Dude Looks Like a Lady
Posted on January 9, 2013
It seems a few readers were confused by my ideas about gender bending fashion inspiration. I am not talking about this:
There’s a trend on Pinterest of men pinning pictures of lady fashion onto their men’s fashion pin boards because men’s fashion got the short end of the stick when it comes to variety. Also, the original men’s fashion boards on Pinterest were a bunch of pictures of unrelated things that occasionally included women’s fashion because the men’s fashion content took awhile to aggregate on Pinterest. I like to think this was a spring board for men to become vocal about mimicking women’s fashion.
I took the pictures from these pin boards so I could talk to you about this trend. I know what you’re thinking? Did you blatantly take all the pictures off some guy’s pin board for your blog post? No! No! I blatantly took the pins off of 5 different people’s pin boards with an identical theme and that’s called research. I have a Masters degree, I think I know a little bit about using other people’s exact ideas and making it not plagiarism. I once submitted my professor’s doctoral dissertation topic as my final paper for the class they were teaching and used their bibliography without penalty. So let’s get this show on the road, gang.
Men are not objectified in the same way women are so they may not be familiar with why the above image demonstrates correct proportions of garments. You see when you are a woman you are cut in half. You have your upper body which is dirty and shameful and your lower body which is dirty and shameful. You’re only allowed to “show-off” half of your dirty and shameful quadrants at a time. So the above bulky sweater hides the upper shame quadrants while “showing-off” the lower quadrants with tight pants. Hysterectomy pants, I call them.
You may not look at simple black pants and think of them as flouncing one’s sexuality but I assure you, women are told all the time that we only wear tight pants to draw attention to our asses. So this outfit follows a recipe that is largely female specific but it looks really great on men, too. If a man were to wear tight black pants with boots and a large chunky knit sweater, he would look effortlessly stylish and he may not even know why that proportion is so well recieved. Take the heels off those boots and this is a unisex outfit.
Another detail that is slowly becoming popular with men is the cowl neck on the sweater. A cowl neck is like a really baggy turtle neck that drapes down over the upper chest or stands up to the chin depending on how sturdy the fabric is. The rise of the man scarf is creating a market for men who want more options with their necklines. It’s all over Korean male fashion. It’s just a matter of time before America catches up.
This look seems to have struck a cord with every board I came across. I really don’t know why a shearling coat and tight white pants are so loved by the menfolk but it’s a very striking photo and I’ll admit I find it appealing, too. I mean, I’ll never have a reason to save up for a shearling coat and I made peace that I’ll never own white pants a long time ago but a girl/boy can dream.
I love this look because it shows how to use prints. Men don’t often wear big bold prints and this perfectly demonstrates how to do it. The outfit contains colors that are present in the print so the whole package compliments each other. That’s how that’s done, fellas.
This woman is wearing tails with blue jeans. Those two articles are on oposite ends of the fashion spectrum and could very easily look foolish if worn together. Do you know why the tails with jeans looks intentional instead of like a little kid playing dress up? Can you see what one item pulls this look together because there is a single detail that makes the clash okay.
I’ll give you a second to guess.
It’s the color of the shoes. The bold color on the shoes makes them statement shoes. When one wears an obvious statement piece it makes the whole outfit look more intentional. It’s like a sports car painted with primer. You know it’s intentional because of the price of the car. A Geo Metro painted with primer looks like you can’t afford to finish your paint job. Because her shoes are bright green, the tails coat over jeans is a bold combination that defies how you would expect those pieces to be worn.
Monotone looks have a trick to them. If you want to wear a monotone look you either have to make it as sleek as possible by wearing what I like to call a fascist chic cut, break up the shades, or you have to use different textures. This all black look is basically my day-to-day uniform and it looks very similar to a military uniform. Everything is cut tight to the body and this looks good because it’s neat. It’s the OCD of fashion. It looks almost sterile.
This is an example of breaking up a monotone outfit with texture or fabric weight as is the case with the shirt contrasting the pants. I love that this picture is on so many men’s fashion inspiration boards because it’s a woman borrowing men’s fashion but with a feminine cut. Men are now wearing more feminine cuts. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s men copying women copying men.
Yeah, I know this is a man and that’s not what my post is about but Geeze! he looks cool as hell. This is an example of breaking up a monotone look with shades. There’s another fashion secret going on here. If things match a little too much you look frumpy. The idea is to compliment not match. You always look more stylish when you coordinate, not match, because knowing how to coordinate fabrics/prints/colors is a skill and if you bothered to develop that skill you’re probably a stylish person. But it can be faked if you just google color palettes and copy those.
Hey. Guys. Guys… Do you see what’s being emphasized with this leather detail? IT’S THE SHOULDER SEAM!!!!! It’s like I knew what I was talking about when I impressed upon you that how the shoulder seam of your tops fits is really really important to looking nice. This detail is like showing off that you know that. It’s also an unusual detail to a sweater and looks a little like an epaulette. Men’s fashion often lacks little details like this and it’s a damn shame.
She’s wearing the recipe. It’s interesting to note that her oxford shirt is denim. Denim shirts are highly associated not just with men but with blue collar workers which some people consider to be extra manly men. She has taken an element from blue collar menswear and turned it into upper class women’s wear. This is a great reference for men. She is wearing jeans, a denim shirt, brown shoes and a heavy wool coat. I have seen so many blue collar men wear this exact same thing and it wasn’t stylish, it was functional. They had on brown work boots but I can see that outfit here.
So adding a fitted oatmeal sweater and a long white scarf turned something you would see a cattle herder wear into something that can be worn to brunch in Manhattan. Which is another object lesson in women taking men’s fashion, dolling it up a little bit, and then men can steal that look right back.
I hope that clarifies further how men can use women’s fashion to see what works. Often women are encouraged to take more risks with fashion than men. They make great guinea pigs if you want to see more of what’s possible with some of the items you may already own.