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Why tough, utilitarian accessories just keep working

Trends come and go, but utilitarian accessories are a staple item. So, why do they feel so fresh? 

We can’t say that utility accessories are having a moment: from sports luxe to athleisure to the decidedly military feel of Yeezy collections in years past, they’ve been having a moment in streetwear, high-fashion, and the bold clashes and collabs of the two. If utilitarian style isn’t brand new, why are we feeling excited about it all over again?

Party smart

For one thing, the rave trend is breathing new life into their look. Remember, these are pieces that are as authentically functional as they are tough-looking: they’re made to be worn and to share in every day-to-night adventure. For this reason, they’re loved by the highly practical and hard partiers alike: and as many a member of the original rave generation will tell you, it pays to be both of things, ready to move your possessions, a large water bottle and any other essentials from a day in the sun to a night out, or even vice versa.

Now that our own social schedules are set to fill up again, and we’ve had nothing but time to plan, we’re ready to face any event with accessories that have us well-equipped for every occasion. Even if you don’t embrace the many-pocketed pants beloved of the scene, you can still keep the essentials close in style thanks to crossbody bags and backpacks.

Gender natural

For a weird moment in history, masculinity didn’t allow for bags. Like, none of them. Men piled wallets and keys into the pockets that women’s clothes tend not to have, and let posture and style suffer. Now that we’ve admitted that we’re secure enough in ourselves to carry sharp, lumpy objects away from our most delicate parts, men like A$AP Rocky and Young Thug are ready to reject the status quo entirely and wear what some cringingly call a “man bag”: a bag, in other words, in any of its many forms. If you aren’t ready to take that step, that’s ok: rugged utility accessories are here, ready to protect your possessions and your style cred.

Flex on the skaters

In another of the fun-meets-function happenings of recent years, skate style has met high fashion and changed the way we dress to impress (or, supposedly, to look like we couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of our look). Whether you’re inspired by Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, or a yearning for the days of For those seeking to authentically embrace the unencumbered movement of someone whose main mode of transportation is a skateboard, utility accessories make the perfect fit. Baggy jeans and oversized tees? Optional.