Photographed by Cassidy Palmateer of Autumn Cockroft
Styled by Joelle Beauchamp
By Isabella Telgenhof
Women wearing men's clothing is not a revolutionary thing. During the mid 1900s, women began adopting more tailored silhouettes. During World War II, with women entering the workplace, pants became more commonly worn by women. As women started moving into office spaces, a new wave of women's workwear began with suit jackets, pencil skirts and power pantsuits. Even with the history of men's clothing influences found in women's garments there have still been critics that judge women who wear more masculine dress wear. When women look good, they feel good, and when they feel good, they are confident. Most often I believe women feel more confident in menswear because they understand that men are generally given more power in this lifetime, weather it be fair or not.
There is something about a well structured blazer and dress pants that fit just right that feels so empowering. It seems there truly is something there when they call it a power suit. As of recently, there has been sporadically more and more women, specifically celebrities that have been seen making appearances in suits or just less traditionally feminine garments. In 2018, A Simple Favor, a thriller film featuring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, trended in headlines and not necessarily because of the actual film. Blake Lively wore solely suits for around a month during promotion for the film to stick to her character's wardrobe even post production. But, Blake Lively is not the first actress to promote in suits rather than dresses and nor will she be the last. In the past, the pioneers of women wearing less feminine pieces and branching into menswear were actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrech and designer Coco Chanel in the 1920s. The fashion industry has started to move toward androgynous looks in recent years, and menswear is expected to trend in 2023.
Both women's slacks and blazers, which have been fashionable for a while, have gained popularity recently. Everyone had to return to work in full force after the epidemic's peak, thus business clothes were once again required. This is probably one of the components affecting the trend in 2023.
The popularity of ties and vests has been rising in recent months, and this trend is predicted to continue beyond 2023. With blazers making a comeback and longer skirts becoming a more popular choice, there is something very 80s-inspired about these trends.
2020 seems to have been a massive time capsule in which we all gradually relived prior fashions from the late 1900s and early 2000s. It makes sense, especially in a historical perspective, to see menswear's popularity influence womenswear in the 1980s, the early 2010s, and once more now. The distinctions between conventional dressing lines started to fuze in the 1980s. The decade of the 2010s saw a surge in activism, and now, in 2023, we are witnessing the social ramifications of the pandemic. Usually, when a person is confident, they dress the part, and as was already mentioned, wearing a suit can make a person feel even more strong and confident while also exuding confidence to those around them.
When browsing Pinterest Explore pages, we can usually quickly identify pieces that are currently trending or those that are soon to be. Menswear, or at least selective menswear, is something that can be seen a lot when scrolling. Whether it be a button up and some slacks, a tie added into an outfit as an accessory, or the ongoing trends of suit jackets, we continously see hints of menswear everywhere. Taking bits and pieces of menswear and putting them into your own style or putting them into more feminine overall outfits is a good way to not look like you are on the way to a business meeting.
Depending on what you are looking for, most menswear pieces tend to be easy to come by and are not very pricey. Ties, dress shirts, slacks, sweater vests and even suit jackets can be found at most local thrift stores. The sizes may vary but with some basic sewing skills, altering the garment to fit shouldn’t be too difficult of a task. Shoes, specifically loafers, and trench coats that also fit into the menswear category may be more difficult to come across since they are either impossible to change the size of or are just more difficult to alter.
Finding a good brand that is lasting is the most important. Doc Martens has a lot of different loafer styles that are a bit more expensive but will last with proper care. Really menswear is easy to find and just as easy to wear.
Confidence is always key and wearing something proclaimed as bold can sometimes spur on the feeling for the wearer. Menswear will be everywhere and women will be seen making it into something even more fashionable and cool because women love men(swear).