Menswear… anyone?

photos courtesy of style.com
(photos courtesy of style.com)

What’s IN for next season? Are we going to see the same tulip-shaped silhouette? More high-waisted pants and skirts? Platforms and stacked-heels pumps? Knowing that I’m still madly in love with my chunky oxfords which I kept wearing during fall and winter last year and I would really love to wear them again for this coming fall, so I figure instead of pairing them with my usual sweater dress… maybe adding a masculine touch to give a bit of androgynous look would not be a bad option. After all, those oxford shoes are ‘borrowed from the boys’, then it would make perfect sense to pair them with the same elements.

Then I read an article on American Vogue, July 2007 issue. The article says that some of the key collections of Autumn/Winter 2007 are mostly inspired from menswear: tailored wide trousers, lean men-inspired suits and of course.. lace up booties or oxford shoes; flats or with heels. At work, my boss *remember DJ? the one I’ve mentioned on my first post* has used a lot of Luella’s flat oxfords on several fashion editorials last year, to give a little bit of edge to her styling. Would that be a sign of the new menswear trend?
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photos: left, my beloved oxfords, and right, model wearing Luella’s oxfords during fittings, courtesy of DJ

The Question is how would you wear the menswear look? We’ve already seen lots of tailored vest, long cardigans and boyfriend sweaters last fall. I thank them for slimming down my curves and they’re just soooo comfortable ! The article also shows how FAR you should go with the whole menswear trend. Quoting Tabitha Simmons_a stylist and Vogue contributor_from the same article,“The main rule with menswear is never sacrifice femininity.” I think that’s a good reminder.
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Tabitha Simmons styling for US Vogue Sept 2004 courtesy of US Vogue July 2007

I remember being a rebelious teenager who always refused to wear dresses to any functions or formal events with my parents. I stole most of my dad’s shirts and pantsuits, and altered them to fit my size *not in a body-hugging kind of way tho’*. In the end, my dad brought me to his tailor and I got my very first customized suit. It was my uniform back in the days, my own trademark look. But after a while, I got tired of wearing it cuz I looked like a total failure..a tomboy wannabe since I didn’t add any feminine touch into it. So it’s basically important to add a bit of femininity, just to spice it up. I certainly like these looks from Zara’s Spring/Summer 2007 collections, it’s a masculine look with a feminine twist.
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(photos courtesy of zara.com)

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The new menswear-inspired silhouette is clean and lean, a little bit loose, maybe? Take a look at how model Irina Lazareanu wears her 3.1 Philip Lim coat dress. Her tuxedo dress looks long and lean, which she cleverly pairs with lace up heels and a cute bow tie. A new flair of the legendary 1970s YSL le smoking could be seen here on the left, as worn by model Raquel Zimmerman. It’s a new take of modern androgyny, I must say. (photos courtesy of US Vogue July 2007, style.com)

If you’re afraid to implement the new menswear trend, don’t let it stop you ! Make a statement by wearing some masculine-inspired accessories, from suspenders, chunky man’s watch, hat, to cufflinks. Pairing oxford shoes or lace up booties with dresses, oversized cardigans, thights, leggings or skinny jeans, would be another styling option (see pictures below). Besides oxfords, you could also wear those classic t-straps or Mary-janes with a nice pair of wide tailored pantsuit. As stated again by Tabitha Simmons, “While the proportions may change, menswear is a trend that never goes away.” So, would you wear this trend?
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thesartorialistandstylecom
(photos courtesy of thesartorialist.com, style.com)

credits: US Vogue July 2007, style.com, zara.com, thesartorialist.com, DJ/TV