Women’s Menswear

Ties, and menswear in general, have recently been showing a up a lot on the fashion show circuit on female models, much to the delight of fashion bloggers everywhere.  To be sure, this isn’t a new thing.  Women wearing modern men’s suits and clothes was seen as early as the late Victorian era, frequently as a playful, fetching, even libidinous and flirtatious way of advertising a product or service of some sort.

Or, you know, taking part in one of the largest conflicts in human history.

Or, you know, advertising taking part in one of the largest conflicts in human history.

As the 20th century wore on, though, wearing men’s clothes became more a matter of practicality, or a statement of intent: women as equal to men.

YOU tell Ms. Earhart she has to spend 20 hours crammed into a tiny plane while wearing a frilly dress.  We're sure that will go over well.

YOU tell Ms. Earhart she has to spend 20 hours crammed into a tiny plane while wearing a frilly dress. We’re sure that will go over well.

The androgynous styles of the 1920s, in particular, had done a great deal to get women out of overly elaborate, excessively, artificially “feminine” dresses.  And then World War II featured more women in military roles than ever before, further cementing the notion that women in traditionally “masculine” clothing was not odd, nor was it necessarily “masculine.”

Meet Cpl. Barbara Lauwers, an OSS agent for two years during World War II, who even managed to impress General William "Wild Bill" Donovan with her marksmanship, to say nothing of her hand-crafted psyops campaigns.

Meet Cpl. Barbara Lauwers, an OSS agent for two years during World War II, who even managed to impress General William “Wild Bill” Donovan himself with her marksmanship, to say nothing of her hand-crafted psyops campaigns.

After the war, though, notions of “traditional” femininity came roaring back with a vengeance, mostly banishing women in menswear to the fringes once again.  What changed since then?  Well, the ’60s happened, for one, and then there was a certain character who epitomized quirky cuteness and unique fashion sense while appearing in one of the most well-regarded films of the ’70s…

This one.

This one.

Yep, Diane Keaton’s turn as the eponymous Annie Hall did more to cement what was traditionally “menswear” as viable women’s fashion than arguably anything else in recent history.  Echoes of her unusual sense of style were still showing up as late as the 2000s on characters like Sarah Jessica Parker’s “so-feminine-she-bleeds-pink” Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City.”

Annie Hall wouldn't have been caught dead in those shoes, though...

Annie Hall wouldn’t have been caught dead in those shoes, though…

For whatever reason, though the trend has been looming for decades, and has been showing up sporadically in films and music throughout that time, women in menswear didn’t really become a “thing” until about two years ago.  Since then, it’s exploded all over the fashion world, and is slowly appearing more and more on the streets of major cities, a sure sign that this is an actual trend in the making, and not just another “thing fashion designers like for a while.”

Don’t believe us?  Check out the following gallery and judge for yourself.  We are big fans of the look, and we really hope it’s here to stay!

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