How to Dress Like a Boy and Look Like a Girl

Feb 5, 2015



There's something about wearing a masculine piece that makes a gal feel all sorts of feminine, and ridiculously so. The way you have to roll up the sleeves of an over-sized blazer, so it doesn't fall over the tips of your fingers. How fringed penny loafers remind you of your handsome grandfather, but look so sweet paired with socks and your midi skirt. The way your delicate perfume mixes with the crisp white of an oxford shirt, gentleness mixing with no-nonsense. The contrast of the looks is what's so appealing, but more often than not it can be a hard look to balance. 

You don't want to look like you're actually borrowing the pieces from the men in your life; you want them to blend into your look. You're not aiming to look like a boy, no matter how handsome they always are. You just want to steal a few of their things. But in order to do that, you have to keep a few rules in mind. 


First thing's first: you have to choose things that are well tailored. If you have to remember one rule, this is it. Look for pieces made for a female shape, but have masculine elements to it. Just think Katherine Hepburn. She would wear manly wide legged slacks...but they would taper in tight at her waist. Same goes for you. Want a boxy blazer? Make sure that the sleeves are thin and the shoulders strong. Want an oxford shirt? Look for one that's close fitted to the body with a small and sharp collar. Looking for some masculine trousers? Find ones with clean pleats and a fitted waist. 

It's not about finding manly pieces and mixing them into your wardrobe. It's about finding sharp, masculine inspired items that are made to fit your form. That way you still end up looking as female as you would in a dress stitched with flowers, but just as handsome as the men that inspired it. 


PS: Want more suspender inspiration? Try reading:

outfit details
PANTS: Thrifted (store similar: here, here)
SHIRT: Thrifted (store similar: here, here)
BOOTIES: TJ Maxx (store similar: here, here)
SUSPENDERS: H&M men's section
HAT: Urban Outfitters (store similar: here, here)
PURSE: Thrifted

 photo divider_zps9a1dedc9.jpg


  1. Okay seriously? Only you could make this outfit look this cute! I've been dying to try out suspenders, I just don't know if I have the guts! Great tips on borrowing for the boys. I've tried in the past to just borrow my mans button-ups, but it ends up just looking sloppy. Definitely need to make sure the item is tailored in order to avoid that look!

    Clothes & Quotes

  2. Oh girl, you totally rock this!! I love the hat and pants. I'm trying to switch over to a more neutral look too, so this is super helpful :)

  3. Great tips! I love menswear inspired looks and pieces! You've done a great job here! I love the suspenders!

  4. You pull this off so well!

  5. Those trousers are a fantastic find! My thrift store adventures never turn up anything quite as nice as that.
    I absolutely agree with your advice to make sure that things are scaled to a female body - if you're buying clothes designed for men, ties will often be too long, shoulders on jackets can be very broad, and pants can fit hilariously badly on a hippy female body. Personally, if I'm going for a menswear look, sometimes I really like looking masculine, and might actually try to disguise my curves a little bit, but I think everyone's got their own take on that.

  6. I have dreams about borrowing menswear that is actually menswear, not just buying inspired-by pieces... Alas it's not so easy when you're just over five feet tall. But one day it will happen. In the meantime, I'm going to live vicariously through you and this fabulous outfit. I love how the trousers highlight your waistline!

  7. dlk;ajtraeljg!

    I can't even talk. Or type. There are no words for how much I love this look. The pants! The hair!

    Seriously. Love it.

  8. This was very helpful. I feel like it's a look I've been wanting to get into for a while, but don't know where to start and I'm a bit intimidated. I love the look that you've showcased here though - it's so flattering, chic, and sophisticated looking!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  9. This is really cute. I love the unisex looks!
    Melanie @

  10. Love everything about this outfit, especially how you paired the suspenders with the necklace and button down with more of a v-neck! I mean, I could go on down to the boots - ha. And, agree with you on tailoring. It's really super key to pulling this off.

  11. Oh menswear inspired outfits are one of my favorite things! I adore the suspenders on you! You'd make one adorable boy! ;) Love the layered necklaces as a touch of femininity!

    be the plebeian

  12. Those pants look awesome on you! I love the way you rolled them too to show off your shoes and to add a little flair!


  13. First of all, I love the title of this post! It's really cute, funny and gets straight to the point. haha! You do an amazing job at looking feminine while wearing masculine pieces. There are times when I gravitate more towards clothes in the men's section, but always end up looking frumpy when I wore those pieces. Hopefully these tips will prevent me from doing that in the future.


  14. Your styling is on point! I'm loving the mix of textures and the effective use of your suspenders. You definitely struck the perfect balance between masculine and feminine components here. I enjoy dressing "like a boy" too from time to time, so your tips will definitely prove very useful :)

    Jasmin xx

  15. I love love love wearing men's clothes. I generally wear slouchy things but I would love to search for some well made tailored pieces as well.
    And thank you so much for the kind words on my blog. They mean a lot. =]


  16. I'm obsessed with your super cute pants!

    - Deniz

  17. amazing vintage outfit :) your accessories are gorgeous!
    INSTAGRAM - hellodashi

  18. Nice look:)xx

  19. Totally loving this look, Marlen. A modern-day Annie Hall :)


  20. the cutest boyish look ever. i totally agree with your first rule! tailored is definitely the key!

    xo, carla

  21. I haven't commented in a while, but I always lurk, and I want to say your writing is just SO on point. You have a gift, and I can't wait to read your e-book. :)

  22. Great tips. I am allll about stealing things from my boyfriend and brothers. I love that first picture of you especially- gorgeous! Happy weekend Marlen!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

  23. YES to all of this. I love wearing more masculine pieces, but you're so right, you have to make sure they are flattering to your shape and style. Oh, and I love your necklace. So pretty!

  24. Look at you! Stunning lady :) I love the whole outfit - the suspenders, the hat, the relaxed look of the rolled up sleeves and pant legs. If your writing wasn't superb I'd suggest being a stylist, truly! Have you worn suspenders with skirts before? I'd love to see if you have.

  25. Fab look!
    I have a pair of braces too but always a bit unsure how to wear them.
    This look has definitely inspired me to give them a go!

  26. Wow, truely amazing outfit, I love it. You look so pretty , very inspiring. STUNNING!!!


  27. You clearly are madly inspired lately! Again, one of my very favorite outfits on you - so beautiful, so sensual. The first portrait is precious! Amazing stuff, wishing you to have this (whatever "this" is) for as long as possible and even longer. xxx

  28. ooh, i need to go get my similar gray trousers and my braces out of the wardrobe soon! i've been more concerned about looking like a boy in masculine pieces now that my hair's been so short, haha. i love this outfit though, and can't wait to maybe put down my dresses for a while and try something like this again:-) xx

  29. I love it Marlen! This is so stylish!

  30. I love your outfit, especially because today I am wearing high waist pants and suspenders, too. It´s interesting that suspenders transform any normal outfit immediately into a super cool look! Coleen

  31. I came here to say that the first portrait is just perfect for your book, in my humble opinion. It's very poetic.


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