Utilitarian dressing embodies a certain practical effortlessness when it comes to dressing. So many pockets! So wearable! Khaki and olive green are flattering on everyone! But besides that, the army-inspired clothing is just deeply stylish and cool. Whether you’re rocking this season’s cargos, or slipping into an army jacket while the season shifts into spring, you’ll know that you look good.
A great army jacket is the perfect transitional piece. You can layer your heavier knits under it right now, but it looks just as chic with a tank or t-shirt when the sun comes back. I love the pocket detailing (four!!) on this Free People version, and the zippers + cinched waist formula of Banana Republic’s utility jacket. It comes in dark green, khaki or camo! The cropped, sleek cut of this Paige jacket is a little bit dressier, and goes great with high-waisted jeans.
Cargo pants come in many forms, but few are as chic or timeless as Nilli Lotan’s iconic the Jenna pant. They’re a little bit more of a splurge, but you’ll be able to wear them forever. Alex Mill’s Utility Pant is a little more affordable, and has some of that timeless American appeal reminiscent of Ralph Lauren or J.Crew. Speaking of J.Crew, of course they have a wonderful boyfriend-inspired pair with a slimmer leg and a chino with a little more stretch, if that’s your thing.
It’s easy to swap out your basic white button-downs for something a little more utilitarian, like this Alex Mill Bobby shirt in either olive or ochre.
Everlane’s pant is a streamlined, more contemporary version. The barrel leg and olive tone is extremely of the fashion moment, and the price tag means you can have fun with them without committing to it. This Anine Bing cropped jacket also feels like a major fashion moment, especially paired with your favorite pair of high-waisted trousers or over a slinky slip dress.
Shop the rest of our utilitarian edit below:
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