Perhaps it has been the ongoing success of of Mad Men or maybe the sequel to Wall Street that has designers channeling menswear for women. Regardless of how it all began, menswear for women seems to be here to stay. It’s time to reach to the top shelves of your mother or father’s closets and blow the dust off of those long blazers and matching trousers you once teased them for possessing. Thanks to labels such as Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Hermès, menswear for women is back and more wearable than ever.
Think Diane Keaton in Annie Hall meets Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, the look is masculine with feminine details. A colour palette of soft nudes mixed with camels, grays and navys - menswear is minimal and easy to wear. The fit of the pant is relaxed yet tailored. I suggest a cropped pant that hits at the ankle. And try experimenting with pleats and pocket placement. The next must-have is the perfect oxford shirt and this season, button them up to the top. Add a touch of femininity by placing a broach or a bow on the top button. The sweater is key to the menswear look. Whether it be in a vest form, the classic crew-neck or a turtleneck (yes, I said it), use the sweater to play with texture and depth - think chunky-knits, cashmere and fur details. Lastly, to tie it all in a stunning piece of outerwear is a necessity . If you buy one thing this season, I urge you to go with a luxurious coat. Capes, wool trenches, and long tailored coats are in high demand this season. Look to Hermès (designed by the acclaimed Jean Paul Gaultier) for inspiration and look for inciting details such as leather trim or oversized hoods.
A Women's Touch
It is important when shopping for menswear to look for interesting ways to add hints of femininity. Accessories help. Designer Hannah MacGibbon for Chloe adds a chic, scaled-down weekend bag to complement her look. Marc Jacobs, inspired by the classic briefcase, creates a smaller, less androgynous bag that is practical and chic. As far as shoes go, keep it simple. Designer Phoebe Philo for Celine shows chunky black pumps paired with trouser socks. Play with gold (I suggest a chunky wrist-watch), leather bags and hats. This being said, remember to keep minimalism in mind; less is always more.
Shop The Rack Not The Runway
Being fashionable would be easy if you could buy exactly what you see on the runway. Unless your name is Anna Della Russo, this is not the case. But luckily retailers such as Zara, Gap, and Club Monaco create the menswear look for a fraction of the price. Zara is great for outerwear and thick knits this season. Numerous capes, trenches and sweaters are available in this seasons hot colours. For pants, I suggest The Gap, where head designer Patrick Robinson recently launched a black trouser collection that has fashion editors and shoppers alike buzzing. It includes 7 fits, my personal favorite (an ode to menswear) being the boy-fit. Finally, for the classics, including the perfect oxford, I suggest flocking to Club Monaco. An expert in menswear for women, Club Monaco seems to be taking a page from Mrs. MacGibbon’s book this season -- and I’m loving it.
From the runway in Paris to your dad’s dresser drawers, menswear is the style of the season. Remember to keep it feminine and minimal for optimal results and always add your own personal touch. As Mae West once said “A good man is hard to find”, I say go for a man’s outfit instead.