Strike a perfect balance between style and practicality in utilitarian inspired fashion. By Mughni Che Din
Utilitarian fashion has never been out of style. As a matter in fact, it goes through constant evolution as you will always be able to spot utilitarian-inspired looks on the catwalks at every major fashion week. From Fendi, Givenchy, Loewe to Off-White, fashion houses putting their own signature to the trend.
From left: Fendi Spring/Summer ’21; and Off-White Spring/Summer ‘21
What is utilitarian style?
The term ‘utilitarian’ in menswear is used to describe clothes or accessories that has one overarching design feature— functionality. Some of the key features for this style is structure and workwear-inspired details such as flap pockets, self-tie wraps, tabs, d-rings and buckles.
Max Mara Spring/Summer ‘20
The history of utilitarian style…
The utilitarian style made a huge comeback in the ‘70s during the rise of the second wave feminism when the U.S Senate passed the Equal Rights Act which signaled a victory for women across the nation. Then, the military-inspired style went through yet another revival during the ‘90s and early ‘00s. In an ode this most recent era, utility features continue to be all the rage in the fashion right now with new utilitarian aesthetic that exudes both refined and rugged look.
Utilitarian fashion back in 1920s
How to work the utilitarian trend this season…
The key to styling this trend without looking like you just stepped out of the set of Jurassic Park or Saving Private Ryan is all in the tiniest of details, like fabrics, silhouettes, and the accessories that can soften the typically mannish characteristics of the conventional utilitarian looks. It’s all about practicality and uniformity—picking pieces that will forever be in style and can be mixed and matched with the current.
Ready to make utilitarian style work for you? Scroll down for outfit inspirations to help you achieve the perfect utilitarian look.