How Should A Chore Coat Fit?

The chore coat stands out as a timeless piece of functional workwear. 

This durable outerwear piece has evolved from its utilitarian roots to become a fashionable streetwear item. But the key to harnessing its full potential lies in understanding its fit.

We'll guide you through how to strike the right balance between style, comfort, and functionality with the chore coat, whether you're aiming for a classic look or a more modern twist in your uniform. 

Sizing and Fitting A Chore Coat

A chore coat is designed for functionality and comfort, making the fit different from a formal jacket or casual outerwear. The fit of a chore coat should allow for ease of movement without being overly baggy or restrictive.

Here are some tips for getting the fit of your chore coat uniforms just right.

Size Up for Versatility

A size larger than your staff's typical outerwear might be necessary for optimal comfort. This consideration is especially important when your staff works outdoors. It provides space for layering during colder months when the chore coat needs to accommodate additional clothing such as sweaters or hoodies.

Chore coats are traditionally worn for jobs that require physical activity. A larger size can provide more freedom of movement, which is crucial for tasks that involve bending, stretching, or reaching.

In work environments where staff members frequently move in and out of different temperatures or do physically demanding tasks, a larger chore coat can be quickly slipped on or off as needed. 

Boxy Doesn't Mean Bulky

While a chore coat does have a boxier cut compared to fitted jackets, it shouldn't swamp the frame. The coat should hang cleanly from the shoulders and maintain a relatively straight line down the body.

The ideal fit will appear neat and intentional, not sloppy. It should suggest ease, not excess.

Adjustments and Tailoring

Although chore coats are not typically tailored, minor adjustments can be made for a better fit, such as shortening the sleeves if they are too long. However, significant alterations can compromise the coat's style and functionality.

Remember, the chore coat's original design was made to provide ease of movement for manual work; too much tailoring can defeat its purpose.

Understanding the Fit of A Chore Coat 

Shoulder Fit

The fit across the shoulders is paramount. The seam should extend slightly past the shoulder joint. This allowance grants unhindered mobility, preventing any constriction. If the seam sits too far on the arm, the coat is too big; if it's up on the shoulder, it's too small.

Sleeve Length

The sleeves should extend to reach the wrist bone, all while permitting free and unimpeded movement of the arms.

When trying on a coat, ask your staff to extend their arms in front of them and then overhead. The sleeves should stay in place near the wrist and not slide up excessively, which could indicate they are too short. 

In addition, the sleeves shouldn't be so wide that they become cumbersome or catch objects during work-related activities.

Torso Fit

Chore coats are generally straight-cut without the tapering found in tailored jackets.

The hem of the coat should gracefully fall just below the hip line. This strategic length ensures adequate coverage even when bending over or reaching down. When trying on a chore coat, it is also advisable to sit down to ensure the coat does not ride up too high or restrict your staff's waist and hip movement.


The traditional chore coat is mid-thigh, providing coverage and warmth while allowing easy movement. However, modern variations may include shorter chore coats just below the waist. 

When Buttoned

When buttoned, the coat should still provide ample room for ease of movement without constriction. Also, consider how the coat feels when sitting down while buttoned, as this can often be tighter than when standing.

Tips and Advice for Fitting a Chore Coat

Follow these general guidelines for purchasing well-fitted chore coats:

  • Standardize sizes - 38, 40, 42 - for straightforward fitting
  • Sample trials are advisable to confirm ease of movement
  • Offer unisex sizes as chore coats possess a straight shape
  • Opt for scratch-resistant fastenings and reinforced stitching
  • For active roles, choose fabrics with moisture-wicking properties
  • Provide replacements for coats that become stained or wear out

What is a Chore Coat?

A chore coat, also referred to as a chore jacket, worker jacket, or utility jacket, stands as a multipurpose garment crafted from robust canvas or cotton. This staple is a go-to for culinary expertsmixologistswaitstaff, and hospitality professionals. The traditional chore coat has defining traits:

  • Hardy, resistant fabrics such as cotton duck or twill
  • An array of sizable pockets to tote tools and essentials
  • Fastenings that range from buttons to snaps
  • A cut that is typically boxy, offering a liberal fit

Chore coats serve as the quintessential apparel for tasks demanding agility, resilience to heat, and protection from spills and stains. The substantial material, coupled with a generous fit, ensures unrestricted movement.

