Man Up: Menswear Inspired Style

Posted on March 01, 2016, 8:00 am
5 mins


No matter what your personal style may be, the nonchalance and classic style of menswear translates easily into any closet. While we women have always loved masculine designs like suiting fabric, a pair of brogues or trouser-cut pants, Spring 2016 offers a fresh take on the trend. I am not sure if we are still borrowing from the boys so much as taking over classic menswear pieces and blurring the gender lines altogether.


Borrow From The Boys

What Makes The Man

The trench coat has a fascinating history based on outfitting military officers, even prior to World War I, and remains the hallmark of the well-dressed man and woman even today. While the feminine interpretation of this coat can include everything from bright colors to florals, I chose the timeless Burberry London Kensington Trench for this masculine/feminine look that would be perfect for work and afterwards. ACNE Studios “Obel” Wide Leg Pants are a slouchy subtle striped trouser and look awesome paired with a Veronica Beard Zampa Sailor Stripe Blouse. Tuck it in on one side to show off the trousers, or leave it tails out for a more casual vibe. Mules are back and are huge for spring in every combination of heel height and shoe type. I especially loved Michael Kors’ take on the oxford with his Barton Runway Leather Oxford Mule. My favorite lipstick, hands down, is by Tom Ford, and I think a swish of the Dark and Stormy lip color would complement the Veronica Beard blouse. These Kate Spade tortoise shell studs keep accessories simple, while this vintage Rolex men’s watch elevates your style tenfold with its classic sophistication.


Borrow From The Boys


Boys Will Be Girls

I have been obsessing about this Proenza Schouler Long Sleeve Off-The-Shoulder Blouse since I saw it on the runway. It appears to be the feminine answer to wearing a shirt and tie: Bare shoulders and a halter necktie, a sexy interpretation of the traditional menswear look, and then some. I thought a cropped trouser would show off a great shoe, in this case the Miu Miu club print pump. Adding the BOSS tuxedo style blazer in place of an outerwear piece makes this a stellar look for going out on the town. This kitschy Sylvia Toledano X-Pop Swaroski Crystal Clutch gives a feminine wink, as does another hot trend–the headpiece–with this Miu Miu Jeweled Headband.


Borrowed From The Boys

Borrowed From The Boys

Menswear-inspired pieces are one thing, but actual clothing for men can also work for the ladies if you know where to look, and how to style it. Keep the proportions in check: if you are wearing an actual man’s sweater or shirt that is a slightly larger cut, then pair it with a more fitted bottom so you don’t get swallowed up in fabric. I love men’s cardigans, but I wear them with fitted jeans so the outfit still looks chic. The French men’s brand Melindagloss has been making headlines since becoming increasingly popular with those fashionable French girls, and with good reason: This line features stellar menswear that defies gender classification. I love this Western style shirt, which would be super groovy tucked into the feminine button up Shipmate Pants. Wear them with a pair of HOGAN Patent Leather Wingtips and the 3.1 Phillip Lim Trompe l’Oeil Pea Coat that brings covetable style. And just because something is made for men doesn’t mean you can’t buy it: This Jack Spade Tech Oxford Slim Briefcase has got serious credentials with great design, fabric and details. Hermès and Apple Watch are a fashionable match made in label heaven, especially with the Hermès Double T Wrap Apple Watch. It is the first time I felt that this type of technology had some feminine appeal–and wouldn’t that be the best Valentine ever? Finally, these Hermès necklaces are among my favorites: they are made from Hermès scarf scraps, so each one is uniquely beautiful.

Incorporating menswear-inspired pieces into your wardrobe introduces both strong shapes and the opportunity to blur the lines of gender in your wardrobe. Whatever your style, Spring 2016 promises that if you borrow from the boys, there won’t be any returns.

Lisa Cole is the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle, and her work includes covering fashion news and events, runway shows and boutiques. She has her own fashion and lifestyle blog,, and is a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers and Fashion Group International.