As Doris Day once famously sang, “I enjoy being a girl.” The frills, the fanciness, and the curves that are all essential to women’s fashion make all the primping and parading around worthwhile. But sometimes, and especially in fall, it’s fun to take the girlishness down a notch and borrow some tips from the boys. Men don’t have nearly as many choices as women do in fashion, so they have to get it right the first time around. Menswear fashion is the best place to find inspiration on things like linear lines, immaculate tailoring and a subdued sense of elegance.
Fall runways always bring out a spectacular array of menswear-inspired fashions as luxe fabrics like tweed, wool and cashmere begging to come full circle. A perfectly pin-tucked blazer is a piece that any fashion forward man should have hanging in his closet, and us girls get to have fun on the many variations of this staple. Carmen Marc Valvo’s Fall runway boasted an over-sized, double breasted blazer with fabric panels on the sides. We loved the symmetry and the modern take on this age old style. One of our favorite purveyors of making what’s old new again, Modcloth.com, presented an “admirable” version with military-esque accents.
Many well-versed fashion minds consider Donna Karan to be the greatest American designer for the female form. Her ability to fold and drape brings even the most stiff upper-lipped front row guest to their knees. And for Fall 2012, she adeptly combined her master craft with a masculine edge. Again, an over-sized blazer took center stage, this time paired with a knee-length pencil skirt with a center slit. The more modern cousin to the side slit, the center slit on a pencil skirt is at once refined and sexy (when done the right way). It took a while to find something comparable to Donna but we were satisfied with this herringbone/wool version from another well-versed visionary of the feminine form, Rouland Mouret.
One of the best parts of having to put up with the cold weather is finding your newest favorite coat. This season, opt for a long cover-up that blends the drama of womenswear with the clean lines and tailoring of menswear. Pamella Roland took cues from her signature eveningwear to lengthen her coat tails on this sophisticated button-up style We liked the idea of length paired with structure, added in some lapels, and ta da! a perfectly high fashion look for an amazing, budget-friendly price.
Finally, the menswear trend that has perhaps been translated the most recently is the fedora. Offered in just about every color, fit, shape and brim length, the fedora is a perfect way to top off pretty much any seasonal ensemble. The crisp, cobalt lids in Ruffians Fall collection for fiercely fresh. But in keeping with the elegantly subdued theme, we opted for a more traditional version with a snazzy, understated bow (gotta have a touch of girly, right?) in this terrific Mr. Kim topper.
Take a second look at your womanly winter wardrobe and consider how you can fit a little bit of the boys into it. You’ll be glad you did.
Look 1: Menswear-Inspired Blazer
Runway: Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2012 RTW
Real Way: Modcloth Keynote to Self Blazer, $92.99
Look 2: Menswear-Inspired Pencil Skirt
Runway: Donna Karan Fall 2012 RTW
Real Way: Roland Mouret Betsey herringbone Wool Pencil Skirt, now $435
Look 3: Menwear-Inspired Coat
Runway: Pamella Roland Fall 2012 RTW
Real Way: Carling Coat, now $55
Look 4: Fedora
Runway: Ruffian Fall 2012 RTW
Real Way: Mr. Kim Everett, $285
– Alia Rajput
Image Layout: Second City Style
Runway Images: WWD