15 Best Work Jackets
Updated: May 28, 2021
These days, it can be difficult to find a workwear jacket that can be put through its paces. While many of the genre’s more stylish variants adopt the look and persona of their ruggedized counterparts, it’s rare that they can stand up to the trials and tribulations of everyday use, especially when they’re placed under the harsh realities of work areas where hands-on work is more common. That being said, the workwear world is also a large, diverse place. Depending on your profession, your choice of clothing could follow suit. For individuals who work in a more relaxed area, a common chore coat could strike the perfect middle ground between fashionable and functional. For welders, craftsman, or those who need more protection while they go about their daily tasks, the common chore coat might not stand up to the task. Inevitably, you’ll want to find an outerwear piece that can complement the work that you take part in on a daily basis.
Luckily, the outerwear industry is full of clothing that can help you to get the job done without sacrificing comfort, style, and durability. Thanks to the advent of refined material mixtures and reinforced manufacturing practices, even the most unassuming jacket can offer at least some resistance to inhibitors found within the workplace, including abrasion, puncture, tear, and liquid resistance. For those of you who work outdoors, there’s also a hearty selection of weatherized garments that can shed snow, rain, and wind, ensuring that you remain comfortable throughout your workday. Below, we’ve aggregated a handful of our favorite jackets and coats from throughout the industry, ranging from thin, stylish chore examples, all the way to large, protective pieces that were built with professions like forestry and hunting in mind. Shed some weight and get comfortable — we’re about to dive headfirst into our guide on the best work jackets that you can buy right now.
Levi’s Denim Sherpa Trucker Jacket
Levi’s Denim Trucker Jackets are as iconic as it gets. They’ve been featured in many a lifestyle photoshoot, donned, and styled alongside today’s most prominent clothing releases, and they’ve found an interesting niche that allows them to transcend the generations. Curious, considering they’ve rarely (if ever) taken on a different look, silhouette, or structure. There’s just something about them that exudes timelessness, and that’s no different for the brand’s comfier Sherpa variant. This cozy jacket takes the tried and true formula that has made Levi’s original Trucker so prominent within the workwear world and elaborates upon it with a fancy sherpa lining, branded metal buttons, and a tapered V stitch that gives the model a personality all its own. The best part? Denim fades and wears down over time, meaning that it’ll garner a look that’s characteristic of its wearer.
Everlane Chore Jacket
Everlane’s Chore Jacket might not be the heavy-duty workwear variant that you’ve come to expect for use on the job site, but when it comes to more meager professions, this suave staple is more than ready to take on the daily grind, and look great while doing it. Inspired by — and designed around — the classic “Chore Coat” workwear style, Everlane’s sleek offering still has enough gumption to face moderate abrasion and wear, thanks to its durable cotton twill construction. There’s even a set of handy organizational pockets, so you’ll be able to keep the tools of your trade within arm’s reach, without looking over-encumbered.
Weekday Sunset Ecru
Weekday’s Sunset Ecru is yet another fashionable workwear piece established around the Chore Coat silhouette. It features inspired aesthetics that set it apart from its peers, including a handsomely-realized organic cotton denim body, a contrasting corduroy collar, and a concealed button enclosure that removes the metal fasteners from the front of your coat. As a result, they don’t get in the way during more tactile activities, giving you more room to do what you need to do, without having to worry about ripping off buttons. Like its brethren, it’s been outfitted with a healthy helping of large patch pockets, providing space for your everyday carry essentials, smart devices, and more.
Woolrich Transition Lined Mountain Parka
Woolrich’s Transition Lined Mountain Parka is a stylish answer to your heavier workwear qualms. It boasts a durable water repellent cotton/nylon construction, a 100% cotton flannel liner, and an adjustable, protective hood to keep you dry during those tasks outdoors. Essentially, it’s a well-rounded piece of do-it-all outerwear, providing warmth, protection, and increased comfort as you meander through your to-do list. A bevy of snap-closure pockets adorns its exterior, providing ample storage space for notebooks, pencils, navigation devices, and ruggedized wallets.
Carhartt Men’s Duck Chore Coat
Carhartt’s Duck Chore Coat takes one of history’s most timeless workwear staples and amplifies it for the contemporary wearer. Unlike many of the chore-inspired variants that inundate the market today, this durable garment was devised and designed to take on any in-your-face environment, thanks to its 100% cotton construction, adjustable cuffs, and longer sleeves, providing protection from scrapes, scratches, cuts, and abrasions. To give the coat a vintage appeal, the brand has also included a stylish corduroy collar, as well as an optional hood inset that provides out-of-the-way buttons for easy attachment. At its front, three large patch pockets, and a single flap variant ensure that storage is never an issue.
Alex Mill Garment-Dyed Work Jacket
Alex Mill’s Garment-Dyed Work Jacket takes an interesting approach to the tried-and-true chore coat style. Instead of sticking ot the original formula, the designer has decided to elaborate on the mainstay with a more fashionable architecture, including a deeper neckline, minimalistic pocketing, and a sturdy, but lightweight cotton twill construction that provides just enough gumption to stand up to some of the workplace’s most menial tasks. Since it’s likely that you’ll be using this garment as an accent piece — and often, alongside other layers — Alex Mill has decided to imbue the staple with a bit of spandex, gifting stretchy, form-fitting properties that don’t constrain and pinch as you move.
