Written by Peyton Haahr
This or that? It's a question we ask ourselves daily – in basically every area of our lives. And frankly, it fits the bill regarding fashion as well. Most clothing pieces can be classified as either more feminine or more masculine. Lots of people will sway one way or another, choosing to wear more lace and ruffles, or more leathers and suiting pieces. But a question remains - what about those of us who don’t fit into one category, and want to blend the two to fit our unique style and lifestyle? Some tips are below, so check them out.
First off, start with your base piece. This is what should be the focal point of the look, essentially what you want people to notice when they look at your outfit. Take a cue from Off-White’s runway show in Paris this year, where models such as Hailey Baldwin strut down a leaf-covered catwalk. The bright blue brocade skirt she wore is the centerpiece, as it adds a more feminine flavor to the look.
Start with something similar. If you tend towards girly pieces, maybe pick a ruffled blouse or layered skirt in a yummy color. If not, try a leather skirt or a pair of washed jeans with stud details. Once you have that piece, it’s time to start building around it. At both Chloe and Louis Vuitton, they made your average separates a whole lot more exciting and eye-catching by mixing feminine and masculine pieces. Chloe started with businesslike pants, in a heather grey, and then pulled on a delicate mesh and lace top. The slouchy pants play perfectly with a thin top, whose light black lace details connect the two pieces. Louis Vuitton’s look is just as easily copied. A pair of ladylike white pants is taken to the next level with a boxy, textured leather jacket. With a thick hem and leather cuffs, the jacket provides interest and a focal point to an otherwise basic pair of pants.
Next up, the accessories and shoes. We took some inspiration from some of Coach’s looks from this past Spring. Many of their looks feature ‘tough-girl’ pieces, like moto jackets or studded pants. But the outfits were made that much more impactful by the accessories added on top. In the look pictured, focus on the chain purse and heavily embellished shoes. Notice how the look started with a mesh slip with roses and lace on it. More feminine, right? But add a leather jacket with pins and add-ons, some shoes with a good dose of studs, and you’ve got a perfect combo.
When styling your own outfit, pick accessories that are both unique and additive to the look. Throwing on a pair of sneakers (some of our current obsessions are Adidas, Common Projects, or Golden Goose) can add a much-needed note of cool-girl lux to a look. Similarly, in Zara’s recent collection, they featured masculine suits with low, thin-heeled boots. The shoes are what took the outfit to the next level.
Wherever you live, whatever your lifestyle, mixing feminine and masculine pieces is a perfect styling trick to keep up your sleeve. It allows you to blend both parts of your closet in unexpected ways, to create new looks that are both fresh and modern. No longer are lux leathers always separate from flirty ruffles, edgy studs separate from elegant lace. Rather they now work together to create outfits that will make you look like you just walked out of Vogue magazine. Mixing girly and edgy pieces is definitely not as hard as it seems. All it takes is a little time to pick the right pieces and some confidence.