Must-Have Utility Shirt Jacket for Spring

Spring is layering season, and today I’ve got a modern black utility jacket outfit in my favorite neutral color combo — black, grey, and denim. It’s not just for winter!

Jo-Lynne Shane styling a modern black utility jacket outfit for spring with a grey tee and Mother The Insider High Waist Crop Step Chew Hem Jeans.wearing: Kut from the Kloth utility shirt jacket // Treasure & Bond twist detail tee // Mother The Insider step chew hem jeans (similar for less) // Marc Fisher slides // R Minkoff hobo // Gucci sunglasses // Halogen earrings

I love a good lightweight jacket for throwing on with a t-shirt and jeans. The cropped length, military styling, and toggle ties at the waist make this utility shirt jacket very similar to the popular Rails Collins utility jacket, but at less than half the price.

black utility jacket outfit for women over 40

Utility jackets are usually olive green or camo print, and sometimes stone or khaki, but I especially love this one in the black. It’s a little more unexpected this time of year, but still a classic look. Yes, even in spring and summer, black is often the foundation color for my outfits.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: My 9 Must-Have Black Wardrobe Staples (see #5)

If you aren’t a fan of black, this jacket also comes in olive and white, and it runs true to size. (I have the small.)

No matter which color you choose, this utility shirt jacket is the perfect topper for your favorite t-shirt. Add a pair of distressed blue jeans and casual slides or sneakers, and you pretty much have the perfect casual spring look!

black utility jacket outfit for spring

Underneath, I’m wearing a grey tee with a fun twist detail at the scoop neck and cap sleeves. I actually had this tee last year in a fun tie dye print. I was so glad to see they brought it back this year.

I immediately snapped it up in the grey, and I’m considering the white as well. This tee is soooo soft, and you can’t beat it for $20. It’s true to size, with a relaxed fit. (I have the small.)

And these jeans are the Mother Insiders that I found at my local Nordstrom a few weeks ago. (There are more sizes at Shopbop.) The wash and distressing on these is so good.

This is one of those pairs of jeans that feels like I’ve had them for years. They’re so soft and comfortable, it’s like they were made for me.

I brought them home and tried them with a few different top and shoe combinations. I decided they were more of a spring/summer style, so I’ve been holding onto them, waiting to see how often I’d reach for them once the weather warms up.

Treasure & Bond Twist Detail T-Shirt Mother The Insider Cropped Step Hem Jeans in Dancing On Coals

The biggest thing holding me back from keeping them was the chewed hems, but I live a very casual lifestyle, and I love how they pair with sandals and a casual tee. Now that spring is on the horizon, I want to wear them every day. Now that I’m confident I will get my cost per wear out of these, so I finally ripped off the tags and put them in my closet.

These jeans run true to size (I have the 28) and they are also made in the USA, which is an added bonus! Also, Bloomies has this pair of Mother Insiders for 50% off, but there are only a couple sizes left, and Neiman Marcus has this pair and this pair for 25% off.

I realize that even on sale, Mother jeans are not in everyone’s budget, so I found this pair for under $100. Take a look at the wash called November Rain. They look really good! And Old Navy has this pair for even less.

I’m sure I will wear these jeans with sneakers sometimes, but I like them best with sandals.

Style Tip: Showing more skin in the foot and ankle area is elongating and slimming. Since these jeans are cropped and also a bit flared, I need all the help I can get!

These Marc Fisher slides are some of my favorites from last year. The studded details keep them relevant, and of course, slides are trending again this year. I sized down half in these, as I typically do with slides, so they’re pretty true to size.

Marc Fisher Pala Slides Mother Insider Crop Chew Step Hem

And this bag — I finally found something I like as much as the Everlane Studio Tote! I hate photographing bags that are sold out, so I’ve been on the lookout for something similar.

This slouchy leather hobo is right on trend, and it has the perfect mix of classic leather bag and edgy, urban vibe that I love. You can also find it at Nordstrom and Bloomies.

I accessorized this black utility jacket outfit with a pair of brushed silver teardrop earrings, along with a simple diamond pendant and my Yurman link bracelet.

Also, we did the stylist’s cuff! Remember, I talked about it in this post. Alison looked it up on her phone while we were shooting, and it’s a lot easier to do than they make it sound. It definitely takes the cool factor up a notch, don’t you think?

Finally, I added my favorite black cat-eye sunglasses to complete this casual look. (These are similar for less.)

Jo-Lynne Shane styling a black utility jacket outfit for spring with a grey tee and Mother The Insider High Waist Crop Step Chew Hem Jeans.

