Borrow from the Boys: 10 Menswear Inspired Pieces for Women
Take a note from Katherine Hepburn’s book and set yourself apart from the crowd by borrowing some looks from the boys. Use the following 10 pieces to incorporate classic men’s fashion into your own wardrobe. In the fashion world, women truly can have it all, so take on menswear basics and claim them as your own.
1. The Blazer
Blazers have become a true staple in any woman’s wardrobe and have taken on a certain girlish charm. They are no longer only for those with preppy ambitions. Shrug on a blazer over a worn-out concert tee or sequined top and it instantly adds a classic, put-together element.
If you’re new to the blazer, you’ll first need to decide whether you’d like it to be fitted or have more of a boyfriend look. The boyfriend blazer tends to be a dash baggier, giving it a borrowed look. This option leaves you with the luxury of not worrying about your blazer being perfectly fitted to your body. For those who a little more hesitant on taking on a full menswear look, the fitted option gives a nod at a men’s blazer while following the line of a woman’s body. The fitted option however, may call some investment in tailoring it to fit your contours. Important note: when shopping for a blazer that you intend to get tailored, be sure that the shoulders fit you before you swipe your card. There is very little a tailor can do to make the blazer fit if the shoulders didn’t fit to begin with. It is also important to make sure the front darts fall correctly along your bust line.
If any piece is worth investing in a great fit, it’s the blazer. Tailored pieces like the blazer are one of the easiest ways for women to embrace the menswear trend. Blazers come in a spectrum of colors, but if you’re considering investing in a timeless staple, navy blazer is a great place to start. Navy goes with just about everything and transitions from formal to casual with ease.
2. The Collared Button-Up Shirt
The collared shirt plays an integral role in menswear fashion and has become a permanent fixture in women’s fashion as well. The beauty of the collared shirt, especially within women’s fashion, is the versatility of its look. You can be bold and shop in the men’s section for a crisp button-up or go with a sheer floral number. Add in a fun pattern or a rounded club collar for a little added femininity.
Keep your ensemble polished and tuck it into a pair of wide-leg trousers or pencil skirt. Create a relaxed weekend look by keeping your shirt partially un-tucked with a pair of your best skinnies. The collared shirt is a great basic any way you wear it. If you must invest in one collared shirt, the classic white option is the way to go. A light blue or blue stripe shirt are also great choices. Keep in mind that if you like a shirt that minds your curves, it may require some tailoring.
3. The Tie and Bow Tie
Get tied up in the menswear trend and take on the look’s essential neck wear. To create an outfit with subtle menswear flair, start with a simple button-up shirt and polish it off with a tie. Or try a bow tie for a cheeky nod at this traditional menswear essential. Try a full on suit if you’re feeling dedicated to the trend.
You may want to stick to skinny ties and smaller bow ties, as they will not overwhelm your outfit or your frame. If a skinny tie fits your fancy, we suggest anything 2.5″ or under. If you’re up to it, go bold and beautiful and let your tie do the talking. Punch it up with some dainty polka dots or a great plaid.
4. The Tuxedo
Going Black Tie? Why not go with the women’s tuxedo? Stand out in the sea of cocktail dresses and gowns and add a touch of androgynous elegance. The tuxedo, which usually brings to mind a rigid dress code, becomes a creative canvas worn by a confident woman. Mix in some daringly patterned pants, a delicate, silky blouse, or leave the whole thing as-is (classic black) and truly borrow from the boys. For a casual look, take it apart and wear its elements as separates. Pair tuxedo pants with a basic T-shirt or your favorite chunky sweater for a thoughtfully juxtaposed look or use the tuxedo jacket as a blazer and it will give a classic element to any ensemble.
The key to this look, just like any suit, men’s or women’s, is tailoring the tux to your unique body type. If tailored properly, the women’s tuxedo is a great way to accentuate length and a feminine figure. Your tailor will be your partner in crime when conquering this look. The tuxedo conveys power and fearlessness and should always be worn with confidence.
5. The Boyfriend Cardigan
It’s not all dressy suiting when it comes to menswear fashion. Take a break from the tailoring and indulge in the cozy comforts of a boyfriend cardigan. The boyfriend cardigan gains bonus points for comfort in its slightly oversized fit and longer cut. A perfect match for a day when leggings is all you can deem as pants that day. Shrug it over a collared blouse and skinny trousers and add in a skinny belt for an ensemble fit for the office.
6. The Dress Shoe
Take a break from your daily heels and kick in the ever-stylish men’s dress shoes. From oxfords, to brogues, to monk straps galore, add some boyish charm to your everyday duds. They pair great with a well-tailored suit and just as well with a flouncy summer dress. Investing in a timeless pair of menswear dress shoes will forever be a great decision.
7. The Boyfriend Jean
Every girl sighed a breath of relief upon the rise of the boyfriend jean. No longer are we confined to restraining skinnies or dressy trousers. Alas, now it is fashionable to wear our tattered and torn baggy jeans! Cuff them up and throw on a pair of heels or your best brogues. Go with a formal tux jacket or casual T-shirt on top. Be wary of your outfit’s proportions when pairing your boyfriend jeans, as a loose top may make you look a little sloppy.
8. The Gentleman’s Hat
Top off your outfit with a smart gentleman’s hat for a quirky touch that can bring a lot of bravado to an ensemble in need of a little something extra. Make a statement with a straw pork pie, à la barbershop quartet, or add an air of mystery with a wide-brimmed fedora. A bold bowler will have others smiling as if you were Chaplin, while a newsboy cap will bring you back to simpler times. When choosing your hat of choice, be fearless because the possibilities are endless!
9. The Large Faced Watch
Add some shine into the mix and give your wrist a little company with a large, classic watch. Whether you prefer your strap to be leather or metal links, go bold with a timepiece that attracts some heavy attention. This man-cessory exudes confidence and is a surprising addition to an otherwise dainty outfit. Layer in a little extra arm candy for an intriguing pairing.
Embracing men’s fashion can be as easy as adding in small menswear accessories such as a lapel flower pin or a classic pair of suspenders. You can also accessorize with a classic pair of specs for a good ol’ collegiate quirk (think Buddy Holly horn-rims or large tortoiseshell square frames). With menswear fashion, it’s all in the details after all.
Now take on the town in your menswear-inspired apparel. Like Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, show them how you can wear it better than the boys!