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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.

TradButtonDown1Shirt:  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.

Button-Down Fail

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.