Annie Hall Lives

Discussion
Apr 29, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Women wearing men’s clothing or at least designs inspired by what guys have on is, as a Forbes.com article points out, "an enduring trend in fashion." Many of today’s top women’s brands including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani began as male clothing lines.

Even Brooks Brothers with its masculine heritage now derives 20 percent of its sales revenue from women’s clothing.

The trendy Thomas Pink brand has grown its business by essentially putting women in men’s tailored shirts.

"When the brand first launched, it was aimed at the young working guy in London who wanted a really good Jermyn Street product but was looking for a place to buy it for a lesser price," Jonathan Heilbron, chief executive officer of Thomas Pink, told Forbes.com. "I think what happened at the time was these guys were wearing lovely colored shirts, and their girlfriends decided that they quite liked them and wanted to wear them too. Women gravitated toward this tailored product made of lovely fabrics. They thought, ‘it’s great wearing my boyfriend’s shirt on the weekend, but I want something a little bit more structured to wear under a suit at work as well.’"

Discussion Questions: Why do you think men’s clothing inspired fashions are in such demand by women today? Are there particular designers or retailers you think have been really effective of tapping into this demand? What are they doing in the way of presentation in store, advertising, etc. to reach their target shoppers?

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7 Comments on "Annie Hall Lives"


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Gene Detroyer
Guest
11 years 12 days ago

I don’t see anything new here. Check this out
or this….

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
11 years 12 days ago

Men’s clothes are more comfortable. That’s the beginning and end of it.

George Anderson
Guest
George Anderson
11 years 12 days ago

I’m certainly not working off a statistical sample, but around here the votes say more feminine looks are in this year. That has never stopped anyone from stealing Dad/Husband’s sweaters or tailored shirts though.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
11 years 12 days ago

While Gene is absolutely right about this not being a new phenomenon, I do think that men’s wear looks have become less of a periodic trend and more of a foundational part of women’s wear.

I think there are two basic drivers. First, men’s clothing (at least work clothing) has always been intended to convey seriousness and authority. With the rise of more and more women to positions of authority, it is a natural outcome. Secondly, I personally think that there is a blurring of the once-rigid views as to what is appropriate for men and what is appropriate for women. People just wear what feels right to them. I don’t think this reality is going away.

Lee Peterson
Guest
11 years 12 days ago

Ok, this from a raging heterosexual p.o.v. – women wearing men’s cloths is sexy. C’mon, Paula, you know that! Not only is it sexy, it’s gutsy, it’s cool looking, it’s a statement of fearlessness, all of which makes it very fashionable. Now, not everyone can pull it off, just like not every female can pull off short hair. But, like most fashion, the right items on the right person can be very powerful!

Steven Baum
Guest
Steven Baum
11 years 11 days ago

This is nothing new. Women have bought men’s sportscoats for years. Better construction, they last longer and in many cases, they look better. When at Saks Fifth Avenue we would sell women the smaller sizes quite often. This would distort our sales in sizes but they became very loyal customers.

John Crossman
Guest
John Crossman
11 years 10 days ago

My wife wears my clothes all the time. Makes me crazy. She says they are big and more comfortable.

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