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The Best Men’s Work Jackets For Cold Weather

Best Work Jackets 0 Hero

These days, it can be difficult to find a workwear jacket that can be put through its paces. While many of the genre’s more stylish variants adopt the look and persona of their ruggedized counterparts, it’s rare that they can stand up to the trials and tribulations of everyday use, especially when they’re placed under the harsh realities of work areas where hands-on work is more common. That being said, the workwear world is also a large, diverse place. So shed some weight and get comfortable — we’re about to dive headfirst into our guide on the best work jackets that you can buy right now.

Best Work Jackets Breakdown

What is a Work Jacket?

Work jackets (sometimes referred to as a chore coat or chore jacket) can be traced back to 19th-century France, where it was the uniform of choice for farmhands and laborers, dubbed “bleu de travail” (or “working blue”) because of its deep indigo hue. Fast forward to the 2000s, and the chore jacket shed its workwear image and became a casual hit in Western countries. Every menswear brand worth its salt was offering cotton chore jackets by the mid-2010s, and they’re still being made in France the old-fashioned way.

When to wear a work jacket

Depending on your profession, your choice of clothing could follow suit. For individuals who work in a more relaxed area, a common chore coat could strike the perfect middle ground between fashionable and functional. For welders, craftsmen, or those who need more protection while they go about their daily tasks, the common chore coat might not stand up to the task.

what to look for

Material: Considering that work jackets are built for, well, working, you’ll want one that can handle a day at work with you (or one that’s at least durable enough to be considered a classic work jacket). Materials like canvas, denim, polyester, or even specialized fabrics like Gore-Tex are the best choices for this. Also, keep an eye out for reinforced stitching in high-stress areas if you need extra protection, and if you live/work in a rainy climate, you’ll need a waterproof or water-resistant jacket. 

Fit: Work jackets should fit true to size, with a bit of extra room if you plan on layering underneath it. A relaxed fit will offer more layering options, and a tailored fit may look better if you’re more concerned with the style than the function of the jacket. 

Style: Work jackets come in a variety of styles, whether they be chore coats, hunting jackets, or something in between. If you plan to wear the jacket for fashion, the purpose-built features you find on something like a hunting jacket may not be as important, and going with something like a trucker jacket is a safer move.

Levi’s Type III Sherpa Trucker Jacket

  • Classic style
  • Great fall pick
  • Warm and soft sherpa lining
  • Runs a bit small

Best Starter Jacket: Levi’s Denim Trucker Jackets are as iconic as it gets. They’ve been featured in many a lifestyle photoshoot, donned, and styled alongside today’s most prominent clothing releases, and they’ve found an interesting niche that allows them to transcend the generations. Curious, considering they’ve rarely (if ever) taken on a different look, silhouette, or structure. There’s just something about them that exudes timelessness, and that’s no different for the brand’s comfier Sherpa variant. This cozy jacket takes the tried and true formula that has made Levi’s original Trucker so prominent within the workwear world and elaborates upon it with a fancy sherpa lining, branded metal buttons, and a tapered V stitch that gives the model a personality all its own. The best part? Denim fades and wears down over time, meaning that it’ll garner a look that’s characteristic of its wearer.

Material: 100% cotton
Fit: Standard

Carhartt Duck Chore Coat

  • Corduroy collar
  • Trusted durability from a heritage brand
  • Large pockets
  • Runs slightly large

Best Durable Jacket: Carhartt’s Duck Chore Coat takes one of history’s most timeless workwear staples and amplifies it for the contemporary wearer. Unlike many of the chore-inspired variants that inundate the market today, this durable garment was devised and designed to take on any in-your-face environment, thanks to its 100% cotton construction, adjustable cuffs, and longer sleeves, providing protection from scrapes, scratches, cuts, and abrasions. To give the coat a vintage appeal, the brand has also included a stylish corduroy collar, as well as an optional hood inset that provides out-of-the-way buttons for easy attachment. At its front, three large patch pockets, and a single flap variant ensure that storage is never an issue.

Material: 100% cotton, corduroy collar
Fit: Standard

Orvis Classic Barn Coat

  • Yarn-dyed flannel lining
  • Garment washed
  • Sleeve lining is made of recycled polyester
  • N/A

Best Barn Coat: With a name like the Classic Barn Coat, you can guarantee that Orvis’ workwear offering is a step in the right direction. Not only does this ultra-comfortable garment bring a rugged, 7.8-ounce cotton construction to the forefront for serious wearers, but it’s also privy to a traditional corduroy collar and cuff lining, producing extra warmth when you need it most. That being said, it’s clear that this coat is a must-have outerwear piece for any heritage connoisseur. It keeps things simple with a single front-facing chest pocket, two lower patch pockets, and an internal flannel body liner that’s understated, yet notable. If you’re looking for an example that holds true to its workwear roots, this is it.

Material: 7.8 oz cotton canvas, flannel lining, polyester sleeve lining
Fit: Classic

L.L.Bean Upland Hunter Field Coat

  • Water-resistant laminate
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Front-loading game bag with zipper
  • Handwarmer pockets
  • Designed for hunting, so it’s a bit cumbersome for anything else

Best Hunting Jacket: L.L. Bean’s Men’s Upland Hunter Field Coat was built to take on the outdoors, and thanks to its rugged exterior, it works equally as well within the workplace. Drawing upon the timeless field coat aesthetic, this handsome offering boasts a 100% nylon shell, a stain-deterring, water-resistant laminate, and articulated sleeves for an expanded range of motion. Since it was designed to be used in the brush, it’s also highly abrasion, drizzle, and puncture-resistant, meaning that you’ll be able to utilize its hidden venting, dual-zippered pockets, internal security pocket, and adjustable button cuffs to their utmost extent, without having to worry about the destruction of one of your favorite outerwear pieces.

