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The History of the Chore Coat

10.10.17

Chore-Coat-1
Chore-Coat2Chore-3
Chore-4If you were to look in a guy’s closet from the 1950’s and compare it to one from now, you would see a lot of the same items.  The classic white t-shirt, blue jeans, and leather boots have always been wardrobe staples and continue to endure the test of time. 

 

But lately, many other looks from the past are also making their way into today’s closets – one of the more popular pieces making a resurgence is the chore coat. 

The chore coat was worn for exactly what you think...chores. Worn by American laborers, blue collar workers and farmers, the Chore Coat was generally made from a durable fabric like denim or heavy canvas to not only keep early-rising farmers warm but serve as protection when cleaning stables or completing other outdoor work. 

The standard chore coat design came equipped with oversized breast pockets, two hip pockets and an oversized collar that would often be flipped up to protect the workers from sunburn. Additionally, the boxy and loose fit was ideal for layering in the colder months. 

Due to the versatility and durability, fishermen soon adopted the jacket for use as a part of their own uniform. Because of the dangerous conditions and sharp tools used at onboard ships, the men found the jacket was the perfect companion at sea. With their constant exposure to seawater, Fishermen found that although the jacket protected them, it left them soaked.  They quickly developed the technique of waterproofing the chore coat by rubbing a coat of oil or wax on the outside of the jacket.

At Knickerbocker, we took the classic design of the early 20th century coat and upgraded it with a tailored fit and herringbone cotton imported from Japan. Even though you might not be cleaning stables or working the docks, our coat is the versatile piece every guy should have in his wardrobe. 

Available in NavyOliveWhite or Black, our version is light enough to wear on its own in early September or layered over a sweater or two in late December.

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