Utilitarian/Military style offers clean lines. earthy colors and casual chic.
One of the trends I really like this season is what I like to call Utilitarian. It is “utility” in concept, embracing a practical and casual style that works well for every day. This trend can also be referred to as military, but I like Utilitarian better because it is less limiting and doesn’t necessitate military insignia or design.
Military jackets were everywhere at market, indicating the strength of this trend for winter. I saw them in many colors including olive, chocolate brown, black and oxblood. Usually, this style works best with jeans, but In this store window, we highlighted the Utilitarian trend with several items showing different ways to interpret the trend.
The first model shows a dressier look that includes a light weight boxy blazer in cream paired with a soft, draw string waisted harem pant in olive green. Less easy to see is a military style vest with a draw string waist paired with a dark denim jean, a zip top in olive green paired with a black jegging and finally, a military jacket paired with a vintage wash jean.
The style offers clean lines and loose fits that work for many body types and it pairs perfectly with lace up boots. The harem pant on the first mannequin could easily be worn with a heel for a dressy work outfit. But, as a casual jean look, this trend rocks. I love it with a beanie and cross body purse. It is a fashionable way to run errands or meet friends for coffee that is comfortable, easy going and chic.
Of the many trends I noticed dominating styles at market this fall, the most consistent were fringe, suede, southwestern motifs, military jackets, plaid shirts and the color merlot. You can see all of these trends reflected in the picture above and the way you can combine them for smart fall style this season. The key accessory is the floppy hat and beanie.
1. Suede and Fringe
Suede and (faux suede) was everywhere at market. Often combined with fringe, suede and the seventies are a strong influence in fall fashion for 2016. Look for suede especially in vests, dresses and on handbags. I saw everything from saddle brown and light tan classic suede colors to blush pinks and merlots. Embrace this trend as a child of the seventies by combining fringe and denim, headbands and bohemian tops and dresses. Wear a floppy leather look or sueded hat with these styles for a modern version of this seventie look. Avoid head to toe fringe to keep the look fresh. Pair fringe with other sueded pieces but restrict the fring to one clothing item or accessory.
2. Southwestern Motifs
Southwestern prints are still dominating fall like they did for spring. Find them combined with fringe, in sweaters and on tops, and, of course, on handbags. Take this sweater as an example. With its southwestern diamond print in merlot and grey and its fringe bottom, it combines several key tends in one style.
Look for grey to be the new neutral for fall and give black a run for its money as the go to basic. Additionally, grey looks amazing paired with melot which is the color of the year from Pantone.
Seperating itself distinctly from the previous two trends, military is the utilitarian trend of the season and is expressed in one key piece – the military jacket. I saw some companies combining southwest motifs with miliary which was a unique twist, but military jackets are a key piece that you will want to have in your wardrobe. Don’t feel you must have the trend represented by a army green jacket. I saw very cute styles in black, grey and tan as well. A great military jacket paired with a beat up boyfriend jean and lace up boots is a killer look for a casual outfit.
Plaid is officially a key trend. You will need to buy yourself a cute plaid shirt to pair with boyfriend jeans this season. Wear a benie and puffy vest with this look for a fun casual look for a cold day. The strongest plaid trends is reds or burhandy plaids, but I also saw lots of black and white versions as well. Keep it cool by wearing your plaid shirt tied around your waist for a fall day when its not too cold. Again, wear this look with lace up shoe boots.