THE HABERDASHERY

The Trend of the Crossover Look: His Convention, Her Contradiction Written by Kalan Laws

Once upon a time fashion was dominated only by women. Women of all shapes, sizes, color and spending power cornered the market in fashion. In fact, historically women outspend men 3 to 1 according to Forbes. If you’ve ever had a mom and dad, this should not come as a surprise… If you take a look at fashion from any level, you will notice a trend: fashion caters to, and is often dominated by, women. The marketing, the production, the design, and the items all seek to entice women way before outfitting men.

Think about it. Traditionally men can’t wear women’s clothing, but the same is not true about women wearing men’s clothing. In all actuality, within the realm of fashion and style, it’s often celebrated when the softer sex stylishly sports sartorial suits, slacks, and other masculine style elements! Many men find this attractive as well. It speaks to the confidence of a woman when she wears menswear. It’s also a great change of pace when women “slum it” a little bit and wear something that they wouldn’t traditionally wear.

Secondarily, it’s an ego booster when our lady wears our clothes. No, it’s not for fashion. It is, however, for pride! Few things make us men happier than our seductress donning our college sweats while cooking. Or warming up by wearing our socks during an epic snuggling session with Chinese takeout and Tuesday’s latest Redbox release!

Simply put, women can get away with more in terms of style and wearability. They put a new meaning to the crossover look. Women have crossed over into the closets of men and taken what little foothold we have in fashion. They’ve snuck into haberdasheries and have permanently taken samples of traditional menswear pieces and masculine elements and made them sexy.

Some examples:

Moto jeans, also known as biker jeans, can arguably be the zenith of masculinity. Traditionally this style of denim was worn by Harley riding, beer drinking, pool playing bikers. Now they are svelte and European in nature, which plays to women wanting to, at times, boast their silhouettes. Moto jeans have now risen in popularity here in the states and women have benefited from this greatly. The variation in style and cut plays to the diverse body shapes of women.

Bow ties have long been synonymous with the gentleman. Some of the greats of men’s style have been branded with this iconic piece of neck wear. Lately, the gentlewoman has been found adorning a bow tie. On the gentlewoman, it can be recognized as playful, yet still an accepted symbol of power, elegance, class and refinement.

Snapbacks, baseball caps for that matter, represent “Americas past time” which is played by men. Men wore them to block the sun while competing. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that they became a fashion statement. Recently (in the 2000’s), they have become a staple in the urban market for women. Seeing a woman in a snapback is, quite frankly, sexy. Snapback caps sitting just above the brow line of a woman, while her hair is flawlessly laid under it is…well, breathtaking!

Sneakers. Chuck Taylor introduced them, Nike revolutionized them and women took them over! Originally crafted for basketball players, sneakers have been around since the 60’s. They became a staple for the male athlete as they provided support and comfort during competition. Tennis shoes were historically worn by and associated with men. As times changed, women began to wear them more, and now women’s sneakers are set apart with specification such as prints and colors. Most recently designers have taken sneakers to another level and merged them with a staple in women’s shoes: the wedge. This has resulted in the wedge sneaker that’s made for and marketed to women.

Combat boots. How much more masculine can you get than combat boots, the footwear of the solider? History has dubbed the soldier as a man, but time has brought about a much needed and deserving change. Combat boots, or elements of combat boots on more traditional boots, are a must in a woman’s wardrobe. They can provide an edge to an otherwise plain ensemble or be a keystone in a culture of style such as “Harajuku.” The rough, rugged reputation of boots is made palatable, pristine and powerful when worn by women.

These five pieces in menswear are traditionally masculine. They may be his convention, but they are her contradiction. They may have been made for men, but women have placed their stamp on them as well. And I must admit they have done a stellar job! I guess Yoncé was right when she asked “Who run the world?”

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