A heavy dose of practicality swept the SS19 catwalks back in September, with the utility trend demonstrating that function and aesthetics – not always the best of friends in fashion – can happily coexist. Imagine if Meryl Streep in Out of Africa had a party with Laura Dern in Jurassic Park and Angelina Jolie in Hackers, and you're close to the trend's neutral-hued, pocket-laden aesthetic.
Hero pieces from spring's catwalks included Acne Studios' beige boiler suit, Alexachung's cropped sleeveless jacket and Sies Marjan's deconstructed co-ord, adorned with belt straps, contrasting fabrics and pockets aplenty. But how to wear flak jackets, combat trousers and khaki without looking like a middle-aged man on an angling trip?
Here are three ways I tackled utility, from a shirt dress revelation to a safari-ready get-up.
Into The Wild
I'm rarely out of kick-flare denim but I'll be making room in my wardrobe for some culottes-style trousers thanks to these Warehouse babies. Roomy, comfortable and with cute resin belt detailing, you could pair them with a slogan tee, fine knit or leather jacket. For utilitarian style, just add a khaki button-down shirt (roll up those sleeves) and some patent mules and voilà! Eat your heart out, Laura Dern.
If you don't want to go all-in on the trend, take one utilitarian item and add it to your everyday attire. This Monki jacket covers two trends, tapping into the wave of natural hues we've seen dominate this season. Paired with a boxy bag, leather dress and boots, and (natch) some animal print, and you've got a hint of utility without going full-on hike in the countryside.
Ordinarily, the last thing you'd ever find me in is a beige button-down shirt dress, but I'm fully convinced by this ASOS number. I belted it with a white belt bag and teamed with Western mules to make it less relaxed. Perhaps the most utilitarian of all the pieces, this dress feels as appropriate for the office as it would in summer paired with Birkenstocks.