The Best Chore Coat for Men in 2020

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16.03.2020

Spring is low-key the most fickle and hectic season of all. It’ll be cold and rainy, then cloudless and sunny, then suddenly so windy that you can’t open your car door, sometimes all in the same day. You’ve got a laundry list of tasks to finish—fix up the house, clean up the yard, take off the snow tires—and a whole bunch of places to go: parties, meetings, dates, vacations, hikes. It’s a lot. To get through all of it, while still looking sharp and put together in the process, you’ll need a chore coat. For generations, all manner of dudes looking to get stuff done, from construction workers to photographers to mechanics to outdoorsmen, have turned to these hardy, attractive, storage-space-happy jackets. They’ll shield you from harsh weather, save you from carrying a bag around, and look good with everything from shorts and a tee 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 21 worthiest.


The Chore Coat That Started It All

Le Mont St Michel stone-washed French worker jacket

If the appeal of workwear to you is all that baked-in “authenticity,” well, it doesn’t get much more authentic than this. Chore jackets as we know them were first donned by laborers in France in the late 1800s, originally dubbed bleu de travail—“worker’s blues”—for that attractive, irrefutably French shade of azure. Not long after, in 1913, Le Mont St Michel began crafting their iconic version of the coat. More than 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.

Bergdorf Goodman

$320

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The (Sorta) True American Classic Chore Coat

Carhartt WIP “Michigan” chore coat

You’re probably looking at this jacket and thinking, “No need for the write-up, GQ. I’m well acquainted. Every dad/uncle/general male authority figure in every hometown in America wore one of these growing up.” And while we appreciate you trying to save us some work, you aren’t totally correct. Thing is, this bad boy actually comes courtesy of Carhartt WIP—“Work In Progress”—the Detroit stalwart’s European-designed, streetwear-inflected offshoot. They kept all the best parts of those Carhartts you remember—the impenetrable canvas, the cord collar, the rivets, the decades-long lifespan—while also ripping out the heavy blanket lining for spring and trimming the whole thing down just a smidge. The result is the rare remake better than its source material: a jacket that can still stand up to an honest day’s labor, but no longer fits like a stiff cardboard box.

Carhartt WIP

$188

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The Instant Classic Chore Coat

Craig Green quilted worker jacket

Craig Green, one of the three or four most exciting young designers in London, has been iterating on the chore coat since his first collection hit the runway in 2012. Four years later, he debuted the version that immediately became his calling card: a slightly cropped silhouette, with a quartet of enormous pockets and a slim strap around the waist, all decked out in arresting quilted nylon. The key is that unlike a lot of “elevated” riffs on workwear, Green’s take doesn’t attempt to luxe up the inherently tough jacket via delicate cashmeres or silks—it’s striking to look at, sure, but it’s still utilitarian and practical above all else.

End Clothing

$769

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The Shortcut Grail Chore Coat

RRL striped indigo twill jacket

Chore jackets are meant to be worked in, battered about, and almost always wind up looking better for the trouble. In the event you don’t have a decade or two to spend earning the ideal patina, though, you can just buy it instead. RRL’s version is built from gorgeous Japanese cotton twill that’s been dyed with real-deal indigo and distressed so naturally most folks will assume that either you’re a full-time farmhand or it’s a rare vintage grail. Only you have to know the truth.

Ralph Lauren

$490

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The Postmodern Mashup Chore Coat

Acne Studios yellow twill three-pocket chore jacket

Yes, fundamentally speaking, this is a chore coat. It’s got all the basic ingredients: plenty of pockets, substantial fabric, boxy cut. But it also borrows elements from a bunch of other outerwear hanging in your closet: lapels from your trench, snap buttons from your varsity, blinding yellow exterior from your rain slicker. None of it makes any real sense, but because it was dreamed up by the Scandinavian weirdos at Acne, it all just sort of works.

Ssense

$380

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16 More Chore Coats We Love

Tellason Stock 14 oz Cone Mills White Oak raw denim chore coat

Amazon

$120

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Uniqlo x JW Anderson washed cotton work jacket

Chore coats have been a staple of the Uniqlo x JW Anderson lines, and this season’s edition looks washed and sun-faded to absolute perfection.

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Corridor natural canvas overshirt

Easy, breezy, and just right for summer.

Corridor

$195

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MKI patchwork denim chore coat

File under: Things DMX Would’ve Worn in a Music Video in 2001.

Nordstrom

$115

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A.P.C. x Carhartt WIP “Michigan” chore coat

A.P.C. puts their refined Parisian spin on the hardiest of American jackets.

Need Supply

$425

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Gap chore jacket (was $90, 17% off)

Nantucket red feels a lot less stuffy in the form of a rough-and-tumble chore coat.

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Todd Snyder brushed camo chore jacket

Camo never really dies.

Todd Snyder

$398

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Vans Vault x Mt Vernon drill chore jacket (was $155, 51% off)

Railroad engineers sit high on our Most Stylish Professions Ever rankings.

End Clothing

$155

$75

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L.C. King chore coat

Caramelly goodness from one of the oldest names in American workwear.

Amazon

$150

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Uniqlo U denim work jacket

Just imagine how killer this’ll look after a year or so of heavy wear.

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Portuguese Flannel “Labura” chore coat

Pair with crisp white trousers, chocolate suede ankle boots, and polished gold sunglasses to complete the rakish-Milanese-guy-on-vacation look.

End Clothing

$149

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Taylor Stitch “Ojai” jacket

All the slubby, speckled, beautiful texture you can handle.

Taylor Stitch

$158

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Mother workers comp chore jacket

Heavy 1991 grunge vibes.

Amazon

$325

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Wallace & Barnes slim-fit chore coat in corduroy

The sort of perfect ’70s-ish cord jacket you might search 100 thrift stores and never find, minus the smell of mothballs.

J.Crew

$198

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Vans Vault x Jim Goldberg chore coat

Turns out, your grandma’s sitting room wallpaper makes for extra wavy outerwear.

Ssense

$200

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The Stronghold 12.5 oz herringbone selvedge denim chore coat

If you’re after the most historically accurate chore coat possible, this one—from 125-year-old L.A. workwear brand The Stronghold—is the way to go.

The Stronghold

$475

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