The Best Chore Coats Do All the Hard Work for You

It’s hard to think of a jacket more useful, more wide-ranging than a chore coat—we’ve been sitting at the computer for, like, 20 minutes trying to come up with one but…nada. The best chore coats really do it all. And we’re not just talking about their labor-intensive origins. Whether you’re an early 1900s French worker or a 2020s artist, the chore coat can tackle almost any situation and any style with aplomb. If we’re talking sheer wearability, the chore coat is right up there with a plain white tee and blue jeans. So it’s safe to say you’d do well to have one in your closet, especially for those days when your woefully under-caffeinated peanut of a brain just can’t fire up a good outfit. For generations, all manner of dudes looking to get stuff done, from construction workers to photographers to mechanics to outdoorsmen, have turned to these storage-space-happy jackets for their durability and versatility. There’s virtually no jacket better suited to everyday wear.

The Best Chore Coats Shopping Guide

Chore coats will shield you from harsh weather, save you from carrying a bag around, and are perfect for layering over everything from chinos and a T-shirt to a button-down and tailored trousers. And right now, thanks to fashion’s ongoing workwear fixation, there’s never been a wider range of worthwhile versions available to you. To save you a vital bit of time, we went ahead and rounded up the 25 worthiest men’s chore coats on the market right now.

The OG Chore Coat

Le Mont St Michel genuine work jacket

If the appeal of workwear to you is all that baked-in “authenticity,” well, it doesn’t get much more authentic than this. The kind of chore jackets we’re used to today were first donned by laborers in France in the late 1800s and originally dubbed bleu de travail—“worker’s blues”—for that attractive, irrefutably French shade of indigo. Not long after, in 1913, Le Mont St Michel began crafting their iconic version of the coat and has since become the de facto French chore coat brand. Over a century later, its appeal has only deepened: the roomy patch pockets and hardy construction are as practical as ever, and something in the cut and drape and color lends the OG jacket all the ease and elegance of an impeccably tailored unlined blazer. And though the inimitable French blue will always be in-style, this lush forest green colorway feels just a little more unique. It’s not as common as military-favored olive drab, but is perhaps just as wearable. Jeans (obviously) and a grey hoodie, a thrashed vintage T-shirt with a pair of wide-leg khakis, some cream-white pants and a dressy button-up for some southern Italian flair—it’s all fair game.

The Modern-Vintage Chore Coat

Arket overdyed twill overshirt

You wouldn’t be chastised for mistaking this for a true vintage French chore coat. Hell, this one stopped us in our own tracks. Every detail about it is true to the kind of dusty grails lurking throughout roving flea markets and estate sales. From the mitred pockets to the squared off internal pocket, to the roomy fit that doesn’t pander to the trim-fitting trend of so many modern options. It features a soft, but dense left-hand twill fabric, beautiful corozo nut buttons, and an overdyed finish that gives it that lived-in feel. Of course, it hasn’t been lived in yet. But we wouldn’t be surprised if you took care of that real quick.

The Super Affordable Chore Coat

Red Kap lapel counter coat

Red Kap has been doling out hardwearing, affordable workwear for decades. Case in point: their lapel counter coat. The French blue is just the right shade, and it’s made using a lightweight but hardy blend of polyester and cotton. At just $25 a pop, you can even get one in every non-bleu color and still pay less than some of the cheaper options on this list. Pair it with your favorite graphic tee and sneakers for a casual off-day look, or go full on cozy vibes with a hoodie, cords, and boots.

The Environmentally-Minded Chore Coat

Alex Mill garment dyed work jacket in upcycled denim

Alex Mill’s signature work jacket boasts all the hallmarks of a classic chore coat but swaps the typical moleskin fabric for an eco-friendly denim. The fabric is composed entirely of post-consumer cotton made in a family-run, zero-waste mill in Guatemala. That upcycled process imbues the denim with a ton of character and a lived-in feel that won’t cost you months and months in break-in time. The fit is also immaculate. A lot of modern versions are cut too slim, and old-school originals are often too frumpy, but Alex Mill hits an ideal relaxed silhouette that’ll look great layered over everything from a light tee to chunky knit hoodie.

The American Classic Chore Coat

Carhartt WIP “Michigan” chore coat

You’re probably looking at this jacket and thinking, “No need for the write-up, GQ. I’m well acquainted. Every dad/uncle/general male authority figure in every hometown in America wore one of these growing up.” And while we appreciate you trying to save us some work, you aren’t totally correct. Thing is, this bad boy actually comes courtesy of Carhartt WIP—“Work In Progress”—the Detroit stalwart’s European-designed, streetwear-inflected offshoot. They kept all the best parts of those Carhartts you remember—the impenetrable cotton canvas, the corduroy collar, the rivets, the decades-long lifespan—while also ripping out the heavy blanket lining for spring and trimming the whole thing down just a smidge. The result is the rare remake better than its source material: a jacket that can still stand up to an honest day’s labor, but no longer fits like a stiff cardboard box.

