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Hot New Trend for 2020: The Utility Look - Our Top Picks and How to Wear Them

on Tue, Mar 03, 20


One of the hottest trends in the world of men’s fashion for 2020 has to be the utility trend. This military inspired look is well and truly back with a stylish twist, and has been spotted in the collections of Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, DSquared 2 and Stella McCartney on the SS20 catwalks. So what’s it all about? Well, this look is inspired by workwear and the great outdoors, and combines both function and fashion. When we think of the military look, it’s usually all about bomber jackets and combat trousers, however, when it comes to the utility style, it goes a step further. We’re talking plenty of zips and a whole load of pockets - especially ones big enough to carry all those essentials. This trend also features technical fabrics and an earthy colour palette - think khaki and beige, with a little black thrown in, as well as the classic camouflage print. At EQVVS, we always want to make sure that we bring you the latest men’s fashion trends, and the utility style is no exception. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of favourite pieces, as well as a few tips to make sure you rock this hot new trend.

The Utility Vest

So let’s start with the classic utility vest. This piece is at the forefront of this particular trend, and it’s a great way to base your whole look around. This is one of the garments in this trend where there’s a whole load of pockets involved too, so it’s practical as well as bang on trend. When it comes to the utility vest, the main point is to go for simple shapes to keep that relaxed feel, and complete the look with some loose legged trousers. However, it’s generally best not to go for combat trousers with the vest, otherwise you may run the risk of the Action Man look. Keep it simple with a corduroy pair of trousers from that earthy colour palette to make sure you get it right.

Get the Look


If you’re wanting to get your hands on a utility vest, look no further than some of our hottest new arrivals. We’re loving this 50 Fili Vest by C.P Company (£335), which really brings their A-game with the pockets trend. This military inspired jacket features five roomy front pouches perfect for storing all of those essentials, and is finished with the signature C.P Company goggle lens on the side pouch. Despite there being plenty of pockets, this vest is super lightweight too, so that’s comfort, fashion and function all in one. We especially love the Forest Night colour, which really emphasises that military look, but you can also pick this up in a vibrant Spicy Orange or simple black too if you prefer.
For those who want to stand out, this Carhartt Hayes Vest (£150) in Pebble is a great choice. While this vest is also available in black, we particularly love the Pebble shade as it brings a modern take to that classic military style. With full zip closure and six large pockets, this fresh, single colour vest will ensure you make one heck of a statement. Alternatively, if you’re not overly sure about the utility vest trend, our top tip is to go for something in plain black, such as this Marshall Artist Ballistic Vest 120 (£95). This urban style piece proudly displays the iconic branding on the front, as well as Marshall Artist lettering to the side and zips, along with plenty of pouch and zip pockets. Complete with protective funnel neck too, this military inspired vest will ensure you’re ready for anything. Pair your black utility vest with a sweatshirt or tee in pared back colours, such as this C.P Company Contrast Logo Tee (£85) and trust us, the rest of the look will all come together.

The Cargo Trousers

Back in the day, combat trousers and cargo trousers were seen as laid back and scruffy, but now, they’ve made their way back into the world of men’s style. Spotted in the collections of designers such as Fendi and Stella McCartney on the catwalks, cargo trousers and well and truly back for 2020. This piece is a great option for those who aren’t too confident on the utility vest, as you can keep the rest of the look simple with a plain t-shirt or sweatshirt. Again, think simple and earthy colours.

Get the Look

If you want to add a pair of cargo trousers to your wardrobe, we have plenty to choose from, such as these Carhartt Aviation Trouser Pants (£95). A brand known for tough and top quality workwear, these cargo trousers demonstrate this perfectly. The low and adjustable waist ensures plenty of comfort, while the trousers also feature bartack stitching at main stress points and double layering at the knees, which will ensure these tough trouser pants last you for years to come. And of course, there’s plenty of pockets too, meaning these are the ultimate workwear trousers. If black is more your thing, these Garment Dyed Sateen Lens Cargo Pants (£250) are for you. Garment dyed for a deeper, more intense colour, these lightweight cargo trousers are water resistant and fully functional with a number of different compartments. Finished off the the classic lens detail on the left pocket, the straight fit trousers are not only super comfortable, but super stylish too.