Material: 100% nylon shell
Fit: Traditional

Taylor Stitch The Ojai Jacket

Taylor Stitch The Ojai Jacket
  • Washed for added comfort
  • Great for layering
  • Material is reverse-engineered from military fabric
  • Part of a small batch

Best Organic Cotton Jacket: Taylor Stitch has always enamored us with its heritage-inspired menswear, and its Ojai Jacket is one of our favorites from the company’s lengthy catalog. Aside from its old-school appeal, it introduces a handful of contemporary qualities, making it a solid choice for men who are looking for a multipurpose garment that they can wear for a day at the workplace, or a night on the town. Its construction exudes sustainable confidence, thanks to its organic cotton makeup and natural ring-back button detailing. Each example includes additional bar-tacking at key stress points throughout its silhouette, helping it to weather the years at your side.

Material: 8oz 100% organic cotton
Fit: Not listed

Alex Mill Frontier Jacket In Vintage Wash Denim

Alex Mill Frontier Jacket In Vintage Wash Denim
  • Retro style
  • Corozo buttons
  • Garment dyed
  • Oversized fit may not be for everyone

Best Denim Jacket: This vintage denim option from Alex Mill is one of the most stylish options spotlighted throughout our guide, not to mention one of the more retro-looking picks as well. At the end of the day, the typical work jacket is crafted from sturdy materials like waxed canvas or heavy-duty wool, and this more casual offering honors that history with a durable denim construction that’s been garment-dyed for added depth, deeming it a refined, retro spin on a rugged piece of outerwear.

Material: 100% cotton shell, 100% polyester lining
Fit: Oversiszed

Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket

  • Made in USA
  • Worn in The Last of Us
  • Custom metal buttons with antique finish
  • Weather-resistant
  • Sleeves can be a little long for some

Best Rugged Jacket: Flint and Tinder’s flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket strikes the perfect balance between style and utility. It’s sleek, durable, and aesthetically astute, offering wearers one of the most timeless silhouettes in the genre. To ensure that it doesn’t let you down in a work environment, it’s been built with weather-resistant Martexin sailcloth, providing ample abrasion resistance, protection from the elements, and a rigid look that only gets better as it ages. The real draw of Flint and Tinder’s unique outerwear garment, however, is its break-in period. While most waxed models take ages to get to that “comfortable” stage, this contemporary garment arrives soft, dismantling the objective shortcomings that plague many of today’s finest waxed jacket variants.

Material: 7oz 100% cotton shell, 100% polyester lining
Fit: Classic, tall

Barbour Ashby Wax Jacket

  • Abrasion and weather-resistant shell
  • Corduroy collar
  • Handwarmer pockets
  • N/A

Best Waxed Jacket: Barbour is no stranger to the top spot on any jacket guide, and the brand’s Ashby Wax Jacket stands at the forefront of its catalog. Not only does this timeless outerwear piece boast one of the best-looking designs in the workwear genre, but it’s also inherently dependable, thanks to its abrasion-resistant waxed cotton shell, cotton corduroy collar, and full-zip closure. To round things out, the British staple adopts a weatherproof matte finish, complementing its sleek, slanted handwarmer pockets, Stormflap, and water-repellent exterior.

Material: Sylkoil waxed cotton shell, cotton tartan lining
Fit: Tailored

Filson Tin Cloth Work Jacket

  • Wool-lined collar
  • Hand pockets are lined with flannel
  • Weather-resistant
  • Specific care instructions

Best Heavy Jacket: Paying for a Filson piece is practically a long-term investment, as anything from the Washington-based heritage brand is bound to withstand the test of time. The newly-constructed Tin Cloth Work Jacket takes after a classic garment from Filson’s archives, now boasting a canvas-lined torso for maximum warmth and an oil-finished Tin Cloth shell. Moreover, the latter is a tightly woven, highly saturated canvas duck that’s undergone high pressure and heat for maximum longevity.

Material: 14oz. oil finish Tin Cloth, 6oz. 100% cotton dry finish Cover Cloth, 8oz. 100% cotton flannel, 16oz. 100% wool, and polyester twill
Fit: Relaxed

Todd Snyder Italian Suede Chore Coat

  • Made in Italy
  • Super soft
  • Bemberg lining
  • Requires special leather care

Best Premium Jacket: Have you ever seen a chore coat come in such a sleek shade of olive? It’s not very likely, as most workwear brands tend to stick to their traditional hues. Luckily for workwear enthusiasts who can’t help but appreciate the blue-collar look, Todd Snyder’s Italian Suede Chore Coat douses the conventional silhouette in a shade of olive that’s hard to ignore, and it’s made with 100% calf suede in Italy. The functional piece is equipped with a trio of patch pockets and one on the interior for good measure, serving as an upscale take on the utilitarian essential.

Material: 100% Calf suede, Bemberg lining
Fit: Classic

The Best Men’s Workwear Essentials

Photo: Filson Tin Cloth Jacket

Tap into some other rugged pieces with our guide to the best workwear essentials to add to your wardrobe.