Keeping the Utility.

‘Utility’. The act of being useful, profitable or beneficial to a being, situation or event. Whether it adds to a situation, supports said person, or creates a profitable environment, to be of ‘Utility’ is to be useful, and damn, that’s what Autumn / Winter 18’s ‘Utility’ trend is demonstrating. The act of being useful.

Whether it’s sturdy fabric, strong fastenings, a simple shape yet comfortable and wearable, or a colour that blends rather than stands out, this season’s ‘Utility’ isn’t all that shabby.

Taking a page out from Fendi’s Spring/Summer 19 show (yes, a whole year a way, but nonetheless useful), I felt a sudden attraction to this timeless trend - the slick leather, the visible pockets, the ‘no fuss’ fastenings. Yep, my heart skipped a beat the minute I saw this example of Utility brilliance.

The issue is that we can’t all (as much as I’m sure most of us would love to) afford Fendi.. yep, I said it. However, good news for our avid trend followers, the high street is currently offering some incredible alternatives, that carry the ‘Utility’ label with grace.. and a healthy price tag.

When it comes to styling the ‘Utility’ trend, less is definitely more.. remember, to be a ‘utility’, you must be useful. No print, no patterns, no over accessorising, and the more tonal the look, the better.

For a day time look, there are plenty of faux leather shift dress styles out there, that look great with a matching pair of leather boots, layered underneath an oversized knit or jacket. To add a little splash into the ‘Utility’ look, the print can be added in the knitwear, within the same colour family as the main ‘Utility’ pieces.

To work the ‘Utility’ trend for a day look, but with something a little more put together, try a clean button down shirt, tucked into a pair of high waist flare leg trousers, in matching tones to the shirt, with an added MAC on top with visible pockets and button placket (ala Fendi).

for an evening look, the ‘Utility’ wardrobe is best paired with another one of this season’s hottest trends - the cycling short. With a black leather, clean cut top, paired with knee length cycling shorts (ignoring the plummeting temperatures), with a barely there heel, you’ve got the perfect outfit for the new bar that’s just opened up in town. Leather (of faux leather) is also a key character for night-time ‘ Utility’, with either a leather trouser or skirt adding that extra sex-level to a simply cut top.

‘Utility’ dressing isn’t just for your average day and night outfit. It is perfectly acceptable to bring the trend to the office - paired with a flared leg trouser, or a midi skirt, there is no reason why you can’t work the simplistic nature of the ‘Utility’ trend.

To make it a little more understandable on what classes as ‘Utility’ on the high street, I have created a little shopping list on the key pieces to use for day dressing, night dressing and office dressing. Happy shopping!

Day-time ‘Utility’.

Office ‘Utility’.

Night-Time ‘Utility’.

Jasmine Banbury