Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menswear: Don it Like a Lady

photo by Nick Krug

The UK craze infiltrated the United States decades ago, but luckily—finally, men are starting to realize…The Brits are on to something. Women love a man decked out in tailored pants or fitted jeans, collared shirts, and damn good shoes. There is a reason the Oxford shirt has survived the ins and outs of fashion’s trends and turmoils—It’s a Classic. That’s hot.
The ubiquity of menswear is nowhere near its finale. Women and men alike make a statement choice by dressing in a crisp, sharp suit. Time will never harness a Classic; however, ladies—do take the reigns and primp your own “menswear.” Don’t steal your brother’s jacket, but instead opt for a jacket that fits your feminine form. Add color and jewelry to enhance your outfit’s creativity, and make your own favorite features pop.
Do not allow the masculinity of menswear to turn you into a man’s man—a “good ole boy.”

Jackets: Invest in a tailored blazer or jacket. Look for a unique piece that still maintains the masculine collar, crisp shoulders, and front pockets of a man’s overcoat but flatters a woman’s figure. Also, consider nontraditional colors and girly details such as satin trim, cloth flowers, or patterned fabrics; these womanly touches transcend an everyday topcoat into true lady’s apparel.
Tip: Length is important: What will you wear your jacket with?
Tip: Give your bod some room: If you want to layer up during fall nights, will a bulky sweater limit your mobility? Will your jacket button and will your arms comfortably fit through its sleeves?

Pants: Seek out dress pants with a higher-rise waist. Curvaceous figures are flattered by placing emphasis on their smallest section. Also, pleats are not bad—embrace your inner Audrey Hepburn! A full length, center pleat that runs down any pair of trousers lengthens the figure and is crisp and clean.
Tip: Do experiment with cuffed dress pants; however, if you are shorter in height—watch out. A cuff focuses attention on the end of your trousers and can override a full-leg pleat’s lengthening effect.
Tip: Try the ultra-wide leg, flowy pants being spotted on runways!

Accessories and Accents: Fedoras, neck ties, bowties, tie-pins, suspenders—you name it. Create an enticing outfit by incorporating these formerly boy’s-only details. Accessories can feminize an outfit and are an easy way to make sure you won’t be mistaken for a 12-year-old boy. Add color to the black-tie, pin-striped mob of business men and you’ll be sure to turn heads!
Tip: Do not over-accessorize. For example, suspenders or a hat can be worn with any outfit and will add the perfect touch of this trend without going overboard.
Tip: Include jewelry in your ensemble. This is just another way to stand out, and will remind others that you can wear the assertive, business-like clothes of a man’s world and still recognize the nature of a female.

Ladies—take a stand. Wearing menswear can only reinforce the confidence and versatility of all females. Invite the gals to the cigar room and lounge in style—who’s in the Boys Club now?!

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