Sep 19, 201310:44 AMPatterned
Yes, we’re on the brink of autumn, but in the fashion world, it’s all about spring right now. Spring of 2014, that is. With New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week down for the count, we find ourselves in the midst of a month-long extravaganza of ready-to-wear ingenuity as things continue on to Milan. Paris Fashion Week is up next, but it’s not too soon to recognize some trends and patterns breaking through. And some of those patterns actually lend themselves quite well to the cooler temperatures and crisp breezes that are helping to beckon fall.
One such trend is slouchy menswear, coming in the form of broken-in slacks and cozy sweatshirts or tees. As someone who often finds herself browsing the men’s section for oversized button-downs and V-neck t-shirts that aren’t as body hugging as many of the female versions, I fully stand behind this silhouette making its rounds. What a better way to get ready on these grey, chilly mornings than by throwing on a pair of soft slouchy pants and layers, layers, layers? It’s like the fashionable alternative to rolling out of the house in sweatpants.
And just because you’re mixing some masculine pieces into your wardrobe does not mean that you need to sacrifice all sense of femininity (though if you’re looking to sacrifice it, sacrifice it all you want! Don’t let gender expectations get in your way!). One of my favorite things to do is throw on a bold, statement-making chunky necklace with a more boyish outfit. Or allow a glimpse of a lace camisole or bra to peak out from beneath layers of soft, comfy fabrics, and you’re sure to maintain the double X-chromosomes you’ve got. The juxtaposition creates an interesting, unexpected look and is crazy comfortable.
One of my favorite examples of this look so far came from Michael Kors. What better way to top off your menswear-on-a-lazy-Saturday inspired look than with a fur (or faux-fur) shawl? Karen Walker did the look with an asymmetrical sweater, loose navy blue slacks and metallic oxfords. Phillip Lim topped off cropped chartreuse pants with a boxy jacket and peplum ruffle for a tough look that’s comprised of some great basic shapes. Jonathan Saunders used a whole lot of floral-embroidered satin to add femininity to a slouchy outfit that’s essentially an athletic jacket and track pants. Lela Rose threw an oversized jacket and solid white button-down over a pair of geometric-print cropped straight leg pants and punctuated the boxy look with bright pumps. Derek Lam, in his new 10 Crosby collection, offered pleated leather pants with the perfect amount of slouch accompanied with a soft pale blue button down and an oversized sweater jacket.
So that begs the question of how you will translate this trend into your wardrobe. Here’s one of my biggest tips: You can – and totally should! – shop on the men’s side. Don’t be afraid to cross over that invisible barrier existing straight down the middle of most stores. They’ve got some great items over there! If you’re petite, I’d even suggest that you make a trip to the boy’s section in a kid’s store, like GapKids. I bought a green army-inspired jacket from the boy’s section there a few years ago, and I swear I will wear that thing until the day I die, maybe even longer. It’s not too big and bulky, but it’s still less fitted than any of the jackets available in the women’s section. Plus most kid’s stores go up to size 14/16, and I’ve found that the boys’ clothes can often accommodate my size-4-to-size-6 self. And don’t forget that kid’s clothing is often cheaper than it’s often-identical adult counterparts.
Also remember that just because you usually where a medium doesn’t mean that you’re only confined to wearing mediums. I usually bump up a size or two in chunky sweaters that I know I want to pair with slimmer jeans or pants. We get so caught up in sizing and what that number on the tag says about us, but guess what? It’s all totally irrelevant! And if it bothers you that much, cut the tag out. A great fit is much more important than the few stitches it took to create that “L” on the label of your sweater.
Plus, the slouch can exist on a sliding scale. You don’t have to go extremely oversized to take part in this trend. However, if you’re lanky, you may be able to pull of the more extreme end of the spectrum with ballooning parachute pants softly billowing down your long, lean legs. Curvier ladies may opt for a slightly more tailored approach, noticing that they don’t need extra fabric to create curves and lines that they already have.
Ultimately, I encourage you to go with what you feel comfortable in, especially with a trend like this that’s pretty much grounded in comfort. Self-confidence trumps style rules every single time.