Spring Summer 2023 catwalk shows were full to brim with pockets upon pockets. There is no doubt about it, the 90’s utilitarian trend is back with a vengeance! From cargo pants with crop tops, mini cargo skirts with pocketed shirts, dresses with pockets and utility jackets. Vogue even counted as many as 40 pockets on a coat from Marine Serre’s SS23 show.

Pockets were added in plentiful amounts to everything! I never thought I’d see a modern take of my dad’s tool belt LOL. (Think of a huge pocketed bum bag that clips round your waist). Or perhaps a utility inspired handbag with many pockets is more your style? For me, this is still a complete nightmare as I’ll never remember what pocket I put my lippy in!

As an almost 40 year old, I’m just not cool enough to rock the cargo pants look, so I’ll be choosing to take the subtle everyday option with classic shirt dresses with pockets that can be styled in endless ways. 

What are the fashion editors saying? 

In the Spring 23 Women’s wear daily article they said,

“From satin jumpsuits to ball gown skirts with cargo pockets, utilitarian fashion never felt so chic.”

In Elle’s article ‘The best 2023 fashion trends’ they list ‘High utility’ as a trend to buy now, highlighting cargo pants as an item we all love to wear and should continue to wear. Elle writes about the designer’s evolution of this classic 90s silhouette into other wardrobe staples, including utility jackets and micro pocketed skirts. 

Net-a-porter have named the SS23 trend ‘90s grunge’, blending utility with femininity. Think khaki tones, lace trimmed dresses, flight jackets, and more cargo pants, minis and dresses with pockets.

Dresses with pockets fashion edit

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Utility Jackets with pocket

I spent the afternoon on Oxford Street and every store had there own version of this SS23 wardrobe staple. It seems we shouldn’t be without the Utility jacket this spring! 


The great thing with fashion revivals is that we can shop for pre loved clothing, or even better for those hoarders out there…find your old utility styles in the back of your wardrobe.

Look for oversized denim, including dresses with pockets and utility separates. Think khaki or twill utility jackets, neutral toned cargos or mini skirts with pockets. I’m sure ebay is full of pre loved gems like this. Not only will you save your pennies, but you’ll be helping our planet too!

I was so inspired to recently read about Neem London’s recycled clothing collection (Sorry ladies, it’s a menswear collection), but I urge you to read some of their articles about fashion waste and how they’ve approached their sustainable collection by turning old clothes into new collections. They share textile waste figures from 2021 that showcase the true problem of fast fashion:

– wholesalers in Ghana import 15 million garments per week at a cost of £83K per container

-Up to 40% (6 million garments) are unsaleable and discarded as waste

Lets just hope that more retailers look to become a B Corp certified organisation and take the same approach to sustainable fashion!

“B Lab UK’s strategy is rooted in the global Theory of Change, aiming to redefine the role of business within our economic system so that every business is a force for good.” 

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