Having a work coat that can double as a well fitting, good looking casual jacket is a great idea. Because clothes take on their own character with wear. And there’s no quicker way to wear something in than to beat it up with real intent. None of this pre-fraying/aging crap. Waxed cotton jackets are comfortable, pretty durable feeling, and most come in a past-the-waist-length that looks better than a standard bomber. Plus they’re a great canvas for all of that beating, and come out looking even better on the other side.
The Eddie Bauer is for the legitimate tough guys in the audience. The one’s who don’t spend all workday under florescents, and actually get dirty on the job. Their shotguns might have names. And they’d never pay to have their car’s oil changed. The one I found in-store was on sale for $99. A warning, the online pics aren’t flattering. Size down for a slim fit.
The French Connection is obviously higher style. But, and this is a big but, if that coat you see above which costs $248 on the French Connection website, is the same exact coat that’s running $185 on ASOS? Then it’s a no go. It looks awful on ASOS. Maybe it’s the lighting, but… it looks like hell on ASOS.
The GAP utility jacket is the old standby. Unwaxed and decently fitted, especially in the sleeves. You won’t be winging out from the shoulders to the wrists. Bellow pockets are on everything right now, this jacket included. But they don’t stick out that far so, you’ll be fine.
You could drop a small fortune on a Belstaff Roadmaster via collaboration with J. Crew, but spending that kind of money on that kind of jacket seems sort of poser-ish. One of these should treat you just fine.