Utility has been trending for ... well, years. Perhaps you have dabbled in it before. A military jacket here, a jumpsuit there … But the trend is clearly not going anywhere anytime soon, so we have come to think of it more as a lifestyle rather than this season’s whimsy. With that said, it is time to start building the perfect utilitarian wardrobe. What does that mean exactly? It’s all about practicality and uniformity—picking pieces that will forever be in style and can be mixed and matched with the current. Think structure and minimalism, workwear and military detailing, and a whole lot of khaki, olive, and neutral tones. The styling ideas are endless so why wait? Shop the 15 key pieces below to perfect the look now.
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1. DUSTER COAT
Contrast stitching updates this duster coat for a chic feel when thrown over your everyday essentials.
Madewell | $178
2. SHIRT DRESS
A minimalist shirt dress with clean lines and structure is the epitome of utilitarian style.
Uniqlo | $30
3. FLAT SLIDE SANDAL
Snake-embossed finish adds subtle texture to a clean slide.
NewbarK | $325
4. WIDE LEG CROP PANT
It's all in the details of this perfect fitting cropped pant with utility front pockets.
Everlane | $68
5. PLATOON JACKET
A jacket with plenty of military flair is a must-have when building your wardrobe.
Frame Denim | $329
6. SHOULDER BAG
A clean leather bag with a crossbody shoulder strap is an essential in a warm cognac color.
A.P.C. | $470
7. RIBBED KNIT
A classic ribbed knit in neutral tones is an essential layering piece to pair with structured items.
H&M | $60
Try a '70s feeling denim version for a modern day interpretation on the jumpsuit trend.
Mango | $120
9. MULE HEEL
A simplistic mule shape that nods to the '90s is the perfect accessory to a utilitarian look.
Topshop | $80
10. PAPERBAG WAIST SKIRT
A bungee cord drawstring and parachute-like fabric bring military touches to a classic skirt shape.
Gap | $42 (originally $60)
11. FRONT POCKET SHIRT
A practical button down with pocket front detailing is ideal when tucked into a high waisted pant or structured skirt.
Banana Republic | $55 (originally $78)
12. LEATHER TOTE BAG
Look for a medium sized shopper that takes you from work to weekend.
Marc Jacobs | $375
13. SAFARI SKIRT
A khaki skirt in clean A-line shape is a flattering way to test the trend. Pair with a slim fit knit or t-shirt to complete the look.
Tory Burch | $398
14. CARPENTER JACKET
Nod to heritage work wear brands with a soft denim jacket that is totally now.
J. Crew | $110
15. COMBAT BOOT
Don't reserve a cool combat boot for casual looks only. The tough sole pairs well with a skirt for a fresh work wear look.
Frye | $458