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How to Wear Utility Clothing

Ruby Gleeson advises us on how to style utility wear- think boilersuits, overalls and cargo pants

By Ruby Gleeson, Online Style Editor

Ruby Gleeson advises us on how to style utility wear- think boilersuits, overalls and cargo pants

Androgynous, utility clothing has undergone a recent surge in the world of fashion- practicality is finally in again. Utilitarian clothing - think boilersuits, overalls and cargo pants- have made a comeback, with designers offsetting their traditionally military association with shades of white, pinks and blue. This colour palette is far removed from the traditional khakis and browns so often associated with utility wear, which makes it the perfect new trend to enter into Spring/Summer 19.

Utility clothing was first introduced in Britain in 1942, for economic aid during the war as well as a method to conserve materials. During the war, utility wear made up 85% of the clothing industry in order to preserve fabric, marked with a CC41 tag to demonstrate its garment construction. Utility shoes had to be chunky and solid, whilst utility dresses were limited to only two pocked and six seams in the skirt- extra embroidery or decoration was not allowed.

So why has utility wear suddenly had its come-uppance? Well, not only is it functional and durable, it can also be stylish too. Sustainability is an incredibly important issue in the fashion industry, and the popularity of work wear marks a conscious change in what we buy; durability and quality over fast fashion.

A baby pink all-in-one? This might sound impossible to wear, but this suit is a far cry from the baby-gro image you might imagine. The structured, tailored detailing combines playfulness with a mature silhouette.


Urban Outfitters, Rosie Pink Utility Jumpsuit, £79.00

Zara Men’s demonstrates how utility wear can be comfortable too, with these tapered joggers featuring an elasticated waistband.

Team this mini skirt with a plain white tee and statement hoops.

CAT Footwear have recently redesigned their brand from functional ‘dad-trainers’ to creating more options for a younger crowd. Their ‘Re-powered’ capsule collection showcases 90’s style chunky trainers for both men and women- describing itself as ‘bold, nostalgic and authentic’. Although they are pricey, you can rest assured that these shoes are an investment piece that will see you through the years- they promise to be designed to endure ‘cement construction’, after all.


CAT Footwear, Re-Powered Intruder Originals, £85

To sport the trend, think neutral shades, cinched waists and crisp, comfortable fabrics that are long-lasting and great quality. Team boxy, pocketed skirts with flowing white shirts- or go for a full-on boilersuit if you’re feeling brave!

Featured Image: CAT Footwear /

'What's your top trend of SS19? Let us know!'

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