During the 1900s and prior, suits served as a fashion category geared toward one gender — men. It was normal to see men dressed in vests, ties, top hats and elegant shoes for everyday wear. Only a few female figures donned this type of styled approach. Two prominent women, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn — who wore suits and ties as style statements — introduced many women to dressing this way, laying early foundations for dismissing style barriers. Additionally, darring latina women of the 1940s donned Zoot Suits and claimed the style as their own.

Now, decades later, menswear is still making an impact as a style that transcends gender boundaries. More than ever, women are dressed in menswear complete with suits, ties and collared shirts. Female style icons such as Blake Lively and Janelle Monae debuted menswear earlier this year at events and demonstrated by their outfit selections that when styling menswear, gender should not be a factor. Here, we look at four specific approaches for any gender.

BLOSSOMING PROFESSIONALS

On Sophia: Extra Slim Burgundy Cotton Sateen Stretch Suit Jacket, $228, Burgundy Cotton Sateen Stretch Suit Pant, $98, Floral Tie, $49.90. Available at Express. Stylist’s own heels. On Kolbe: Blue Dress Blue Sateen Suit Jacket, $228, Blue Sateen Suit Pants, $98, White Collared Shirt, $69, Floral Tie, $49.90, Socks, $10.90, Shoes, $128. Available at Express. Leather Garrison Bag by Winter Session in Cognac, $495. Available at Armitage McMillan.

Black and White Striped Blouse, $59,90, Black Sweater, $49.90, Ankle Pants, $79.90, Pointed Toe Two-Piece Pumps, $69.90, Square Drop Stone Earrings, $19.90. Available at Express. Stylist’s own belt, stylist’s own handbag.

The Lowdown: By incorporating a floral touch to an otherwise masculine and authoritative outfit, a softened approach arises. When matching ties to suits, it is important to remember that colors, patterns and textures can intertwine and have slight differences. For Sophia’s individual look, opposing patterns were interlaced in a slick way. To keep the accessories glam, pair a neutral colored tote, pumps and glam jewelry to really heighten the look.

SOPHISTICATED GLAM

Collared Button Up Shirt, $69.90, Sateen Stretch Suit Pant, $98, Sateen Stretch Suit Jacket, $228, Pointed Toe Two-Piece Pumps, $69.90, Front Lock Quilted Clutch, $24.95. Available at Express.

The Lowdown: This powerful menswear look is a little sexier, but also professional and polished. The hunter green of this suit screams fall and winter, and the white button-up adds a classic touch. To keep it a little more casual, skip the tie and pair it with high heels and a glam pair of earrings. A dramatic side part paired with a light brown smokey eye ties the look altogether and keeps the face clean and fresh.

MONOCHROMATIC THREADS

Adam Lambswool Sweater, $215, Sunglasses MOSCOT Optical, Available at Armitage McMillan. Gray Wool Blend Oxford Suit Vest, $98, Gray Wool Blend Oxford Suit Jacket, $298, Gray Wool Blend Oxford Suit Pant, $128, Shoes $108. Available at Express.

The Lowdown: Monochromatic looks are all the rage this year, and menswear looks are no different. This approach, more subdued than others, is an error-free way to look presentable for a professional setting. Keep the look clean by pairing a neutral colored button up under the suit vest, black accessories and a fresh haircut.

CASUAL FRIDAY

On Kolbe: Logan Sweater in Mustard, $235, Joe Overshirt in Dark Beige, $325, Mickey Tencel Stripe Button Down Shirt in Ivory, $155, A.P.C. New Standard Jeans, $210, MOSCOT Optical Sunglasses. Available at Armitage McMilan. On Sophia: Striped Satin Twill No Pocket City Shirt, $29.95, Jacket, $228, Dark Denim Jeans, $88, Pointed Toe Two-Piece Pumps, $69.90, Front Lock Quilted Clutch, $49.90, Faceted Oblong Pendant Necklace, $24.90. Available at Express.

The Lowdown: The key to this denim look is to keep it sharp. For women, pair dark denim with a collared silk top and add a slightly more casual blazer over the top. Pair with high heels and a delicate purse to complete the look. Similarly for men, pair dark denim free of distress with a collared button up. Top it off with a cozy sweater for colder months and a textured jacket.

All photography by Rebecca Grant

Models Sophia Ibarra and Kolbe Jackson

Models provided by Goldie Mae Productions

Clothing by Armitage McMillan and Express

Hair by Georgia Tournai. 

Makeup by Michaela Carpenter

Location B&GC Denver

Stylist Cheyenne Dickerson. 

 

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