For years, fashion-conscious men often had to sacrifice comfort in favor of creativity and style.

Yet, as years passed, more men began to realize that they didn’t have to sacrifice comfort just to dress better.

Enter utilitarian fashion.

Combining traits from menswear and military fashion, utilitarian fashion is a style that merges functionality and comfort. 

Words that come to mind when speaking about utilitarian fashion include practical, neutral, stylish, and minimalistic.

This style isn’t comparable to the likes of sweatpants—with a comfortable material feel but an unflattering and unprofessional exterior.

Instead, it positions itself closer to clothing that men can wear without compromising fashion for comfort (and vice versa).

Let’s learn more about this type of fashion and why it’s looking up for 2022.

Men’s Utilitarian Fashion: Main Thing To Know

One of the key highlights of men’s utilitarian fashion is the contrast and structure between the upper and lower pieces.

For example, a man who wants to replicate this style is often seen wearing a loose-flowing coat and a tight-fitting—almost tailor-fitted—pair of bottoms. 

Another example is a man who wears a tight bomber jacket, wide baggy pants, and a pair of Suicoke sandals, such as the ones you find at Maplestore.

The key here is the contrast between the top and bottom pieces, tied together with neutral-toned footwear. It’s a mix and match of seemingly different pieces that work together for a singular, subtle look.

Neutral Colors Are In Season

Another staple of men’s utilitarian fashion is the use of neutral colors. By using neutral colors, you remain smartly dressed for any social occasion without going too overboard with bold and flashy colors.

A few color schemes that are used for this style are shades of gray, beige, brown, and black. 

A nice touch is to use slightly lighter shades of these colors within the outfit for a better visual appeal.

Tactile Details Matter

While utilitarian fashion is, by all means, minimalistic, it’s not a low-effort get-up.

Another thing that men pay attention to is the mixture between utilitarian clothing pieces and workwear-inspired and tactile details.

For example, it’s not uncommon for men to augment their outfit with a belt and buckle for a more complete look, or with an inner layer of clothing, such as a high-quality white T-shirt, to add more dimensions to the outfit. While chain loops on jeans don’t quite fit the criteria, chains on cargo pants or full-on suits exemplify utilitarian fashion quite well.

There’s also a rising trend for luxury accessories to top off the outfit. This can be in the form of a Rolex watch, a sleek necklace, or a pair of high-quality bracelets to add a touch of bling to your overall look.

In particular, jewel colors work best to add more contrast to the fit. Cerulean blue, emerald green, scarlet red, and sapphire blue are great examples of jewel colors that balance out the neutral color schemes typically used in utilitarian outfits.

men utalitarian fashion

Comfort is Classy

The other characteristic of men’s utilitarian fashion is the use of baggier clothing to allow for increased flexibility during movement.

With garment details like flap check pockets and loose holes, the comfort and classy aspect of utilitarian fashion is a huge part of the overall look.

This style holds true to its militaristic roots by making clothing that is meant to be able to stretch, bend, and adapt to any sort of activity.

While you definitely wouldn’t don a utilitarian look at the gym, there’s more than enough room to flaunt it on outdoor occasions or at a social gathering, whether as a hybrid jean and bomber jacket mix or walnut brown trench coats.

The Footwear Matters Too

The shoes and footwear should accomplish two things.

The shoe should first complement the entire get-up, offering a glimpse of neutral tones as its primary base. It doesn’t have to stand out too much, as is the case with the Suicoke sandals found in Maplestore, but it definitely has to pair off well with the rest of the outfit.

The second thing to take note of is that they should be comfortable enough to support prolonged wear and outdoor activities, such as trekking or long walks in the park. 

Like most utilitarian fashion pieces, these shoes and footwear should aim for durability and practicality all wrapped nicely under a fashionable motif.

Utilitarian Fashion Today

In recent years, utilitarian fashion has become more and more accepted as a viable style of clothing.

While it wasn’t popular back then, today many fashion brands cater to the crowd who wants to dress smart and functional without going overboard.

Whether you’re dressing for a night out or traversing through the city on your way to an important meeting, utilitarian fashion is definitely something worth considering in the future.