Hand Picked French Workwear
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The French chore coat is fast becoming a cult classic alongside the Levi’s trucker jacket. These are our ‘best sellers’. Every piece is individual and the new custodians soon find them difficult to resist wearing; Best jacket in the closet! Just so wearable and stylish. They look good in all stages of life. Actually many customers love the ‘sun’ faded, traditionally repaired, examples.
‘Bleu de travail’ originates from the mid 19th century and these jackets were worn hard by the complete French workforce from farmhand to garage mechanic and everywhere in between. Ironically this classic design is gaining worldwide iconic status. Usually navy blue in colour, (although they come in many different colours) they were made from a heavyweight cotton weave. Most have 3 outside pockets and 1 interior, where you might find a well designed manufacturers label.
We occasionally find hard wearing moleskin examples which are made from a heavier cotton that is sheared to give a dense pile on one side and once treated has a wonderful satin shine. These are the ‘Rolls Royce’ of chore coats and very collectable in Japan.
Marine / Sea Wear
The striped Breton/Marinière shirt is without doubt the ultimate symbol of French cool. Originally worn by French fishermen and seamen it is now a fashion classic. Coco Chanel adapted the style for her fashion house in the early 20th century. Since then the shirt was worn by many actors including John Wayne, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Seberg. More recently Jean Paul Gaultier has been a champion of the style.
Worn with any combination this item never fails to look good.
We can’t resist a nice line in marine wear. Usually made to withstand the harsh seas, the smocks we fall upon often use a very heavy gauge cotton/canvas weave. They are very popular with artists and hipsters alike, a comfortable timeless style.
Dungarees / Coveralls
Dungarees have been around for a long time. The first known mention was in Bombay, India in the 17th century! They were referred to as robust working clothes. Made from coarse cotton cloth and coloured blue.
Fast forward to the 21st century and not much has changed. Still made from hard wearing denim and as useful as ever. As well as being very practical in the workshop and on the railroad they are a huge hit amongst car cult, and re-enactment scenes. We carry a good range of colours, styles and sizes. They are usually worn large.
Military wear has always been a durable and practical choice in the fashion world. Although many of the high end collectable items have been imitated and reproduced it is always good to have a nice original item in the wardrobe. Usually military will last a lifetime but also even go up in value.
Many fashion houses take their influences from military clothing. The most famous example that springs to mind would be the Burberry, Trench Coat. This was originally commissioned by the English War Office as a durable outer garment for soldiers on the front-line during WW1. It is now regarded as a fashion classic that looks good worn with any combination.
Boiler / Jump Suits
Another fantastic piece of workwear, and a unisex item that seems to making its mark in the fashion world recently, and why not? Great for festivals, scooter rallies and workshops alike. A great outer garment that looks equally cool at a classic car show or a techno rave.
We always carry a good selection of genuine military surplus and utilitarian bright colours in all sizes and many different styles.
The French ‘bleu de travail’ trousers are like the chore coats. Made form 100% cotton they are not denim, they have of a softer finish and often come in the treated moleskin fabric. Once you find your ideal fit you will be tempted to wear them every day! Many of our pants have utility pockets that are so practical for mobile phones as well as standard deep side pockets and button fly. A nice change from wearing jeans.
Originally made for factory workers they are so comfortable and practical it is an obvious choice for the modern day stylist.
On our many early morning visits to French flea markets and antique fairs we often come across ‘one off ‘ vintage gems. Sometimes a hunting jacket, or a farmers shirt. It’s difficult to resist these works of fashion art. As long as they fit into our workwear philosophy we will scoop them up, clean, press and present them for sale.