Clockwise from upper left: Banana Republic Fall 2014 Collection (Upper left Corner); JCrew Fall 2014 Collection (Center); Banana Republic Fall 2014 Collection (Upper Right Corner); White House Black Market Iconic Collection (Lower Right Corner); LOFT Fall 2014 Collection (Lower Left Corner);
I love Menswear. The fact that you can “borrow from the boys” and make an outfit that looks classy, feminine, and edgy all at the same time is a beautiful thing. Plus, trends incorporating elements of menswear have been popping up for years. For anyone who wants to see a great example of Menswear as a style done well, I highly recommend checking out Alterations Needed. The author, Kelly, has an clean, cohesive style, incorporating menswear elements that always looks great.
Well, after seeing these style a number of times, I decided it was time to try and incorporate it into my own wardrobe. I stole a dark blue-grey button-down from the boyfriend. I dug up my capri-length jeans, some pointed heels, and a blazer. I was ready.
Shirt: Stolen from Jason; Jeans: Express Stretch Capris, old, similar from their current line here (available up to size 14 Short); Jacket: The Limited Collection Two-Button Jacket (available online in petite); Shoes: Nine West, old, similar from their current line here;
But, it just didn’t look quite right. It just didn’t look as great as I had hoped it would. I tried some different styling and it improved it slightly.
But it still wasn’t amazing. I went back and tried to figure out what went wrong and I’ve realized that it’s time for me to divorce the traditional button-down shirt.
The traditional button-down shirt is a fashion staple. For someone in the business world, it can be the go-to item for under a business suit to make you look professional and business-focused. But, for Petite and Curvy girls, this fashion standby doesn’t do our figure any favors.
A shirt with this style will create a straight line from the largest part of the bust to the waist. For a curvy girl, this just hides curves and creates a boxy, unflattering shape, making us look much larger than we really are.
When I restyled the outfit with a jacket it helped some because it recreated the visual appearance of a waist. But it’s wasn’t enough to overcome the negative shape created by the straight-down stiff-fabric shirt. So, I’m divorcing my button-downs.
But, I’m not giving up on Menswear as a style! I’m still working on how to incorporate this look into a style that works on someone with my figure, but this is one of those times when I have to be honest with myself and recognize that trying to pull off something that doesn’t flatter my figure isn’t the way to go.