Menswear Looks: Borrowed from the Boys

Photos: Left: Streetstyle photo with belted menswear wool blazer Right: Aimee Song in a three piece suit

10.16.23

We women have been borrowing menswear pieces for years, but these days suit-dressing is at an all time high. Starting with the Fall 2023 runway and dominating street style looks and fashion-lovers wardrobes, everyone is elevating their styling this season. Blazers, vests, and trousers have always been closet staples, sure, but make more of a statement when worn together in one complete look. Powersuits, as they are famously called, can be dressed up or down, sexy or buttoned-up, make you feel powerful (it is in the name) and are always considered appropriate attire for anywhere your day or night take you. This fall is all about "businesscore", whether you are looking to elevate your workplace attire or simply updating your overall style. And the pieces that surround it can slide right into your capsule wardrobe. From stylish work clothes to fun nights out, we've got all the basics covered.

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Photos: Left: Streetstyle photo in skirt suit and Prada tie, Right: Allison Brady wearing an Alaia bodysuit, Valentino tie, and Givenchy pants, photo by Shanyn Fiske

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, women have been rewriting the rules of workplace style and elevating their attire, whether they are heading into an office or not. Gone are the days of the uninspiring, monotonous workwear wardrobe. Today, women are embracing their unique sense of style, adding a touch of menswear-inspired elements that breathe fresh life into their wardrobe to create chic work outfit ideas. Mixing menswear influences with formal business attire and high-end fashion inspiration to create daily looks with sophistication and individuality is an art form. Read on for how to achieve this perfect balance.

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Photos: Olympia Gayot wearing J. Crew

The Suit:

Blurring the lines between traditional gender-specific attire, womenswear has embraced menswear elements, introducing a strategic play of structure and comfort into the modern work wardrobe. With tailored pants, crisp shirts, and sleek blazers, women are discovering that there's a certain power that comes with dressing in clothing traditionally associated with men. These pieces may give you an air of authority and competence while maintaining a distinctly feminine charm.

The Power Suit: Let's begin with the quintessential symbol of menswear-inspired fashion: the power suit. A perfectly tailored two or even three-piece suit can exude confidence and professionalism. Opt for neutral colors like navy, black, or charcoal, and ensure the fit is impeccable. Tailored trousers and a matching blazer give you an instant girl-boss look. To add a touch of femininity, pair your power blazer with midi skirts, dresses or a lacy camisole, and you can always add a statement belt to cinch the waist. There are so many blazer options as well depending on your body type. The cinched waist is a huge trend or you can opt for a straight or oversized blazer.

The Crisp White Shirt: A well-fitted white classic shirt is a versatile staple that should be a part of every woman's work wardrobe. Pair it with slim-fit trousers and a blazer for a polished tailored look. To infuse your personality into the ensemble, roll up the sleeves, add a statement necklace, and pair with kitten heels or ankle boots.

The Vest: Vests have made a stylish comeback, and they are a fantastic addition to your menswear-inspired wardrobe. Wear a vest alone or layer it over a button-down shirt or a slim white short sleeve tee, and pair it with wide leg trousers for a sleek, contemporary look. The key is to wear a matching vest & pants whether it's a solid color or pinstripe.

Black Pants: Every woman needs a great pair of black classic pants in her wardrobe. They work back to virtually anything, but we love them back to a black blazer, a cashmere sweater, or just a simple tank. For inspiration on ways to style black pants, see our post here: 12 of the Best Ways to Style Black Pants This Season

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Photos:
Left: Sophia Roe, Right: Pernille Taesbaek

The Shoes:

Nothing pulls the look together more than your shoe choice. High heels are a great option for the office or a date, but sneakers also work great for a casual vibe, especially if you spend your days running around or have a laid back office environment. Here are some tips for great shoe options to work back to your suit:

The Classic Pump: A timeless classic, this pair of heels is a must-have in every woman's shoe collection and is perfect for most office dress codes. They go perfectly with everything from tailored suits to little black dresses. Opt for neutral shades like black, nude, or navy for versatility or choose a bold color to make a statement.

Block Heels: Block heels are a trend this season and may provide a bit more comfort without sacrificing style. They provide stability with a small platform and are perfect for days when you need to be on your feet for long hours. Pair block-heeled shoes with your office attire to up the style quotient and add a bit more edge to your look.

Strappy Sandals: For a summer work outfit or night out, strappy sandals can be a chic choice. Look for sandals with a bit of a heel to add a little bit of sexiness to your look. They pair beautifully with dresses, skirts, and cropped pants, adding a touch of femininity to your work wardrobe.

Sneakers: If your personal style is a bit more laid back or your everyday life is very active, it's a good idea to wear sneakers back to your suit. You can pair clean white sneakers or styles with a bit more edge depending on your work environment or where you are going that day. The street style set lean towards these New Balance, Adidas, or Balenciaga styles, but whatever option you choose, sneakers create a cool vibe paired back to any suit.

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Photos: Left: Streetstyle menswear trench styled with New Balance sneakers, Right: Streetstyle blazer styled with Adidas Sambas sneakers

Other Pieces to Consider:

Formal business attire forms the core of a professional wardrobe. These pieces stand the test of time and exude a timeless elegance that is sure to leave a lasting impression. From pencil skirts to tailored blouses, here are some essentials that belong in your formal business attire collection:

The Pencil Skirt: A well-fitted pencil skirt is a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down. It's a quintessential part of any work wardrobe. Choose a classic color like black or gray and pair it with an oversized men's shirt, a statement blouse, or a cropped blazer.

The Sheath Dress: A tailored sheath dress is an elegant choice to wear under a blazer or menswear coat. Its clean lines and simple silhouette make it a favorite dress to throw on when you want to make minimal effort but still need to look chic! Accessorize with a statement belt or a structured blazer to complete the look.

The Trench Coat: A classic trench coat is the perfect outerwear piece to finish off any look, dressy or casual. It adds a touch of sophistication and keeps you warm and dry in the fall and spring. Opt for a neutral color like beige or black for versatility.

The Shirt Dress: Nothing says "borrowed from the boys, but made for women" more than a shirt dress. This style can be casual or dressed up for work and looks great with a blazer thrown over it. Like the power suit, it easily pairs back to heels or sneakers, depending on your style and where you are going. Whether it's an office style or casual style, it's a workwear essential everyone should have in their closet.

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Photos: Left: Hailey Beiber in YSL, Right: Sofia Richie in Dolce & Gabbana

In the realm of women's workwear, the boundaries between menswear-inspired fashion, business attire, and casual clothes have blurred, giving rise to a fresh, chic, and empowering way of dressing for success. Embrace the confidence that comes with tailored suits, elevate your style with high heels or create a cool vibe with sneakers and a t-shirt, to achieve a trend-forward and timeless look with your menswear pieces. By mastering the art of mixing and matching these elements, you can create a capsule work wardrobe that reflects your unique personality, all while staying chic and comfortable no matter where your day or night takes you! The perfect outfit is always one that you feel best in and reflects your own unique style.

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