Monday, 22 July 2013

Borrowed from the Boys: 5 menswear picks for your wardrobe

Clockwise from top left: blazer, £250, Ted Baker; tie, £10, Topman; collar tips, £8, ASOS; satchel, £28, River Island; shirt, £15.99 (previously £29.99), Zara.

From the tuxedos sported by 1920s screen siren Marlene Dietrich through to two-piece "Le Smoking" created by Yves Saint Laurent 1966 and even the silhouettes championed by Coco Chanel throughout the 1930s, borrowing from the boys has been at the forefront of some the world's most creative minds for decades. Nowadays, men's and women's departments sit side by side in our favourite high street retailers and street style icons effortlessly merge both male and female fashions for a textbook lesson in androgynous cool.

Bring a sense of masculinity directly into your working wardrobe by raiding the men's sections (or your partner's wardrobe) for an touch of boy-meets-girl cool during your nine-to-five. Ted Baker create gloriously feminine designs for women and heritage driven styles for men: add a touch of "English gentleman" appeal to your working week with the addition of one of their beautiful men's blazers. In a variety of fabrics and featuring linings that are a work of art in themselves, buying from the men's department acts as easy access to the desirable "boyfriend" silhouette. Simple white shirts work just as well loosely billowing out a pair of tailored trousers or a sleek pencil skirt as they do when cast in silky, figure hugging fabrics and this perfectly simple number from Zara's menswear sale will serve the purpose fantastically here. Don't limit yourself, however, to just hunting through the clothes rails - many gems can be found amongst male accessories which would normally be difficult to come by when limited to just one gender. Topman's floral tie adds a playful masculine/feminine quirk to any drab two-piece trouser suit and these reclaimed vintage collar tips from ASOS dress up a simple shirt or blouse without the need for more show-stopping, statement pieces. Finally, if you ever find yourself struggling to find a school-inspired satchel that is big enough to carry a day's essentials then turn your gaze to the boy's bags: often larger than the same style for women, this brown River Island beauty shows that accessories, as well as clothes, can easily become unisex.


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