Although it’s been unseasonably warm in New York throughout October, in the past few days, we’ve really seen the start of what I like to call autumn. And with that change in seasons in mind, I reached for a recent wardrobe addition: Gustin’s Waxed Charcoal Chore Coat. A chore coat brings to mind strong workwear influences that have become so prevalent in recent years — once worn by those in real rough and rugged industries, everything from chambray shirts to sturdy work boots has gotten the high-fashion treatment from major retailers like J. Crew, whose Wallace and Barnes collection, for example, always draws heavily from functionality and utility. And these items have a timeless appeal that can be incorporated into many different looks (take, for example, the ever-versatile chambray shirt).
Gustin’s Chore Coat adds another rugged layer to workwear’s style-minded resurgence. The jacket was funded earlier this year using Gustin’s sourcing platform and shipped in mid-summer; until now, it’s been far too warm for such a hardy jacket. Thankfully, Gustin’s pieces (and this one in particular) are worth the wait. While the brand’s denim gets lots of love, they’ve expanded their offerings to chinos, chambray shirts and CPO jackets, and if they’re all done as well as this chore coat, they’d be worth a look. Unfortunately, this jacket isn’t available in the exact color seen here at the moment, but a relatively similar Honey Brown Chore Coat is being funded on the site now.
The Chore Coat uses a thick plain-weave waxed cotton (weight: 13.5 oz., if you’re keeping track), and it’s got some nice heft to it for fighting the chill of fall and winter without being crazy-heavy. It also features two front patch pockets and one chest patch pocket; the right chest pocket includes a button flap. The waxed cotton feels sturdy and durable, yet moves well. It’s not overly stiff by any means; already through just a handful of times out of the closet, it’s beginning to break in at all the right places, including through the arms and across the shoulders. Although chore coats of old were cut wider and bulkier, the body of this jacket is nice and trim, as advertised. The sleeves are slim but provide enough space for layering sweaters or perhaps an additional jacket underneath, and there’s more than enough mobility thanks to the jacket’s high armholes (something feasibly not found on older chore coats).
This jacket should continue to break in exceptionally well, and thanks to such a trim cut, I can see it being worn in many different situations. The neutral color and workwear inspirations should lend a rugged vibe to seasonal shirt-and-tie combinations (like a chambray shirt and wool tie) or a casual sweater (like a navy crewneck) and dark jeans. It also complements traditional rugged staples, like the henley seen in these photos. I paired it with slim American Apparel black jeans and Palladium boots; although the Palladium boots are much more unconventional than a rugged pair of Wolverine boots, for example, they actually grip quite well when on the move thanks to the vulcanized rubber sole. Additionally, the canvas upper is sturdy and thick, meaning that these could be worn well into fall (and possibly winter, too). Just like those Palladium boots, the chore coat should see significant use in the coming months — although it’s sometimes tough to find similar options out there, picking up a workwear-inspired coat in an updated fit is a great way to inject rugged style into your daily get-ups.