Androgynous fashion has a certain shock factor. The incarnation periodically splashed across glossy fashion magazines is bold, daring, downright scary and bloody gorgeous. It’s a look that plenty of women are apprehensive about trying out. ‘It’s so different from what I usually wear!’, ‘It only suits the super lean model frame!’, ‘It’ll look frumpy and low effort!’ – they cry. I say enough with the excuses. With this helpful recipe, a spoonful of self confidence and a pinch of practice, you’ll be working the look in no time.
Let’s work our way up:
Luckily for us, trends in footwear have taken a welcomed lean toward more masculine styles in the last few seasons. Brogues and loafers are the easiest way to add a boyish edge to any outfit, but really, any lace up shoes with very slight heel in leather or suede will do the trick. I’m all about big chunky shoes – it’d be a mean feat to prise me out of my Underground Creepers – and any clunky, substantial footwear in a hardwearing material such as leather will create a great foundation for an androgynous style.
Time to get things straight: you do not have to don a two piece trouser suit to get that androgynous look. More specifically, you certainly do not have to don a two piece trouser suit with nothing but your glistening oiled-up cleavage underneath like fashion editorials may have you believe (not that I’d want to discourage anyone). One route to emulating tomboy style goes via denim, pairing high-waisted blue jeans with a super soft white tee and minimal accessories, perhaps a chunky metal watch; this works great for a casual look. Ensure everything is well-fitted and figure-hugging to lift the outfit from basic to babely, then go lean on some walls a la James Dean.
Dressy, but you’ll find no dresses here. Maybe it is time to embrace that two piece suit. There are three very good reasons for adopting a more androgynous style for a night out or formal occasion. Firstly, dark palettes reign supreme – black in fact, lots and lots of black. Many women find wearing black a huge confidence boost – I know I do, it’s hugely flattering and generally badass, but I don’t need to tell you that. Secondly, it’s comfortable, and lastly, you’ll surely stand out amongst a sea of floaty dresses and skin-tight bodycon. Pick a black tailored blazer, classic bootcut trousers in a floor-skimming length and high court shoes and you’ll be in fine company with the dozens of Hollywood ladies who have taken time off the ballgowns and tried this look out on the red carpet.
Lily Collins / Leighton Meester
When it comes to accessorising an androgynous outfit we’ll need to fix our gaze on all things heavy duty. Minimal jewellery, utilitarian tote bags in a nice aged leather and hefty metal watches complement the classic, fuss-free aesthetic we’re going for perfectly. Single out a select few oversized and weighty looking pieces and call it a day.
Now the fun part: adding the final flourishes to your newly acquired look by thinking outside the box with hair and makeup. A slicked-back pony is a great choice, you can look into hair cuffs to sneak in an extra accessory (strictly no more allowed though!) and if you’re feeling brave, run some gel through the length of your hair before tying it back to create a high-fashion wet look. For makeup, it’s all about the knock-out nude, that is, natural subtle shades but incorporating interesting textures to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed. Try a thick dark brow and a matte nude lip.
So there you have it. You’ve stolen all the very best bits of menswear to create a pared down, flattering and striking style all for yourself. The best thing about androgynous fashion is you can go the whole hog for the big impact looks as seen in magazines, or you can simply pick and choose masculine influences to slip in to your everyday style. It may be a man’s world yet, but women can definitely wear the trousers.
Will you be trying the androgynous look this fall? Leave us a comment and share!
Written by Laura Kent