The Chore Coat is one of the essential pieces of the new Womenswear Collection for Betabrand. The Spring Collection itself is rooted in the idea of bringing classic 20th century menswear details and shapes into a 21st century woman’s closet. The Chore Coat, specifically, nicely encapsulates the spirit I sought with the collection as a whole.
Chore Coats were the go-to jacket for every hard-working, blue collar men in the first half of the 20th century. The natural extension of the 5-pocket jean, they were a basic piece that moved from work, to hobbies, to hanging out, to whatever else the day demanded. They were all-purpose, all-season jackets that went wherever you needed them to, just like your favorite pair of jeans. Made of sturdy fabrics like canvas and twill, chore coats featured many of the same construction elements as jeans, often incorporating the tear-proof metal rivet construction at pocket corners, metal tack button construction and semi-fitted body that made these jackets wearable every day not just on a practical level, but an aesthetic one as well. They were simple, good looking jackets that were all but bullet-proof. This made them an essential in many blue collar closets.
The Chore Coat enjoyed a solid 50 years or so of supremacy as the essential men’s work jacket, but unfortunately, after a while, the denim trucker jacket and several other styles gained popularity and the Chore Coat gradually lost favor.
However, I think the style has been due for a comeback. Any style that works in a variety of situations and is built to last has a place in a modern closet. We kept the spirit of the Chore Coat that worked so well in the first place – the simple design, the sturdy construction, and the ultra-wearable fit. Then we just made simple updates to bring it into the 21st century like adding a quick-stow chest pocket, waist accentuation tab in the back, some contrast color pops, and some truly unique fabrics. The result is an elegantly simple jacket that will last for years and looks great with just about everything.
With ties to the gutted industrial complex of Detroit he has experienced the ripple effects of jobs shipped overseas first hand and has consequently supported the use and spread of American production. Follow him on Instagram @bobbinandrex for insider looks at the apparel industry, fashion school life, and various San Francisco shenanigans.