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.
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.
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.
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.
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.