When women put away their circle skirts and began wearing pants, it shook the foundations of society and the fashion world. Taking a cue from these ballsy women, menswear has made a comeback.
Menswear-inspired fashions have been spotted in every fashion magazine, featured by designers such as Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Gianni Versace.
My love affair with menswear began when I was about four years old. I was an active yet awkward kid who loved summer camp and playing sports. Because of this, I often wore hand-me-down clothes from my older brother because they were comfortable and easy to move in.
Then there was my hair. For some unknown reason, hair brushing seemed to be the bane of my childhood existence. My long blonde locks met a seemingly tragic end when my parents grew tired of my blood-curdling screams and lobbed them off.
My modified bowl cut, mixed with boy’s clothes, led to years of mistaken gender identity. “What can I get for you, young man,” was a phrase I heard frequently at restaurants. I would turn bright red and let loose an exasperated, “I’m a girl!”
My style has now come full circle. I recently chopped my hair into a stylish pixie do, and I have never felt more feminine. Now I embrace the androgynous menswear style that suits me, and I am thankful every day for my boyish past.
Menswear is a dynamic, multifaceted look that requires the wearer to reach equilibrium between the masculine and the feminine.
The white men’s dress shirt is possibly the sexiest attribute to this look. Oversized shirts can be tied, belted or left to their own alluring devices. For inspiration, I turn to Uma Thurman who artfully dons this look in the Tarantino flick Pulp Fiction.
Pants are a menswear staple. From cropped chinos to wide-leg trousers, there is a pant for every body type. These should be in neutral colors such as black, gray or camel.
Also, the jacket is a must. Tuxedo style jackets are perfect for dressing up any outfit. However, the blazer is a jacket for any occasion. Depending on the desired look, either fitted or oversized blazers are appropriate. Trench coats are a warm way to add a touch of mystery to your ensemble during chilly Pullman nights.
Masculine inspired shoes such as oxfords and Sperry Top-Siders are comfortable, sleek additions to anyone’s closet. Shoes with thick heels are also très chic, such as Nine West’s “The Loafer.”
While wearing heels with a skirt, adding socks (I am a fan of argyle) to the mix is a feminine way to keep your calves cute and warm.
For those short on dough who refuse to break the bank for designer fashions, H&M and The Gap provide cost-effective alternatives. I also suggest The Elle Contemporary Collection that can be found at Kohl’s. Finally, thrift stores are a veritable gold mine for vintage pieces.
The great mystery that is the men’s section is no longer off limits to those of the female persuasion. I frequently shop in this section in stores such as Urban Outfitters for cozy oversized sweaters and jackets.
Bold accessories with structure add hints of masculinity. Chunky tortoise shell and gold watches not only keep time but also create a grounded sense of stability.
However, nothing in life should be too serious. Jewelry with quirky touches such as bowties and moustaches keep your outfit light and prove that you have a sense of humor.
For the overall effect, makeup should be simple. A bold brow and lip will accentuate bone structure while keeping the emphasis on your duds.
Mixing the masculine with the feminine is the classiest look for this fall. Menswear adds a timeless yet vintage flare to anyone’s closet. It's time to show the men who really wear the pants in Pullman.