Hold The Boyfriend, I'll Just Take The Jeans

I'm starting to feel like menswear is taking over my closet.
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Sherrie Hui
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I'm starting to feel like menswear is taking over my closet.

A few months ago, I found myself in the fitting room of Project No. 8 wearing a fashion adaptation of a leather butcher's apron and men's trousers. It was by far the most comfortable and chic I'd felt in a while. Assessing my closet, I'd say also almost half the pieces in there are now menswear. With Celine pushing tailored pants with Birkenstocks into the mainstream and post-gender brands like JW Anderson and Hood By Air emerging as the most buzzed-about young designers, fashion doesn't really feel like it should be divided into boys vs. girls anymore.  

Shopping for clothes in the Lower East Side, where I live, can often feel like a struggle with poly-blend prints, flared miniskirts, and body-con dresses. The downtown-girl uniform can often veer too vintage, clubby, or horribly infantilizing (see rompers) for my taste. If you're drawn to clean lines and tailoring, like I am, you might find more appealing options in the guys' departments -- I love the menswear at Acne, Siki Im, and Topman. The cuts for men are now so narrow, I don't even need to get anything tailored.  

Here’s a look at the men’s pieces getting lots of traction in my closet (plus tips on how to make menswear your own).

Look 1: The Hawaiian shirt

Hawaiian shirts made a huge comeback after Prada’s spring menswear show featuring 1940s silhouettes and a moody, cinematic palette of burgundy, teal, and purple. These deep colors take the tropical floral prints from island to urban -- perfect against the concrete grey of New York City.

Deus Ex Machina Shirt With Hawaiian Print, $171.49, ASOS

Deus Ex Machina Shirt With Hawaiian Print, $171.49, ASOS

500-9600 Hawaiian Shirt, $23.00, Ebay

500-9600 Hawaiian Shirt, $23.00, Ebay

Look 2: The sheer sweater

The sheer trend has been going strong for a few seasons now as a subversive way to be sexy, particularly in a looser shape. The dots on this Acne sweater have just a touch of humor and whimsy, and the men’s cut feels just oversize enough for me to get away with it during the day (I wear a nude soft bra underneath).

Pierce Black Sweater, $370.00, Acne Studios

Pierce Black Sweater, $370.00, Acne Studios

Me, in the Pierce sweater. 

Me, in the Pierce sweater. 

Look 3: The fashion apron

For girls who can’t stomach another skin-tight cocktail dress atop wobbly stilettos, this suede apron and trousers look by emerging men’s designer Siki Im has all my favorite elements of eveningwear: tailoring, nonchalance, and subtle aggression. Im showed a series of stylized butcher’s aprons last fall in wool, suede, and metallic leathers, elevating an industrial basic.

Butchers Apron, $489.00, H.Lorenzo
 
 

Butchers Apron, $489.00, H.Lorenzo

 

 

Me, in a Siki Im apron from a couple of seasons ago. 

Me, in a Siki Im apron from a couple of seasons ago. 

Look 4: The tuxedo jacket

Everyone knows that a black blazer is closet staple. If you’re looking for an evening version, a men’s peak lapel tuxedo jacket will always serve you well. My Balenciaga is a hand-me-down from a dear friend. To balance the masculine shape, I usually pair it with lace, something sheer, or a crop top.

Black Slim-Fit Wool Tuxedo, $2950.00, Mr. Porter
 

Black Slim-Fit Wool Tuxedo, $2950.00, Mr. Porter

 

Me, in my Balenciaga tuxedo jacket. 

Me, in my Balenciaga tuxedo jacket. 

Look 5: The sweatshirt

I live in this grey sweatshirt every weekend (and lazier weekdays). Sweatshirt dressing coincides with all the off-the-court sportswear that’s exploded onto the runways. I wear mine with a leather skirt and chunky heels or a light tailored coat, to keep the look sharp. 

Men Sweat Long Sleeve Shirt, $29.90, Uniqlo

Men Sweat Long Sleeve Shirt, $29.90, Uniqlo

The Uniqlo sweatshirt, my way. 

The Uniqlo sweatshirt, my way. 

Anybody else like to borrow from the boys? Tell me your favorite pieces in the comments section. 

Photos by Emily Anne Epstein