Practical fashion – the unicorn of the industry. Rarely seen but much coveted, every season we long for a trend that not only translates smoothly from the catwalk to the street, but allows you to have a normal active life while you’re wearing it. Every now and then it comes around, like a little thank-you gift from designers for putting up with flatforms and crop tops.
And guess what? You’ve got a delivery.
Utility is the Spring 2015 update to normcore, with a swift turn towards elegance. It flirts with military, but is far more feminine. It’s got a low-key sophistication, an easy colour palette and pockets – lots of them. Soft though she may look, the utility girl is prepared for anything.
Clean lines are the order of the day; you’re aiming for smooth, not boxy. You’ll need a shirt, but nothing too crisp. Instead, drape yourselves in khaki satins and silks; linens work too, but avoid a tailored oxford style. Skirts should flow, but no shorter than the knee, and pleats are preferable. Colours should be in delicate shades of grey, cream and dusky pink. The culotte has also adopted a cool utility take – further evidence that you really can (and should) have a pair in your wardrobe this year.
Accessories are down-to-earth: start with a cross-body bag, with a firm structure in chestnut leather. Pool slides, updated with a sturdy block heel sandal, translate easily from day to evening. And if you baulk at shelling out for a whole new look, simply swap that skinny black belt for brown, slip it into torn blue jeans and add your favourite soft grey tee for low maintenance civvy-street chic.
As for beauty, you’re after a slight devil-may-care vibe. Hair is best worn loose and beachy, or in a low-slung ponytail. Skin should be bronzed, but avoid an Essex glow; apply only where the sun hits. Team with barely-there mascara and nude lips for a Gisele-like nonchalance.
Your best accessory of all? A confident stride. Fall in line, ladies, fall in line.
Étoile Isabel Marant shirts top, £190 / J Brand jersey tee, £39 / The row / Topshop midi skirt, £68 / Chloé open toe sandals, £450 / Fat Face strap sandals, £35 / Vince Camuto leather crossbody, £125 / H M brown leather belt, £7.99 / NARS Cosmetics lip shine, £17