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Workwear has been a recurring trend for the past few seasons, even at a time when sneakers have dominated the zeitgeist. It makes complete sense when you think about it. After all, the best men’s work jackets serve a dual-fold purpose: They’re on-trend, yet they’re perfectly at ease when worn with ensembles that really are ready to get down and dirty.
The downtown set is as likely to wear function-first brands like Carharrt and Dickies as they are the latest “it” designer. If you’re looking to embrace the workwear trend without looking like you just stepped off the construction site, a great place to start is with one of the best men’s work jackets.
One style of work jacket worth investing in is the chore coat. While workwear is intrinsically associated with Americana, the chore coat actually comes courtesy of the French. This makes it a timeless classic, in both its more traditional iterations and more modern looks.
French work jackets are traditionally dyed a blue color, and they have three pockets sewn onto the outside of the jacket: one at the breast and two at the hips. Chore coats almost invariably feature button plackets, rather than zippers. French-style chore coats are typically unlined and lightweight, making them great options for springtime or layering.
There are other chore jacket styles that are distinctly American as well, such as picks from an iconic brand like Carhartt. Known for its patch pockets held in place by rivets, the chore jacket is one of the best men’s work jackets for good reason. It looks great with a pair of the best stretch jeans or with Carhartt work pants, but it’s a solid style move with your favorite henley as you casually layer up to grab weekend beers, too.
Another style worth considering is the zip work jacket. The best-known style is the Dickies Eisenhower jacket, which has a lightly padded body, two hand pockets and a pencil pocket at the upper arm. Zip work jackets are basically the construction worker equivalent to a bomber jacket.
There are plenty of styles that we love when it comes to the best men’s work jackets, so it all come down to your particular taste. Whichever style you choose, work jackets are hardwearing and typically have plenty of pockets. While these pockets are great for tools, they also work great for your phone and sunglasses. These are the work jackets to get.
1. Carhartt Blanket-Lined Chore Coat
Carhartt’s work and denim jackets are trusted by everyone from indie rockers to A$AP Rocky to skaters and construction workers, so why not snag one of the most classic, best options around? This durable chore coat is an all-time great one, made to be worn through frigid Michigan winters — or at any time when rugged durability is the name of the game. Made from the brand’s famed ringspun cotton duck fabric, it’s as hard-working as you are, with riveted pockets to hold your everyday carry and triple-stitching at key stress points. Throw in the fact that the collar is lined with corduroy for added warmth (to go along with the rest of this supremely warm lined jacket), and you’ve just found yourself one of the best men’s work jackets for a terrific price.
2. Filson Tacoma Work Jacket
One of the best men’s work jackets really should be like a Swiss Army Knife in terms of your wardrobe — you should be able to wear it when the going gets tough and your to-do list needs doing. But with a durable, handsome and rugged piece like Filson’s Tacoma Work Jacket, it helps to be able to wear it off the clock, so to speak. By that, we mean that — like a durable denim jacket or a flannel shirt jacket — one of the best men’s work jackets should go above and beyond, looking as at home with jeans as it does when you’re on the job site. Filson got the memo, using tough abrasion-resistant cotton and classic corduroy collar and cuff lining to really drive home the all-day wearability of this hard-working jacket.
3. Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Chore Coat
When wearing one of the best men’s work jackets, it’s a solid bet you’re focused on the task at hand, not necessarily on what goes into the making of your trusted work jacket. But sustainability is the name of the game and more crucial than ever these days, so if you can find a dependable work jacket made the right way, that’s all the better. Making things the right way has long been Patagonia’s focus, after all, and they’ve knocked it out of the park time and again with the fan-favorite Iron Forge Chore Coat. Made from supremely abrasion-resistant, proprietary Iron Forge canvas fabric, it’s also fashioned from recycled materials for extreme performance and an added dash of “feel-good” appeal.
4. Amazon Essentials Quilted Flannel-Lined Work Jacket
You trust Amazon for just about everything else in your life, including goods on the go, so why not go the next step and pick up a highly affordable, reliable work jacket from the brand’s famed Amazon Essentials line? If you so choose, you could outfit yourself for off-duty occasions aplenty using only the Amazon Essentials line of basics, and that’s what makes this work jacket so impressive. It’s got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a coat made to handle just about anything, including a useful drawstring hood with oversized pulls tabs, plus a riveted front pocket design. It’s a perfect layer for mornings in the garage or the yard, but you can easily throw it on at a moment’s notice to head to your favorite watering hole wearing a rugged henley and classic blue jeans.
5. MR. P Double-Faced Boiled Wool Chore Jacket
Now, the best men’s work jackets are probably best suited for getting your hands dirty, or at least, better suited to be worn in a more rugged fashion. But if you want to fully embrace the workwear trend in a surprisingly elegant, seriously cool way, look to MR. PORTER’s own MR. P line for the height of luxury in a handsome work jacket. Ideal for brisk days thanks to the soft boiled wool fabric, this is one trim work jacket you can wear in place of a blazer at the office, or really, any time you want to switch things up from more traditional suiting. Note that perfectly executed color and the useful patch pockets, plus the premium made-in-Italy construction. It’s one of the best men’s work jackets for elegant excellence on the market.
6. Club Monaco Chore Coat
Despite the name, chore coats are often made from a light, shirt-like material. Club Monaco’s chore coat updates the style with a warm, wool-blend fabric, making it feel more like an actual coat. The workwear details are still there, though, thanks to the spread collar and patch pockets on the chest.
7. Dickies Eisenhower Front-Zip Jacket
TOUGH AND INSULATED
This insulated jacket from Dickies is made from a substantial polyester/cotton blend fabric, and the simple silhouette is stylish and versatile enough for a variety of outfits. It has two hand pockets and a pen pocket on the arm. There are also button-tabs at the back of the jacket to tighten it to make the jacket more fitted and insulated. The jacket comes in a range of colors like black, navy, olive and red. If you’re looking for a jacket you can actually wear on the job site, the Dickies Eisenhower jacket is hard to beat.
8. Levi’s Men’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket
BEST FOR COLD WEATHER
Levi’s classic trucker gets even better with the addition of faux-shearling and insulated sleeves, making it warm enough to wear in cold weather. The denim exterior makes it hard-wearing yet stylish, and it has plenty of pockets for storing all of your essentials. There are two hand pockets, two button-down chest pockets and an interior pocket. The sherpa version of the trucker swaps standard buttonholes for convenient snaps, making it easier to take on and off.