Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Coat Review (3 years, 8 washes)

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Apolis Chore Coat Brand New vs Worn
Evolution of the Apolis Chore Coat over 3 years with very very many washes.
Evolution of the Apolis Chore Coat over 3 years with very very many washes.

The Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Coat has been an iconic outerwear piece of this decade especially because of an awesome 3 year evolution pic. Although my own chore coat hasn’t come close to that level of fading, I still can provide insight for those considering to purchase one!

The chore coat is my favorite garment piece from Apolis, specifically the “OG” Indigo Wool version. More recently, Apolis has come out with a variety of colors for the chore coat including Olive, Charcoal, Black, Indigo Striped. Accessory-wise, I can’t help but say good things about their Market Bags (you can find my review on the bags here).

Front view of the Apolis Chore Coat (after 3 years)
Front view of my Apolis Chore Coat (after 3 years)

Chore coats have been fundamentally part of American history for quite some time now. Blue collar workers and farmers wore them, typically crafted by durable fabric such as denim or canvas. The designs typically included two breast pockets and two lower pockets along with a straight cut fit that allowed layers below it for colder months.

Fabric detail shot and horn button
Fabric detail shot and horn button

Around the time of my purchase, the Pointer Chore Coat ($145 USD) was quite the hype on /r/malefashionadvice. It was a simple tan coat with four pockets that contrasted well with a indigo denim bottom. I consider chore coats and denim jackets somewhat interchangable in a wardrobe in terms of casualness.

Rear view of the Apolis Chore Coat (after 3 years)
Rear view of my Apolis Chore Coat (after 3 years)

My initial experience with Apolis was through their Indigo Wool CPO Jacket and shortly after their Market Bags (see my review on the bags). The material on the Chore Coat is the same as the CPO jacket I owned since 2013.

The first time I was able to try on the chore coat was at Standard & Strange in early 2014. My experience with Apolis’ Indigo Wool is that the fabric is quite thin and breathable. I noticed that in both a size medium, the chore coat fit much slimmer than the CPO jacket. I wasn’t too keen on the hefty MSRP $328 USD price (I purchased the CPO jacket on sale at 50% off at $124 USD), but later in the year decided to get the chore coat anyway.

Discontinued Apolis Wool CPO Jacket in the same fabric
Discontinued Apolis Wool CPO Jacket in the same fabric

The retail price was $328 USD when I purchased it, but now on Apolis’ website it is $278 (more discussion on that later). I eventually purchased it from the Apolis webstore in late 2014.

Details:

Apolis Wool Indigo Chore Coat
Price: $328 USD

  • Milled in Italy using two different indigo dyed wools
  • 4 front pockets with a 3″ x 5″ interior hidden pocket on the interior
  • Fallen buffalo horn buttons
  • Antique nickel reinforcement rivets
  • Rounded club collar, pocket flaps, raglan shoulder
  • 13.5oz 100% Indigo Dyed Wool from Italy
  • Dry clean only
  • Crafted in California/USA

Impressions:

When the coat was brand new, the indigo dye was quite dark. I don’t recall a significant amount of indigo bleeding, but only some. I considered it my go-to business casual jacket whenever I was wearing a tucked in shirt. The dark indigo, rounded collar, and hidden placket helped accentuate that business casual look. The wrists have an adjustable cuff with two horn buttons. I use the outermost button because I typically am wearing the jacket over a long sleeved shirt which has cuffs also.

Two sleeve buttons to adjust cuff size

The jacket has four front pockets – two of them being chest pockets and the two below including pocket flaps. Early on, I stored my phone in the top chest pockets, but on several occasions my phone fell out when I was leaning forward. I now try to remember to place my phone in the bottom pockets with flaps.

Hidden front placket for a clean silhouette
Hidden front placket for a clean silhouette

The coat doesn’t have side access handwarmer pockets which was the major drawback to me. My Apolis Wool CPO Jacket included side handwarmer pockets, but that design didn’t transfer over to the chore coat. To keep my hands warm, I have to awkwardly place my hands vertically into the bottom pockets like a chipmunk/squirrel. I missed this feature the most when wearing the chore coat, but I understand that the traditional design of chore coats don’t have side pockets.

The inside has a pen pocket and a small pocket with a flap. The small pocket is too small to place any modern phone like an iPhone inside. I never gave that pocket a function. Apolis also included a locker loop at the collar which makes hanging the chore coat on a rack easy!

The hanging loop is useful!
The hanging loop is useful!
Inner pocket for a pen and supposedly a minature cell phone!
Inner pocket for a pen and supposedly a minature cell phone!

I can’t remember how many times I’ve washed it so far. But if I were to guess, maybe 6-8 times. I’ve always machine washed it on cold setting using Woolite Darks (preserves dark colors), and then hang dried it. The jacket did not shrink significantly in any areas after washing unlike denim jackets. It’s after the first wash that the fading/contrast really emerges.

When I went into the Apolis Common Gallery in the Arts District, I saw a well faded chore coat displayed on a mannequin. An associate told me that particular jacket was dry cleaned only which faded the jacket in a uniform way. Comparing it to a picture of mine, the dry cleaned jacket was faded everywhere and lacked contrast especially in the arms. I came to the conclusion that even though the tag recommends Dry Clean only, machine washing the jacket works well enough! The

Concluding Thoughts:

There’s a bit of uncertainty regarding the chore coat’s material. As of now, the chore coat is only offered in a 30% 13.5oz indigo-dyedwool, 60% cotton, 10% nylon which seems different than the 100% wool, right? Perhaps that’s why the price is currently $278 instead of $328 a few years ago. Someone on Reddit emailed Apolis and gathered the following information from an Apolis representative:

The 100% wool Apolis chore coat never did exist. The factory mislabeled the garment as 100% wool, and it has always been some kind of wool/cotton/nylon blend.

But later on while asking another associate, the redditor found out different information that at some point there was a 100% wool coat. Then later the fabric composition was changed for comfort and durability reasons. (One theory is that it is the cotton material of the garment that fades)

While the inner tag on my garment says 100% wool, I can attest that the Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Coat is pretty lightweight and breathable.

Over the past 3 years, I’ve worn the chore coat on average 5 times a month. It’s one of my favorite outerwear pieces in my closet. I can wear the coat year round in Los Angeles when the temperature ranges between ~60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the wool (or wool blend) is not course wool and doesn’t feel itchy (on my skin at least), so wearing it with a T-shirt is something I feel comfortable doing.

In conclusion, the Apolis Wool Chore Coat is really something that is easy to pair with. I recommend the chore coat as a versatile piece for essentially anyone who also loves denim jackets. When the chore coat is buttoned all the way to the top, it gives the jacket a refined look. The texture/material provides enough contrast when you’re wearing indigo denim so you don’t have that Canadian tuxedo look!







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