When Are Chore Coats Used?

The classic chore coat has now become the uniform of choice across various sectors like hospitality establishments, culinary kitchens, coffee houses, and catering companies. 

The best chore coats are resistant to wear and tear, durable, and practical.


  • Differentiate roles through a palette of coat colors
  • Maintain regular laundering 
  • Branding via custom embroidery can enhance identity

    The Chore Coat: From Workwear to Fashion Staple

    The French Chore Coat

    The French chore coat, with its origins in the French workwear of the early 20th century, has transcended its utilitarian roots to become a classic fashion piece. This coat is distinguished by its simple yet functional design, often characterized by a light-wash denim fabric that's both durable and stylish.

    • It is lightweight for layering over an Oxford shirt for a smart, casual look.
    • It can be thrown over everyday wear for a touch of nonchalant sophistication.
    • It’s the corduroy collar, however, that often sets this coat apart, adding a hint of texture and a nod to its rustic heritage.

    Staff Style Tips:

    • Team a French chore coat with slim-fit trousers and leather boots for a classic, timeless ensemble.
    • For a modern twist, pair with light-wash denim jeans for a tonal look, playing on different denim textures and washes.
    • Accessorize with a simple leather belt and a flat cap for an authentic European workwear-inspired outfit.

    The Hunting Jacket Influence

    In the realm of outdoor attire, chore coats have long been influenced by traditional hunting jackets. These rugged garments are designed to withstand the elements, often featuring a waxed or weather-resistant finish. The hallmarks of a hunting-style chore coat include deep pockets for ammunition and essentials, a sturdy construction, and, often, a lined interior for added warmth.

    • A shirt jacket with a corduroy collar is not just a nod to hunting attire; it's a statement piece that merges outdoor utility with urban fashion.
    • These coats work exceptionally well for everyday wear, offering both comfort and durability for your staff.

    Staff Style Tips:

    • Pair the ruggedness of a hunting-inspired chore coat with the sophistication of an Oxford shirt for a contrasting yet cohesive look.
    • For an autumnal outfit, match a shirt jacket, a corduroy collar, chinos, and a warm sweater.
    • Opt for a chore coat with customized elbow patches for your restaurant or hotel or reinforced shoulders to truly embrace the hunting jacket style in your staff's daily wardrobe.

    Stock: Stylish Chore Coats For The Daily Grind

    Providing properly fitted chore coats keeps your staff comfortable, safe, and professional-looking. Taking time to get the sizing right results in uniforms that staff are happy to wear while being protected on the job.

    For high-quality and durable chore coats, explore the options available from Stock. Our chore coats, fashioned from stretch cotton twill, help facilitate movement. Designed with ample patch pockets and available in various hues, such as black, navy, and charcoal, these coats can be tailored to reflect your brand.

    At Stock, we provide unisex chore coats for a unified team aesthetic. These coats boast a versatile design that can transition from refined to relaxed with a simple change of accessories. Custom embroidery and branding options are also available, enabling you to personalize your staff uniforms.

    Explore our collection of superior chore coats on our website, place an order, or reach out for bespoke uniform solutions for your hospitality team.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between a chef coat and a chore coat?

    The distinction between a chef coat and a chore coat lies in their design and function—chef coats are heat-resistant and traditionally white. In contrast, chore coats offer casual utility with a focus on stain resistance.

    What fabrics are best for hotel and restaurant chore coats?

    For hotel and restaurant chore coats, opt for materials like coated cotton duck, twill, or canvas for their endurance and industrial laundry compatibility. Active staff will benefit from moisture-wicking cotton blends.

    Should chore coats be tailored for a more custom fit?

    Tailoring is not advised for chore coats; the emphasis should be on the correct size to preserve the garment's functional roominess.

    What are some style options for chore coats?

    Most are straight-cut, but some tailored options have a slightly tapered waist. Shoulder panels, double front closure, and other utility features add visual interest.

    How often should my staff replace their chore coats?

    Plan on replacing chore coats every 1-2 years, depending on wear and tear. Stains, tears, and missing buttons are signs a coat should be replaced.