How to Work the New Utility Trend
Get in on the newest ways to wear the style that’s anything but uniform.
If you’ve had your fill of fleeting seasonal looks, Instagram-inspo outfits and the fastness of fashion, the utility trend is a welcome antidote. An altogether more considered approach, the utility manifesto is clear: It’s not enough for your clothes to look good, they have to actually do something, too. This makes athleisure the perfect playground for Reebok’s new utility-driven Edgeworks line.
Making the crossover from urban grit to gritty dirt trails, Edgeworks is defined by a look both risky and radical—an appeal to those living life on the edge. Consider it Utility 2.0—a trending look that emphasizes high-tech features driven by performance and functionality. Think crisp silhouettes, clean lines and tactical elements such as leggings with pockets, reimagined cargo pants and high-spec workout gear that can be worn for a multitude of occasions. Practical with a playful twist, this year’s take on utility is anything but uniform. Here are just a few of the things you can expect, from Edgeworks and beyond.
Reminding us that there’s a world outside the gym, key investment pieces this season are multi-function garments that are as perfect for urban treks as they are for at-home chill sessions. What they all have in common: Pockets. Patch, flap, cargo or zip-close—you can go as practical or technical as you like and still look fashion-focused. These Edgeworks cargo pants are the ideal blend of fashion and function, pairing streetwear vibes with water-resistant, tech fabric and completing the look with a statement pocket. In true utility style, they’re also available for men.
Gender neutrality plays strong throughout the entire Edgeworks collection, from graphic tees to layered pants. And remember, a piece doesn’t have to be categorized as unisex to work the utility-inspired unisex angle. Mix and match items in your size from across the men and women categories, including these classic vector track pants, puffa vest, Les Mills woven full-zip jacket and more.
Military-inspired elements are key in the classic utility playbook, whether it’s the silhouette, structure, color or fabric. Signature moves include epaulettes, lapels, camo, straps, external pockets and zip accents. Victoria Beckham’s military jacket nails the look with its blown-out silhouette, high-neck collar, ruched waist and strong camo print. Just pair it with complementary-toned solid leggings or pants to keep the focus on the jacket. If you’re looking for army vibes in your footwear, too, USCM Bug Stomper high-tops offer an entirely new vision of the combat boot.
Previously focusing on metal fasteners for additional support, today’s utility hardware is future-forward and athletically inspired. Meticulously designed to support performance, form and function, few sneakers better embody this than the trend-setting Zig Kinetica Edge. The sleek design houses an advanced technical spec, all the way from its bungee cord laces to its energy-returning cushioning. This is the perfect hybrid sneaker/hiking shoe for the urban adventurer and outdoor explorer. Pair with cargo pants and a technical anorak and you’ll be ready for all seasons.
Who says utility has to have a muted palette? Hot pink accents add a fresh twist when blue-collar vibes meet ’80s slope style in this season’s take on boiler suits. With its boxy silhouette, flap pockets, knee patches, draw-string waist band and layered top, this one-piece is a cool take on the trend, demonstrating directional fashion fun perfectly fused with function. Add futuristic high-tops or chunky soled boots for extra effect.
On the more retro end of the utility spectrum is a faithful piece that never goes out of style: the humble parka. Nostalgic, timeless and effortless, it’s the ultimate throw-on-with-anything jacket and a wardrobe icon that’s as durable as it is comfortable. Bringing a dose of urban-chic to the utilitarian lineup, this outerwear urban parka features a roomy fit, water-repellent finish, fishtail hem and tech hardware. An added layer of fleece guarantees you can wear your parka all winter long.
To channel that ready-for-anything utility mood, opt in on accessories that boost your comfort level while also looking the part. Consider this versatile duffel that can be worn over your shoulder or carried like a tote, or a more robust backpack with all the pockets. If you’re looking for a lighter sack, this crossbody bag can be slung over one shoulder or worn around the waist. You get the idea: To complete your utility trend outfit, you need accessories that don’t just look good, they provide functional excellence, too, so you can start living your best (practical) life ever.