When we think of chore jackets we think of Bill Cunningham snapping away in the brightest of blue jackets. Designed originally as jackets for labour (no surprises there) the term ‘Blue de Travail’ – literally translated to ‘work blue’ – has stuck around. That being said, our top 10 list of chore jackets proves there’s plenty more options out there than die hard blue when it comes to this versatile classic.
Carhartt Michigan Coat, £130 – Being Carhartt, this is one of the few jackets in our top 10 list that was designed, at least originally, with genuine labour in mind. The camo print here brings a more contemporary, street wear feel to a true work wear classic.
Chimala Two-Tone Woven Jacket, £315 – A brand that places particular focus on the premium fabrics and craftsmanship of its Japanese heritage, this cotton jacket is a handsome take on the traditional men’s chore jacket. The two-tone weave and raw edges add subtle personality to any outfit.
APC Cotton Gabardine Lightweight Jacket, £225 – one of the more traditional pieces in our top 10 men’s chore jacket list, the blue indigo cotton and simple construction echo the original French design. Minimal and dark in colour it can be paired with anything from a plaid shirt to a raincoat, for those days when London is endlessly drizzly.
Oliver Spencer Cotton and Linen Blend Shirt Jacket, £290 – the rich copper colour of this chore jacket gives the item a distinctly rugged feel. The blend of cotton and linen fabrics create a lightly textured finished, which looks good against a pair of cargo trousers and some sturdy brown boots.
Havershack Toweling Blazer, £275 – though not 100% true chore jacket fodder, this beautiful Havershack blazer makes it onto our top 10 list for its minimal construction and rich blue colour. It might be more suited to light tasks than it is chores but it still holds true to the utilitarian look that so defines the original chore jacket.
Hartford Blazer Olive, £110 – A light summery take on the chore jacket that proves you don’t need to go dark to achieve the look. Following the same 3 pocket rubric of most other jackets in our top 10 list, the lighter olive colour of the Hartford Blazer offers an extremely versatile take on the French classic.
Vetra Workwear Jacket Postman, £115 – manufactured in France and made from washed blue cloth, the Vetra Workwear jacket is about as original as they come. Unlike many American chore jackets, the emphasis here leans more towards wearability than durability. Expect comfort from day one.
Pointer Brown Duck Chore Coat, £60 – The American counterpart to the French original, this chore jacket offers the wearer no-messing-around, till-the-earth and chop-down-trees durability. Though designed originally with work in mind, it offers enough rough and ready style to worn about town as well as the workshop.
YMC Khaki Work Jacket, £195 – A tailored, albeit relaxed, take on the chore jacket look, this piece from YMC is incredibly versatile and easy to wear. The internal drawstring gives added shape to the original de-constructed look.
Freeman’s Sporting Club Chore Jacket, £310 – A summery take on the ‘blue de travail’ classic, the yellow cloth of this chore jacket will look as good layered with indigo jeans and a sweatshirt as it does shorts and a t-shirt. Made from durable fabric, this chore jacket will stay with you for years to come.