The look is not quite safari and not quite military, but somewhere in-between. You’ll generally find these frocks in neutral tones and natural fibers like stiff cottons or soft silks. They are dripping with yummy uniform detailing like cargo pockets, shirt and Nehru collars, top stitching, press studs, zippers, epaulettes and tabbed sleeves. Quite androgynous and totally my style.

I realize that this look is not for everyone. Most of these styles are high maintenance to launder and not very feminine (even though it’s precisely the masculinity of the style that I find appealing). But you can make a utilitarian frock look more girly by considering one or a combination of these feminine touches:

  • Keep the hemline a little shorter
  • Opt for a style in a soft drapey fabric
  • Choose a style with waist definition
  • Go sleeveless
  • Add pretty metallic gladiators
  • Throw in a silky scarf

Utilitarian frocks look fab with gladiator sandals in Summer, and are perfect with boots for Autumn. Shorter tunic versions are great over skinnies, and throwing in a heel at any time keeps things feminine too. Forum member Inge recently purchased a smashing utilitarian frock and rocks the look.

Diane Von Furstenberg Camel Damani DressWon Hundred AMA TunicEsther Perbandt Upside Down Dressfrancis™ 'Cut-Up' Stretch Denim Dress

I am in search for another fabulous utilitarian dress. I had one that I loved (similar to the DVF style on the top left), but it got bleach stains all over it. I hope to find one this Autumn to wear with slouchy boots.