This is not the history of the chore jacket. If you want to read that, check out this great article. This is about why we love it.
I remember the first time I discovered the chore jacket. I was three years out of university (I dropped out) when I started working for a creative company. Suits were not allowed. It was jeans only. I would've been laughed out of the building if I turned up in a blazer. So I started looking for alternatives. That's when I fell in love with chore jackets.
I started collecting them. Making my own. Then Becky stole mine. And we started Paynter.
The obsession hasn't stopped. And not many days go by when we don't stop someone in the street to ask them where their chore jacket is from or to look at the details. Over the last few years the chore jacket has become a staple piece in the creatives daily uniform.
What’s not to love about this charming transatlantic jacket that has been put to work and has kept working since the 1800’s. It was originally designed as a utilitarian garment, worn by railway labourers and engineers in France and was later made famous by Bill Cunningham, the New York based street style photographer who wore an iconic cobalt blue work jacket.
The chore could withstand the tough demands of physical jobs. Though now our work is more mental than physical, it’s a symbol of putting the time in and getting the job done well.
Here are a few reasons why we love it:
1, Versatility - It’s one of the most versatile jackets you can own. There are so many ways to wear it. Smart or relaxed. It'll keep you warm in winter, or worn as a light layer in the summer. It’s the ultimate mid-weight jacket.
2, Practicality - It’s designed to be functional. Though you might not be wearing yours to build railways or forge steel, the jacket would still perform for the job.
3, Durability - The best are always made with durable fabrics that will last decades. Even the ones you see in vintage archives that have been put to work still have a lot of life left in them. It’s all about the long game.
4, Minimal - They're designed to be timeless. And not much has changed in the last century. With any luck, having been around for 100 years or so already, it’s unlikely to go out of style.
5, Iconic - It’s up there with the denim jacket or a classic leather jacket. It's an understated icon.
6, Comfort - It’s classic slim fit and worn in feel is so comfortable to wear. We like ours hardwearing but soft AF.
7, Uniform - With time it becomes your uniform. It definitely has for us.
8, Pockets - Oh the roomy pockets. They used to hold everything a worker would need. Now it's books or bank cards. There’s room for everything. And the extra pockets inside are a big plus.
9, Details - The minimal design takes a lot of thinking to get right. Details are what we obsessive over the most. Especially the ones you can’t see.
10, Layering - We’re all about the layering. For function and form. Mixing textures and colours. The chore jacket is always a staple In the mix.
11, Fit - There's a sweet spot between boxy and tailored. When we made our first pattern for the chore jacket, we took what we admired about the original chore jacket, but adjusted the fit for today. The result is a slim fitting chore that's easy to layer over and under.
12, Colours - There's playing it safe or there's something more bold. Bill's Blue or Everyday Olive. It's a classic style that can be garment dyed to any hue. We keep one bold and classic in rotation. Somedays you just want to stand out a little more.
13, Staple - It will become a cornerstone piece in your wardrobe. And it’ll be there for a long time too.
This is why we’re so excited for Batch No.4. We're bringing back the four-pocket chore jacket.