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
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
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 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’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
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
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
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