Last week I found myself rooting around in my husband’s closet. I was looking for a masculine tilt to what I was wearing and I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to start. He has an amazing and I mean ah-mazing, collection of vintage menswear from coats to slacks to sweaters to sunglasses to t-shirts. This was one of the first things I noticed about him when I met him. He has great fashion sense. And I couldn’t wait to get into his…. closet.
I’ve always loved women wearing menswear. I remember the first time I saw Madonna in her “Express Yourself” video. The monocle, the black lace bra with the suit. Between that and the 1930’s Hollywood vibe with the lingerie and pea green bias cut dress I was in heaven. Then there’s the Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bustier over the pinstripe trousers. Genius. That gem was the showpiece of the Vogue Tour in my opinion. I ended up seeing the bustier in person at an exhibit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland about 14 years ago. I stood there for at least 15 minutes. That thing is even more awesome in person.
Then there is Marlene Dietrich with her tuxedo and top hat in the movie Morocco. Always wearing pants and getting flack for it, she somehow embodied a feminine mystique that was only magnified by her masculine attire. I think that it’s the juxtaposition of hard and soft that I am so fond of. The curls, the nail polish, the lipstick up against the straight cut of a suit. Nothing better.
Now I can’t wear a bustier to work nor could I get away with a top hat (I work at a beverage distributor and don’t want them to think I imbibe on the clock!) but I can raid the closet jammed full of menswear that resides in my house.
So this is what I came up with:
By far my favorite of the week. I pilfered a 1970’s butterfly collar Creighton Shirtmakers shirt and paired it with a thrifted black lace skirt. Added a 1950’s glass bead necklace and my beloved Miz Mooz booties. (Can’t call them by any other name.)
I felt extremely feminine and in control. I really liked the contrast of textures and the off white. I really can not pull off bright white. (In my opinion, although I hear otherwise.) The highlight of this outfit was the look I got when the rightful owner of my shirt got into the car at lunch.
“Nice shirt” he says.
“You like it?” I say.
“Where did you get it?” he says.
“Some dude.” I say.
Now that’s love!
This was by far the most comfortable. This time I pilfered a Converse button down, paired it with a thrifted tangerine pullover, 1950’s black glass bead choker and what I like to call my “Doc Martens for grownups”, What I mean by that is I am thrilled that I can still wear Docs and look professional when I have too. I felt like a newsboy in this. All I needed was a cabbie hat and slingshot. This time when I got busted wearing the contraband shirt I just smiled.
I love the way wearing men’s clothes makes me feel. Comfortable, breezy, strong. I like the simple ruggedness of vintage menswear. Modern men’s clothing is a little much. Lots going on there but a clean line is always in style and I find that I can be more girly in other aspects of my outfit. I always have to have an edge. I think it’s in my DNA.
So in conclusion I stand firm in my right to be a spousal closet raider.
After all, all’s fair in love and clothes.