Colgate Couture : How to Rock the Menswear Look

Alexis Manrodt

Menswear-inspired fashion is the perfect transitional trend from the layered looks of winter to the floral-filled days of spring and summer. Whether you prefer sharp, tailored blazers or slouchy boyfriend-style jeans, there is a look for every gal wanting to steal from the fellas.

Women sporting men’s fashion is far from new. Diane Keaton solidified her status as a ’70s style icon when she wore her own Ralph Lauren suits in “Annie Hall,” while socialite-turned-activist Bianca Jagger is well known for rocking menswear, even choosing a white suit jacket for her wedding to Rolling Stone singer Mick Jagger back in the day. Recently, the look has come back in full force with modern dandies like Janelle Monae and Rachel Bilson regularly appearing in tailored suits, and has even got Beyonc?e wondering “if I were a boy.”

The simplest way to try the trend is to invest in a well-cut blazer. The possibilities are endless – cropped, oversized or tailored, the blazer is a chic and simple item that every girl should own. Whether you choose a classic shade like black or navy or have fun in spring-approved pastels or white, the blazer is basically the miracle piece that can add edge and sophistication to an outfit in equal measure. Adding a blazer on top of a girlish frock is an easy trick to get a masculine edge without losing your feminine sensibility. For more daring girls, pair a blazer with matching trousers or sharp pants for a suit-like look. On warm-weather days, layer a white blazer over a white button down or blouse with dark, tailored shorts and lace-up brogues. It’s a look worn by the likes of Alexa Chung and Kirsten Dunst and it is one that is easy to assemble from most any girl’s closet.

Second to the blazer comes the Oxford button down. Button up an Oxford to the collar and tie a ribbon or thin scarf into a bow at the neck for a girly take on the necktie, or add a statement necklace underneath the collar for a pop of sparkle you can’t steal from the boys. Layering a lightweight sweater or graphic sweatshirt on top of a button down is a great preppy style to try as well.

The most fun menswear styles are in the accessories. You don’t have to go full stop and start sporting cufflinks, but there are many masculine details to add to your look. Experiment with bowties and suspenders for a quirky look that is less Larry King and more Lou Doillon. Top off your outfit with a hat and choose a traditional menswear cut like a fedora, newsboy cap or bowler hat – it will add a playful vibe to your look. Invest in a few pairs of loafers and lace-up brogues in a variety of colors and textures. Steve Madden’s insanely popular pony hair loafers are always a great look, but also check out the multi-colored and metallic brogues offered at ASOS for fun, fancy kicks. Pair your shoes with patterned ankle socks for a quirky detail, and make sure to show them off by wearing cropped trousers or jeans. Jewelry-wise, sport an oversized wristwatch. As a rule of thumb, go for one so large it looks like you stole it from your father. Add girly accessories like charm bracelets, pearls and other shiny baubles for a fun contrast.

To start your menswear shopping, look at Elizabeth and James, the ready-to-wear line designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen created to meld masculine and feminine fashions. Also be sure to check out stores like Zara, Madewell and J.Crew for fun inspired pieces in trendy prints and patterns. Finally, don’t be afraid to raid the closets of every man in your life – boyfriend, brother, father or friend. You know, for the sake of fashion.