Why You Should be Shopping Menswear as a Woman
You know how some days you just want to achieve that perfectly casual, androgynous look? YA. Well then it would make sense to borrow from the boys, right?Shopping menswear is one of my favourite hacks, if we want to call it that (which we don’t really because it’s kind of an annoying and overused word).
As women, we really get a lot of leeway in terms of fashion and it seems a shame not to take advantage. Just like petite women might shop in the (cheaper) kids section, most of us could do at least a little shopping in the men’s section.
In the interests of full disclosure, I feel it worth noting that I mostly only shop men’s clothing in vintage and used shops. Occasionally at H&M and I would NOT hesitate to shop elsewhere but given I have a mild shopping addiction (mild? Hmmm, suspect…) I really attempt to steer clear of all sections of most stores ;-)
All photos in this post by the incomparable Andy Nichols <3
Here are the menswear items I highly recommend you start adding into your rotation:
Now this is one I bet a lot of you wouldn’t think of. But men’s jackets can be perfect! Not for every day, sure, and not for dressing up, but for a casual look they can be the perfect topper.
I got this one at least a decade ago and if I’m not mistaken I paid about $6 for it. Yet I receive a compliment every single time I wear it. Everyone loves it!
When shopping used, I shop men's button-ups galore! They’re often at prices lower than women’s garments simply because men are less likely to over-shop - I think I read that somewhere. Note: this works best for small chested ladies because the chest on a man's shirt won’t have a rounded shape, ergo space for a chest, for obvious reasons.
Wear them knotted, tucked, severe or soft, with a little lace peeking out, dressed up or down...I mean this is the most versatile item on this list. I also love that loads of men's button-ups have extra details at the cuff and collar that women's shirts usually don't, and I love the bold, graphic colours and patterns.
Blazers! Men’s blazers are often longer, made of heavier (aka nicer) material, have better detailing, and just seem to be in a different class than at least the inexpensive women's blazers (I assume owing to the fact that men wear more blazers and therefore need more differentiating styles?).
These two blazers, the wine one especially, get more play in my wardrobe than almost any others. I even included my other vintage men's blazer in my Fall 10 x 10 Style Challenge because I find it so easy to wear. You guys! You need to start considering men's blazers, most especially if you're tall like me :)
I love wearing a used men’s jean instead of the newer, more expensive women’s “boyfriend” jeans. Just get the real thing! And use them for perfect, high-waisted cut-off jean shorts in summer, too. Frankly, men’s jeans are just super comfy and they’re my fave weekend bum-around attire. I'm currently on the hunt for a slightly less distressed pair ;-)
This is sort of a gimme - I mean tees are basically unisex anyways if you ask me. But! Mens tees are perfect for that slightly oversized but adorable look, making them great for tucking or knotting.
Also, you’re more likely to find an actually worn band tee or something because it’s my theory that men hang onto things a lot longer than women and ergo their items will not necessarily be as new once they hit the thrift shop. It's not a *perfect* theory...
Think about how great it feels to slip on a boyfriend’s cosy hoodie. Well, this is just the more “daytime appropriate” version of that! A lot like blazers, men’s sweaters are often made of better materials and meant to last, which can make them excellent investments (especially if you happen to find them used!).
This particular look combines two of my fave menswear items: the sweater and the flannel button-up underneath, too. And the weightiness of this sweater is so comforting on a crisp day when the idea of something wispy just will not do.
Menswear! You're majorly missing out if you're a woman who isn't at the very least shopping in the men's section of your local Value Village or that cute little vintage shop. Keep your eyes open for beautiful details and nice, heavy materials made to last. They get more of that stuff than us ladies do!