All the cutest utility/chore jackets I could find

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These are the easiest jackets to just throw on without thinking about, and they run the gamut from polished to deeply casual. This Rag & Bone specimen falls into the former category—you could dress it down with jeans, or up with polished trousers.

And here’s one that resembles the Rag & Bone one in everything but price.

This L.L. Bean jacket comes in several colors, but I find this light pink iteration to be nicely unexpected.

Nili Lotan’s Cambre jacket is not even remotely cheap, but it is so well-tailored that you can wear it as a stand-in for a blazer. The one I acquired years ago has killed it on the cost-per-wear.

This one is just a really good navy.

J. Crew’s popular barn jacket is lined in a sweet Liberty print, making it a great stand-in for the Barbour jackets that did the same thing.

This one is quite reasonably priced, and I like the khaki hue.

This cotton canvas jacket from North Face has such excellently useful oversized pockets.

A sweet denim number that’s currently marked down.

I like the slightly longer length here.

And I dig the shirttail cut on this one.

And finally: a fun corduroy option.

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22 Thoughts on All the cutest utility/chore jackets I could find
    Jax
    26 Mar 2021
    2:31pm

    I also gang up the military/fatigue/utility jacket and the chore/workers jacket up in my mind, and I’ve owned countless (unfortunately, less) versions of each in the past ~15-20 years, and often similar army or moss greens. I’ve pretty much had to recognize that I’ve had an addiction to these jackets and have to take a real break from buying any more. I’m currently on a version of that same Gap utility jacket from 4 years ago.
    Having said that, that Velvet jacket is pretty much my ideal, sigh. The Nili Lotan is super cute.

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      Jax
      26 Mar 2021
      3:17pm

      I’ve probably said this here before too, but I think the military/army/utility jacket is now a classic staple. I know it’s been around for decades (in and out of mainstream fashion — even a safari jacket version in the 70s), but it truly hits its stride as a staple in women’s closets in the early aughts and hasn’t lost steam or really changed all that much since. And it’s worn by women of all ages and can be styled up or down. It’s becoming an item like a pair of jeans or a white button-down shirt.

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    KHD
    23 Mar 2021
    6:27pm

    Where were you a month ago when I was looking! 😉 A friend of mine found this specimen and I LOVE it. Their sizing recommended L for me but it is definitely oversized (I’m normally an 8-10), but I sort of love that it fits over everything. https://fahertybrand.com/collections/womens-outerwear-1/products/larkspur-jacket-hawkeye-green?variant=31757697581125

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    janine
    6 Apr 2021
    10:01am

    I have that LL Bean jacket in green, and I love it.

    The tip I always tell people who want a Barbour but don’t want to spend the money is to buy a used one! They only get better with age, and there are so many for sale usually on eBay, Poshmark, etc. I got a used one on eBay and had it professionally re-waxed and it’s wonderful!

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    kimbersam
    23 Mar 2021
    12:00pm

    Question for the group: As selected by Kim, is a chore jacket and a military-inspired shacket the same thing? Discuss…..

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      Viajera
      23 Mar 2021
      12:23pm

      I don’t have much experience with these categories. But, does a placket make the shacket? … … … My only real objection to chore jackets is the name. As objects, they don’t bother me. Military-inspired is more of an issue to me, and have thus far been a no-go, but otoh, why should military people get to have all the good pockets? And either way, if someone has been in a military, then imo they get permanent access to the clothing anyway. But, i may change my mind later in the morning. Just my two cents. And maybe the most important aspect of these is that they’re an easy way to not wear all black, which is an issue for sommmmme of us. (Not that there’s anything wrong with the color black.)

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      Kim France
      23 Mar 2021
      12:50pm

      hahaha, Kimberasm. There is so much overlap that I just decided to smush them together into the same category.

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      Mimi A.
      24 Mar 2021
      4:12pm

      Shackets are shaped like shirts (note the sh), which means they hang straight down. Chore and barn jackets tend to be pretty loose and boxy too. Military jackets are often more tailored and have more shape, high collars like the first four in Kim’s super selection, precisely placed symmetrical pockets and embossed metal buttons (see the Nili Lotan). Imo, the name doesn’t matter, what counts is what you like. I was attracted to a belted military jacket in Zara’s last srpls drop till it reminded me of the general’s jacket Melania T wore, looking like an officer with boobs. Ewww.
      https://www.google.com/search?q=melania+trump+military+jacket&sxsrf=ALeKk01bitzAjBBBNXfxAao4jeW3eIWEvA:1616616597761&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=P3HewnjBytxSrM%252C9i5n6hAErRYt1M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQOMd0qnehQDS46G3-B76tsOh06Vg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUlbCQ3snvAhXEGc0KHeOKC54Q9QF6BAgGEAE&biw=1396&bih=657#imgrc=P3HewnjBytxSrM

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    Mary
    23 Mar 2021
    1:44pm

    Interesting, CW! I’ll keep that in mind.

    Oddly enough, I find her tops are usually true to size.

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    nadine
    23 Mar 2021
    10:23am

    Those are all great! Does the link for the second one work for you? I am getting an error message..

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      Mamavalveeta03
      23 Mar 2021
      11:38am

      Try clearing your cookies, Nadine. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. 😉

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      Stephanie Conn
      23 Mar 2021
      12:22pm

      I get the error message, too and i’m burning to know what it is ! 😉

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        Viajera
        23 Mar 2021
        1:00pm

        Banana Republic’s classic utility jacket. $129 and also comes in a sort of a cream.

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          Viajera
          23 Mar 2021
          1:01pm

          Or rather, it did … only the XSs are left. Maybe they will make more though.

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      Kim France
      23 Mar 2021
      10:54am

      The link is working for me, Nadine. Is anyone else having a problem with it?

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    Mary
    23 Mar 2021
    10:36am

    I owned the Nili Cambre jacket, picked it up on sale.

    It’s a beautiful jacket but I ultimately sold it because it was too snug. I lament it’s loss! For those of you with broad shoulders, best to size up.

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      cw
      23 Mar 2021
      1:22pm

      Mary, the one and only time I’ve been in a Nili Lotan store I tried on one of her leather jackets just for fun (ridiculous price tag) and in my size the shoulders were so tight I couldn’t bend my arms to fasten the jacket closed! And I don’t have broad shoulders! I thought it was just that particular jacket, but it sounds like it may be her sizing in general.

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        Mary
        23 Mar 2021
        1:38pm

        Interesting, CW! I’ll keep that in mind.

        Oddly enough, I find her tops are usually true to size.

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    patty
    23 Mar 2021
    10:38am

    The North Face jacket is so chic! Do I need another jacket?….ummmmm no.

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      Stephanie
      23 Mar 2021
      3:21pm

      My favorite of the group. Wish there were more colors!

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    cw
    23 Mar 2021
    10:06am

    I love a “chore” jacket! I have both the military style in military green and an off-white chore number from Everlane. I wear them often and with enthusiasm! I also LOVE the Nili Lotan, but Holy-Moly Oy and Egad the PRICE! Plus, as much as I love the color––nope, not with my skin tones––people would say, “Bless her heart, she has great taste, but perhaps she’s color blind.”

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      Mamavalveeta03
      23 Mar 2021
      11:39am

      CW! Lol…..

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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