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Toughen Up with the Utilitarian Trend This Fall

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File this under things that only better with time: utilitarian clothes. The look, which has been consistently popping up in collections for nearly three years now (see, in particular, Balmain’s fatigue heavy offerings for fall 2014, and the cargo-craziness throughout Marc Jacobs’ spring 2015 range), continued to evolve on the runways last February with a strong showing of workwear fabrics, camo colors, and army surplus-inspired silhouettes.

Phillip Lim, for starters, offset rich touches of velvet and lurex in his autumn line with performance materials—think nylon and canvas—in muted olive and khaki; over in Milan, designers Consuelo Castiglioni (of Marni) and Miuccia Prada, both put out updated versions of the classic military coat. We’d argue however, the pièce de résistance was a repeat performance: Vetements’ wildly popular aviator bomber, made from vintage iterations, and recut by popular demand. 

On the paparazzi circuit, we’ve caught no-last-name-needed It girls Kendall and Gigi layering baggy air force jackets over varying combinations of crop tops and high-rise denim, and applauded Selena Gomez for deftly offsetting her slouchy jumpsuits with ladylike heels. And Rihanna (as with all things fashion) took boldly took the trend to a new level by cinching the waist of her trench-inspired VMAs gown with a fraying grommet belt.

Now, it’s time to put your own spin on the style—get started with the 25 perfect pieces below.

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