In my last post, I styled an outfit that had a relaxed Tomboy feel, with a checked skirt, shearling gilet and beanie. So running with this theme, it inspired me to bring forward a Seasonal Skinny outfit I’d planned for next month.
This outfit is decidedly more masculine in style. It’s the kind of outfit Tomboy would wear, not to conquer the climbing of trees, but to scale the citadel of the Big Smoke, cutting a swathe through meetings and deadlines!
My go to inspiration for this look is Kelly from Alterations Needed. A fellow petite style blogger from the States, Kelly has EFFORTLESSLY nailed this ‘inspired by menswear’ style. I loved her How to Wear a Tie post from last November and it set me thinking that I could do my own twist on the theme, with one of my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge outfits.
I only own one tie – this Leopard Print Scarf Tie – which wasn’t going to be right for the outfit in mind. I’d decided to use a thin black & grey patterned scarf and knot it as a tie, but as soon as I saw the sequin number, literally only a week ago, the black one got bumped! Sorry black & grey patterned scarf. Another time.
The scarf was tangled up amongst all sorts of odds and sods on a forlorn looking sale rack in New Look. You know, the rack that contains the last dregs of the sale that nobody seems to want. Clearly, people had completely missed this gem. However, the sequins sparkled just enough in the half light at the back of the rack to catch my beady eye. I rescued it and instantly knew it would be perfect for my suited and booted post!
What if you want to create a masculine look or find yourself drawn more to that style of dressing?
How can you achieve this without looking too hard edged?
The secret is to add a few, subtle feminine touches using texture, cut and colour.
We’ve certainly a few plays on texture here;
the softness of the wool beret,
the smoothness of the leather jacket and boots,
the mock croc effect of the tote bag and stitching of the gloves,
the sparkle of the sequins of the tie scarf.
Everything is streamlined and fitted. The single breasted leather jacket is reminiscent of a suit jacket and when done up, gives a nipped-in waist. Its structure is offset by the softness of the undone shirt.
I usually go for smaller bags being a petite but when garments are fitted, creating a column effect as in this outfit, then I can get away with a wider/bigger tote.
Originally, I wore the scarf as a proper tie but even doing it in a Windsor knot, the ends still dangled too low, at crotch level – oy vey – throwing the proportions. Instead, I folded it in half and looped the ends through and violà, the length is perfect, whilst still giving the effect of wearing a gentleman’s tie.
If I’d stuck to just a palette of black and greys it could’ve looked too harsh, especially as I have pale skin. The three pops of the berry shades from the beret, gloves and skinnies, give the outfit just that right amount of richness to soften the look. Berry and wine colours are great alternatives to black, if your skin tone doesn’t suit wearing all black.
A shirt in mottled shades of grey and a tote with a mix of black, grey and cognac also stops the look from being too monochromatic.
I’m somewhat ashamed to say that my leather jacket has hardly been worn in the 15 odd years I’ve owned it. I kept thinking about selling it but something always held me back. Styling this outfit made me realise why I’d hardly worn it; it’s the kind of jacket that works best with trousers or jeans rather than skirts. I originally bought it thinking it would be great for the office with skirts and dresses but never really wore it with them!
It’s a beautifully made piece (it should be, it cost enough at the time!) with a luxurious silver lining and leather that’s oh, so soft.
It fits really well but as it’s quite heavy, it’s too bulky to wear under a coat in winter but is often too hot to wear on warmer days, when you only need a light jacket. But, on a mild winter’s day with hat and gloves, it’s an ideal jacket to wear as outerwear.
Now I’ve seen how it really can work, I won’t be thinking of selling it ever again!
Dorothy Perkins Skinny Jeans
Land’s End Chilled Grey Print Non Iron Shirt Currently available in the sale.
Precis Petite Single Breasted Leather Jacket (old)
New Look Silver Sequin Skinny Scarf Currently in the sale.
New Look Grey & Black Mock Croc Tote (old via E-bay) Similar Black Structured Tote
Tu at Sainsbury Gloves bought half price in store. Not available online but some may still lurk in stores. Similar Marks & Spencer Berry Gloves
Accessorize Berry Colour Wool Beret Currently in the sale.
M&S Leather Boots (old) Similar Pointed Ankle Boots.
A few tips to bear in mind when styling a masculine look.
– Use boots, ties, briefcase style bags, single breasted and/or tweed jackets as your masculine features.
– Unisex hats such as berets or fedoras, are a great way of bringing in a masculine vibe. If I owned a wine fedora for example, you can bet your life I’d be wearing it here! One for the 2016 birthday list, me thinks!
– Waistcoats in Spring or Summer or under jackets in Autumn and Winter.
– Use different textures and pops of colour as your feminine touches to balance out the feel.
Now you know, you can go forth, suitably suited and booted!
Do you like outfits with a more masculine feel to them? If so, how do you style them?
Want to find out more about my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge? You can read the story here.
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I want your beret! You know how I love a good beret and I've been seeking one in that very colour of ages.
