The French Work Jacket

The French Work Jacket

Let us introduce you to the French work jacket. Perfect for this time of year. It is a wardrobe staple you can rely on for many years. It is easy to wear, 100% cotton to keep you cool, it keeps its shape well and is designed in a simple yet classic cut.

A little bit of history !

Like the traditional Breton shirt, the French work jacket is another garment with a popular heritage which has become a sought after piece. Originally produced from moleskin for manual and factory workers, it is based on a very simple square cut, collared, single breasted with two large patch front pockets and a small one on the chest. A garment made in heavy cotton canvas, durable and ideal for all manual work which was primarily made from a Bugatti blue, an indigo dye, typically worn by car mechanics.

Today, the traditional French “Bleu de travail” is a jacket that fashion has taken inspiration from and made it readily available to all. Nautical brands have been quick to adopt it to their range with a classic navy blue but also as a red brick, two colours typically favoured for fisherman’s smocks made in a similar twill cotton fabric.

Today’s styles

The one below is what we would describe as an upmarket design with anchor flat buttons, fine detailing on patch pockets and buttoned cuffs that you can turn over. Fabulous jacket recommended for its style as much as for its authenticity. 

French work jacket navy blue - chic version

French work jacket navy blue – £105

If you are after a more traditional and simple design, then take a look at this little number. No chest pocket, plain navy buttons, no cuffs but the classic straight cut in a soft thick cotton twill stocked in navy blue and red brick.

Traditional French work jacket navy blue

Traditional French work jacket navy blue – £65

Traditional French work jacket red brick

Traditional French Work Jacket – Red Brick – £65

Let’s not forget our ladies !

For decades, ladies had to accept wearing a garment made for men. Not anymore ! Shorter and more feminine in design. It is proving very popular.

Absolutely perfect for summer and as a transitional jacket, ideal to layer over a Breton top or a sweater when it gets a little chilly.

Women's French Work Jacket, Navy Blue

Women’s French Work Jacket, Navy Blue – £82

If you prefer one a little shorter yet still made with a soft thick cotton, check this one, finished with flat metallic buttons. Very pleasant to wear and so easy for travelling.

Women's Cotton Jacket, Navy Blue

Women’s Cotton Jacket, Navy Blue – £55

For more inspirational designs of canvas jackets, check our full range.


  • Henriette Friis

    Why don`you do the jackets in more “happy ” colors like: Yellow – Terracotta – Forest Green – Avocado green -Ultramarine – Pale Blue Rasberry pink – ????

    The marine – black – grey and Ivory are in all shops and are SO boring.

    • The Nautical Company Crew

      Hello Henriette,
      Some more “happy” colours are usually produced with Spring/Summer collections. Being a nautical boutique, we tend to focus on the traditional navy but we do stock other colours like fuchsia pink, red, light green, grass green, turquoise. Feel free to check our canvas jackets page for more info. Thanks for your interest and feel free to contact us again if you need any further information.
      Best regards, Sandrine

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