WIW: Boys to Men

Looking at recent outfit photos, I seem to be in an even-more-androgynous than usual phase. In particular, I'm enjoying my Zara lemming oxfords (blaming Shevia). These are my first real oxfords (I know, late to the party) and I am loving them! 

But are these outfits too boyish? Do they lack that necessary element of juxtaposition? Note, they are casual outfits for around home, mostly, and popping out for errands. 

#1: with J. Crew tux shirt, Danier bag, Gap original fit jeans. 

#2: with J Crew merino V neck, CM jacquard shell, Gap original fit jeans.

#3: with Kut Diana skinnies, AT silk blouse, J. Crew crop sweater. Playing with the proportions here. Not sure this is JFE. 

#4: with Kut Mia skinnies (sized DOWN, because sometimes it's still fun to wear a true skinny pant) and J. Crew merino baseball tee. 

Next up for review is an actual MENS' sweater. Yes, Ladies, you read that correctly. I was buying a few items at J. Crew (where else?) and noticed this lovely cotton/ cashmere slim men's sweater marked down beyond belief in one of my best colours. (Marked down, I assume, because it takes a very confident guy to wear radiant orchid, right?). So I took a chance and ordered. I love the fabrication and the colour; it works as a "tee" as well as a sweater. Sleeves are too long, but so what? I scrunch and roll. 

Finally, another recent example of the boyish vibe, that you have already seen. 

So, have I lost my senses? Should I put on a skirt, already? Or a pair of girly shoes? (Not that I'll be able to wear them soon, once the snow flies.)

Honestly, I do wear one from time to time. 9/10 shows an outfit worn to a recent birthday party. (Again, some have seen it already.) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Neel replied 7 years ago

    You couldn't look manly if you tried! Your slender body and soft eyes are juxtaposition enough :)

    You are kidding about the radiant orchid sweater right? No? It looks like it was made for you! Wow! Fantastic find!

    I was keeping track of my favorite outfits and then I lost it. I love everything. But the skirt outfit is my absolute favorite! Perfectly dressed down with the denim jacket. Just wow.

    Now I will stop gushing.

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    So gamine. Not too masculine at all. And the sweater is PERFECT - I should try their men's sweaters! What size did you get?

  • rabbit replied 7 years ago

    Well you look stunning in all of these.  Those oxfords!!!  The dapper (1920's?) prince look suits you perfectly.  Your face and coloring is very feminine so I don't think any balancing is needed.  These are some of my favorite looks of yours.

    My favorites are #1 through 4, and 8 through 10. I also think the men's sweater works really well.  

    What is up with the sizing on those Kut plaid skinnies?  I tried on a 4 at Nordstrom Rack and it fit me snuggly but not too tight, and I'm normally a 10 :P. 

  • tulle replied 7 years ago

    I had the exact same reaction as Neel:  Manly? Are you kidding?  You look adorable in every photo!  Now I (even later to the party) really want some oxfords, too.  I will pass on one idea that I've been playing with when I wear an outfit like #1:  Look through your jewelry box--or your mother's, or in flea markets & rummage sales--for a chunky, sparkly vintage brooch, and pin it right over that top shirt button.  I do this mostly with a brooch of blue rhinestones set in blackened pewter over the collar of a boyish blue pinstripe, and it always gets compliments.  Lots of fun, too--the more outrageous the "jewels" the better.

  • bj1111 replied 7 years ago

    you make me want to give up my girly heels.  srly cute with the oxfords.

    sad that i can't find the belmonte anymore.  did you try on the pfeiffer wool with satin lapels?

    also where did you source that black denim jacket?

  • Astrid replied 7 years ago

    I agree with the others and I love all the looks. And that orchid sweater doesn't look like men's wear at all the way you are wearing it. You look fantastic Suz, as always.

  • Isabel replied 7 years ago

    I couldn't think of the term that this reminded me of, then Greyscale wrote it :  gamine.  VERY French gamine in my opion.  You knocked it out of the park. I don't have words for this.  You look just amazing.  Every, single look.  WOW, Suz.

