When function meets fashion

Gear up for winter with timeless utility wear.

We’re trading in the slim-fitted silhouette for baggy cargos and oversized flannels. Utility wear is not only a style inspired by industrial uniform, but its contemporary and trendy items are also practical and functional.

Written by Sisipho Sojola


Utility fashion has been on the rise in recent years, and had a boom with the ease of pandemic regulations. There was a lifestyle change induced due to lockdowns and a nomadic mindset emerged.

This change of lifestyle required pieces where details had to be functional – from straps, toggles, patches, to zipper pockets . The success of this trend can be attributed to the placement of pockets. With that many added details, the colour palette rooted itself in muted hues such as mossy greens, warmer browns and stone beiges – a real military feel, that’s why we often see camo also grabbing a space in this trend.

To get started with utility here are a few things for you to consider when building your look:

The Fit

Utility plays in the land of relaxed fits. Pieces tend to be boxy, oversized and loose.

Practical Details 

This trend is not just about shopping for “military colours” –  pockets, zips, and strings are important to successfully pulling off a look here. How many details? Now that is up to you.


In the utility trend, accessories go back to its roots – they are there not just there to lift the look but to act out its function.

Here are some must-have pieces in order to achieve the perfect utility look.


Cargo Pants
These are a must. They now come in a range of fits, choose one that best suits your style.Its all about building the trend into what you already have so make sure it matches back to pieces that have already found a home in your wardrobe.

The Puffer Jacket

A versatile and easy way to achieve this trend successfully. Tons of details can be built into them without adding bulk and you can easily layer them with a regular-fitted shirt or hoodie which give an edge to your outfit.


Hard-wearing shoes

Seeing as this look is function-first, you’ll need to find the right footwear to pull off the utility trend. Complement your look with shoes that have the hard-wearing qualities you’d find in army boots or chunky sneakers.

Remember that the above are guidelines. Once you understand the fundamentals of the trend, you can manipulate the rules of it to best suit your personal style and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.