Be a real man, dress like a girl!

October 24, 2011 · 12 comments

in Accessories, Apparel, Color, How To, Shoes, Tips

I’m about to make the most obvious statement I’ve ever made on EG. Ready? Here we go: Women dress really well, usually better than we do.

And as men dedicated to constantly improving our everyday style, it will benefit us to check these ladies out. Not creepily or stalkery of course (please, be discreet with your observations), but slyly, with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to learn! Right? Are you with me?!

Seriously, there is a ton to learn when you're checking out the right women... lessons that are immediately applicable to your own wardrobe, style, and swagger. Now more than ever—especially with the 'women-in-menswear-silhouettes' trend going on—the ladies are putting together texture, color, and pieces most guys wouldn't think to do.

Anyway, enough talk. Take a look at these ladies. What can you pick up just by studying the above photos?

Proportion and fit

A lot of guys still don't have their proportions down. Your clothing shouldn't swallow you. Your pants shouldn't pool at your ankles, and your shirts shouldn't billow in the wind. They also shouldn't be skin tight, exposing every gap in your rib cage or fat roll on your torso.

When you master proportion and fit, clothing will complement your body and accentuate your physique. Yes, even you bigger dudes can find clothes that fit. Wearing oversized clothes won't mask your size, it will make you look that much bigger.

Color

Be brave with color! Lots of guys stick to dark hues, or predictable combos they're comfortable with. This very phenomenon is what inspires us at Fifth&Brannan, where our philosophy is that there's more to life than black and blue.

Maybe you're afraid of not matching, or you don't know what colors complement each other. Maybe you think excessive color is too flashy or preppy. Get over it!

Injecting unexpected color into your everyday wardrobe keeps things interesting. If you don't know what you're doing, learn what to do… the internet makes it easy. If you hop on Tumblr, you will find a plethora of photos featuring dudes and chicks doing it right.

Lastly, not sure what looks best with your skin color? There's a Back to Basics feature that addresses your predicament.

Texture and print

These women use texture and print to add an extra dimension of interest to their outfits. Sure, you can buy a bunch of solid-colored clothing and be just fine, but this site is about looking your best on your own terms, doing the best you can with what you have. And you certainly have the aspirations and the means, so start experimenting!

There are so many wonderful fabrics with great texture (tweed, cashmere, fine merino wool, heavyweight denim) and handsome patterns (glen plaid, herringbone, gingham, houndstooth) out there. The list goes on and on. Read up and learn about them!

Or better yet, find some pieces with characteristics you like (regardless of whether or not you know what it is, but bonus points if you take the time to learn) and start incorporating them into your outfit.

Layering

A lady that knows layering. Bee from Atlantic-Pacific

It's the best time to experiment with layering when the weather turns chilly, though this can apply to practically any climate you live in. The idea is that you want to start with your thinnest (innermost) layer, working up to your heaviest (outermost).

So, for example, you may start with a lightweight v-neck shirt under a cotton button-down dress shirt, under a merino wool crewneck sweater, under a wool blazer. Make sense?

The benefit to layering is two-fold. Not only are you creating an overall look that is more interesting (which increases with the strategic use of color and pattern), but you're also allowing yourself to remain adaptable to any environment. If it's freezing out, you're covered, and once you reach your destination, you can always shed a layer or two if it gets too warm.

If you're in a tropical climate like Miami, you can still benefit by layering (though your layers would probably be much lighter). Let's say you wear a lightweight v-neck under your cotton button-down, and carry a light linen/cotton sweater with you.

You'll be cool enough to walk the streets in that sweltering, oppressive heat, and if the destination you end up in is pumping out the A/C too hard, you can throw on that sweater. Not to mention, the v-neck will help capture any sweat so your button-down doesn't get soaked.

Simple, right?

Learn from the ladies

Hopefully I've given you fellas a few more reasons to pay attention to the well-dressed women in your lives (and on your computer monitors). Sometimes inspiration comes from an unlikely place, so don't be afraid to turn to the fairer sex when you're trying to decide how to look your best in the morning.

Let's hear from you peeps

Agree? Disagree? Think it's crazy to look to women for style inspiration? Think it makes perfect sense? Curious to hear your thoughts (especially if there are any female readers out there). Leave em in the comments below!

 

 

Picture credits from top to bottom, left to right:  J.Crew x2, Lands' End Canvas x2, Creme Fraiche x2, Sorakeem, theamericanlegacy, Atlantic-Pacific

 

About

Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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