Next time you’re seeking some ensemble inspiration, you may just want to take a stroll around the men’s clothing section. No, you’re not finding a rather thoughtful gift for your grandpa or brother — you’re shopping for yourself.
A quick way for a woman to change up her look is incorporating menswear into her closet. The best part? You potentially have the male members of the College population to borrow from. Who doesn’t like a day of lax jeans, roomy button downs and v-neck sweaters?
Just because clothing is considered menswear doesn’t necessarily mean it has to look masculine. For instance, a well-fitted oxford or chambray shirt paired with pearls can be elegant without crossing into a formal territory. A “school boy” blazer with a colorful pocket square and pair of khaki’s is menswear inspired, yet can be both classy and fun when paired with neutral wedges.
But when raiding any guy’s closet in attempts of creating a menswear look, remember these simple tips:
Know the Difference
There is a difference between wearing men’s inspired clothing and actually wearing men’s clothing. Some things out of the men’s section just won’t work on a woman. (Like those gym shorts or his baggy jeans — a big no-no.) Want some boyfriend jeans? Don’t borrow your boyfriend’s. Run over to the Gap and buy your own. Others items like that spacious men’s pullover worn with leggings and boots will draw positive attention.
Bring in a Feminine Edge
Keep in mind when wearing menswear to try to bring in feminine items such as heels, skirts and jewelry to the mix. Makeup and hair are easy areas to add a womanly touch as well. More importantly, wear them with confidence and a feminine edge.
Size it Up
Conquering the look requires some thought on sizing. Menswear pieces are often larger, making it ideal for layering. But be careful of pairing more than one large article of clothing together. Loose-fitting sweats and a large, chunky knit won’t exactly complement your figure, and in the end, you’ll end up drowning in your clothes.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
If you’re not into wearing large sweaters, varsity tees or business blazers, hit up the accessories. Thick-banded watches in neutral colors, aviators and oxford shoes all have a bit of masculine edge. For headwear, think newsboy caps and fedoras.
Fabrics and Patterns
Herringbone, plaid, tweed, varsity stripes and pinstripes all give off a strong, sturdy vibe. These fabrics can stand alone without any glitz and glamour. Your best bet is to try to find well-built pieces like jackets and pants in these fabrics and patterns.
Remember to keep it classic. Try channeling brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. In the end, think clean lines and structure. You’ll be sure to add a little male flair without any added testosterone.