    There are elements that make it very feminine.  The colors, the shapes, your lipstick, the prints.  Geeeeezzzzzzzz.  I would say that you FOUND your mind. LOL.   It reminds me of Audrey Tautou and Ines de la Fressange.  Two of my favorite dressers of all time. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Wow, Isabel, thank you! You have made me blush! (That is good for gamines, I hear, LOL.) 

    Thank you, Astrid!

    Ruth, thank you! I love these shoes...I was waiting for just the right ones. I have learned that colour blocking and tipping of any kind is for some reason a slam dunk on me. Weird. 

    I did not try that Reiss jacket you show, but I love it, also. What I really wish is that I had tried the pants that match my jacket -- alas, no longer available. I would have liked it as a suit. I wear this jacket a LOT, and Vivian also wears hers a lot. (We are jacket twins). 

    The "black" denim is actually black leather sleeves with blue denim. Lucky brand, no longer available at Nordstrom's but maybe elsewhere. I love it. The sleeves are super soft leather that scrunch really well. 

    Tulle, thank you for the compliments and for that smart suggestion! I do have a couple of fun brooches that I have worn this way in the past. I'll give it another bash! 

    rabbit, thank you! As for the Kuts, I'm not sure. Both the plaid jeans I show are Mias. My usual Kut size is 2 (with a bit of ease but still skinny -- that's what the Dianas are in photo 3. Well, my dark plaid one are 0 -- admittedly very snug but not uncomfortably so. And my light ones, I sized UP in for slouch, though I'm realizing that I probably didn't have to. In general I think their sizing is on the generous side. 

    greyscale, thank you! Yes, it's all the stranger that I didn't think of shopping mens' for my daughter when I do it for myself! I got the mens XS and this is a "slim" sweater, FWIW. I think I would order XS mens again, too, without any compunction. For knits it can work pretty easily, it seems. 

    Aw, thank you Neel! Coming from you, the praise means all the more. You are fashion personified! 

  • AviaMariah replied 7 years ago

    Have lipstick, look like a girl.  Your style is so polished and you so pretty that you don't look manly at all.  I love the Zara shoes and score on the JC man's sweater.  I did that last year with some BR sweaters.

  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago

    Manly is chic!  I love your most masculine outfits which I think are 1 and 2.  And don't worry you don't look too manly if that's your concern.  I love look 3, I think that's my favorite, as I love the layered crop top look right now.  Also I have to put a word in for skinnies (4).  I do believe a fitted skinny continues to work well on smaller boned and not so tall women like ourselves.  It is so easy to drown in volume, that's why I've stayed true to my skinnies.

  • bj1111 replied 7 years ago

    Suz, what size do you wear in lucky --at least for that jacket.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Great score on that sweater, and I especially love your striped skirt styling!  Just a fantastic outfit. I bet that skirt is going to see some heavy rotation come the holiday season too.  Oh I wish I could wear a skirt like that :)

    I have somewhat of a poison eye for two-tone oxfords but the rest of the outfit pairings are your usual bang-on and work well with them.  

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Your petite frame, pretty face, earrings, shiny skin, LIPSTICK, the fact that you don't wear lots of black, like to wear heels, and most of all the grace with which you move - makes you look feminine no matter what. Throw in the orchid and well.....that's very feminine too. Sooooo not too boyish at all. I vote killer perfect all round. 

    (Fun to borrow from the boys, isn't it). 

    LOVE the Ladylike and Modern Retro look in 9 and 10. 

    And those oxfords are heavenly. xo

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Ruth, it is an XS. Fits well. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    Angie said it perfectly :) (doesn't she always?)

  • Lyn D. replied 7 years ago

    I can't imagine a guy in your men's sweater- it is perfect for you!
    Agree with you and CL re more fitted pants, they are still my favourite shape too.
    All Fab outfits :) :)

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    There is no such thing as too boyish.  I think that's a different vibe from "manly" (not that there's anything wrong with that, a la Seinfeld!).   You look fantastic.  Are those the new Kuts I have?  They look great!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Una, thanks! Those are your Kuts, yes, although mine are super snug because I sized down. I have also ordered a NEW pair in a size up!! They might not work -- Angie warned me last year that the fabric probably wouldn't lend itself to sizing up for slouch -- but I love them so much I wanted to give it a try. I'll go pick them up as soon as I can. (They are at the border). 

