You know the saying, â€˜Behind every successful man is a woman’? Well this season, behind many fashionable women there will be men. Menswear has long been a source of inspiration for women’s fashion, taking cues from the impeccable tailoring, clean lines and muted color palette that can often be found in men’s dressing. These days, while dapper dudes like Don Draper rule the small screen, a genteel elegance has been translated to womenswear more than ever. And though the days of men controlling an office or a household are behind us, there is still a certain sense of authority menswear commands that we women just can’t seem to resist. So forget being the women behind the man; these pieces prove we don’t belong anywhere else but right next to them.
Hail to the boyfriend blazer. Though the name suggests it’s a piece for â€˜Him’ this boxy, oversized style is the holy grail of universally flattering pieces on women. Three-quarter length sleeved versions thrown over sundresses in summer gave way to rich, decadent pieces in luxe fabrics for fall. Akin to an old Hollywood smoking jacket, or something Hugh Hefner would wear around the house, the boyfriend blazer, like Antonio Berardi’s velvet number, boasts the wider dimensions and longer length than a nipped-in, more feminine version would. DKNY’s angora and wool version is a stunner that would keep you soft and warm when worn over a blouse and pencil skirt in the office, or tossed on top of a slinky cocktail dress at night,
Iconic American designers like Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren have always done menswear-inspired fashion right. Taking the inherent sexuality of a woman and using it to alter the shape and silhouette of a typical menswear piece can’t be easy, and yet these masters of design always seem to nail it. Michael Kors Fall 2010 runway was a study of menswear-inspired styles, many of which were punctuated with a par of crisp cropped pants. The perfect marriage of masculine components like a pleated flat-front with a slim-cut feminine shape, a neutral gray, cropped pant like Kors’ or these from Theory will give you a stylish twist on your corporate wear throughout the entire calendar year.
Menswear pieces don’t all have to be serious and stuffy. Have a little fun with your masculine homage by getting in on menswear accents as well. Hermes seemed to tip their hat to jolly old England with bowlers and bowties traipsing down on their fall runway. For a less costumey look, reach for Alice + Olivia’s playful silk-bend blouse with built-in tie. Paired with wide-legged trousers and a cropped blazer for work or a swingy skirt for play, the blouse and tie add a punch of preppy cool to your everyday wardrobe.
And speaking of accessories, what better way to top off your chic, menswear-inspired ensemble than with a fabulous fedora. As the â€œIt’ hat of the moment, the fedora lends a sense of polish that no other topper can. Summer brimmed with quirky straw styles but fall is all about refinement and rich, earthy tones like these safari-inspired styles. Ferragamo styled theirs perfectly with a feminine skirt and boots, so as not to appear too masculine and harsh. And Club Monaco’s style, reminiscent of Indiana Jones can be perfectly androgynous too when paired with a sweet shirtdress or skinny jean. Have a ball with any these menswear-inspired pieces and fit them into your own personal style. When the pieces appear too bland, you can always spice them up with a statement necklace or pair of vampy heels.
1. Oversized Blazerâ€¨Runway: Antonio Berardi Fall 2010 RTW
Real Way: DKNY Angora And Wool Boyfriend Blazer $495
2. Gray Trousersâ€¨Runway: Michael Kors Fall 2010 RTW
Real Way: Theory Wool-blend Cropped Pants $325
3. White Blouse With Menswear Accentâ€¨Runway: Hermes Fall 2010 RTW
Real Way: Alice + Olivia Jabot Silk-Blend Blouse $240
4. Fedoraâ€¨Runway: Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2010 RTW
Real Way: Club Monaco Reese Fedora $109
Runway Photos: nymag.com
Image Layout: Aisha Shawn Creach