I always had a genuine interest in guys’ clothes. Growing up, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. Somewhere down the line, the likes of MM6 and my new-found love for Scandinavian minimalism have altered this a bit. But each and every morning I just stare at my kicks and realize : I am a tomboy at heart. And menswear will always have a special place in that heart.
From Nike Dunks to Reebok tracksuits
My first real introduction to men’s clothes (and streetwear) came courtesy of being a bit of an outcast back in high school. It was basically just me and my baby blue iPod mini. During lunch I read anything from The Source (those over the top covers!) to l’Officiel (Those dreamy Parisian editorials!). And I rocked Nike dunks and Reebok tracksuits to every class. That was about it really, at least when it came to my sense of fashion.
Following those years, the interest blossomed into an enthusiasm for the stories behind those garments. And the respective brands and designers sharing these stories. Now, I’m just as likely to cop a dude’s T-shirt as I am to check through the women’s section. And I feel like I’m not alone.
From exploring to borrowing
Women have been exploring/borrowing their boyfriends’ clothes for years. Let’s take it back, waaay back : As early as the 1930s, actress Marlene Dietrich had a well-known love of menswear that she proudly flaunted. Katharine Hepburn wore pants when doing so was still considered a taboo. In addition to these iconic figures who preferred tailored clothing, the torch was later carried on by girls like Aaliyah. They made the baggy jeans and cropped top combo look so perfect that it became a signature style.
More recently, women like Rita Ora, (who now frequently collaborates with Adidas) and Vashtie, (responsible for giving Puma that cool kid factor) and Rihanna, (also currently designing collections with Puma) have also adopted tomboy styles. And frankly, these styles are the ones I can definitely identify with and take inspiration from on a daily basis.
From Kim to Kanye
That being said, it isn’t always easy being a girl who’s into menswear. While some guys don’t mind, or even favor girls who’d probably rock their clothes better than they would. There are still some who certainly prefer the societal norm. (Booo!) Girls coming close to their sacred menswear departments… must be frightening, right? Here’s the thing: Phuck dat.
So hereby my little ode to the girls with beat faces and messy hair, getting shit done, in hoodies. Whose style is a direct reflection of their personality and interests. You simply can’t blame a girl for just don’t being someone who’s born with a natural soft demeanor or a love for everything “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”. Frankly, I’m much more interested in what Kanye’s going to do next with Adidas. (Or am I the only one who thinks that what he’s been showing is kinda repetitive?)
From Barbados to Vogue
But anyway… So what is it about men’s clothes that grab ahold of some women? RiRi described it perfectly when, back in February 2014, she told Vogue: “When I was thirteen or fourteen, I didn’t want to wear what my mom wanted me to wear. I was very much a boy in my style, my demeanor. All my friends were guys. I loved things that boys did. I loved being easy with my clothes. I loved wearing hats and scarves and snapbacks on my head. It was my way of rebelling.”
From Anglomania to Arte
You see, menswear (and later, the more unisex streetwear) is effortless. Comfy. Laid-back. But with none of the negative implications that those words sometimes carry when put in an all female context. Men’s fashion has this certain timeless quality that women’s fashion doesn’t always seem to have. (Especially if you’re looking down the high street.) Don’t get me wrong: women’s clothes are definitely enjoyable to look at, but frankly, I’m too spoiled. And I just love to have options.
Photo credits: Vogue, Refinery29, Pinterest