Swapping Clothes and Gender Roles

As times have changed, so have fashion’s gender norms. Stella McCartney’s tailored suits always leave the wearers looking sophisticated, while Alexander McQueen’s clothing pushes the boundaries of what women can wear. It is easy to see how menswear can become womenswear and vice versa on the runway, and this still holds true on the street.

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014
Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014

Transform men’s pieces into women’s by taking notes from Saint Laurent’s Men’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Staying true to the edgy rock star glamour of the label, this look features numerous facets. With a sexy leather pant, cheetah flats and a glitter blazer, this style walks to the line of ambiguity and is easy for women to pull off. To emulate the slick leather pants, try ASOS Ultra Wet Look Leggings ($30). Wear a black and white striped shirt, such as JCPenny’s Susan Lawrence Striped Tank Top ($15), underneath a floral-printed shirt from Hawaiian Shirt Store ($40). For the printed shoe, Forever 21 sells Perfect Printed Booties ($32). The blazer can be tricky to mimic, but Armani Jean’s Bronze Polyester Jacket does the trick at a high price ($217). Instead, consider Karen Kane’s Sequin Wool Blazer in camel as a smarter alternative ($66).

From left: Dolce and Gabbana F/W 2014, Dolce and Gabbana S/S 2014
From left: Dolce and Gabbana F/W 2014, Dolce and Gabbana S/S 2014

Transform womenswear into menswear with inspiration from Dolce & Gabbana. The Italian designers continued the exploration of ancient cultures and classic aesthetics in their Women’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Printed skirts and bottoms with Italian coins and figures mirrored the Fall 2013 collection, with its use of religious symbols in a multitude of highly decorated apparel. To implement these themes near and dear to Italians’ hearts, ASOS offers a Regular Sweatpant with Glass Print ($56). Adorned with stained-glass images, the pant is an easy statement piece. Pair it with a short-sleeved white button-down like Gap’s Lightweight Modern Oxford Shirt to give a nod to Alexander Wang’s mix of dressy sportswear ($40). Complete the look with silver or black leather jewelry and a combat boot like Steve Madden’s Lace-Up Boot ($99) — or wear your favorite pair of Dr. Marten’s (because let’s face it, who doesn’t own a pair at this point?).

Ambiguity is something countless designers have employed in their collections from New York to Milan to Paris and back. With a little research into some of the most coveted collections and a little spring shopping, anyone can flip their fashion gender role for a day and make a statement with their wardrobe.

 David Bologna is a staff writer. Email him at bstyle@nyunews.com

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