The most hardworking gear to wear this season
Words: Nhlanhla Masemola
As trends come and go, there are those that remain and feature regularly in our wardrobes. In the last few seasons of menswear, these “staple” trends — as contradictory as this may sound — have taken a decidedly more functional approach to dressing, with a focus on all things militant and utility. From cult streetwear brands and Kanye West wearing a R600 Dickies jacket to luxury Italian fashion houses and Met Gala levels of dressing, it appears that utilitywear has no intention of going anywhere.
The late fashion photographer Bill Cunningham once said, “Fashion is the armour to survive everyday life.” A fitting statement in an age of global distress. Today, fashionable utility provides a valuable balm with lighter fabrics, technical details and pockets expanded in size and quantity coming to the fore. The key message? Function that has the grit to take you to work, as well as up the slopes of Mount Everest, at a push. But we, as dapper sartorialists who appreciate classics and trends in equal measure, believe that practicality does not have to override elegance.
The idea that clothing should serve a purpose beyond simply adorning our bodies is not a new one — it probably goes beyond the idea of fashion itself. Ever since our ancient ancestors discovered the protective properties of animal hide, we’ve looked at clothes to help meet the challenges of our environment. So, in the spirit of practical self-expression, here’s an assortment of utility-inspired essentials you’ll want to add to your collection.