While feminine frocks are big for fall, menswear-inspired fashion is still going strong. The key to pulling off this look is to be inspired by your guy without resorting to raiding his closet.
Menswear-inspired means that masculine designs are cut for women’s shapes, with more generous styling along the bust line, smaller shoulders and more nipped in waists. You might even find detailing like satin or feather trim for a feminine touch.
Spotlight on Menswear
Katherine Hepburn favored pants during her off hours, but the silhouette she chose was tapered at the waist with draped legs.
When Bianca Jagger famously wore a white pantsuit to her wedding to Mick Jagger, she paired it with a floppy portrait hat and ultra-feminine heels. Even Diane Keaton’s famous celluloid alter ego, Annie Hall, wore her “borrowed from the boys” look whimsically.
In other words, these iconic women chose a look based on comfortable statement-making properties and, most of all, figure-friendly detailing.
Tips to Try (Inspired by the Guys)
The reason menswear-inspired women’s fashion resurfaces every few years is because the look is not only comfortable, but when worn well, can be incredibly flattering. The key is, as with most trends, to choose the elements that flatter.
For instance, if you’ve got more generous proportions, straight-fitting button down shirts might look strained, not stylish. If you’re too thin, you might end up looking androgynous when you’re hoping for cutting edge chic.
You don’t have to go the whole Victor/Victoria route to capture the essence of menswear. Instead try:
- Jackets: A tuxedo jacket can be worn with jeans, pencil skirts or even knit dresses. Details to look for could be jeweled buttons or satin lapels for evening, or interesting color and fabric combinations for day.
- Brogues: Capped toes in metallic or bold brights, leather shoelaces and stacked heels soften the masculine styling. If you really want to mix things up, go for a spectator or tone on tone styling with a high, feminine heel.
- Chunky Jewelry: ID Bracelets or other bold metallic accents can add an edge to an otherwise boring cardigan or sweater. Cuff bracelets (sometimes worn matching and paired) with chain or bolt detailing can update your look as well.
- Briefcases: Instead of your usual tote or shoulder bag, consider a pressed leather or starkly designed briefcase or clutch.
- Tees Please: Soften a pantsuit by pairing with a cotton t-shirt. You can get more use out of your basic black or grey suit by alternating a white tee with soft or bold pink, greens or blues.
- Eyeglasses: The popularity of plastic frames is still going strong. Opt for a bulkier, darker frame in black or tortoise for a simple look. Try frames with feminine touches like pink or purple accents or undertones for a more flattering effect.
- Hats & Spats: If you’re not comfortable with the idea of wearing menswear-inspired clothing, try for subtle variations of male classics. Fedoras or their shorter brimmed cousin, the Trilby, in unusual colors or with bright ribbon or floral accents can take you through the entire season. Leather loafers worn with bright tights and shorter skirts can soften the trend.
Rachel Weingarten looks great in fedoras. She’s a style expert, marketing strategist & personal branding consultant for CEOs, politicians and celebrities and the creator of MintStyle. She is the award-winning author of Career and Corporate Cool and Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ‘40s-‘60s. Visit her online at http://racheletc.com or on Twitter @rachelcw Write to her with your burning style questions at firstname.lastname@example.org