    Lyn, I think it would take a very confident guy to wear this colour, but they do exist! 

    Shannon, you said it! 

    Angie, thank you! And I guess you would love 9/10 since I stole the look directly from you! You can't even call this a "copy" -- it's an outright theft, LOL. 

    Which explains why you are admiring it, Lisa! Not my idea, alas! But I don't care since I am copying a real pro!  

    Denise, thank you, and you raise a really good point about the skinnies. I was sort of "off" the sausage casing look, but I actually find that rolling them up at the ankles solves that for me personally, somehow. It brings a bit of balance. I don't know how I will manage that in winter aside from tucking into boots, but for now, it is a nice alternative. 

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    Wait, so you will have 3 different sizes?  You are triplicating?  Fabbers gone wild!

  • abc replied 7 years ago

    I scrunch and roll. My favorite sentence of this post. :)

    You look feminine and chic. Not boyish at all. And those shoes remind me of my tricolor (black/white/cream) Jeffrey Campbell shoes I should break out again now that I have an idea of what can make them look more feminine - ankles and skin.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    No, I have 3 different Kuts, LOL. 

    Right now I have: 

    1. White Kut Dianas (in my usual size)

    2. Dark plaid (grey) Kut Mias (in one size down from usual)

    3. Light plaid (yellow/ taupe/ red) Kut Mias (one size up from my usual for slouch)

    and now I have, winging their way to me: 

    4. Dark plaid (grey) Kut Mias one size up from my usual. 


  • Alassë replied 7 years ago

    I really, really like what you did with the bottom half of outfit 1, Suz. It's almost retro casual.

    Regarding your fear: I think those oxford outfits just look like you're having fun with your casual/boyish side. :)

    9/10 instantly made me think of Angie, and then I realized why - she likes midi skirts, jean jacket toppers, scrunched sleeves, and dainty shoes. 

  • dianne replied 7 years ago

    Every outfit is a home run Suz!! Beautiful and feminine and incredibly chic!

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    Not too anything other than stylish - love them all :)

  • Elly replied 7 years ago

    I like these looks on you, Suz. I especially like 3,4,5-6. You are rocking your problem child pants here! Of course, I am biased because I love a baseball tee. 

     I do get what you are saying, but you look like you are sampling some tomboy and menswear elements, not like you are trying to appear gender neutral. You still ooze femininity, esp. since most of your shoes (not the oxfords, but still) have a feminine side, even in menswear styles.

     I think I would prefer look 2 with different shoes, and I want to see blouse 1 under the sweater in look 2.

     Lucky girl with the JCrew find. You look great in that color --- I don't like it on me, so I probably won't ever find the fab bargain you did. I frequently try mens' garments in drapey fabrics because I get a great shoulder and sleeve fit and am almost always a men's medium! 

    7 and 8 aren't my favorite because I don't love the color with the skinnies and black and I don't know that I love the sandal heels with the sweaters that are already layered--- it looks a little seasonally confused. I think I'd like 7 with your dark plaid pants though. 
    Nice party looks! 

  • chouette22 replied 7 years ago

    What a fabulous round of outfits, I love every single one. This style is SO perfect on you. You truly look amazing!

  • kerry replied 7 years ago

    YLF in all of these outfits, Suz. There are no fashion missteps in your world!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I'm late to pop back in here, but I didn't answer the real question you posted!  No, these looks are NOT too boyish - and here's why:  the tucks and semi-tucks are feminine, the crop- over- long is feminine, and the rest of the pairings are simply modern and androgynous.  You could never look too boyish - your overall vibe and appearance read very feminine, pretty and composed.  Makeup, hair, and slim figure all add up to distantly female .    I know what you mean though, it's always a worry for us women with short hair and less traditionally feminine ways of dressing :)  It will never be a worry for you.

