Nov 20, 2013

He’s A Lady: Capitalising On ‘Unisex’

Gianluca Albonico shot by Jiès Cléodore and Thibault Dlm Ask...

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Gianluca Albonico shot by Jiès Cléodore and Thibault Dlm

Ask any stylist, blogger, or sartorially-adventurous man about variety in menswear and they’ll tell you—there isn’t any. It’s not that nobody is trying, but it’s so hard for designers like J.W. Anderson and the Sibling trio to sell as easily as grey suits in a menswear environment. Part of that lies within the gender archetypes and society’s backwards view of gender, but I’d rather leave that argument to a more intellectual writer.

The reality remains: it’s hard to find decent clothes for men, that possess a certain pizzazz—a point of differentiation from what every other man is wearing. So where else can one search?

The ladies’ section, of course.

A leather-and-wool jacket from Kaylene Milner's AW14 collection

A leather-and-wool jacket from Kaylene Milner’s AW14 collection

I’m not suggesting you buy into the hype of the floral bustier, or itty bitty leather hot pants—even women shouldn’t be subjected to those abominations—but when your first thought upon looking at a shirt is, “Is it men’s or women’s?” you may stand a chance at pulling it off. For example, take Kaylene Milner‘s AW14 collectio n; once you rule out the dresses and skirts, you’re left with some very aesthetically pleasing, workable items.

Like this sweatshirt. Or this one. Or this silk tee. Or this jacket that cements Milner’s status as a true wunderkind.

A Céline-esque look from August Street's spring 2013 collection

A Céline-esque look from August Street’s spring 2013 collection

If the $300+ price range won’t work for you, consider August Street. Yes, August Street, the label all those Instagram-famous bloggers wear. Their emphasis on clean, streamlined pieces leaves little commentary to be made on the ‘femininity’ of the garments. Perhaps a black and white moto-style vest is right up your alley. Or are you going for the athletic look—in which case these shorts might be better suited to your taste (provided you’re on the smaller end of the sizing spectrum).

Think of this all as reclaiming the ‘boyfriend’ look—putting the soup can back onto the soup can, if you’ll excuse my paraphrasing Lady Gaga.

The trick is to keep things archetypically masculine—unless you’re adventurous enough to go the full nine yards, in which case you should absolutely go for it, and I admire your individuality.

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