photo sources left to right: taneshaawasthi.com, Instagram @mysuitandtie, thejenesaiquoi.blogspot.com
Howdy Readers! I want to wax poetic about menswear for a second. It would seem obvious that menswear styling has to play a part in career wear, but bear with the nerd for a second and let her define terms. Menswear-inspired details are what take work wear from just the pants, shirt and jacket you have to wear Monday to Friday to an outfit that you feel powerful in. If you look at those ladies up there from left to right, their interpretations of the suit are very different and work to suit their personalities. (I can’t promise that will be the last suit – related pun) It can be really tricky to find a good suit, and because I am annoyingly picky, I have not found mine yet, though it’s in the works quite literally.
The bottom row in the Polyvore set are some of my favorite menswear – inspired items that are constantly in my rotation and are a good way to experiment with this aesthetic before you commit to a full suit and tie.
What to look for when searching for menswear pieces:
Fit. Guys, we’re all on a journey to become obsessed with fit. Get right with it. For jackets, start by looking at the shoulders. The shoulder seam should fall right at the point of your shoulder so you can move freely. More generally, the fit should be close, but not tight. I will pass on to you the wisdom of TLC’s Clinton Kelly, do not buy a jacket that you can’t close, for the love of all that is holy. If you go thrifting or are given a super cool jacket that’s maybe not quite right, ok fine. But do not part with serious USD for something that doesn’t button.“Close, but not tight” is a good rule of thumb for borrowing from the boys in general. Especially for work wear, you want the garment to have enough room for some drape, but not look like PJs
- Textures, colors, and cuts. With some flexibility, try to pick two. For example, Tanesha’s look all the way on the left works so well because the cuts are uber feminine, but she’s got dark neutrals and the traditional suit plaid on top. For Jeniese’s look on the right, she’s got a traditional trouser leg and overall simple outfit, but it pops because of the color and waterfall jacket. Obviously, our lady in the middle sprints right out of the gate, but she’s also at fashion week in this picture so, don’t stress.
- Vibes and functionality. It may seem like an oxymoron, but I think the perfect menswear garment or accessory is highly functional but has those overt details like working buckles or worn leather that evoke the 50s and 60s. In short, it should make you feel cool and help you get shit done.