Hint: It's perfect for the last few weeks of spring.
It's now late spring, a time when the weather is undoubtedly fickle and every cloudy day threatens the stability of your mental state. In your corresponding process of getting dressed without knowing whether to expect rain or shine (because you simply can't always trust the forecast), we abide by the following statement: When in doubt, opt for light layers. May we present to you our favorite light layer of 2021: the French-inspired chore jacket. It checks all your "we're almost to summer weather but not quite" boxes, it's boxy enough to stuff oversize sleeves and ruffles under, it's often rendered in simple, utilitarian hues to better pair with a wide array of ensembles, and, of course, it boasts lots of pockets—need we say more?
Margaret Howell Spring 2021; Photo: Mark Kean / Courtesy of Margaret Howell
Bode Fall 2020 Menswear; Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
A cousin to the blazer, a sibling of the trucker jacket, and a (fraternal) twin to the shacket, the chore coat or jacket is characterized by a straight silhouette and simple square pockets. Originally an invention of the French in the late 19th century (surprised? we didn't think so) as a menswear garment, the utilitarian style has since been adapted ever so slightly by the likes of Emily Adam Bode and Margaret Howell, both of whom exhibit feeble distinctions between menswear and womenswear at best. Also worth noting, the chore jacket was a staple in the uniform of iconic street style photographer Bill Cunningham.
When it comes to the art of styling, this boxy menswear staple pairs well with something, well, different. That could be of a feminine nature—a dainty blouse, a floral dress. Maybe you gravitate towards tailoring to counteract the boxy silhouette—a structured pant or legging. A flash of skin with a mini hemline. Or perhaps you'd like to lean into French painter vibes with a Breton stripe, a red bandana, and white pants. Needless to say, your options are wide open.
Shop the Look:
Top photo: Instagram/Courtesy of Instagram/@brittanybathgate
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