Every Wardrobe Needs A Chore Jacket
Every Wardrobe Needs A Chore Jacket

Every Wardrobe Needs A Chore Jacket


Chore jackets aren’t new, but they are modern. First favoured by French laboureurs and American railroad workers around the turn of the 20th century, they were designed to be useful (hence the pockets) and hard wearing. Today, they speak to something even more enduring: a man who knows his craft. Here are our favourite examples of this workwear classic – and how to wear one…

First, A Brief History

Initially designed as a functional piece of workwear more than a century ago, the first iterations are dated back to late nineteenth century France. Made to be durable and constructed with fabrics like tough cotton and moleskin, it was worn by labourers — be it farmers or engineers and often thrown over other utility style workwear. Typically you’d find them in a strong blue shade with utility style details and functional pockets. 

Carhartt is known today as a pretty mainstream, but trendy brand, popular for its utility style aesthetic, but it was also the first arbiter – in terms of a brand at least – of this style of jacket. They started with “overall coats” back in 1892, then it’s first chore jacket ad hit the market in 1917 – and it’s been a key piece for the brand ever since. 

The Evolution

As time went on, the piece was revived and tweaked — be it in shape, or fabrication. Slowly padded and corduroy styles were introduced and became popular. Elsewhere, some of the functional details became less relevant and therefore were removed — for example the jackets used to have a special pocket just for a pocket watch. There are also denim versions now too. 

The Brands To Look Out For Now

While Carhartt is still a key brand to know, high-end, contemporary and high street brands are all still creating versions of the chore jacket. APC is one to look out for. The Parisian brand’s corduroy and denim styles are particularly good. Similarly Folk, Studio Nicholson and Acne Studios are all good places to look. On the higher end of the spectrum, Loewe’s version of a chore jacket – embossed with its signature logo motif on the pocket – is a no-brainer if you’ve got the budget. On the high street, don’t forget COS, ARKET or Uniqlo. Plus Zara’s collection with Studio Nicholson is worth checking out. Elsewhere, small Shoreditch-based brand Batch London creates made to order versions of these jackets, which are made with matching trousers – if you’re after a contemporary co-ord. Finally, don’t forget second hand options for more under the radar brands and a more vintage look and feel. 


Layer a plain tee underneath. When it's colder, add a knit or turtleneck.
Twill Utility Jacket, £95 | COS
Twill Utility Jacket, £95 | COS

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