You look darn spiffy here. I like everything and how you've put it together. I'm delighted you didn't get rid of the jacket. It is classic!
You're my beret twin, Suzanne! We can share.
'Spiffy' – what a fabulous word I've not heard for ages. It must come back into more use. Um… it did feel spiffy this outfit, looking back on it so you've hit the nail on the head! I'm so glad I didn't get rid of it either now! It would have been a crying shame.
A masculine look done with sparkle is right up my street. How on earth could that scarf/tie have ended up on the reject pile? It's twinkly and lovely and ideal for today's outing. Great fit on that leather jacket too, fab! But the bag is the winner for me. I'd love to have a snoop around your handbag collection Jacqueline (once the builders move out). There seems to be an endless seam of totes in your aladin's cave.
I know, I don't know how it got overlooked but I'm glad it did! You're more than welcome to have a snoop – Anna – much it wouldn't take you long! It may look as if I have a bit of a collection but the reality is it's quite small – although Tall Brown Fox would disagree – ha, ha.
Love the addition of the berry shades and that sparkly scarf. Masculine/feminine styling done just right!
What a lovely compliment – thank you.
You look gorgeous in burgundy! I love those leather gloves, they looks so warm. The hint of sequins is a nice touch of glam.
XO Chelsea http://www.shesaidhesaidfashion.com
Thank you Chelsea. The colour is a great accent colour for an outfit like this and yes, the gloves are perfect for winter – very cozy!
you look so cute! all the burgundy details are darling!
Thank you Kelsey. I love burgundy for Winter.
I love a good menswear inspired look! Totally digging those boots, and your sequins are fun.
Straight A Style
It's fun that we can also play around with masculine looks. Ha, ha, I have to say the boots are real favourites of mine so that makes me smile that you're digging them! Thanks Amy.
This is definitely a look I need to master! Love your tips for making each piece masc/femme, and that wine color works perfectly with the outfit!
Chow Down USA
Thank you Chelsea. Glad you found them useful. I'm sure you'll be mastering easily.
I'm liking the menswear more nowadays…but I really like how you mixed it up and added in the sequins! jodie
Me too, Jodie. Add another style option for us. I'm not normally a sequin person but for this outfit they add an extra dimension!
A grown-up tomboy! Sleek and stylish, and yet again ready to conquer the world! You are really good with mixing different textures!
Thank you Natalia. I love textures so always enjoy playing with them.
I don't think I've ever seen a lapel ed leather jacket. I like. The clean lines of the jacket mirrors the purse nicely. A great play on masculine and feminine.
They are indeed very rare, Glenda, which is why I was so drawn to it – it's quite unusual. It's all biker/moto style these days. Thanks for your lovely comments.
I love it!
Borrowed from the boys, but still oh so feminine.
Not an inch of flesh flashed, but still super-sexy and sassy.
A great mix.
P.S. Don't feel bad for (almost) parting with your jacket.
We all have moments of madness!
Goodness knows I have let some beauties go in my time….sigh. :o(
At least this beauty has survived to tell the tale.
Exactly, we're lucky we can borrow from the boys!
I think it's so important to show that older women can be super-sexy and sassy as you put it without thinking they have to compete with younger women who think sexy and sassy are about revealing acres of flesh (which of course it isnt'!)
I'm so relieved now that it didn't go but yes, don't we all have wardrobe regrets?
Love your sequin scarf! 🙂 I wonder if I could pull off a look like this with my sequin scarf? Poor thing doesn't get worn very often!
Glad you could find a way to wear (and so keep) your leather jacket too! While it is tricky having some pieces in your wardrobe that only work in a certain way, if you enjoy wearing it in that way you should definitely keep it around 🙂
Away From The Blue Blog
Go for it Mica – get that sequin scarf out!
I'm glad I found of way of wearing it as I would've been sad to see it go.
Another stylish and interesting look! Great combination and the sequin tie is a real hero of the outfit for me. It is simply amazing how it sparks the look!
Ha, ha, that tie really makes the whole look, doesn't it? As you say, it's the hero. Funny how often the smallest thing like an accessory can change the outfit. Thanks Olga.
That scarf is such an amazing pop of sparkle! Thanks for linking up with me, hope to see you next week! I'll be pinning this to the linkup board.
I'm so glad I found that scarf. And I'm not usually a sequin kinda girl, either!
Very cool leather blazer! The sequin scarf is a perfect addition to play up the masculine aspect of the jacket, but with a feminine twist due to the sparkle! I hope you're having a great weekend!
The blazer has finally got its spotlight moment and has found a great partner in that scarf. Thanks Katie.
Beautiful. I am so glad you discovered how to use that fantastic jacket. What a waste that would have been. The thing that does it for me, is the sequin tie/scarf. Perfect.
Well done. You have also explained your choices very well.
It would indeed have been a waste! I'm so pleased I've been able to find a way to wear it as it really is a beautiful leather jacket. Thanks for your lovely compliments, Greetje.
Love all the textures in this outfit and how amazing is that scarf!
Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!