Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Post: Tryst Raids a Man's Closet

Our guest columnist and special fashion consultant Tryst is your one-woman guide to filmtastic styling, easy to spot on the sartorial street because of her excellent taste in tutus and expertise balancing in ridiculous footwear. With a degree in English and Biology, she is officially certified to make up both words and diseases, but prefers to make fashion judgments. While she does enjoy curling up on the couch with a movie and her English husband, she will be the first to tell you that pajamas belong on the inside…not outside…of your abode. 

If I were to pick a polar opposite to my sense of style I would say menswear. However, as seems to happen from time to time, this autumn menswear for women seemed to be everywhere: blogs, magazine, MSN features. The sudden saturation in the market intrigued me. I may be a bit late to jump on this bandwagon but I can comfortably run after it once in a while.

Something to note is that there is a difference between menswear inspired and actually wearing menswear. For example, Katharine Hepburn actually often wore men’s clothes. Now, you have starlets like Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton who regularly sport wonderfully tailored suits. Not being tall and willowy seemed to be an impediment to my experimentation until I discovered Janelle Monae. As a musician, she may not exactly qualify as a starlet but girl knows how to dress.

Armed with these visions I took to my husband’s closet to see what I could come up with. This may not have been the best choice. He’s a foot taller than me, so I ended up looking a bit like a 5-year old trying on daddy’s clothes - not the chic look I had imagined. But, with a few tweaks I was able to salvage the experiment.

A few tips I would suggest:
  • Make sure things fit right. 
  • You want to look polished, not dowdy (belts, tailored blazers and suspenders are very useful).
  • Adding a few feminine touches can make an outfit pop (like flower print, a bow or some sparkle, lipstick).
  • Layers are lots of fun. 
  • Keep in mind that a big part of pulling off a menswear look is how you carry yourself.  Just because you borrowed your man’s sweater doesn’t mean you have to borrow his posture too.

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