This post features the often overlooked utility jacket. Like many pieces that are classics, the utility jacket has its roots in military outfits. Thus, it is also often called field jacket or military jacket. There is the saying that an utility jacket goes with everything. Well, I wouldn’t push it this far, but it has many possibilities that look agelessly stylish. In this post, I want to provide inspirations how to style an utility jacket to look stunning in this classic piece year round for various dressing occasions.
- Field jackets come in a wide range of colors
- Best styling ideas for utility jackets
- Can I wear an utility jacket at the office?
- Best ways to style a safari jacket for spring
- How to wear a field jacket in summer
- Great urban safari jacket outfits for fall
- How to wear an utility jacket in winter
- In a nutshell
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
Field jackets come in a wide range of colors
Like with many other classic pieces with military origin, an utility jacket has been in my closet since high school. So to speak, this frock type is one of my signature style items. The first one was in classic khaki. The one I wore in college, was made of black linen. In my 30s, I had a denim and a suede utility jacket. In my 40s, I donned two olive ones, one in suede for winter, and one in cotton for summer. Now I own a field jacket with camouflage and floral print all on a cotton fabric, a new olive suede and a blush one. Recall repeat is the backbone of signature style.
Best styling ideas for utility jackets
The jacket works for the weekend, but also for business casual office style. Depending on the material it works in different, most the time at least three seasons. Thus, it makes a great style investment for all women whose primary personal style is Casual, Urban, British or American Classic. Some pieces also look great with Bohemian Style or other styles when the secondary style in one of the aforementioned directions. Not sure about .your primary personal style? Take this free online style quiz to find out.
Can I wear an utility jacket at the office?
… is a question that I often get from my readers. It’s a myth that you can’t wear an utility jacket with a skirt or dress. In deed, you can as the photos above with the baby pink dress and the following examples of Casual Friday looks demonstrate.
Casual Friday work outfit with Great Northwest coat with pencil skirt, Moda International top, belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Madonna True or Dare pumps, Modalu Pippa bag, Ray Ban sunglasses, and pearls (all own) Business casual office look with sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store, own Great Northwest suede jacket, Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, and Jaeger tote
Casual Friday outfit with Orvis camouflage floral print parka, London Jean BF white denim jeans, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ralph Lauren pumps, Keep Calm T-shirt, Esprit shoulder bag, statement belt with pearls (all own) and wooden watch c/o Jord
I like the style of slightly tailored utility jackets. When worn with a pencil skirt, pumps, a string of pearls or more and a knitted silk-cashmere top and a structured bag they look quite professional and convey I mean business and I am willing to work hard.
Best ways to style a safari jacket for spring
The following photo inspirations are featuring spring outfits with this military style garment. You can find a complete guide for achieving ageless style in military inspired clothes in the post at the link.
Great Northwest utility frock, Oliveo lines pants, Nicole sandals, Longchamp bag, Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Vintage Silk floral print top, and Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle (all own)
Spring weekend look with Great Northwest suede coat, pastel floral skirt, Oliveo linen shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, statement belt, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, and Ivanka Trump cap toe pumps (all own)
Urban safari look with Nova shirt dress, Orvis jacket, Coach bag, Ray Ban, Hermes collier de chien bracelet, sunglasses, statement belt (all own), pearl studs c/o Wendy Mignot, and Musse & Cloud sandals c/o Coolway
In the look shown in the next photos, the black lace pencil skirt with an utility jacket creates a tough woman sort of look. The floral print on camouflage is unexpected. It is such a nice tension of female and tough. The strappy wood plateau sandals are a perfect match to underline the vibe.
How to wear an field jacket in summer
In summer, it is a great substitution for a light summer coat or knit jacket to protect from the early morning or late evening chill in west Europe, Scandinavia, mountainous mid-latitudes, northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Of course, it’s also a great cover-up for the dramatic cooling after a thunderstorm passed. It also works for a rainy summer day or as a summer to fall transitional look. The following photos show some summer outfit ideas with utility jackets.
Great urban safari jacket outfits for fall
In fall, you may use the garment to get more wear out of your summer clothes. This piece is perfect for creating transitional looks.
Weekend look with Great Northwest utility coat, London Jean camouflage cargo pants, Nine West heeled loafers, and statement belt (all own)
Weekend look with Great Northwest frock over burgundy V-neck cashmere sweater, Vince leather joggers paired with Aldo pony hair leopard print pumps (all own) and statement necklace c/o Almo Jewellery
Street style look with LV bucket bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, military shirt dress, Great Northwest suede utility jacket and leather camouflage print hat (all own)
Street style outfit with Great Northwest utility jacket, Jeanne Pierre striped sweater, Forever 21 leopard print skirt, GNW tight, Steve Madden fall lace-up sandals, and Camel bag (all own)
How to wear an utility jacket in winter
The wool or suede items are best for winter. However, the cotton versions make great layering pieces. See the photo inspirations below.
Monochromatic weekend outfit with Nova shirt dress, wide statement belt, Great Northwest suede jacket, GNW tight and Nine West camouflage pony hair booties (all own)
Casual weekend look with Jeanne Pierre striped sweater under Orvis camouflage frock with floral print, statement belt, Oliveo linen pants, Anne Klein pumps, and Anne Klein polka dots scarf (all own)
When you like these tips, you may also want to get my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Get your copy now.
In a nutshell
As demonstrated in this post, an utility jacket is more versatile than one may think. If you are in the market for one, go for a high quality and classic with a twist piece that you can wear for years.
Do you have an utility jacket in your closet? How do you wear yours?
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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