The best thing about this outfit is, each of these pieces can be mixed and matched to add value and versatility to my spring and summer wardrobe. I will definitely have a version of this black utility jacket outfit on repeat this spring.

Be sure to visit Cyndi Spivey and see the spring look she’s styling today!

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black utility jacket outfit for women over 40

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photos: Alison Cornell

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45 thoughts on “Must-Have Utility Shirt Jacket for Spring

  1. Ok my favorite look of the series 🙂 And IMO Mother jeans, totally worth the price, I have 2 pair and they are the softest jeans I own.

  2. This whole look is so me! I just turned 59 but I LOVE my distressed jeans. It’s the texture and variation of color that makes me happy. Honesty, I think they give a younger vibe in a good way. Distressed jeans, a ponytail, and very light makeup, and people think my 10-year-old grandson (he has the same color red hair as me) is my son! I’m ordering the jacket and tee. Resisting the bag because I carry one so infrequently anymore. I love the look of the sandals but am back on the hunt for comfy studded sandals. I bought the Ruby sunglasses and they are great– and I’m picky about sunglasses. Thank you for sharing this outfit Jo-Lynne. It made me smile.

  3. This great look is so you, Jo-Lynne! The jacket has so many great details, doesn’t it! On the national news last night it showed that Philly is going to have some really cold temps this week. Wi get just isn’t ready to completely say goodbye in some areas. I hope that you have an awesome day!

  4. This is a cute outfit even though I look at this and think going to work in a factory. But when you add the gucci sunglasses, the pricy jeans and the shoes, maybe not – haha. Too much tough girl look for me but absolutely adorable on you.

  5. Hi, I just discovered your blog and love it! What brand of jeans would you recommend for petites? I love the ones that you show, but they’re always too long for me. Thanks!

  6. I am really struggling with this type of ‘look’. The baggy everything, the rips, the big bulky shoes, etc. it may be I need more time for my eye to adjust to this new look, or i may end up skipping this trend.
    I do like the shirt jacket. Your sense of style comes through with the shirt and jacket matching.

  7. This whole look is my jam! Love it all: jacket, jeans, earrings, slides. Spring is such a tease here too. Insert eye roll: it was a delightful 65F here yesterday and felt glorious. 32 today…… ugh……

  8. I love the casual vibe of this outfit. I ordered a sage utility jacket from WE, living in yellow from HSN and it’s taken 3 weeks ship and now we’re having weather in the 80’s this week in San Antonio. I love spring but its kind of hard here because one day is 50 and the next it’s 80 degrees. 🙄

  9. I like this jacket!

    Regarding DST … I’m with you… it’s usefulness is over. If we never changed clocks we would still have longer daylight naturally – just maybe not when everyone wants. Ha ha.

  10. This is my favorite of all your spring outfits! Just ordered the jacket. (And it looks like my comments are appearing normal! 🥳) Feeling soooo tired today and my students are really “out of it” too. I’m not a fan of DST either. I hate getting up and showering when it’s still dark outside. I say let’s stick with standard time and let the light naturally shift in spring and summer.

  11. The jacket is adorable! I have the same sandals and love them. There are similar ones by Marc Fisher on Nordstrom’s website called the Pacca that you might want to link.

      1. Oh sorry, I did not see the link before. They’re very similar, with 3 bands across the foot instead of 4. I already have lots of neutral sandals, might have to cave and get a color like yellow!

  12. Love this jacket-just ordered it. Wanted to buy the T-shirt but it’s not available in my size.
    I received my Frye sneakers I ordered last week using your link. Thanks for the recommendation, they are extremely comfortable!

  13. Jo-Lynne. The comment section shows on my iPhone just not my laptop. At least one works. I’ll still try clearing laptop caches when I get help. Thanks.

  14. Love this outfit! Such a fun and flattering look! I bought the tee and put the jacket on my wish list. It’s so cute! And I love that it’s black as I can’t do the usual olive/khaki tones with my skin tone. Those Free People jeans you listed as an option are adorable but they are rigid denim, so I’m afraid they wouldn’t be soft and comfortable as the Mother’s, which are unfortunately out of my budget for a jean I can’t wear to work. I do appreciate your looking for alternatives and posting options! I will keep my eye out for other dupes.

  15. Hello! I love the utility jacket! I have 3 in my closet, but am hoping for just 1 to replace the 3. The one that you are wearing that is olive in your “Stay Updated” box on the top of the page at the right hand side….what brand is that and where did you get it? Is it shorter? Or longer? THANK YOU!!

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