Lifestyles

Borrowed From the Boys, Women Wearing Menswear

A new wave of fashion that defies the stigma that says women can’t wear men’s clothing while still appearing confident, sexy and chic 

By: Amanda Bengard

Katherine Hepburn, the pioneer of true Homme Girl fashion. Credit: Circa 1938 Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time Life Pictures

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I took a trip to escape from the crowds of New York. One of my favorite things to do before traveling is to try on the outfits I intend to wear, just in case it doesn’t come together how I imagined. 

This winter I’ve been inspired by a new way of dressing, becoming what is known as the “Homme Girl.” The term Homme girl, is a fashion forward female who likes boys, boyfriends and the men’s department. 

This is a trend derived from icons such as Katherine Hepburn who preferred to spend her days in menswear to Kate Moss who never shied away from a fashion statement. Wearing men’s clothing doesn’t hide femininity, instead it ignites it. 

Personal style is something that takes time to cultivate, so knowing how to incorporate men’s garments into my everyday look began after a lot of research and trying on. 

My favorite overnight bag was actually designed for men: a black leather duffle bag from Coach. Personally I like to wear neutral colors and I found that the men’s side of the store carried rich earth tones I was used to pairing together, such as grey, black, beige, brown and white. 

Found inside my duffle bag is a pair of men’s New Balance sneakers. What appears to have been worn by every dad in the 90’s, these sneakers are making a comeback and it’s not only men who are wearing them. After sizing down, the shoes fit like they were made for me and if styled with the right outfit, still appear feminine and fashionable. 

A glimpse at how to style men’s sneakers into your everyday look. Credit: Pinterest.com

Another go to item for comfort and style, is my ash colored Russel crew neck that is also men’s wear. The sweater fits extra-large but the color being a soft light grey, still looks pretty and refined. 

Casual wear isn’t the only thing to shop for in the men’s department; coming with me for the weekend is an oversized black blazer from Zara where they offer gender neutral collections. This item can be paired with anything from jeans, for a casual evening out, to dress pants completing my own version of the classic suit. 

From evening and outerwear to business attire, if you step outside in what is perceived as the social norm, all clothing is unisex.

For women, wearing pants was virtually unheard of in the 1930s and 40s. The idea of what is womanly has progressed far beyond what Joan of Arc could have predicted, considering she was prosecuted for cross-dressing in the late middle ages.

Since the 1800’s, women have willingly sported male garments in order to move around freely and participate in activities you can’t do in a dress or a skirt. World War II fast tracked the adoption for men’s clothing and while husbands and fathers went off to fight, women took on the jobs they left behind and with that, their uniforms. 

Since then it has become typical to see a woman in trousers. 

Brands and fashion moguls such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Rick Owens implemented the crossover by sending models down the runway wearing boxy blazers and loose-fitting trousers. Not only are these women captivating in their suit jackets originally tailored for broad shoulders, they exude authority. 

As a heterosexual female, in many ways I embody a traditional lifestyle deemed by society, although the reality of our time is that women are pushing the boundaries of what is made for us and what isn’t. Yohji Yamamoto a Japanese fashion designer considered a master tailor has said, “A pair of brilliantly cut cotton trousers can be more beautiful than a gorgeous silk dress.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

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