The Denimhead-Approved Chore Coat

Orslow 1950s coverall four pocket jacket

If you’re looking for considered details and expert craftsmanship—without any of the extraneous capital “F” fashion stuff—this is the chore coat for you. Orslow is known for its hardcore workwear reproductions, and it doesn’t get much better than this 1950s-inspired coverall jacket. It’s made using Japanese selvedge denim with a subtle slubby texture, contrast stitching, patinated brass buttons, and an impeccably relaxed fit. With top-notch materials and vintage construction techniques, this piece is built to last well past the 2050s.

Plus 19 More Chore Coats We Love

Dickies duck canvas chore coat

Beefy 12-ounce duck canvas and a sumptuous corduroy collar? That’s the kind of dichotomy that everyone’s been raving about.

Engineered Garments Bedford jacket

Go from workin’ the fields to clinking glasses at a fancy function.

Ijji canvas work jacket

Enough cargo space for a pair of 2-liter La Croix bottles (or, yeah, gardening tools, we guess).

Brain Dead gardener’s jacket

A little punk attitude is good for you and for your closet.

Red Kap blended duck chore coat

Beefier, warmer, and with even more pockets than Red Kap’s basic option.

Wallace & Barnes lightweight twill chore jacket

Don’t sleep on Wallace & Barnes, the heritage workwear-inspired sub-label of preppy American staple, J.Crew. While most chore coats fade to beauty, this creamy white chore coat takes the opposite approach. So, rejoice and lean into every smudge and stain.

Drake’s heavyweight suede five-pocket chore jacket

We can’t deny that this bomb-proof suede jacket is fully capable of tackling the rigors of the toughest jobs. We also can’t deny that we’re probably not wearing it to do any kind of hard labor (though, scarfing down a triple cheeseburger is pretty tough).

Sky High Farm Workwear workwear chore jacket

We won’t blame you if this is the first time you’ve heard of Sky High Farm Workwear, a seriously cool label that’s actually a non-profit vehicle to promote a more sustainable food system. But even if you’re still noshing on garbage, you can at least do it in a sick, cotton-candy pink chore coat.

Carhartt duck chore jacket

Made with Carhartt’s famed duck canvas fabric, this chore coat is as tough as they come. Think of it as a future family heirloom your great-grandkids will fight over.

Wellen blanket chore coat

At a distance, the soft stripes are already beautiful. Up close, the intricate jacquard weave comes into focus and it’s hard to look away. All that’s left to do is toss it over a hoodie and your most loved jeans and you’ve got a grade-A outfit.

Buck Mason Ridge wool Upland jacket

Buck Mason’s Upland jacket takes after classic Mackinaw-style coats with its thick wool fabric and snap flap pockets. Now that we got that quick history lesson out of the way, we can just say that it’s dope as hell and absolutely primo with a flannel shirt.

Ben Davis Original style jacket

It doesn’t get much grittier than Ben Davis. The real-deal workwear brand has been slingin’ crunchy denim and board-stiff canvas goods to countless tradespeople for decades. In that time, it’s also garnered for itself a reputation for California style. So pair this with some crisp jeans and a pair of Chucks to tap into that easy-going West Coast energy.

General Admission four pocket shirt

Did we find this garment in the “Shirt” section and not the “Outerwear” section? Yes. Does it have four pockets, long sleeves, and a collar? Also, yes. So why nitpick?

Barbour x And Wander Pivot jacket

When waxed outerwear legends link up with modern-day tech-gorp gurus, the result is a striking goldenrod jacket that adds some serious juice to the bland chore coats we’re used to seeing.

Karu Research chore jacket

From the natural, undyed yarns, to the beautiful Kantha stitching to the contrasting knit collar, it should be obvious that this is no regular chore coat.

Pilgrim Surf + Supply “Timmy” jacket

Look ma! No collar!

Todd Snyder Glen plaid tailored chore coat

Plaid—not just for flannel shirts!

Tender 446 Wide Face Shirt

Tender’s obsession over turn-of-the-century locomotive-influenced details leads to clothes you’ve certainly never seen before. This one features some clever paneling imperceptible to the average person, and is naturally dyed in an ancient Hadal process to achieve a deep purple.

Polo Ralph Lauren wool-lined field jacket

Shhhh, nobody has to know that you didn’t put in the hard work to distress this gorgeous coat yourself.

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