Women in Men’s Clothes

I grew up with three sisters, so as a teenager some people thought my interest in clothes came from them. But actually it came from my own desire to be creative and stylish. I can remember my first bold fashion statement was in high school when I purchased a pair of Beetle boots. And I must confess, I loved them so much that I bought two pair—black, ankle high boots with a single pair of holes for the laces. The toe was long and pointed a la Prada’s heels and flats for women in recent years.

In my teen years I got a job at the local TG&Y variety store—remember them? This was so I could make the payments on my new Ford Mustang and buy clothes at Henry’s, the chic haberdasher in nearby Wichita, Kansas. I was accumulating a nice wardrobe of rather dandy attire, when my sisters decided my clothes would look better on them.

On numerous occasions I would be walking down the hall at our high school and encounter a sister in my favorite shirt, sweater, turtleneck or dickie (remember those peculiar little false knitted turtlenecks). I never knew whether to be upset or flattered.

Flash forward to today and I find myself designing men’s knitwear that is being worn by women. My knitting kits for both sweaters and accessories are created with the male in mind, but many of my customers are in fact females who have decided the garments would look perfect on them. These are ladies ranging from young beginners to mature advanced knitters.

Today, my curiosity inspired me to do a Google search for “women in men’s clothes” and I got 7,170,000 results in .5 seconds. This included photos of the same Rag & Bone fashion on both genders, multiple lists of men’s clothing women “Should Totally Wear”, and a Huffington Post article listing why “Women Should Be Buying In The Men’s Section.”

Also among the responses were images of female celebrities who have been strutting in men’s wear for decades. Chanel was known for wearing her boyfriend’s clothes in the 1920s. Dietrich famously wore a tuxedo. There was Hepburn in pleated trousers, and Diane Keaton’s distinctive Annie Hall, which started her own women in men’s wear trend.

And of course in the midst of all this there are my three sisters who are now knitting my men’s clothing.