The Chore Coat Is the Ideal Fall Outerwear Style
12 of our favorites, from brands like Todd Snyder, Universal Works and more
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Fall style has been on our minds lately, and while it is true that, like so many other people, we are genuinely giddy with excitement about the prospect of being able to wear things like lug sole loafers, sweater vests and corduroy pants, it’s really the outerwear we’re most into. And more often than not, we find ourselves reaching for the certain lightweight latyer. You guessed it the best Chore Coats are (in our book) the best that fall has to offer.
Originating in 19th-century France, the chore coat was first worn by farmers and other laborers, and they were generally made from moleskin or cotton that had been dyed bright indigo — what the French call bleu de travail, or “work blue.”
Today’s versions are generally made of some sort of hard-wearing canvas material, and stay true to the original design: most feature three oversized patch pockets and durable button closures, and they tend to hit somewhere right below the waist.
We find them to be among the most versatile outerwear options in our closet, as they’re easily dressed down when layered over a T-shirt, but then nicely fancied up over a button-down or even a light sweater. And since they’re meant to be worn by people performing actual labor, they’ll obviously be able to stand up to the rigors of your next apple-picking outing with the kid or a couple of beers after work.
Below, we’ve highlighted 12 of our favorites, a challenge when it comes to the beloved style. From Todd Snyder to Universal Works, these Chore Coats stand the test of transitional conditions, all while making you look the workwear hero you are. Below, the 12 best Chore Coats for men this fall.
The 12 Best Chore Coats For Men:
Ever since the season’s first chill hit, we’ve been turning to Carhartt’s Work In Progress (WIP) division for their Michigan Chore Coat. We recommend it without reservation for milder temps: a midweight twill insulates you for potential chill and can take an absolute beating, whether you’re chopping logs for the winter ahead or grilling up at the tailgate.
Taylor Stitch makes its signature chore coat in a wide range of colors and fabrics, and it’s the kind of garment that’s so well-made and so perfectly and authentically designed that it it’s not difficult to imagine wanting to invest in a few different ones. We’re partial to this espresso color, which stands out just enough from the sea of blues and tans you tend to see.
Central to Universal Works is the idea of “contempary menswear”, which manifests in a variety of inspired workwear from the U.K.-founded label. We particularly love their tentpole Bakers Chore Jacket Style for it’s subtle print and boxy fit — double up on with some big cords and you’ve got quite the fall ‘fit to be reckonded with.
When it comes to traditional American workwear, you’re not gonna do a whole lot better than Dickies. And when it comes to Dickie’s interpretation of this traditional French style, well, you’re gonna wanna look to the brand’s Denim Blanket-Lined Chore Coat for some serious coatage. We’re especially fond of it’s oversized look and flannel lining.
Another Americana-inspired Chore Coat from Ralph Lauren’s western offshoot RRL, the Indigo Jersey Chore Coat is cut exactly like the rugged wild west outerwear from the 1930s. Its dense cotton jersey weave is true indigo-dyed for that retro denim look. Basically, if you own more than one pair of cowboy boots (or aspire too), this is the only Chore Coat for you.
Heritage label Barbour is unparalleled when it comes to functional, classic-looking garments that will undoubtedly wear in beautiful. Much like their unrivaled waxed jackets, their take on the Chore Coat sports a handsome contrast collar and appropriately sized pockets, for all your potential goodies.
Unlike most of the numbers on this list, Everlane’s Chore Coat is spun from blanket-soft French terry — while it might not be the best material for getting your hands dirty, it sure as hell will keep you comfortable and, dare we say, cozy, as temps continue to dip.
Todd Snyder’s sophisticated take on the chore coat features premium brushed Italian virgin wool, historically accurate patch pockets and not a whole lot else — just the way it was intended.
J.Crew’s long-running in-house workwear brand Wallace and Barnes has been as instrumental as anyone in bringing the chore coat back to prominence, and their current version is exactly what it’s always been: simply designed, made of durable duck canvas, and available in the pitch-perfect vibrant hues of Mystic Sea, Rich Coffee and Dark Forrest (pictured above).
Alex Crane’s take on the Chore Coat is called the Kite Jacket, and it’s admirable in its simplicity, boasting a no-frills design and a relaxed, comfortable fit. It’s made from organic cotton that you can tell is going to get cozier and cozier with wear.
Patagonia claims the “Iron Forge Hemp” canvas material used in the construction of this piece is 25% more durable than traditional cotton duck canvas and doesn’t require any break-in time. We’ll take them at their word, and we’ll add that it is also exceedingly good-looking.
Independent label OlderBrother may be on the smaller side, but that relative size and output actually allow for unique small-batch craftsmanship and sourcing. Take their Wax Panel Chore Coat; unlike its compatriots, the jacket is woven from Japanese cotton and finished with Beeswaxed organic cotton reinforced arm gators and burnished corozo buttons. It’s a process like no other from start to finish…and makes for a damn fine Chore Coat.
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