Throughout history, hardworking individuals of every trade and discipline have united under the pursuit of one, single goal: creation. Whether it be the construction of architectural wonders, the procurement of tactile goods, or the demanding dredge of skillful craftsmanship, the state of the world was (and always will be) reliant on the tenacity of blue-collar tradesmen who have helped to shape, determine, and articulate the culture that we know today. However, these folks wouldn’t have gotten very far without a number of highly-specialized garments — helping them to complete everyday tasks with peace-of-mind, providing them with dependable reinforcement, and gifting them with trustworthy companionship day in and day out. The chore coat, which was decidedly named and built for use within the most unrelenting blue-collar conditions was one such garment — serving to redefine the idea of contemporary workwear. But what began as a simplistic, brutish garment would eventually transition into a breakaway style that would be utilized everywhere from the heat-induced blacktop, all the way to the Hollywood Hills.
A Nostalgic Style, Renewed
The Modernization Of The Classic
While the chore coat’s classic style might seem transcendental, it’s a well-known fact that in today’s society, technical applications reign supreme. With clothing manufacturers taking an expansive step into the realm of technologically advanced tailoring practices, innovative fabrics, and daring design choices, how could the iconic, minimalist chore coat possibly persevere? By adapting, of course — and retaining its own storied character in the process. Companies like Levi’s, L.L. Bean, and Carhartt have undoubtedly led the charge when it comes to the longevity of classic workwear, revitalizing a number of iconic silhouettes with modern design principles, fashion-forward prints and colorways, and the introduction of entirely new manufacturing practices. Below, we’ll outline a number of the top contenders in the chore coat category — from timeless workwear orientation, all the way to fashionable street-wear, this time-tested jacket has become a staple of every man’s wardrobe — and now’s the perfect time to add it to yours.
Levi’s Engineer’s Coat
Levi’s Engineer’s Coat is a testament to the tenacity of American workwear, inspired by the iconic utilitarian garment that started it all, the vintage chore coat. While the original chore coat was touted for its “over-anything” fit, this 100% cotton, plain weave engineer’s coat provides a modern approach to the all-original outerwear, providing a durable, non-stretch silhouette, a metal shank button closure, and long sleeves to protect your arms no matter the undertaking.
L.L. Bean Original Field Coat
L.L. Bean’s Original Field Coat is no slouch in the authenticity department, boasting a heavy-duty Nor’Easter cotton canvas and a two-ply, 10-ounce fabric that’s both water and stain resistant for the ultimate exercise in stylish outerwear. A sewn-in lining, underarm gussets, and bi-swing shoulders allow free range of motion, while five external pockets provide the wearer with all the storage capabilities they’ll ever need from a durable work garment.
Taylor Stitch The Long Haul Jacket
Taylor Stitch has done it again with their small batch Long Haul Jacket, a 10-ounce, organic cotton chore coat that was custom developed with Halley Stevensons, an industry leader in weatherproof/waxed fabrics since 1864. Zigzag reinforcement stitching along the collar and front placket of the Long Haul offer the utmost resistance to tears and separation, while custom copper YKK doughnut buttons, rivets, and Brisbane Moss corduroy-lined cuffs only add to the jacket’s refined taste. Rounded flap chest pockets, EDC pen slots, and front welt hand-warmer stow provide the wearer with a number of quality-of-life additions. With an interior leather patch imprinted by Wickett & Craig, it’s a no brainer that Stitch’s workwear garment stands head and shoulders above its competition.
Carhartt WIP Michigan Chore Coat
Carhartt WIP is a trusted name in men’s outerwear and their Michigan Chore Coat plays entirely to the brand’s strengths. Featuring a 100% organic cotton “Dearborn” canvas, this brawny, durable work coat utilizes a corduroy top collar, buttoned front closure, a square label, and an unlined silhouette that’s built for everyday use. The Michigan is tailored for springtime — and with a tasteful Laurel Camo colorway, it’s safe to say that Carhartt WIP has found the perfect balance between style and purpose.
Cold Smoke Co. Khamsin Chore Coat
Cold Smoke’s Khamsin Chore Coat is an updated, reinterpreted take on the classic 19th-century outerwear, boasting a new Schoeller Feelgood 3XDRY fabric, a water repellent exterior, and ultra-wicking fabric that keeps you both warm and dry. YKK zippers, a subtle rib weave canvas, and adjustable wrist closures adorn this all-weather chore coat, giving it the perfect weight to durability ratio for spring, summer, and wintertime wear.
3sixteen Shop Jacket
The 3sixteen Shop Jacket refines the classic chore coat in a way that usurps the original’s iconic style, but finds the perfect middle ground between modern and contemporary design. A soft, textured cotton and wool blend that’s been boiled and woven in Japan makes up the Shop’s primary construction, while genuine horn buttons, a straight bottom hem, center back seam, and three-pocket front serve to define the rest of the stylish jacket. To round things out, 3sixteen’s dramatic take on the chore coat is made entirely in the USA, giving it that local feel we all know and love.
Rogue Territory Ridgeline Supply Jacket
Rogue Territory is redefining what it means to wear durable, well-designed clothing with their Ridgeline Supply Jacket — boasting a 15-ounce sanforized black Japanese selvedge denim that’s been sourced straight from the Nihon Menpu Mills in Japan. A selection of front patch pockets, chain-stitched seams, raw nickel crossed feather branded buttons, and welt pockets come together to create the ultimate in repurposed workwear. The jacket’s internal locker loop at the base of the collar works alongside an interior pocket and placket cut on selvedge denim, providing attention to detail not often seen in heritage workwear — giving the Ridgeline a leg up on alternative garments.
Universal Works Workshop Denim Bakers Chore Jacket
Universal Works Workshop Denim Bakers Chore Jacket is a handsome interpretation of the original outerwear, utilizing a number of angled front patch pockets, a chest pocket, and a hidden button-down inner pocket to create the perfect complimentary garment for everyday use. A curved front body hem and unique rear ghost patch bring the multipurpose workwear into the realm of fashionably tailored clothing, while unique contrast angled button-holes add a final touch of class to the iconic chore coat.
Best Made Co. Japanese Denim Chore Coat
Best Made Co. is taking heritage workwear to another level with their Japanese Denim Chore Coat — a nostalgic reminder of the chore coat’s original design principles. Utilizing a comfortable (but hard-wearing) 8 oz. cotton denim that’s been sourced from Japan, the USA-made garment features black oxide tack buttons, double-needle stitching, and an adjustable two-button cuff — making it perfect for wear in a variety of situations. YKK tack buttons and various storage pockets combine for additional reinforcement in key areas of the garment.
Filson Cover Cloth Mile Marker Coat
Filson rounds out our list with a beautifully tailored 8-ounce Mile Marker Coat, utilizing an oil-finished cover cloth and their lightest waxed canvas to date to bring wearers the ultimate exercise in clean-cut style. A two-way front zipper and snap-closure storm flap work alongside snapping cargo pockets, an interior security pocket, and vertically zippered chest pockets for a tailored and true fit, while moleskin-lined handwarmer pockets, a body lined in feather cloth, and polyester twill sleeves round out the boisterous garment. Filson built the Mile Marker with adaptability in mind — opting to include their modular button-on hood and zip-in liner for a truly customizable take on the classic workwear.
15 Best Work Boots
Now that you’ve seen the best work-oriented outerwear the industry has to offer, head over to our guide on the best men’s work boots for a quick walkthrough regarding footwear that’ll keep you safe and comfortable on the job site.