The Utility Jacket

As with all key men’s fashion trends, a stylish jacket is one way to easily pull it off, and the utility jacket is no exception. Taking inspiration from that classic military style, this will be a versatile piece that you can wear not just with the utility trend, but with others too. Layering is also a key part of this trend, so the utility jacket is a great way to do so. While the military style is often the most popular choice here, bomber jackets are also another effective way to wear this trend, so there really is something for everyone.

Get the Look

We’ve mentioned a few times that the finer details such as pockets and zips are one of the main features of this trend, but if you really want to go for extra detail, think about the brand of garment you go for. Brands such as Barbour have military history linked to them, so going for something from their collection can be a nice finishing touch without even realising! We particularly love this Lockseam Jacket from Barbour International (£95.40), which demonstrates why the brand is famous for their iconic jackets. The brushed cotton finish adds to the military feel, while the snap closed flap pockets and plackets finished with Barbour branded buttons bring the piece together perfectly. Alternatively, if you’re feeling something a little brighter as we enter the spring, this Barbour International Summer Wash Jacket (£229) is one way to make sure that you stand out for all the right reasons. The tailored fit is great for giving a defined silhouette, and the waist belt and branding on the chest are finishing touches that will certainly get you noticed.
If you want to think outside the box, you can wear the utility jacket with a modern twist by going for different colours. The key is to keep them pared back, but that’s not to be said you can’t get a little variety. We love this NT1 Jacket by Ma. Strum in Cassis (£229), which is expertly crafted using a unique industrial dying process leading to this refreshing single colour design. Still featuring all the classic elements of the utility trend, there’s a roomy chest pouch with a contrasting zip closure, and it’s finished with Ma.Strum tag on the shoulder. Similarly, this Raso Garment Dyed Jacket by C.P Company (£650) is another way to add a modern take to this trend. The frost shade manages to make a statement without going too over the top, and the contrasting details on the zipper, hood and cuffs add a pop of colour, which is perfect for those who want to go for something a little different to the classic earthy tones. Finished with the iconic C.P Company goggle hood, along with functional details such as adjustable drawstring and cuffs, this statement jacket is a must-have if you want to stand out from the crowd.


The Accessories

Whatever the trend, no outfit is complete without some killer accessories. When it comes to the utility trend, it’s all about chunky soled shoes and wearable luggage, which will effortlessly complete your look.

When it comes to wearable luggage, not only does this complete your look, but it’s also highly functional too. Not only do you get plenty of storage for all those essentials, but they’re hands free and can be easily layered under that utility jacket or vest. Whether you opt for chest packs, bum bags or harness vests, there’s plenty of options. We’re big fans of the C.P Company Lens Waist Bag (£130), which is a great way to keep your outfit on trend while keeping your valuables safe. The Nylon Sateen material is soft and water resistant, while you can adjust the strap and wear around your shoulder if you prefer. Available in black or olive, this is a simple finishing touch that will make a big difference to your look.

Chunky soles on footwear are the final finishing touch that will perfect this trend, and while thick, hard wearing boots are the popular choice, it’s not necessarily the only one. As the chunky soled trend appears to be going into summer footwear such as sandals, there’s a number of possibilities. Pair your cargo pants with a thick soled pair of white trainers such as these Mallet Lux Runners (£175) to add some contrast and create the ultimate statement! Alternatively, go for these Mallet Southgate 2.0 Trainers (£175) which are a modern take on their classic Southgate style, and feature a stylish camo print that effortlessly completes your outfit.

Hopefully this has given you a little insight as to how you can rock this hot new trend for SS20. However you choose to incorporate the utility trend into your wardrobe, remember these key style tips:

  • Combine the classic utility vest with a simple tee or sweatshirt for an easy way to carry the trend.
  • Don’t go for everything oversized, but aim to keep all pieces of clothing relaxed.
  • Pair camo prints with simple colours to help them stand out.
  • Complete the look with chunky soled shoes or wearable luggage.

If we’ve got you inspired to work that utility jacket or bring back those classic cargo pants, make sure you take a look at our utility edit that’s packed with new arrivals from your favourite brands!

Written by Amy Jackson - Content Writer at Promo Codes For - 28th February 2020

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