The fluidity of fashion: Androgynous style

A feminine modern look no longer needs to contend with the over-sexualized cleavage bearing and skin-tight look of past decades.

Instead, androgynous style is the ideal way to achieve a sharp and sophisticated look – especially by using menswear-inspired pieces in the female wardrobe.

Recently infamous fashion model Cara Delevingne made an intentional decision to forego dress wearing for a more androgynous look at the W Magazine party – a night where all eyes would be on her.

Her outfit of choice at her first public appearance during London Fashion Week? A grey trouser suit layered underneath with a sheer black blouse for the right amount of feminine sensuality.

However, androgynous style is much more than emulating model celebrities; women capitalize on the androgynous look to not only make a statement, but also to show their desire for comfort wearing trousers and over-sized sweaters. The androgynous look endorses a carefree slouch and minimalism that recalls the proverbial ‘less is more.’ No one fares better with starting androgynous style than Coco Chanel. She was born in the late 19th century, into a European world saturated with gendered images of style and fashion.

Breaking free from those social confines translated into a masculine-feminine look that still holds an influence within our own wardrobe pieces.

In the early 1920s and 30s, Chanel infamously perfected the groomed look of tailored and structured jackets, moving menswear into the female style sphere.

It signaled one step closer to asserting female independence in a public world controlled predominantly by men at the time.

The 70s ushered in an era of experimentalism, especially with traditional men accessories reclaimed for women’s style. Paying tribute to fashion as a means of liberated expression was actor and style icon Diane Keaton. Keaton catalyzes public support for the androgynous look in her 1977 film Annie Hall. Even today, Keaton’s take on menswear as womenswear from loosely fitted trousers, oxfords, crisp collared shirts and round rim hats (or bowlers) find their popularized places as today’s wardrobe staples.

Even off-duty models and actresses like Freja Beha, Alexa Chung, Tilda Swinton, Emma Watson and Audrey Tautou are sporting androgynous style, and perhaps most surprising is the way that this trend pays tribute to past decades.

Reworking traditionally masculine pieces into the female wardrobe is all about the creative play. Menswear-inspired pieces allow us to bolster our femininity whether with a classic red lip, luscious flowing locks, an embellished collar or a chunky statement necklace.

Androgynous style is about adding fluidity to preconceived notions of proper womenswear. It’s good to note that boy-cut blazers, over-sized sweaters and trouser pants are never in a shortage and they’ll only further extend and diversify your style paradigm.

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