BORROW FROM THE BOYS: Why I'm All About Buying Men's Clothing For Myself

As if I'd let gender "rules" govern how I dress myself.
Publish date:
April 26, 2013
clothes, clothing, shopping, men's clothing

So, according to a survey of 1,895 women conducted by a UK website, 64% of respondents said they have gone out and purchased men's clothing with the intention of wearing it themselves. Personally, I find that number a little low but that is coming from my own experience.

You see, I've always borrowed from the men's section. In high school I worked in a thrift store and frequently purchased button downs and sweaters from the "dude" side of the store. I'd also raid the boys' section for snug fitting blazers, vests and t-shirts. Nowadays I find myself picking up 2 for 1 cardigans from the men's floor at H&M and when my mom tries to toss my dad's dusty pullovers from the 80s, I snap them up for myself.

The thing is, men's clothing is comfortable and the "basics"--sweaters and a classic white shirt, oversized and tucked into skinny trousers--look fantastic. As a self-identifying woman, I like the option to dress "feminine" or "masculine" on any given day, and so I don't think it's that strange that I would mix and match pieces into my wardrobe that were traditionally intended for someone with chest hair and a wang.

I mean, even men's socks are sometimes cooler than the ones intended for us "fairer" types. I picked up a super snazzy pair of navy and pink polka dotted trouser socks from the men's section once that I wear all the time. Is it that men's clothing is getting more stylish, more (gag) "metrosexual"? Or is stylish clothing simply stylish clothing, no matter what gender it's "intended" for?

I'm definitely not the first girl to wear men's clothing in my own way either. Audrey Hepburn would wear structured white button-downs, collar popped as she laid out in comfy repose, a look that made her a "gamine," anti-va-va-voom icon. Patti Smith became "one of the boys" in a similar look in the 1970s. During that same decade, Yves Saint Laurent introduced "Le Smoking," a tuxedo tailored for women, and Bianca Jagger wore a blazer sans shirt at her wedding to Mick. I could go on!

I find it hard to believe that with icons like these as repeated examples of "classic style" that this survey produced only 64% of women who admit to purchasing or wearing men's clothing. C'mon, haven't you all borrowed a t-shirt from a brother or a boyfriend? What is it with men's shirts being so much softer than women's?! It defies all laws of logic.

So tell me, are you in the alleged 64%? What item of "male-intended" clothing is your favorite? I wanna see pictures.