Trendspotting at W&M: Utility Jackets

Utility jackets have been a thing since ‘09, when the military trend went big. Whether you call them military jackets, army jackets, or utility jackets, they’ve been all over the William & Mary campus recently. You can get one at practically any price point, so check J.Crew, Old Navy, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and even your local thrift shop! You can wear your utility jacket during the cold and warm seasons.  Wear it over an unconventional print or a piece with eye-catching details. You can also never go wrong when pairing it with black skinnies and nude flats! Happy wearing!

The Field Jacket

The J.Crew Field Jacket, as seen on The College Prepster, Michelle Obama, and Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars, is an uber popular option among college girls. It’s water resistant and comes in three colors: black, mossy brown, and deep navy. I’ve seen it paired with Tory Burch Reva flats and leggings for a casual look, and with Jack Rogers and a cream lace skirt for a dressier option. Match it with a navy tote bag, a navy and white striped t-shirt dress, and a navy and white patterned scarf for a nautical feel. If you’re into colorblocking, wear it with nude flats, cropped blue skinnies, a striped tee, and a hat, or with a colorblocked tee, peach colored pants, and boots.

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Cold Weather

Who says you can’t wear a jacket under a coat? I’ve also spotted girls wearing thick utility jackets, meant to keep you warm. Wear a hooded parka over a plaid dress, paired with a burgundy Longchamp, black patterned tights, and chestnut colored wedge booties. I’ve seen one girl wear her hooded parka with a black and white patterned skirt, a chambray shirt, red tights, and cognac combat boots. If you prefer an anorak style, wear it with patterned leggings and nude flats. If you’re feeling colorful, wear your utility jacket with a red skater dress, black knit tights, and black combat boots, as I’ve seen on campus.

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Warm Weather

Many utility jackets are light enough to wear in the spring and summer. They pair perfectly with nude flats, light olive ankle jeans, and a chambray shirt or, alternatively, an army green linen drawstring miniskirt. Some girls can’t get enough of their riding boots, so pair a cropped version with boots and a white and blue cotton sundress. For a more laidback, California feel, go with a short small floral print dress, worn with white low-top Converse.

Preppier girls on campus pair their jackets with skinny jeans, a white tee, a blush cardigan, and a statement necklace. Another option includes pairing it with cuffed jeans, embellished flats, and a printed scarf.

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My top utility jacket picks:


FOREVER 21: $62.80

FOREVER 21: $67.80