Menswear and menswear-inspired clothing are some of my favorite things to work into my wardrobe. When I go shopping, the men’s clearance rack is often my first stop! It tends to be way less picked-over than the women’s side and I can easily find things in smaller sizes that are a comfortable fit for me. The trick is to go for a slightly oversized look- you don’t want to be swimming in extra fabric! I’ve even been known to take pieces in just a bit for a more flattering fit. A little nip at the waist goes a long way without compromising the masculine style factor.
Here are 6 menswear or menswear-inspired pieces you can find for cheap-
Suspenders 1 of 6
Suspenders are one of my favorite menswear pieces to work with. They are such an easy way to add interest to an otherwise boring jeans and tee combo and I LOVE them with pencil skirts! I found mine at Wal Mart (in stores only) for about $7 (if you go, they were hanging on the side of a tee-shirt display. It took me a while to find them!).
Oxford Shirt 2 of 6
Men's oxford shirts are the BEST. The fit is perfectly casual and loose (and SO good for nursing and hiding post-baby flub). This one was an Old Navy clearance rack find, one of my go-to spots for men's oxford shirts. Roll the sleeves to avoid looking like you're playing dress-up in your dad's closet.
Vest 3 of 6
For this one you should go menswear inspired instead of actual menswear, since bust darts are important for fitting your shape. A suiting inspired vest looks great with ultra feminine dresses or other more masculine stuff (think oxford shoes). It's super versatile and feels really polished. Check thrift-stores- I always find one or two!
Tees 4 of 6
Hanes men's v-necks are my go-to tees. You can find them in the men's department at Target or Wal Mart in 3 packs, 5 packs and I think even 10 packs. They're dirt cheap (about $3 a shirt, depending on which pack you buy), so when one gets destroyed I feel no guilt over cutting it into rags. You don't have to trust me on this one- even Nina Garcia calls them a "cheap thrill" in her fabulous Little Black Book of Style.
Belt 5 of 6
I am not a particularly large-hipped person, but most women's belts don't wrap comfortably around me when I wear lower-slung pants. In my experience, men's belts are sturdier, longer, and generally higher quality. I own a few (my husband buys them for me so I stop stealing his, but I love to hit up department store sales for these) and I get a ton of wear out of them!
Sweater 6 of 6
Colder weather is coming! Steal a sweater from your hubs (or, again, I declare my love for the clearance rack in the men's section. This was a Gap clearance win) and pair it with a silk blouse and pencil skirt.