L.L.Bean Upland Hunter Field Coat
L.L. Bean’s Men’s Upland Hunter Field Coat was built to take on the outdoors, and thanks to its ruggedized exterior, it works equally as well within the workplace. Drawing upon the timeless field coat aesthetic, this handsome offering boasts a 100% nylon shell, a stain-deterring, water-resistant laminate, and articulated sleeves for an expanded range of motion. Since it was designed to be used in the brush, it’s also highly abrasion, drizzle, and puncture-resistant, meaning that you’ll be able to utilize its hidden venting, dual-zippered pockets, internal security pocket, and adjustable button cuffs to their utmost extent, without having to worry about the destruction of one of your favorite outerwear pieces.
Patagonia Maple Grove Canvas
Patagonia’s Maple Grove Canvas Jacket is a heavier staple built for rough and rugged environments. It boasts an organic cotton/stretch polyester construction, durable water repellent treatment, and recycled Thermogreen polyester insulation to keep you warm on those colder days in the shop. Since it’s water-resistant, you’ll be able to shed light rain and snow as you take on your daily tasks — an advantage that’s made all the sweeter by a bellow pleat, an increased range of motion, and a stowaway hood that’s easily accessible when a sunny winter afternoon takes a turn for the worst. To round things out, a pair of large, front-facing pockets provide ample space for smart devices, tools, and knick-knacks that make your life a bit easier at the workplace.
Orvis Classic Barn
With a name like the Classic Barn Coat, you can guarantee that Orvis’ unique workwear offering is a step in the right direction. Not only does this ultra-comfortable garment bring a rugged, 6.6-ounce cotton construction to the forefront for serious wearers, but it’s also privy to a traditional corduroy collar and cuff lining, producing extra warmth when you need it most. That being said, it’s clear that this coat is a must-have outerwear piece for any heritage connoisseur. It keeps things simple with a single front-facing chest pocket, two lower patch pockets, and an internal flannel body liner that’s understated, yet notable. If you’re looking for an example that holds true to its workwear roots, this is it.
Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket
Taylor Stich has always enamored us with its heritage-inspired menswear, and if we’re being honest, the Ojai Jacket is one of our favorites from the company’s current catalog. Aside from its old-school appeal, it introduces a handful of contemporary qualities, making it a solid choice for men who are looking for a multipurpose garment that they can wear for a day at the workplace, or a night on the town. Its construction exudes confidence, thanks to a heavy woolen blend, dry-waxed canvas, and natural ring-back button detailing. Each example is made from 100% organic, eight-ounce cotton, and includes additional bar-tacking at key stress points throughout its silhouette, helping it to weather the years at your side.
American Giant Mechanic’s Jacket
American Giant’s Mechanic’s Jacket harkens back to the timeless chore coat silhouette that we’ve come to know and love, simplifying it for a modern audience. That doesn’t mean that it’s any less prominent, however. It utilizes a durable water-resistant canvas construction, a partially lined interior, and an invisible elastic shoulder gusset to give its wearer an increased range of motion, ensuring that limited mobility remains a thing of the past. At its front, a pair of sleek inlaid pockets provide the perfect areas to store your gear, mechanical devices, or hands, depending on your needs.
Flint and Tinder Flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
Flint and Tinder’s flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket strikes the perfect balance between style and utility. It’s sleek, durable, and aesthetically-astute, offering wearers one of the most timeless silhouettes in the genre. To ensure that it doesn’t let you down in a work environment, it’s been built with weather-resistant Martexin sailcloth, providing ample abrasion resistance, protection from the elements, and a rigid look that only gets better as it ages. The real draw of Flint and Tinder’s unique outerwear garment, however, is its break-in period. While most waxed models take ages to get to that “comfortable” stage, this contemporary garment arrives soft, dismantling the objective shortcomings that plague many of today’s finest waxed jacket variants.
Filson Double Logger Coat
Filson’s Double Logger Coat brings that heritage-inspired forestry silhouette that we know and love to the forefront for modern buyers. You don’t have to be a logger in the PNW to find this jacket appealing, and as such, you shouldn’t have to swing axes at trees, or patrol trailheads to add it to your collection. That being said, this workwear-inspired garment built for foresters, adopting an abrasion-resistant 14-ounce oil finish Tin Cloth construction, a built-in shoulder cape for added protection, and a simplified torso layout that was designed for work areas where hanging objects are a hazard. It even features a snapping front closure that can be operated without much tactile feel, making it an attractive option for workers who wear gloves for the majority of their workday.
Freenote Cloth CD1 Classic Tan
Freenote Cloth’s CD1 Classic Tan jacket might not look like a traditional workwear piece, but you’d be wrong to disqualify it for its aesthetic qualities. While it’s true that the CD1 is a more fashionable outerwear example, it amplifies its presence with an 11-ounce 7 wale corduroy construction, hand-selected Redwing leather accents, and custom metal trims, helping it to stand toe-to-toe with some of the less robust chore coat offerings on our list. The best part? It’s hand-sewn right here in the USA, making it an attractive proposition for those who are looking for a garment that they can rely on for years to come.
Barbour Ashby Wax Jacket
Barbour is no stranger to the top spot on any jacket guide, and the brand’s Ashby Wax Jacket stands at the forefront of its catalog. Not only does this timeless outerwear piece boast one of the best-looking designs in the workwear genre, but it’s also inherently dependable, thanks to its abrasion-resistant waxed cotton shell, cotton corduroy collar, and full-zip closure. To round things out, the British staple adopts a weatherproof matte finish, complementing its sleek, slanted handwarmer pockets, Stormflap, and water-repellent exterior.
Author: Chris West