Women wearing men’s clothes: A feminist act or a sexy trend?

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According to an article published this year in the Huffington Post UK, women wearing men’s clothing, is fast becoming a trend.

Writing an article for the F Word,  Lucy Rycroft-Smith, documented wearing men’s clothes for a month. Her ultimate conclusion, resulted in her feeling more “comfortable”, with items that had never been so “flattering”.

Perhaps this movement of women putting on men’s attire, is a feminist act – fighting back from work rules that suggest flats for men and inches for women. Just last week, government rejected an appeal to stop bosses from being able to force females, to wear high heels.

Wearing a blazer at school, I am reminded back to a time of easy simplicity. Phone in one pocket, keys and school card in another. High heels were strictly for evenings out, and as much as I tried to make my skirt shorter and my tops tighter, I could never emulate the sexy office look, that is contradictory to the ideals of men’s sophistication.

Growing up, you are soon taught which gender you belong too, even if you were allowed to wear blue. My shoes had butterflies; my socks were frilly. I could wear a jumper, but I could also wear a cardigan. No matter how many decades have gone by, gender dressing, is still a taboo.

Sarah Bernhardt, in the 1870’s, sent shock waves through Paris, by wearing a custom-made trouser suit. By 1914, Coco Chanel designed her first suit. Revolutionising the fashion world, her designs featured jersey – a fabric associated with men’s underwear. She made everyday items like trousers, an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe.

Although suits for women are nothing new, they are more a representation of men. In addition: ties, long sleeve shirts, and practical tailored clothing, with soft materials. For the opposite sex – think form-fitting; flimsy blouses and items all designed, to flaunt your best assets. High-school is certainly the last time I wore a jacket, that contained inside pockets. The only exception, is when I took home my now ex boyfriend’s suit jacket.

Classed as androgyny, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, rebelled against society’s view of femininity. When Audrey Hepburn nevertheless, woke up in Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a man’s crisp, white shirt, there was an element of daintiness, mixed in with raw sex appeal.

There’s no denying, a woman putting on items made for a man, displays power. That power can easily turn to sex. How do you look cute and sexy at the same time – put on your boyfriends shirt.

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As I wore my ex’s suit to my photo shoot, I naturally stood taller. My face tensed to seriousness, and my nerves felt covered with this shoulder padded jacket, that bellowed for command. The shirt was missing; maybe covering myself completely would have removed too much, of my female sex appeal.

Fashion has re edited the standard man’s wardrobe over the years, and re designed it for women. And yet, this trend of women shopping in the men’s section, is booming.

How far you go, seems to be, what defines your intentions. Instead of choosing the women’s section, heading to the man’s and going full on, in today’s world, is still a bold move. We are supposedly not meant to seek pockets, ask for appropriate shoes and wear large jackets, that hide our womanly bodies. If you do, you are androgynous.

Angelina Jolie received high praise, for allowing Shiloh to cut her hair short and wear clothes for boys. Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry on the other hand, still had comments remarked, on how their short hair, is “boyish” and “unsexy”.

Take a tiny dip, into a man’s side of a department store, you can be sexy. Re do a man’s wardrobe with a feminist touch, you are fashion forward. Go all the way, and you might stand out in a crowd, or unknowingly be called a feminist. Unisex clothing has arisen, but will the rise ever make it to a social norm?

How do you feel, when wearing men’s clothes? Is it something you would consider?

Credit: Geoff Nichols Photography



21 thoughts on “Women wearing men’s clothes: A feminist act or a sexy trend?

  1. I’m not a feminist- far from it- and LOVE this look! You make it look so classy. As always, you look beautiful. I have always been partial to boys shoes. Women’s shoes always have pink or glitter on them, and I much prefer just white, or just black without the pink and the glitter. I am also a wildlife photographer and when looking for outdoor clothing, the women’s Columbia shirts are pink, yellow and purple, while the men’s are in neutral colors that blend into the outside foliage (as you should when taking wildlife photos!). I would love to wear more men’s clothing, and just may incorporate more into my wardrobe! Great post! You look stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I think it’s silly how we differentiate between what colours should be for what gender. I can understand with babies when you want people to know if you have had a girl or boy, but surly as adults we should be choose whether we want neutral or purple! I would be interested in knowing more about your wildlife photography and I would say go for it – add more men’s clothes. Thank you for taking the time read!

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      • It is silly! And I agree that it’s understandable with babies, though, I had two girls and even dressed head to toe in pink and bows, people still asked if they were girls or boys! 🙂 I don’t get out much anymore for photography, especially now since we’re approaching the HOT season in Florida, but I do have a Facebook page (S 🙂 Florida wildlife isn’t as exciting as Africa. 🙂

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  2. I LOVE the idea of it but never seem to be able to pull it off!
    I’ll never stop in my search to recreate Carrie’s Best Man outfit in Sex and the City! That was the first time I bowed to this idea!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely forgot about that outfit – and I LOVE Sex and the City! I think she did what many do – add a feminine touch. Like it was quite fitted, she had a lot of makeup and that hat! I am inspired by it now too. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. xx

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      • How amazing is it! I still binge on it every now and again. That outfit is defo in my top 5 for Carrie 🙂 I’m now going to look into it better, I have a wedding coming up this summer and I think I may keep an eye out for something like this. I think its so chic 🙂 xx

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        • There is a shop, this photographer was telling me about. It specifically makes men’s clothing for women. Once I get the name, I will let you know! And yes, I don’t really see it on T.V anymore, but if I do I watch. It’s kind of like with Friends. Do you have a favourite Carrie outfit of all time? xx


  3. Wonderful Article, thought provoking as well. I am not a feminist, but cannot deny the skewed power game that has been going on since time forever. Recently I was watching a documentary on child psychology. The professor from Harvard did an experiment where they concluded that girls even at a very small age are very much aware of the gender specificities and differences like choice of colors, use of razor etc way before the boys become aware. This also means that girls are made aware by the society early enough what is appropriate for girls and are meant for boys.
    Loved reading your take on the issue and of course androgynous look is as appealing as the feminine look, it all depends on the confidence with which you carry the look. Loved your look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and give your thoughts.
      That’s really interesting. I didn’t know girls were more aware before boys. I remember being a child and knowing that pink and purple were girls colours, and I wanted to avoid shades like green.

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  5. this is a great post really interesting! I don’t think its an act of feminism to wear mens clothes, sometimes it’s good to wear slightly less form fitting clothes. and what’s wrong with feminism anyway?I feel this term can be seen so negatively now days

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree; the term feminism can be seen really negatively. I think the problem is, most people do not understand exactly what the term means, because people stereotype it as some kind of extreme view. I myself, admit I do not know the exact definition. But it is definitely good to wear slightly less form-fitting clothes!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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