Kristy Sparow / Robert Kamau / Getty Images / BBC
Think of the chore coat as the cousin of blazers land.
There are many reasons to consider the must-see English gardener Monty Don. Classes on British flora are second only to my interest in Don’s fashion choices.
Did you know that in his youth he was a successful jewelry designer whose creations were worn by Boy George and Princess Diana? So I pay attention to what he’s wearing and how we wear it.
When I was watching a show recently, I sat a little straighter and admired Don’s perfect work coat.
I was shopping for a movie last month and the costume designer asked me to find some coats for the male lead.
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I spent the morning looking for work coats online and the afternoon admiring some in stores. Now I notice annoying coats everywhere and am amazed at the different iterations.
Recently, however, I feel like they have moved from being a staple for men to being a staple for a wardrobe, and have encountered chic neighborhood women in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
Think of the work coat as the blazer’s cousin. It was once a workwear item that was inspired by a uniform jacket in French factories during the Industrial Revolution.
Work coats can be made from heavy denim, thick cotton, or light cashmere wool.
Kristy Sparow / Getty Images
The most famous work coat is the blue cotton work jacket by New York photographer Bill Cunningham.
You must have at least three pouch pockets. There shouldn’t be side seam pockets to warm your hands or an inside pocket in the lapel pocket which is annoying.
Pouches only: one for the phone, one for the wallet, and one for a notepad where you should probably jot down all of the tasks you will be doing that day.
The most famous work coat, at least for me, is New York photographer Bill Cunningham’s blue cotton work jacket.
He’s never been without as he bicycled all over Manhattan photographing New York’s fabulous people. You could see him clearly because of the bright royal blue of his jacket.
I liked the way Kanye West rocked a Carhartt work coat over mixed green sweatpants to get off the plane recently. Carhartt is such a renowned workwear brand in the US that everything about West’s look worked.
David Beckham recently wore one on James Corden’s chat show in perfectly treated denim. The denim work coat is more popular with teenagers in the United States. In fact, it’s giving Levi’s classic denim jacket a run for its money.
I have a really soft cotton coat that I wear over a dress in the summer. My favorite work coat, however, is a lightweight cashmere coat that is perfect for early fall.
I borrowed it from my English father-in-law and now my daughter has started borrowing it from me. This is really clothing karma considering I borrowed the jacket six years ago.
I like to wear them when I pick up things from stores and don’t want to carry a handbag.
Here are some ways you can wear them with as much panache as Monty Don.
How to style a house jacket
Wear it over jeans and a t-shirt to change your weekend clothes. Think of this as a replacement for a light coat or favorite jacket that you probably wear too often.
A work coat looks freshest when worn over a summer dress. It is a good substitute for the combination of a tired leather jacket and summer dress.
Wear it over a knitted tube dress to wear something super bodycon, then throw it off with sheer practicality.
Wear it over a sexy blouse paired with great pants made of a dress, men and wide legs.
Adding a work coat over a delicate top creates a duality of impressions that is pure fashion.
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