borrowed from the boys

So Hedi Slimane is no longer with Dior Homme, and I imagine many women are depressed about that, since it seemed like more women donned his sharp black suits than men - Sofia Coppola, Helena Christensen, Cate Blanchett etc.

I did think his stuff for men were cool, but when it comes to borrowing from menswear, I never did fancy the suit much. I don't like straightforward androgyny, I don't care very much for the masculine chic of Marlene Dietrich or Katherine Hepburn, and le smoking by YSL leaves me cold.
There are so many other cool things you can rip off the guys' backs, and I thought the spring collection by Paul Smith did that perfectly.
The one thing I always want to grab from a guy is the knits -

Perfect slouchy v-necks only exist in menswear. I can't figure out why. And it's so hard to kind a nice knit vest for women - why is it always made cropped?
Also, their cardigans are usually the perfect length, long enough at blazer length, without threatening to turn into a sweater dress -

The ever-popular boyfriend shirt is always a good bet -

It's usually never long enough for a dress, but I like the way it looks tucked into a pretty skirt like this -

Jil Sander

Ralph Lauren
It's also a good look with leggings and a belt. It's my favourite travel outfit, provided that the shirt is reasonably wrinkle-proof. Wrinkles add character anyway. Fancy leggings like these will also make a good look -

Ralph Lauren
Tank tops are also good to steal -

If they're loose, all the better, because finding a non-clingy tank in ribbed cotton for women is NOT possible. And I always think those cropped Thom Browne-ish pants look waaaay better on women. I was hoping his Brooks Brothers line for women would include something like that, but I hoped for too much.
Blazers that are oversized look very good over little dresses -

And I think the narrowly-built could pull it off like this as well -

But a broad girl like me would look plain mannish. So I would probably prefer a nipped-in version like this -

I think separates work better, and doesn't make the menswear references seem too literal. That said, this suit does kind of throw me off my rule -

I actually really like it, and I usually hate suits of any kind. This might throw me into the throngs of Hedi-loving women I was trying to distance myself from, but I feel that this is decidedly non-sexy - it's not a Tom Ford-for-Gucci pantsuit if you know what I mean. It has a vibes of a scruffy little boy suit, like this bermuda version -

(I love all the boy bermudas by the way.)

Finally, I do like a mannish overcoat -

But only if it's worn over something girly. Kind of like how I would wear a long blazer.
And did you see all the yummy loafers, in those great pastels? I would kill for those. I suppose the men's stuff I like are more preppy than the bespoked, tailored things other women seem to go for. But the ease of menswear is exactly what I like, the absence of fuss and frills, something with structure yes, but a more relaxed level.

Other things made for boys that I like:

- floral print shirts from Paul & Joe;
- heavy leather watches;
- yummy Etro pocket squares and tweedy blazers;
- funny cuff links;
- pinstriped waistcoats;
- brogues;
- aviator sunglasses;
- the attention to simple details for menswear, and the fact that a uniform for men sounds utterly chic and right, whereas a uniform for women would sound really boring.

Pictures from


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