include:

  • An eyelet in the bib pocket that fits twine for tomato-tying or earbuds for podcasting while you work.
  • Plenty of pockets (13 total) for stashing everything from seed packets to pruners to your phone (you’d be surprised how many overalls and work pants don’t have a pocket suited for a mobile phone!).
  • A gusseted crotch, an odd-sounding design technique that just allows more freedom of movement and helps a ton when you’re crouching down.
  • Double-front leg panels for extra durability and a lower pocket in the panels for sliding in the occasional knee pads.

These overalls also come in a wide range of sizing, from zero to 24. They come in three colorways: black (denim), gray (canvas) and indigo striped (denim), and a Cosy version that’s fleece-lined for colder months. Pricewise, they’re in line with Carhartts and other heavy-duty workwear overalls I’ve seen. In my opinion, they’re worth the investment — in a women-owned company that supports other women, and in yourself.

Dovetail Workwear is offering HGTV readers a special discount if they order via their own website using the code HGTV20. You can also buy on Amazon and via other online retailers.

Dovetail Workwear also makes three models of work pants for women. I tried the Maven and loved the look and sturdy feel.

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