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Menswear-inspired Fashion for Women

Tulika Nair Feb 27, 2020
Did you think girly tomboy was not a possibility? Well, happy to prove you wrong. Welcome to a whole new (slightly crazy) world, where the women are donning menswear and making them feminine to boot.

Kickstarting the Trend

Wearing men's silhouettes and patterns a bit much for you? Start small. Wear menswear-inspired accessories instead. My personal favorites include bow ties and brogues.
I'm all for girl power. Say one thing about how girls fall short on things, and I'll probably jump to the defense of the supposedly weaker sex. But hell, that does not keep me from stealing from my guy friends' and brother's cupboard from time to time. I confess. I am a sucker for clothes that look to the boys for inspiration.
And why not? Their clothes are loose, comfortable, and have that very inherent sense of chic and elegance going on at the same time. Of course, we have feminine stuff in our wardrobes that are loose, and okay yeah, they are comfortable, too. But I, for one, am hard-pressed to find girly clothes that can be described as both chic and elegant.
So, when the runways of Fall/Winter 2013 were flooded with menswear-inspired clothes, I was probably cheering the most. Finally, the world of fashion had caught up with me and my soul sisters. And since I love this style of dressing as much as a cat loves wool, I consider it my solemnly-sworn duty to introduce my kind to the hows of this fashion trend. Come now! Let me help you put some dudes in your duds.

Menswear Beware! Here Come the Women

So why is there so much of a craze about this trend? Well, my personal belief is, because it is sooooo accessible. Literally! 'Coz all you need is a really close guy friend/relative whose wardrobe you can raid without being too bothered by his rants.
Being able to incorporate something that is trending, in your wardrobe with so much ease makes it a winner without competition.
So, you know where to get the clothes from, but how do you wear them without looking like a guy? There is more-than-you-can-handle inspiration in this article itself, but I think it is important for you to get some tips first. After all, even visual insight can be insufficient.
  • Always keep your look balanced. Don't go all guy head to toe. Instead, take one piece (or maybe two) previously-labeled menswear and use that as the focus of your outfit.
  • Add ladylike details to keep the look from becoming too much to handle. Big, statement accessories, vibrant colors, feminine tops, strappy heels, are integral elements of this trend. Remember the look is menswear-inspired, not menswear.
  • Dare a little. Don't go the conventional route. Opt for killer heels with a pair of cuffed pants and a shirt, worn with a bow tie. Wear a tuxedo jacket with a dress. It makes you stand out as that fashionista who really knows how to work the trend.
  • Just because you're going the men's way does not mean that you have to restrict your color palette to blacks, browns, and grays. Hell, even the guys are experimenting now. So, keep the look color-friendly.
Once you have the foundation pat down, all you need is a bit of a push to start out. So, here's the push you need. My visual guidebook.
Now a shirt is something most women have in their wardrobe, but I am talking about a looser version that can be topped with a feminine jacket for the right contrast.
Another familiar face in our cupboards that needs a mannish upgrade. Opt for a high-waist, straight-fit, pleated pair that can be interpreted in the way you desire.
Channel Diane Keaton who rocks the suit with so much flair that you want to ask her for private lessons. Work a feminine top to make the look slightly subtle.
Now the vest or waistcoat is one from the guys' wardrobe that can be worn very feminine, very masculine, or even in a I-am-riding-two-boats-at-once-SUCCESSFULLY way. I love this punk avatar.
Gorgeous, beautiful hats add the right amount of whimsy to any outfit. Pick a masculine hat in a design you like, and make it feminine in style.
Not that we haven't had the leather jacket in our wardrobe, but we have had those girly cuts. I'm talking about that rugged piece of hide that most men have and worship. Wear it with a delicate dress for that right pizzazz.
Go back to your school days! Remember how you knotted the tie then? Well, work the magic again albeit in a grown up way that you didn't think possible.
You could go conventional and wear your blazer with a pair of pants, but I love a bit of quirk. Here's to wearing a classic menswear essential with a dress.
The bow tie! It takes you back ... to your brother's childhood. Celebrate the child in you and wear a bow tie with a pretty skirt.
From Stella McCartney who put the spotlight on double-breasted coats with big shoulders and over-sized jackets to Prabal Gurung who had his models wearing coats with angular shoulders, the menswear influence has been a heady one this year. Fall prey to its magic. Trust me, you'll never want to recover.