Does ‘utility clothing’ bring to mind clothes that go overboard on pockets and camo prints? While these elements are a part of what it is, there’s more to utility clothing than what meets the eye.

For starters, it has an interesting history. Trust us, this isn’t one of those tales that end up in a pharaoh’s tomb. It dates back to the World war II era when people were allowed to buy clothes in restricted quantities, and that too on coupons. This meant you had to ‘choose’ between a new handbag and a pair of new jeans. What a nightmare, right? That’s why they had to invest in clothing that lasted longer. Lesser fabric also meant shorter hemlines and in turn — fewer pleats and trims.

This marked the beginning of the trend with durable fabrics, boxy silhouettes and colours like khaki and olive that didn’t soil easily. Quite ironically, the trend back then emphasized on reducing the number of pockets to save on the material, later transitioned into work-wear with the addition of utility details like pockets and other trims for its durability and versatility. After the war, the youth of the time took it upon themselves to restore the economy with their passion, confidence and a stylish attitude.

Post WW Trend

Now, how do you sport this trend in 2017 you ask? Here are some key pieces to invest in:

Utility jackets

These jackets are a fashion favourite worldwide, probably because of their versatility and convenience. You can toss one on top of just about anything you are wearing and it will double up your style factor.

Utility jacket

Guys, you can layer it over a T-shirt or a sweater with jeans or jogger pants for that rugged look. Girls, you can go for a sporty look by pairing women’s jacket with jeans or shorts, or even with a dress for a more casual look.

Camo shirts

These are not just about comfort, but are uber-cool too. Talk about being effortlessly stylish. The new style statement, ‘camo-is-cool’ is the one to sport this fall.

Camo shirt

Girls, you could layer a camo shirt over a T-shirt with jeans, or wear it with a short skirt and tie it at the waist for a stylish look. Boys, go ahead and pair yours over distressed denims or khaki shorts.

Cargo joggers

Pockets mania anyone? Finally, one with all the pockets you will need. One for each of your phones, earphones, batteries, pen drives and anything else you want to carry.

Cargo joggers

Cargo joggers are so versatile that they look stylish paired with both T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Badges on denim

Wear your heart on your sleeve with this one — honorary badges, your love for your pets or aliens, hey we don’t judge. Take your pick and get a denim jacket or jeans with your favourite badges on them. They instantly bring out your individuality and speak volumes about your style.

Badges on denim


Utility-inspired clothing regardless of its humble beginnings is now synonymous with power. In this day and age, with technological advances and simplification of processes, we expect so much more from everything in addition to its primary purpose. It’s only natural that we expect more than just style from clothing too. This is a trend that promises the best of comfort, functionality and effortless style.

Let us know in the comments how you are sporting the trend.

Enjoyed reading this post and want to know more about the latest trends? Check out our recommendation on Retro inspired fashion here.

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