Utilitarian Never Looked Better: Where to Shop for Wardrobe Pieces That Are Made to Last
Finally, fashion, form and function
Like boxes on a checklist to tick as you shop, fashion, form and function were once the big three. They were the known prerequisites of a great, worth-it kind of buy. Then came another “F” word, one that would almost entirely blow sensibility as we know it out of the water. That buzzy new word was fast. The name of the game, soon after, became fast fashion.
From quality to quantity, utility to embellishment: if there’s anything this sudden shift tells us, it’s that shopping fast fashion is a double-edged sword. Sure, you can revel in the fact that you can now change your clothes almost as quickly as your mood does, but realize that the shelf life of your beloved new pieces is just as short-lived.
Cheap, unironically, comes with a price. (You didn’t seriously expect a tank top worth the price of two tall Frappuccinos to last you five years, did you?)
Here’s an apt counteraction: to rein things in again and allow our shopping habits to come full circle. On that front, we’re throwing it back to the time-tested utilitarian brands that, well, never really left. With legacies built around a no-frills take on things, these labels are making practical fashion investments cool again. Rough them up or wear them down; they’re made to withstand anything.
The English footwear brand is practically synonymous to the black leather lace-up boot. The subtle yet chunky platform, distinct yellow stitching, Dr. Martens has taken all the best parts of its signature, ultra-durable shoe to create spin-offs (a sandal here, a brogue there) that prove, if anything, to be crowd-pleasers.
The North Face
Leave it to an outdoor sport and activewear label to fuse function, fashion and tech fabric. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see that The North Face isn’t reserved solely for outdoor athletes, sports enthusiasts, hobbyists and all their very particular needs. Adventure-ready casual wear and activewear basics are thrown in the mix, too.
Herschel Supply Co.
Herschel Supply Co. has built itself from the ground up with “the world’s most ubiquitous backpack” to its name. With hiking backpacks and travel bags already in the bag (no pun intended) for the Canadian brand, what’s next would be a foray into creating more storied collections: to “Look Forward,” as its latest campaign suggests. Herschel Supply’s signature carryalls, range of travel accessories, trendy but life-proof hip packs and innovative luggage (that come with a sleek internal battery and an external port so you can keep your mobile devices charged) round up the brand’s super fresh Fall 2018 collection.
Could it be? That the allure of intentional shopping is making a comeback? We think so.
Art Alexandra Lara