A coat for all seasons, this utilitarian staple’s a must-have for men.
Since the 1800s, men of all kinds—from construction workers to photographers (like noted New York Times photographer, the late Bill Cunningham)—have trusted the long-lasting, utilitarian yet attractive chore jacket to help them get the job done!
The chore jacket or coat first showed up in 19th century France, and later in America. The classic version was made from heavy cotton for durability, with three or four pockets at the front to hold tools and parts, to help men with their manual labour or chores; and hence the moniker!
WHY YOU NEED ONE!
Menswear’s romance with workwear has been going on for one pregnant minute considering the number of utilitarian styles available these days! It wasn’t long before the general public got a whiff of the chore jacket, and realised that it’s easily one of the most versatile pieces of outwear! Contemporary versions of this style are—less about manual labour—and more about its classic appeal and comfortable silhouette. Designers and brands now offer slimmer fits, smaller collars and sometimes forego the traditional number of pockets from four to two or three. Besides, they come in every kind of fabric: From denim, canvas, linen and cotton to seersucker and wool!
Why do you need one? It’s Autumn/Fall’s favourite jacket. Chore coats will shield you from the ever-fluctuating-and-unpredictable weather, save you from carrying a knapsack while running errands, AND it looks good with almost everything!
STYLE IT RIGHT!
Let’s make one thing clear: The chore jacket strictly lies in the ‘casual’, ‘smart casual’ territory! That doesn’t mean you can’t make it ‘work’ (pun intended) for you! The best thing about this utilitarian staple is that it’s the perfect balance between comfort and style!
▶ SMART CASUALS
Just treat your chore coat as an unstructured blazer. This is a great foundation to start building your look from! Take cues from Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana: The effortless fit of the blue chore coat combined with a basic white T-shirt and off-white chinos is all about smart dressing!
EDITOR’S TIPS: Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours and texture. Pairing an olive green canvas chore coat with a white crew-neck jumper or tee with a darker shade of olive green and white low-top sneakers will look great. So would a burned orange jacket with khaki chinos and loafers or canvas sneakers. Or you could wear a lightweight coat with a shirt and a pair of trousers or flannel pants!
This style makes for a superb casual jacket! Choose a denim chore jacket and pair it with dark-wash denims. Or try a fun, street-style version like actor Vicky Kaushal! This outerwear really pops when you wear it with jeans!
EDITOR’S TIPS: Twill, tweed, linen, denim or wool chore jacket will take your look to the next level. Twill and light denim work for warmer weather, whereas wool and other heavier materials can work for nippy evenings when you don’t need a long-ass winter coat just yet! Just keep the rest of the look minimal: A basic tee or cardigan when it’s cooler, straight leg jeans or wide pants if you’re in the mood for experimenting; and sneakers.
From Zoom meetings, virtual dates or one IRL to running errands on the weekend or hanging out with the boys—the chore jacket will see you through it all—while making you look sharp AF! It’s functional yet stylish! What more could a guy need?