Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Gender-benders

If there was one thing clear in the last couple of years, androgyny is climbing steadily up the ladder of trends. One minute everyone was riding the boho train (blergh) and then tailored and structured pieces were sliding back into womenswear (thank god). The best thing is, it is now acceptable for women to not only take masculine clothes like tuxedo jackets and mens shirts and turn them into the female equivalent, but actually to go out and buy the mens version. As someone who has worn mens clothes in the past (a few t-shirts here, a few jackets there) this is an awesome moment. No more pretending you're buying clothes for the hypothetical boyfriend who happens to be the same size as you, excellent. 

Anyway, there are plenty of options for this look, and the first place to get ideas from is the past because all you need to do is look at the many women who have donned mens clothing in films. Some of the most memorable include Diane Keaton and her grounding breaking khakis in 'Annie Hall', Katharine Hepburn and the fabulous moments of masculine dressing in many of her movies and then there is Julie Andrews in the movie 'Victor Victoria' taking a more theatrical approach in her tuxedo's that are amazing! But boy oh boy if you thought that it stopped there... the Queen of the tuxedo has got to be Marlene Dietrich. She is the be all - end all to dressing with attitude. Just look at the following images, you will understand. Words just cannot explain really. 

Diane Keaton in the 1977 Woody Allen film 'Annie Hall'
Julie Andrews as Victoria Grant in 'Victor Victoria' 1982
Katharine Hepburn
Marlene Dietrich
All of these women at some point have really changed things for women. Both Hepburn and Dietrich made it acceptable for women to wear pants - so simple but so liberating. It's quite admirable. It also makes me want to wear top hats and bow ties (if only i didn't have a short neck). Take inspiration from women like these and go for it!

How do i achieve the rather masculine look you may ask? Well my friend, i shall tell you. Just follow these simple instructions.
  1. You must have the ATTITUDE that these women present. Shoulders back, chin up - just remember you are a very important and strong woman so let that exude from you.
  2. Have CONFIDENCE in yourself. One cannot stress the importance of this. There is no need to go through life with your eyes on the pavement. You are capable of anything, and to get what you want in life - show "the man" that you have chutzpah.
  3. And every wardrobe has a certain amount of 'necessity' items. It just happens that these items are also the vital basics for a masculine cross over. They are as follows;

·      The classic men’s white shirt – this will take you anywhere. Wear it with gorgeously tailored trousers in the office, team it with jeans and ballet flats for casual moments, or wear it by itself in the bedroom. The possibilities are endless.

·      The black blazer – a staple in many aspects. This versatile piece is incredibly on trend right now and there are many options in all price ranges in store at the moment. Wear the blazer in black or navy, or if you’re a little more daring try it in a nude or neutral colour. Team it with jeans in the daytime, and the chuck it over your cocktail dress when it’s time to hit town. Brilliant!

·      The men’s watch – I’ve been wearing one for years. The bigger the better really, it’s a statement piece yet so functional. I’m partial to the square face, but nice big round ones are growing on me. And they don’t have to break the budget. When wanting to purchase one check out local jeweler sales and sometimes chain stores stock them too.

·      The oversized cardigan – such a favourite of mine. Black, grey, navy and khaki are basic colours that you can wear with everything but burnt oranges, maroon and caramel will never let you down.

·      The jean – what ever your colour preference, what ever your shape, always wear a jean that suits you, not the trend. I have found my perfect jean in a dark blue, straight leg and medium waist height. I’ll wear them with anything, day and night. Own one pair of good jeans to hang lovingly in your wardrobe. To get the mens look in jeans, go for a slightly looser leg fit, higher in the waist and a little bit baggy. Team this look with fine layering, shirts and loafers.

·      Lastly – Brogue shoes – in season at the moment (perfect!) and easy to wear. Pair them with jeans, trousers, harem pants, skirts or dresses the possibilities are endless. They are a chic way to finish an outfit and everyone should own at least one black pair.

So my dear readers, I am very sorry for piling all of that on you in one post, I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment if you have any more suggestions. Good night and good gardening.

Tot ziens

1 comment:

jdaldous said...

I always notice your watch. Makes me think of Patrick Bateman for some reason.