Jenna Lyons with model wearing J.Crew utility jacket

Photo: Roger Neve

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 The Utility Jacket
Safari meets military in this classic that can anchor anything from jeans to a party dress.

"Borrowed from the boys" is the mantra for spring, says Jenna Lyons, creative director, J.Crew, seated, citing the rumpled, offhand charm of a casual jacket (on model, $110). Feminine clothes, she explains, seem fresher spiked with masculine elements—an oxford shoe, a big watch, a long cardigan ($70). And menswear fabrics are a fine balance for delicate shades and girly details like sequins (minidress, $495). Unexpected combinations are key: "The other night I wore an army green utility jacket to a black-tie event with a white tweed dress and tons of jewels," Lyons recounts. "I got a lot of compliments."

Lyons's clothes and all accessories, J.Crew.

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