Monday, 19 November 2012

How to wear masculine tailoring

Paul Smith autumn/winter 2012. Photo: Marie Claire

Let's talk about layering up, tomboy style. Or how I like to dress in winter. Paul Smith is a master of the menswear/womenswear alliance, I would sell my pension plan (if I had one) for this neat tuxedo jacket and tobacco-coloured pants. Previous posts on mannish dressing have elicited a couple of pertinent comments: namely, how to wear the look if you're not six-foot-tall and model-sized (see Paul Smith jacket above) and how to do masculine dressing without looking too pared-down and, er, masculine.

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

1. Sounds a bit obvious, but that's never bothered me before: a pair of simple heels and a Michelle Obama-inspired contrasting leather belt are the easy way to add a more feminine slant to Tomboy Style clothing. The picture below is from Pure Collection - check out their site for simple basics at reasonable prices.



2. One of my favourite Advanced Style ladies Alice Carey does masculine dressing brilliantly. Her vibrant hair and sparkling accessories always looks fabulous against a backdrop of traditional tweeds and tailoring.



Ms Carey also knows what suits her body shape. No boyfriend blazers or wide leg trousers to swamp her petite frame. She sticks to shorter jackets and erm, plus fours. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it's Carey's signature style and she's sticking with it.




3. Make like Farida Khelfa and opt for a slick of scarlet lipstick and a feminine blouse.


4. I was hovering around the Haider Ackerman rail at Liberty the other day admiring the wonderful fabrics and exquisite cuts, oh alright...and daydreaming a bit about Tilda Swinton, when it dawned on me that classic menswear shapes in vibrant colours are an excellent way to get the androgynous vibe without looking like a transvestite.





Do you have any Tomboy Style tips you'd like to share?

16 comments:

Kathy said...

I like to show a bit of bare ankle if I can, and I do wear a stronger lipstick when I'm dressed like that, which is actually quite often.

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

I'd love to add a heel to my tomboy style - if only I could actually walk in the bloody things! For me it's generally bright red lipstick and the fact that I have long hair. That will have to do, or so I tell myself...

the gardener's cottage said...

what great examples of tomboy style!

for me, i always try to belt my herringbone jacket, i think that helps a lot. and not many women can carry off tilda's hair and menswear. wow, that's a tough one no?

also, i know this is prob a bit lame these days but i do try and pop my collar up, it just looks a little feminine to me.

Alex M said...

You can never have too many white t-shirts or wife-beater undershirts. I don't just dress like a tom-boy. I am one. For me, having a sporting/active dog is the best accessory. Sorry, no poodles, yorkies, etc.! Tomboy dressing is easy. It's the girlie stuff that's hard....

Chicatanyage said...

I do like the masculine/feminine look and have a few jackets that adapt well. I also like wearing a belt as shown but find it hard to find ones I like, I guess I am fussy and like a silver or self covered buckle. Love the Paul Smith look.

mette said...

I don´t like to wear masculine clothing. I might wear my hb´s Marlboro Classic´s parka for warmth on private though ( if it´s available ).
Don´t understand why Tilda is so special, the picture showed is not to my liking, sorry.

Angele Style said...

I do not like to wear masculine clothing but I end up wearing a blazer over everything it seems. A blazer is as masculine as I get and make sure I wear something fem to balance it if I wear jeans. Then with my hair down and some pretty earrings or statement necklace I feel like me.

Veuve said...

I love Alice Carey. I think she is absolutely gorgeous.

I do a lot of "tomboy/androgynous" dressing but I keep my hair soft and feminine, and am generally wearing some shade of red or rose lipstick.

Lady of Style said...

Not my style at all.
I am a woman and I want to dress and feel feminine.
Also don't get the Tilda look hype...

The Style Crone said...

I adore this look and your photos. Alice Carey is one of my favorites.

larmoireessentielle.com said...

I cannot read the word transvestite without mentally adding "executive transvestite" in my head, Eddie Izzard style. More to the point, I love the tomboy/mannish look but I have to say that I rarely wear heels, prefer no-makeup looking makeup and do not wear big jewelry. In my head, all this makes me look like one of those wonderfully understated Peter Lindbergh ladies... but it may only be in my head! Jeanne-Aurore

Isadora Watts said...

I'm wearing my favourite (mainly grey) blazers with a 7 month baby bump, which ladies the whole look up an awful lot. I realise it's quite a lot of effort to go to but I recommend it, it's working well for me...

materfamilias said...

I love this look! I've always loved Katherine Hepburn's interpretation of it, with the fuller, pleated trousers which absolutely swamp me anytime I've tried it myself. I also have to be very careful of belts (short-waisted, and fairly thick-waisted proportionally). But Carey's look? I'd wear that in a heartbeat, if I were as clever as she. And that top outfit is so elegant. Gorgeous!

Maryl said...

I had noticed that the Tuxedo jacket was showing up a lot this fall a la YSL. You can wear it with almost anything including jeans. Thanks.

Lilac In May said...

Great post.

belle curtis said...

Men's wear are a hit for women to wear. I don't know why but women can wear it well. They rock it. Women look a lot better in men's clthing than the men itself. lol
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