Posted in: History of fashion
One of the lovely things about being female in the modern world is that we can wear trousers all of the time if we want to. We can pair them with shirt, jackets and flat lace up shoes, short hair, waistcoats and a moody look. These models look very feminine, but comfortable. I love that we have the choice. Personally I tend to wear masculine shoes despite a fairly feminine aesthetic as I like to be able to walk and run. Men’s wear can emphasize femininity too, and elements of traditional male clothing can stop senior women looking too girly. I find it unacceptable that in this day and age men do not feel able to wear a skirt or dress. Sometimes a loose unstructured lower garment is just what we all want to wear. Many men drift around in dressing gowns that look like wrap round dresses, at home. Eddie Izzard has suggested, ”Women wear what they want and so do I”, to explain his desire to wear dresses and nail varnish. The unisex trend of the 70s, and later the Metrosexual look, implied men wearing more feminine fabrics, colours and styles.
When women first started “borrowing” their boyfriends cardigans, jeans and shoes it was a fairly radical act of defiance. For comfort and style. Here is Coco Chanel. Although, in the 1920s and 1930s, wearing a men’s hat or tie, tailored trousers or a Breton top with casual pants was slightly shocking, it soon caught on.
A more determinedly masculine look was pursued by others. Katherine Hepburn, for example. She wore jeans in the 1930s when this was unheard of, and usually paired her tailor-made strides with flat, masculine shoes. She was an individualist, with a 5’7″ athletic frame and an angular face and bodyline. Just the sort of shape that looks great in menswear.