Guys always seem like they have it easy. Some days, what I wouldn’t give to be able to hop out of the shower, throw on jeans and t-shirt and be ready to go. I mean I certainly can do that, but it is not the optimal look. So while women continue to dominate bathroom-time with hairdryers, powders and potions, we can at least take a lesson from men and their more simplistic approach to fashion. And sorry guys, we’ll probably look hotter too.
Menswear for women is not a new thing. In fact, as the role of the modern woman emerged, so did many more masculine styles in women’s fashion. While guys are pretty limited by their gender to what they can wear, women are not. (Sure this means more planning and shopping and obsession over the millions of styles out there, but we do that regardless.) Women can wear anything from a frilly, lavender Marchesa gown to a men’s Armani Privé tuxedo and pull it off.
There is something bold and sexy about a woman’s ability to wear men’s styles and still have a very obvious air of femininity.
But the number one rule to pulling off the menswear look or the “boyfriend look,” is to have confidence. If you put on an outfit and immediately question if you look too guy-ish, then don’t wear it. Most probably you do not look too guy-ish, but people will immediately pick up on your lack of confidence. This style requires confidence in your femininity.
The Casual Man-friend:
The loose-fitting, distressed, cuffed jean (also know as the boyfriend jean) is an easy option for achieving this style. Not to mention, it is amazingly comfortable. But the boyfriend jean should not be viewed as the “essential” to achieving this style, it merely represents a bigger idea—you have to choose a key piece of the outfit to be masculine and then build off of it.
If boyfriend jeans are the piece that you wish to build off of, try adding a t-shirt, a moto-jacket and stilettos. If you want to keep it simpler and really go for the man-friend look, then add a well-fitted blazer and a pair of oxfords. Add a little jewelry and you’ll be all set. The other alternative is to start with the top—borrow one of you man’s button down shirts. Cuff the sleeves, pop the collar, throw on skinnies and a killer pair of stilettos and you’ll be giving that shirt more style than it ever would have seen otherwise.
Use your man as inspiration—and what I mean by that is raid his closet. The article of clothing I get the most compliments on is a men’s cashmere sweater. It is a double XL —and I am neither double nor extra large. I swim in the thing. But it is all how you carry it off. Any woman can put on a super-tight jeans and a super tight t-shirt—be different.
Love dressing up for parties? I think every woman does. It is just fun to look cute and to feel sexy. But it feels even better when you look cute and sexy and you stand out from everyone else in the room. This is where the Party-Boy look comes in!
For that night out when you are wearing an awesome dress and heels or your favorite little mini, add some boy to it! This is the easiest of all—a men’s blazer. Throw on an oversized, menswear blazer with your girly outfit and you will have added a serious amount of edge to your outfit. If you are dancing, take it off and you still look adorable. Little chilly out, keep it on and rock it all night long.
When planning this outfit start with the girly pieces—like a sequin mini skirt and heels. The hard part is done. Now add a looser fitting, v-neck t-shirt and an oversized blazer. Done. Well, every girl needs some jewelry.
The Man of the Hour
Feel like you have conquered the other man-looks? Well here is the mother of them all. The tuxedo. Trust me, you will hardly be the first woman to wear this—celebrities have been making statements on runways for years. But now it is your turn.
The key to pulling off men’s suiting is simple—don’t mess with the style, just alter the fit. If you take a men’s tuxedo and try and add too many feminine touches, you will automatically look like you are trying to hard. And that’s because you are. The key to this style is to stick to the style but tailor it to your body—literally have it tailored to fit you. Women obviously have a very different physique than men, so make sure the pants are not too loose or that the jacket shows off your narrow waist.
There is still plenty of room to have fun with this look. Like fabrics—instead of a classic suiting material, try a high-quality, silk taffeta in white. Sexy heels are a must. And instead of a tie, go for the ascot.
Love Your New Look:
Style is about expressing yourself. And if you are looking to step out of the box, then the menswear style is the way to go. This style has been around for years and has gone through different phases. But heading into the spring and summer this look will really be in the spotlight. Check out some of the designer’s collections at New York Fashion Week for more ideas and insights into this look.
And remember, you don’t have to only look at the women’s fashion lines to get inspiration. You femininity is not solely wrapped up in the clothing that you wear. Your femininity is something that you possess and exude, so why not flirt with your manly side? Chances are, you’ll end up looking pretty damn sexy in the process.
Check out the “Menswear for Women” Pinterest board for more ideas!
Anna Ziverts is a Denver native who recently returned home after living in Dallas, Texas for five years. Anna lived in Paris, France for a number of years as a child and credits this experience for her incredible love of fashion and art. She believes in the importance of self-expression through style and shares her musings with the lovely readers of 303 Magazine.