2 Ways to Work ‘Utilitarian-Chic’ Into Your Wardrobe


Att-en-tion! There's something about that military-inspired, borrowed-from-the-boys look that we can't get enough of this season. Whether it's our love for a man in uniform, or just our inner tomboy talking – we're guilty of letting this trend COMPLETELY take over our wardrobe. “Utilitarian-chic is the perfect look for the laidback girl who wants to look great, but not like she spent any time thinking about her outfit,” says Spark stylist, Casey Downes. (Um, who doesn’t want that?!)

Here are two different ways to rock the military-inspired trend:

Basic Training

The easiest way to pull off the utilitarian vibe is to choose a key piece, and build around it. We’re currently obsessed with structured army jackets, and have been seeing them all over the Centre. “An army jacket is a versatile piece that will give you instant cool-girl cred,” says Downes. “There are a ton of options out there, but I tend to favour versions with lots of details like pockets, shoulder epaulets, and buttons.” The utilitarian trend definitely doesn’t have to be limited to the grungy, androgynous look – try going feminine by mixing in fun, pretty pieces. To add a girly touch, we paired the jacket with a striped dress and sleek riding boots. If it’s not quite dress weather, think Posh Spice-goes-military, and combat the cold with a dark silky top, structured trousers, and heels.
Pro tip: Treat green as a neutral by swapping it in where you would normally wear black or grey. “This allows you to work more colour and texture into the look,” says Downes.

Style Sergeant

"After a summer full of prints and girly dresses, it's nice to switch things up and add a bit of edge to your look,” says Downes. This head-to-toe utilitarian outfit screams deconstructed cool, and is a great example of how to take the trend to the next level. Instead of focusing on one piece, don't be afraid to wear a few military-inspired pieces at once. Just make sure to stick within the classic military colour scheme of olive green, tan, black, and white. “Matching the colour of your top and bottoms creates a fresh, monochromatic look,” says Downes. Plus, the green button-up would look equally great with a pair of light boyfriend jeans. A punchy coral purse and black combat boots finish the look for a trendy (yet weather appropriate!) touch.
Pro tip: Accessorizing is key to pulling off the utilitarian trend. Don’t be afraid to pile on the bling! This will help add interest, and keep the outfit cool and interesting.

See something you like? Visit these St. Vital Centre retailers to shop the looks in this post (check stores for availability):

Look #1: Basic Training
Army jacket: Garage, $99.95
Black and white striped dress: Garage, $32.95
Black boots: Hudson's Bay (Ralph Lauren), $198
Silver circle necklace: Le Chateau, $25
Blue suede fringe purse: BCBGMAXAZRIA, $435
Burgundy floppy hat: Garage, $36.95

Look #2: Style Sergeant
Army green button up: Garage, $39.95
Cargo pants: Garage, $39.95
Black boots: Aldo, $130
Necklace: Dynamite, $24.95
Burnt orange purse: Chapters, $39.50

comments powered by Disqus