I bought a very sweet, short raincoat last week – canvas with a zipper and snaps, hood and lots of pockets. It was at a thrift shop, and marked at a very attractive $3. After I tried it on, I noticed the size — 14? I’m usually a 4-6-8. Sometimes in vintage clothing I’ll wear a 10 or 12, as sizing has changed a lot. But this item was a bit on the fitted side. I checked the tag and it was a boy’s size!
Is it illegal or unseemly for a 56 year old woman to wear a boy’s clothing item? I haven’t shopped anywhere but the women’s department for 30 years. The Juniors stuff is adorable, but way too short/cute/tight for me. It hadn’t occurred to me that some basics might be hanging around for the taking in the boy’s or men’s departments. So I did a little scouting, and found some possibilities:
- Chunky sweaters already have a slightly boyish feel, so you can check out the boy’s selection for something a little offbeat.
- Pea coats are timeless, and you can sometimes find a bargain in the boy’s or girl’s department, or at the thrift store.
- Rain gear, like the jacket I found, are good buys in the boy’s or even men’s departments. No frills, good quality and they get the job done
- Wool blazers can be found, if you’re a fairly small-busted woman. The quality is often very good, but watch out for brass buttons.
|It’s 100% wool, $40, and kinda cute. From GAP.|
- Belts from the boy’s and men’s department can be great bargains, especially from the thrifts. There are some fantastic quality leathers out there for the guys, and who doesn’t need a nice solid brown or black belt?
- Denim shirts – the boy’s and men’s versions have a cool, tough look that can be sweetened up with a floral skirt, or belted over a pretty blouse.
|Polo Ralph Lauren. This one’s $72, but they can be found for less.|
- Scarves — the guys have some fab winter scarves in solids, checks and plaids.
|A nice flannel-y scarf from Old Navy, $8|
- Brogues — I am newly in love with these manly shoes, and guess what? — you can find them in the consignment and thrift stores at good prices, if your feet are big enough (how often do you hear that??)
A few tips for crossing over to the distaff side for clothing: the fit won’t be tailored, it’ll be more slouchy or boxy, and definitely casual rather than dressy. And you’ll probably want to balance your guy-wear with some feminine pieces. The boy’s blazer with a flowy skirt would be fun, or the brogues with patterned tights.
Have you ever crossed the aisle and shopped with the boys? Share your thoughts in the comments, please!