The rise of men’s clothing in women’s fashion: the genderless shift*

As gender fluidity becomes more commonplace within mainstream society it’s having a significant impact on the fashion industry.
For many women, dressing conventionally as a ‘woman’ through gendered stereotypes is becoming less relevant- and many can feel a sense of dysphoria in conforming to how society thinks they should dress.
With this in mind a rise in popularity of the humble the suit and designer boyfriend jeans is happening. They are becoming more and more popular on the high street and within the world of fashion. Trilogy Stores- retailers of quality denim explore how – and why – women are opting for men’s styles to satisfy their need to explore new areas of clothing that help them express who they are.

Photo by Cole Patrick on Unsplash

A rising trend
In the US a survey conducted by Fusion found that 50% of those asked claimed that gender was not limited to male and female and this change in attitude has led to many women feeling as though they are entitled to wear men’s clothing as part of their wardrobe.
This shift in attitude and trend towards women embracing their identity through clothing comes as no surprise. In a time when popular-figures such as Jaden Smith wear skirts, the rapper Young Thug claims there’s no ‘such thing as gender’ and Teen Vogue offers an advice column on gender identity many women feel that now is the time to wear whatever makes them feel most comfortable in themselves.

Breaking the glass ceiling
For many women working in big cities surrounded by men who are often in positions of authority it can be difficult to get noticed. Wearing more masculine pieces of clothing, such as a suit can sometimes break down the differences between men and women allowing them to feel more empowered and equal.
The idea that women can sit alongside men in the same clothes becomes infectious, leading them to feel differently about themselves and do things they wouldn’t normally do with added confidence.
By opting for a suit the pressure of finding the perfect outfit disappears – as they only need to contend with a couple of pairs of trousers, shirts, ties and a blazer that can be mixed and matched. In the world of contemporary fashion then, hyper-femininity seems to be losing it’s appeal and clothing appears to be more tailored to the individual as opposed to the gendered group than it ever has been before. Many high street retailers are now offering unisex ranges for example.
In the past the trend has been for women to wear masculine silhouettes – now – many are simply heading to the men’s section of the store.

What to wear
As already covered a suit can make you feel empowered among the men and with one on there’s nothing separating you from them along gendered lines. To make the most of this look try ankle-skimming trousers with a slimming, abbreviated jacket teamed with a polo neck or loose fitting shirt.
Trousers should always make you feel at your best – extending your height and creating a sense of sophistication. Christine Lagarde, a French lawyer and head of the International Monetary Fund is a notable figure when it comes to women and power dressing. She can often be spotted in a pair of slim-fit navy trousers with a matching blazer and neck-tie.
As well as a suit boyfriend-cuts are what to wear when you want to sport casual denim. The looser the better – but try to get a pair that are tapered at the leg when you can. To complement this look try an oversized t-shirt tucked in at one side- helping to complement your figure and give your street and style credentials a well-deserved boost. More than anything wear clothes that make you feel like you.

Personally I love nothing more than borrowing a jumper from the boyfriend to wear with my jeans, and I often find myself browsing menswear departments for items with a looser, cooler fit. I don’t tend to think of my clothing as “his” and “hers” if you will, I just go for what makes me feel good when I wear it. What’s your take in this new direction in fashion?

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Retro Glamour with Rock my Vintage

It was the clothing of the 1920s and 1950s that first got me in to fashion. There was always something about these two eras that held great appeal for me even at quite a young age. As time has gone on I’ve embraced a pretty modern sense of style, but I do have a serious soft spot for both vintage and vintage inspired pieces and try to incorporate them wherever I can.

Today’s outfit post is just about the furthest out of my comfort zone as I could possibly be right now. With my body confidence at a serious low point I was amazed that I was a) attracted to this dress in the first place and b) felt comfortable slipping it on for some photos to share. There’s a lot to be said for the power of a well cut dress and this little blue number left me feeling really quite confident.

Dress c/o Rock my Vintage | Shoes: Clarks (old) | Bracelet: Gift

Rock my Vintage is a new shopping discovery for me and one I am very much enjoying. Selling original and inspired vintage dresses and accessories this is an absolute treasure trove for everything from a 1920s flapper dresses to the perfect unique ensemble for a wedding.

I’d usually skip over something so obviously form fitting, convinced I’d just feel out of place and conspicuous. I did go two sizes up in this style after being informed they do run small and still wanting to be able to breathe and I’m glad I did. It’s still clingy without being restrictive and I’m hoping that as my curves start to grow a little more the dress will remain flattering and a real confidence booster.

I’m almost ashamed to say I’m seriously contemplating wearing this dress over the festive season- still six whole months away and I may have just solved my usual pre-party panic of “what on earth do I wear?”. Forward planning at it’s finest or complete madness? Either way it’s about the only chance I get to dress up like this!

Has anything on Rock my Vintage captured your heart? After having yet another browse (all in the name of blogging,
it’s a tough job!) I have fallen head over heels for this absolute stunner of a maxi dress.

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Some Like it Hot

This outfit was my saviour during the heatwave that hit us just over a week ago- it was great at first, the weekend was amazing, but by the time I had to be back in work and even cold showers weren’t enough to stop the sweat the novelty soon wore off.

It always amuses me how much we wish for good weather and a bit of sun and then when it arrives we all have a complete meltdown. I spend much of my time reminiscing over holidays where it’s not uncommon to reach 40 degrees but happily forget that those are made tolerable by air conditioning and not having to deal with real life as well.

Thankfully I’d made a timely Monki sale purchase that somewhat helped me keep my cool. Somewhat.