    I keep clicking on the Reiss blazer pick.  Boy I would love to have a black or navy tuxedo jacket, and that skid, and that Lucky jacket, and that orchid menswear sweater, and.........:)

  • Carole replied 7 years ago

    Killer x 10! These are all fantastic and not boyish at all! You are reminding me of a pair of oxfords I should drag out and start wearing. I sometimes felt a little "manly" in my oxfords but I think it just takes some getting used to and some fashion guts! You could be a model, Suz! Just gorgeous and I do love you in the skirt, too! All big winners here.

  • columbine(erin) replied 7 years ago

    Wow, what a find in the orchid sweater. It was meant to be. You look polished and modern in all of these, Suz, I find you inspirational! 

  • viva replied 7 years ago

    Oh, Suz, 1, 2, and 4 are KILLING ME. Just so superb. Not too boyish -- super fun and flirty, in a boyish way. Tomboy chic. Absolute perfection. Exquisite. Not. Enough. Words.

  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    Also late to the party (or early as it is still tomorrow for Canadians/Americans)!

    I concur with everyone, they are not masculine looks although they have a gamine/boyish air.  I would not change anything.  When my hair was shorter I used to make sure I wore lipstick and was more vigilant with earrings than I am now I have a bob.

    You look wonderful in the skirt too, it is a ladylike look, so fun to mix that one into the bunch of more boyish looks.

  • Karie replied 7 years ago

    Boyish outfits can be fun! But no matter what, girlfriend, you are too beautiful to look like a boy! My hands down favorite here is #9-10, as I simply ADORE that skirt. After that, my favorite outfit is probably the most boyish one, the outfit with the baseball style tee.

  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    If I have done nothing with those oxfords but inspire you to buy yours, it was a job well done. What Angie said! Keep on doing what you are doing!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 7 years ago

    I love your tomboy looks Suz! Those oxfords really freshen up the outfits. Yes, they add a dose of masculine to your style, but not too much. I would say that the looks with the heeled booties look more characteristically you, but the dapper looks with the spectator oxfords are a really fun twist on your usual style. Your skirt outfit with the jacket is just stunning!

  • dashielle (Ann) replied 7 years ago

    So, I'm skipping to the end immediately so I can say "what the what?" You could wear full fatigues, combat boots and shaved head and not look masculine...and I hope that doesn't ruin any aspirations you may have ;-) you are the poster child for what most of us aspire to with our androgyny capsules...so don't change a thing!

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    Oh, am delighted by all of these, esp the orchid sweater(BTW great find) and the paids. I never thought at it,  but it's time to look  with new eyes at men's clothes from now on:-). Off to look at your picties in close ups,  and learn:-).

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    Well, you know by all the comments that we love your new stylings! It's the oxfords that are making me do a happy dance!  The contrast and details in the shoes are terrific, without being fussy.  Love 'em!

  • kellygirl replied 7 years ago

    I haven't read through all of the comments but I LOVE the boyish vibe of these. It really suits you. SO fab and fun! You are gorgeous!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I started to look through the photos and said..' oh, that's my favourite.. no that's my favourite, wait, no, this one is'.... aarggghhh! Love them all :) Not too much tomboy at all, you could never manage that. YLF Suz!

  • krishnidoux replied 7 years ago

    I really like this androgynous, preppie vibe in your style! It fits you so well too. Good for you to have ordered the men's sweater. It looks gorgeous on you.  My favorites are 4 - 2 - 8 , in that order. So cute and refined all at once. I feel you are getting closer to your true style.

  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago

    Somehow I missed this post, Suz, my apologies! I don't know where to begin, but in short, you look terrific and so pretty in every outfit. The men's sweater is draping so well on you, and I adore your patterned pants. The oxfords are fantastic, too. I think I need to start looking for two-colored or patterned shoes now. This is so inspiring - I want to copy every outfit. And the skirt with sweater and okalas? I'm dying. A theft or not, its positively gorgeous. 

  • Tanya replied 7 years ago

    I don't know how I missed this Suz!  All the outfits are beyond amazing, I really can not pick a  favorite. You look so effortlessly stylish and every outfit looks very you.  I am very jealous of that orchid sweater.

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