It’s hard to think of a jacket more useful, more wide-ranging than a chore coat—we’ve been sitting at the computer for, like, 20 minutes trying to come up with one but…nada. The best chore coats really do it all. And we’re not just talking about their labor-intensive origins. Whether you’re an early 1900s French worker or a 2020s artist, the chore coat can tackle almost any situation and any style with aplomb. If we’re talking sheer wearability, the chore coat is right up there with a plain white tee and blue jeans. So it’s safe to say you’d do well to have one in your closet, especially for those days when your woefully under-caffeinated peanut of a brain just can’t fire up a good outfit. For generations, all manner of dudes looking to get stuff done, from construction workers to photographers to mechanics to outdoorsmen, have turned to these storage-space-happy jackets for their durability and versatility. There’s virtually no jacket better suited to everyday wear.
The Best Chore Coats Shopping Guide
Chore coats will shield you from harsh weather, save you from carrying a bag around, and are perfect for layering over everything from chinos and a T-shirt to a button-down and tailored trousers. And right now, thanks to fashion‘s ongoing workwear fixation, there’s never been a wider range of worthwhile versions available to you. To save you a vital bit of time, we went ahead and rounded up the 23 worthiest men’s chore coats on the market right now.
The OG Chore Coat
If the appeal of workwear to you is all that baked-in “authenticity,” well, it doesn’t get much more authentic than this. The kind of chore jackets we’re used to today were first donned by laborers in France in the late 1800s and originally dubbed bleu de travail—“worker’s blues”—for that attractive, irrefutably French shade of indigo. Not long after, in 1913, Le Mont St Michel began crafting their iconic version of the coat and has since become the de facto French chore coat brand. Over a century later, its appeal has only deepened: the roomy patch pockets and hardy construction are as practical as ever, and something in the cut and drape and color lends the OG jacket all the ease and elegance of an impeccably tailored unlined blazer. And though the inimitable French blue will always be in-style, this lush forest green colorway feels just a little more unique. It’s not as common as military-favored olive drab, but is perhaps just as wearable. Jeans (obviously) and a grey hoodie, a thrashed vintage T-shirt with a pair of wide-leg khakis, some cream-white pants and a dressy button-up for some southern Italian flair—it’s all fair game.
The Super Affordable Chore Coat
Red Kap has been doling out hardwearing, affordable workwear for decades. Case in point: their lapel counter coat. The French blue is just the right shade, and it’s made using a lightweight but hardy blend of polyester and cotton. At just $25 a pop, you can even get one in every non-bleu color and still pay less than some of the cheaper options on this list. Pair it with your favorite graphic tee and sneakers for a casual off-day look, or go full on cozy vibes with a hoodie, cords, and boots.
The American Classic Chore Coat
The French chore coat may be the blueprint for every other chore coat, but Cahartt’s Michigan jacket is an American classic that’s staked its claim on the modern menswear landscape. Just ask your dad, his dad, and his dad. Hell, they probably still have one or two hanging in their closets right now. That’s because the iconic piece of workwear was built like a tank with stiff cotton canvas that could only be broken down to a cozy softness through real life wear and tear. The blanket lining is super warm, the corduroy collar is perfect against the neck, and the grip of pockets means you don’t really need to bring a bag with you most of the time. It’s the kind of jacket that feels right at home with some full-fitting raw denim jeans with some hardy boots (workwear and all that) but can take on a cozy hoodie and luscious corduroy pants for a softer, autumnal vibe.
The Autumnally Appropriate Chore Coat
Alex Mill’s signature work jacket boasts all the hallmarks of a classic chore coat but swaps the typical moleskin fabric for a range of tasty materials like upcycled denim, garment-dyed linen, and even Japanese denim. This fall, however, we’re really feeling this fine wale corduroy that’s buttery soft and the perfect weight for versatile layering. It’s hefty enough to act as an overshirt on warmer fall days but can stand in as a proper jacket in cooler temps since the relaxed-but-not-sloppy fit lets layer over a thick sweater.
The Rainproof Chore Coat
Percival’s outerwear has gotten our attention in recent months for its refined balance of modern and vintage elements, and the brand’s new Auxiliary Overshirt is a prime example. It’s got traditional chore coat looks with inconspicuously advanced waterproof tech which means you can finally go out in the rain without looking like you’re about to climb Mt. Everest. We’ve praised the brand’s popular Sherlock coat as a great rain-ready trench and now we get to sing even more praise with this cropped cousin.
The Denimhead-Approved Chore Coat
If you’re looking for considered details and expert craftsmanship—without any of the extraneous capital “F” fashion stuff—this is the chore coat for you. Orslow is known for its hardcore workwear reproductions, and it doesn’t get much better than this 1940s-inspired coverall jacket. It’s made using Japanese selvedge denim with a subtle slubby texture, contrast stitching, patinated brass buttons, and an impeccably relaxed fit. With top-notch materials and vintage construction techniques, this piece is built to last well past the 2050s.