Growing up, I always had an obsession with old movies, in particular I loved the films Working Girl and Annie Hall. I envied how effortlessly cool and take-charge both Diane Keaton and Melanie Griffith looked in their menswear inspired ensembles. So when the opportunity came for me to buy my first suit I could hardly contain my excitment. It was my first year of college and as part of my intro to business course we were to participate in a mock interview at the end of the term. My fantasies of channeling a kick-ass, take no prisoners, corporate power house however, were swiftly and resoundingly crushed after all I could find were black, boring, ill-fitting suit after suit. Discouraged, I bought my awful clothes, did my final exam, and moved on.
It wasn’t until three years later that the dilemma of what to actually wear for an interview would surface again and this time with the steaks a lot higher. I had just moved to the city and was looking for full-time work. When I received my first email to come in and meet with someone it sent me into a full blown panic attack. I remember thinking at the time, “What should I wear?” All I had was the same dreaded outfit from my college days and little else, and I knew that if I wanted a career in fashion then that was completely out of the question. Also having just finished school my bank account was in the negative digits so the thought of going to a store and buying something wasn’t really possible either.
It was that night, upset and feeling really discouraged about my impending meeting, that my husband, then boyfriend, suggested that we watch an old movie to make me feel better. I’m still not sure if it was a conscious decision on his part or it was just happen stance that he put on Working Girl, but as I watch Melanie go from overly made up secretary to chic business women I was inspired.
So the next day I took my boxy blazer, had it tailored and paired it with some wide leg trousers I had bought the year prior and off to my interview I went feeling every bit as chic and powerful as Melanie ever looked.
What I had finally realized about menswear inspired fashion is it isn’t about looking like a guy. It’s about borrowing from the boys and taking traditional masculine silhouettes and molding them to a women’s body.
The three most important things to remember about this are:
- Tailoring: A good fit goes a long way. Just like how most men will get a suit fitted to their bodies a woman should too.
- Embellishments: Spice up traditional ensemble with cool details. Go for a bright color, interesting texture or unique accents to set you apart from the crowd.
- Mix it up: You don’t always have to wear a matching set. In the pictures on this post I actually am wearing a blazer from one suit and the pants from another, but because the are in a similar color family and texture they look like they belong together. This creates a more dynamic outfit.
I want to give a big thank you to all of you reading this post. I love sharing with you all of my tips and tricks for a more stylish life. I hope you continue on this journey with me and if you have any questions on fashion, beauty, or entertaining troubles that you would like answered leave them down in the comments below.
The Everyday Editor
Cuff earring: Eleanor Kalle (HERE) Black stone earring: Iosselliani (HERE). Black coat: Bill Blass (Similar HERE). Plaid blazer: Theory (HERE). Wide leg trouser: 2nd day (Similar HERE). Bag: Proenza Schouler (HERE). Heel: Delman (HERE).
All Photos by Masha Maltsava