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Boyish Fashion For Women

Updated on November 12, 2010

Boyish fashion is all the rage for women these days. In fact, these days, if you don't look like you're wandering about dressed entirely in clothes you swiped off your boyfriend, you're probably not fashionable. This is grossly unfair of course, when I suggest that guys should go about wearing sundresses and skirts, the family friendly police often come knocking. However when women wear 'men's clothing,' that's totally fine by everyone, because as we know, women are always adorable and men should be penned into strictly defined modes of clothing lest they break free of the shackles of duty, abandon their jobs and all skip about singing show tunes day and night.

Anyway, that little rant aside, boyfriend fashion is very fashionable right now, and if you're anything like me, you'll be glad for that because 'girly' clothing is often complicated, more expensive than men's clothing (now there's an inequality that sort of works in favor of men's fashion) and easier to destroy.

So, what can you wear in the boyfriend style? Almost anything. Oversized t-shirts, if worn with a belt at the waist over the shirt to differentiate between the boyfriend style and the gangsta style are totally in. Large shorts will also work apparently, though I personally have my doubts to be honest.

The guardian.co.uk's idea of boyfriend chic.
The guardian.co.uk's idea of boyfriend chic.

Take this look to your right, for instance. This is supposed to be boyish and charming and entirely appropriate for a woman of any age. I think it looks like the model was forced into a tweed off cuts bin at needle point and forced to belt on the first pair of oversized shorts she could find. It's probably not what really happened, but it's a better explanation for the look than 'someone actually thought that this was a good idea'.

Other fashionistas agree with me. In a recent fashion piece by Polly Vernon, she bemoaned the boyfriend trend, saying that shabbily fitting clothing actually isn't flattering, no matter how it is worn. Polly said:

The subtext on boyfriend-cut clothes is all: "Here I stand, a cutesome vision whose prettiness is not remotely compromised by the fact that I'm wearing the clothes of a man." A ghastly business, clearly.

This is not to say that I disapprove of unisex dressing. Quite the opposite. I love dressing up like a chap, providing the chap clothes in question have been scaled down so that they fit extremely well. Chap clothes are quite distinct from boyfriend-cut clothes and when worn well by ladies are an excellent proposition: chic, severe, and ever-so-slightly transgressive.

I'm inclined to agree with Polly here. Masculine styles can be quite fetching on a woman, but they should fit properly, because women have curves, and if those curves aren't shown off to advantage, they are usually hidden in a way that makes the wearer look mostly round in shape.

Dare I say that boyfriend clothes make the wearer look fat? They certainly can do, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the idea. Even if they don't make one look large, they certainly make one look dressed down and even dowdy. It might be fashionable at the moment to co-opt men's wardrobes, but unless everyone you associate with has been informed of this fact they may just come to the conclusion that you've decided to let yourself go a bit early.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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