It’s hard to imagine there was a time when tuxedos and suits were reserved for men. Thankfully, those outdated rules are passé in fashion and beyond. This fall, designers are making sure it stays that way.
Brands like Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Bottega Veneta, and Alaia are making menswear-inspired tailoring a top trend this season, with both structured and oversized, relaxed looks that take the meaning of “power suit” to a new level. The silky tuxedos shown at Givenchy and Proenza Schouler, for example, make for a perfect day-to-night outfit. Meanwhile, the Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren lineups saw many ties added to monochrome suits and blazer looks.
While tailoring is a classic trend that has come and gone many times, shopping for it can seem quite intimidating — and costly — if your closet doesn’t already have suiting in it or your style tends to be more feminine. Ahead, experts dish on the best ways to prepare for fall’s androgynous styling without sacrificing your personal style and wallet.
Start With The Essentials
Basics are the best way to start building a tailored closet. “Everyone needs a good blazer and button-down shirt in their wardrobe, and that can be a great way to ease into menswear-inspired tailoring,” says Marci Hirshleifer, the global personal shopping director at Hirshleifers, adding that a good pair of loafers are also necessary. “All of those can be very versatile items you will have forever.”
Add A Personal Touch
The fall runways were full of sets that looked nothing like the gentlemen’s suits from the 19th and 20th centuries. Instead, they were styled and accessorized in ways that brought modernity and personality to the looks, with baseball caps, skinny ties, ruffled shirts, bedazzled details, and beyond. Jazmine Motley-Maddox says this is key when it comes to trying out menswear-inspired tailoring. “Have fun and make it young,” she says, suggesting layering pearls, adding a corset, or going for a funky print, like tie-dye as good ways to personalize the ever-classic trend. Hirshleifer also recommends adding jewelry: “If I’m wearing something super masculine, I will pair it with more refined, feminine jewelry.”
Think About The Fit
When men started wearing suits centuries ago, they were a symbol of status and class, affordable only to those who could buy a custom-made two or three-piece ensemble. Nowadays, suits are available at every price point, which means fit is often compromised when it comes to the lower-priced selection. Motley-Maddox says that everyone should take their menswear-inspired pieces to a tailor before wearing them, no matter how luxe (or budget-friendly) they might be. “You’ll be surprised by how a little bit of tailoring will make your suit look a little bit different from the girl next to you,” she says.
Go For Investment Pieces
Today, brands like The Row, Thom Browne, and Peter Do are known for their tailoring, which usually comes at a price higher than most people’s monthly rent. Motley-Maddox says that, even if you can’t justify $1,000 pants, you should try to invest in quality materials. “Definitely stay away from those twins — Poly and Esther,” she says, adding that most of the pieces involved in this trend are versatile basics that will deliver on cost-per-wear. Meanwhile, Hirshleifer recommends going for vintage pieces, whether that’s a relative’s closet or a secondhand store. “There’s always great shirting and suiting options to be found there,” she says.
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