Why utility is the menswear trend to be wearing now

Model Richard Biedul wearing menswear utility trend
India Price,-Menswear Editor

Here’s everything you need to know about utility, the trend worth championing right now (yes, even at home)

At the present moment there is a distinct temptation to do one of two things sartorially. The first option is to go low – slide straight out of bed into the same pair of unwashed sweatpants, perhaps throwing on a hoodie to take the bins out. The second is to go high – don a three piece suit, complete with carefully curated pocket square and tie combo, to peacock around the local park.

Of course, either of these is perfectly acceptable, but as with any situation, there is a middle way and it’s a trend that has formed the bedrock of men’s fashion for several seasons. Utilitarian-inspired dressing is the perfect look to channel at home, whether you’re finally getting round to that DIY project or simply wanting to look good on a video call. It’s an ideal blend of comfort and style without looking like you’ve put too much effort in. 

So if you’re reading this in your cornflake-encrusted dressing down or squinting at the screen through a monocle, here is our essential guide to utility dressing, giving you everything you need to get started with the trend.

Model Richard Biedul wearing utility trend

Why utility?

This trend does what it says on the tin, serving as a way to make your day-to-day wardrobe more functional and streamlined. Most utility pieces are lightweight and layerable, helping you transcend the seasons with multi-pocket jackets, simple T-shirts and practical bucket hats to name a few. This also makes them great investment pieces that last for years.

Where to begin

Start from the ground up. A good pair of workwear boots paired with jeans or chinos and a simple shirt or T-shirt. ‘Knowingly underdressed’ is the mantra for this trend, so make sure you are comfortable and keep practicality to the fore. 

How to wear it

The key is not to overdo it – pick one definitive piece and pair it with whatever else you already own. Opt for a workwear jacket with a sweatshirt and boots, or a baseball cap with a shirt and chinos. Keep it simple and don’t let the trend wear you. 

Albam utility green trousers
Redwing utility boots

The utility brands to know

Carhartt, Armor Lux, Red Wing, Edwin, Albam Utility and It’s All Good Folk have all added their own unique spin, creating clothes that look great while fulfilling their function. Even while our horizons have diminshed, this is still a trend that works in every situation we may find ourselves in.

Images: Getty Images


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