Dress: Monki | Sandals: Primark | Necklace: New Look

This entire outfit cost under £20 which I was quite impressed with. The dress (and I love a striped sun dress) was reduced to £12, the sandals just £3 from Primark and the necklace is old but was reduced to about £4 in the New Look sale. Actually, these sandals are the best £3 I’ve spent this year, they’re so comfortable and totally saved my feet from melting last Sunday when I was traipsing around Bristol harbour.

Now that the super hot weather has gone I’m almost feeling nostalgic for it. If only real life didn’t get in the way and it was acceptable to sit in the shade with a glass of something icy cold it would be my perfect weather!

Gold star to me for completely avoiding sun burn though- not an easy achievement when you’re this pale.

How did you fare with the heatwave? Love it or loathe it?

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Get Cara’s Camo Look with Rimmel

Rimmel have recently launched a limited edition collection exclusive to Superdrug. The range is fronted by Cara Delevingne and is called Cara’s Camo Collection. As the name would suggest the products are all based upon the bang on trend camouflage look- from the shades of the products to the packaging itself, and it’s all finished with Rimmel’s trademark Union Jack print.
I haven’t reviewed the entire range as some of the products are ones I’ve tried and featured before- the brow gels for example [the clear and dark brown are staples of mine]. Same goes for the lipstick, although I’m certainly glad to have a back up of this shade as it’s the most perfect nude I’ve found on the high street!
I’m not a black nail polish kind of girl but the other two colours in the collection are right up my street and perfect for pulling together an on trend look this Summer. I’m already a huge fan of Rimmel’s 60 second shine range and camo girl and desert disguise are fantastic additions to the collection.
Most people by now know I love my mascaras and I’m always on the look out for great new additions to my ever-growing army of them. The Extra 3D Lash Mascara is the first mascara by Rimmel to give a multi-dimensional look and one swift coat of this gives a voluminous, defined look that I’m seriously loving.
One of the first makeup items I ever owned was the original Hide the Blemish concealer stick from Rimmel and it’s been an absolute staple ever since. This is the same product we know and love bought up to date with it’s camouflage disguise. The main reason I love this product so much is that it’s a great all-rounder. It hides blemishes and conceals dark circles equally well and it’s perfect for me at the weekend’s when I’m staying at my boyfriend’s and don’t want to pack endless makeup products.
Another multi-tasking product I love from this collection is the Highlighter Pencil. You can use it to life the brow arch, or to highlight the brow bones and I’ve actually also been using it in the inner corners of my eyes for a wide-awake look when I’m really not feeling it!
The entire collection is available Superdrug and as well as being ridiculously affordable in the first instance it’s also currently on a 3 for 2 offer so now’s the time to snap it up!

Have you tried any products from this collection? What limited edition packaging would you like to see from Rimmel?

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Products sent to me c/o Rimmel for blog consideration. Post contains affiliate links.

Winds of Change

It feels like forever since I last shared an outfit on the blog- and it has been a long time for me. It’s a combination of things…being much busier these days means I have less time for taking photos and writing posts and I’ve also been feeling pretty uninspired by my wardrobe and it’s contents. Still, I recently received another item of clothing from Stylewise Direct- the fashion clothing wholesaler so set aside some time, wrestled with my tripod and got to it.

Dress c/o Stylewise Direct | Boots: River Island

I’ve written about Stylewise Direct a few times now so I’m not going to repeat myself, if you want to find out more about them and what they do then please check out my earlier posts here and here. Apologies for how creased the dress is in the photos, I failed to iron it before putting it on (standard Laura practice) and yeah…I have no excuse really.

It’s a great dress though, it ticks all of the things I want in my wardrobe at the moment- denim, embroidery and loose fitting.

I can’t say I’m happy with these photos, they are wonky, I hate how I look in them and I was battling against high winds. I didn’t have time to re-take them so I’m continuing my battle against my inner perfectionist and sharing them anyway. That kind of brings me in to doing a little update about life. On the whole life is great- work is going really well, I’m ridiculously happy in my relationship and it finally feels like everything is slotting in to place for me. Of course a large part of that (and it feels, quite literally large) is my ongoing recovery from anorexia. It’s picking up pace, which is great, really great. I’ve finally pulled my head out of the sand and am doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing. It’s taking it’s toll though on my self perception. My confidence in how I look is rock bottom, I can see and feel every minute change in my body, ones that nobody else is likely to pick up on. That is another reason for the recent lack of outfit posts and one I try to keep quiet about, but it’s also real life and part of who I am. I’m trying to accept I still have a few kilos to gain before I’m where I need to be, and that once I get there things will settle and I will start to appreciate and nurture the healthy body I have created. In the mean time my mantra has become “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” and just keep ploughing through.

Life on the whole is bloody brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been this happy. Eating disorder recovery remains ridiculously hard- no matter how much you want that healthy life and body and everything that goes with it, there’s still that little demon residing in your head screaming at you that you don’t need this weight, you don’t need this food and you don’t deserve this life.

But now I accept that’s part of it. And it’s probably harder now that it ever has been because there is no going back this time. This is final. This is it. At the grand old age of 30 I am finally re-claiming my life.

Apologies for the ramble, I feel like this has been brewing for a while. I’ve always been upfront about my battle on this blog and I suppose now, sharing the recovery process with these random updates a selfish process to remind myself of what I’m doing. In some ways this blog serves as a record of achievement for me, so do feel free to skip over such posts in the future, I won’t mind!
On a lighter note, what style of dresses are you loving right now?

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