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The Story of the Blue Jacket


The French workwear jacket was originally conceived as protective wear for manual jobs. It is a great addition to any wardrobe. Unisex, all season, comfortable, classy, versatile and hard-wearing, they are a winner. In stock we have jackets made in France from a thick cotton. They would have originally catered for a wide range of jobs, from fishmonger to railway worker. Our selection includes some worn workwear jackets and some dead stock, in various shades of blue. Some of them come with the logo of the company who ordered them for its employees.

The workwear clothes could be either overall or trousers with the jacket. They became widespread with the industrial revolution. Blue cotton was easy to produce. Blue workwear was worn by the workers, supervisors or managers would wear white or grey to differentiate themselves. Working class workers are still referred to as ‘blue collar’. During the 1968 French social movement, the student demonstrators wore blue workwear in solidarity with the workers. The concept has even been used in high fashion, Dior made a jacket a couple of years ago.

The original bright blue shade often worn by mechanics is sometimes referred to as ‘Bugatti Blue‘. Ettore Bugatti was an Italian car manufacturer based in Alsace from 1909. The Bugatti racing cars were at their peak, winning races in the 1930s. At the time, they represented advanced engineering and futuristic design. We love the Bugatti blue jackets, but we love the different cuts and colours, as available here.

As the manufacturing sector grew in France in the 20th century, the workwear textile industry expanded, and there were workwear makers all over France, not just the traditional textile areas of the North and the East. They sometimes had quaint names, such as 'Le Pigeon Voyageur' (the travelling pigeon) or Le Dé (the dice). Today, a few companies remain and still trade.


The jackets are meant to be worn over other clothes, so they can size big, we have added the measurements in centimetres and inches. If you have any questions or need help choosing your jacket, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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