Coverall Jacket


Takeshi Ohfuchi

from Post O'Alls




Find out little-known yet interesting facts about clothing through the words of discerning designers who have been creating
essential masterpieces for BEAMS PLUS collections.
The crucial new philosophy of BEAMS PLUS,
“Updating timeless classics for the future,” cannot be achieved without their wealth of knowledge.


Takeshi Ofuchi (Designer of Post O’Alls)Ofuchi was born in Tokyo in 1962 and moved to New York at the age of 25. His brand Post O’Alls made its debut at a comprehensive fashion marketplace, MAGIC LAS VEGAS, in January, 1993. With his love of workwear and other functional garments related to workwear, he has been designing new timeless clothes that are of equal quality as vintage pieces, merging various styles, details and traditional sewing skills. His clothes therefore match seamlessly with vintage workwear. Ofuchi moved his base to Tokyo after the launch of his 2019 spring summer collection.

Even if coverall jackets
became a fad, it wouldn’t be so big.
There is a slight gap between
fashion trends and
the garment itself,
and it is actually
the reason I love it.

Unique American features of
the garment
were perhaps
created after the 1920s.

“Around the time when I was working as a buyer, the oldest coverall jacket in my collection was from about 1900. It was made with thin, plain weave fabric with a chambray-like texture and gingham plaid pattern. Simply designed with three pentagonal patch pockets, the product came with a matching overall. American coveralls made around that time feature a little, or probably quite similar designs and details to European workwear. A set of unique American features of the garment was perhaps created between World War 1 and the 1920s. The history of coverall jackets and the tide of the apparel industry in the U.S. are almost synchronized, I think.”

“The word ‘coverall’ means a bib-and-brace overall in the U.S. although Japanese people use it as a loanword to describe something similar to a chore jacket, railroad jacket or engineer’s jacket. This photo of a woodsman in the northwest of America was taken in 1919, and he is wearing an old engineer’s jacket probably from PAY DAY. It features signature engineer cuffs on the sleeves to wear long gloves on it, while some of the overalls made around that time feature raglan sleeves. The designs of those kinds of jackets are varied as some of those are made like shirts while others have A-line silhouettes. I don’t think there were any particular rules on how to wear those. People sometimes wore those over sweaters, but other times they layer those either under or over their overalls. I once saw a photo of a man wearing a coverall jacket over another one. The item was used as workwear, so people didn’t so much care about how they looked, I guess.”

“Advertising features on clothing such as outside tags and logo buttons seem very American to me. Triple- and chain-stitch finishing are also characteristic features of coverall jackets made in the U.S. around that time. There was a sort of tendency in the designs, too. In the 1930s, the basic design of a coverall jacket was established as the four-pocket detail became more popular. Some changes had been added to the shape and appearance according to the trends of the times. Because the idea of casual clothing did not yet exist at that time, clothes like workwear might instead reflect the moods and trends. Lee updated the details of their products more often than other brands, though they were not a leading brand in its business. And, surprisingly, private labels also followed the fad.”

A series of photos taken by photographer Darius Kinsey
during the American Frontier period vividly depicts
the history of American workwear.

In this world, there must be
many other designs
that I have never seen before.

“After the second World War started, the design of coverall jackets became much simpler due to wartime shortages. It’s similar to what happened in the denim industry of the time. The garment made around that time have simple buttons and only two pockets, while the number of stitches and production processes were reduced. It therefore looks solid, low-key and plain, but I personally like it. On the other hand, coverall jackets made for the U.S. Navy feature the signature shawl collar. I think the design was inspired by a sailor’s flap collar because the item was made for the naval force.

As the idea of casual clothing became popular after the war, people no longer used their workwear as everyday outfits. So, from then on, coverall jackets have been designed so practical because the design no longer had to follow trends. Contrarily, the design of the jackets made between the 1920s and the 1930s reflects the trend of the Machine Age, while combining it with the industrial appearance of workwear. I can feel the energy of the golden era of workwear from those pieces.”

“I’ve encountered and worn so many types of coverall jackets but have no particular favorite in brand or in era. If I happen to find a jacket that fits me, it becomes my favorite. Rarity doesn’t mean everything to me, because I’m not a collector. Versatile designs that can match with various styles attract me more. I don’t know where the jacket I’m wearing today is from. I recently bought it in Japan and it was perhaps made during World War 2. A coverall jacket featuring two pockets and a chin strap had always been in my mind even before I launched my brand, though I didn’t expect that such design really exists. But I actually found it recently. So, there must be many other unseen designs in the world.”

Ofuchi happened to find this coverall jacket made in the 1940s at a vintage clothing store run by a man he knows.
It was the first time for him to see a coverall jacket with two pockets and a chin strap.

From a photo book of Lewis Wickes Hine, a photographer and a reformer who called for
social reformation by photographing impoverished people and child laborers.

My ideal coverall jacket is
the one that nobody can tell
when it is made.

“I came to realize how cool American clothes were during junior high school. Ivy League style was so popular around that time and my father was wearing BROOKS BROTHERS and Florsheim clothes he bought in the U.S. Though I first thought clothes made by Japanese brands like VAN and KENT looked nicer, American clothing designs inspired me a lot after reading MADE IN USA CATALOG. The first coverall jacket that intrigued me was, I think, the one I bought at Santa Monica in Harajuku by chance. The quality of the jacket made me amazed. I didn’t know it was made before the second World War at first, but I thought it had different appeal than the ones designed by Levi’s®. By around the mid-1980s, only a few people in Japan tried to find vintage clothes made by famous American brands like Lee, and there was almost nobody who looked for vintage clothes made by unknown brands. After moving to the U.S. at the age of 25, I had traveled across the country to find vintage pieces. I believed that I could find it anywhere in the U.S. although there were some brands I could find only in particular areas. Especially, cities in the East Coast were little-known but good places to buy vintage clothes because not so many Japanese buyers came there at that time, while American vintage stores carried more Hollywood-like clothes such as Hawaiian shirts and gabardine shirts.”

This photo taken in a factory in the U.S. is
featured on his brand’s catalog.

“To make coverall jackets regarded as a fashion item, I try not to follow current trends. Even if I do follow it, I don’t do it at its peak. It’s just because the reason I like coverall jackets is that the garment is not made to look cool. Coverall jackets will never be a fad. Even if it became popular, it wouldn’t be so big. There is a slight gap between current fashion trends and the garment, and it is actually the reason I love it. The jacket has always been my favorite for about 30 years regardless of time and circumstance. However, my brand’s coverall jackets are not mere reproduction of vintage pieces, although it’s inspired by clothes made in the past. My design is always based on my ideal but unseen vintage jacket. Through my brand, Post O’Alls, I’d like to design a coverall jacket that nobody can tell when it is made.”

The brand’s latest coverall jacket is made with
light 5oz denim fabric,
featuring two pockets
and an American-like front patch.

This four-pocket jacket is also the latest model.
The covert cloth,
a fabric often used for workwear,
adds an extra industrial feel to the design.

Item Info.
Post O’Alls

(Left) POST 40
Color : DENIM / Size : S , M , L / Price : ¥46,000+tax
Color : GREY / Size : S , M , L / Price : ¥52,000+tax

Shop Info.

The products shown in this article are
available at BEAMS PLUS stores.