Should we just ditch the Boyfriend?
Mango Coat | ASOS Jeans | ASOS Shirt (similar here) | Zara Bag | Daniel Boots* (similar here)| H&M Hat (similar here)
Grey, oversized, and actually rather shapeless, this Mango coat is my favourite purchase so far this winter. But despite my love of big and roomy coats this season (excellent at hiding Saturday night's pizza binge), there's one word that has been sticking in my head and it's beginning to turn quite sour...
What unites these individual items of clothing is their unconventional sizing: large, roomy, and therefore obviously, boyfriend-y. It's a label that I'm not entirely too comfortable with. No, it's not that I'm not some angry feminist that hates boyfriends. I love them. In fact, the more of them the better. It's when the term boyfriend is used with clothing that disturbs me just a little. Why does a female piece of clothing that is larger and less conventionally tailored have to be described as being boyfriend? Heaven forbid someone might think we are actually wearing a real life man's coat... As a fashion journalist, I know the importance of having an expansive fashion vocabulary (or that thesaurus.com is a fashion writers best friend), but lately, with all the debate about gender equality, I can't help but wonder is there no better adjective to use that is gender-neutral?
Here's a task for you: grab your dad, brother or lover, and dress him up in something of the boyfriend variety. Suddenly the term boyfriend doesn't seem right anymore when you have a man standing in front of you squeezed into very small proportions looking somewhat surprisingly girly and emasculated...
And when was the last time you saw a trendy type of man wearing a pair of jeans that looked anything remotely like women's boyfriend jeans? I think it was back in 2007 at some terrible club that you nicked your sisters ID to sneak into ( he was dancing to Cascada and drinking a WKD...) Now most of these well-dressed men are wearing skinny styles or slim-fit. But we don't see anybody labelling them as men's girlfriend jeans based on their figure-hugging fit...
Despite the push for gender equality, men wearing women's inspired fashion is still surrounded by taboo. Why is it that it's okay for girls to wear boyfriend clothes, but not the other way round?
My best friend once had a boyfriend that would steal her vintage floral shirts to wear with a faux fur coat that had also once belonged to her (he wore eyeliner and had long black hair, to create a more colourful picture for you.) And back when I was 16 all of the cool indie boys bought their jeans from the women's section in Primark (the men's were simply not tight enough, they would tell me.) But these were complete anomalies. The lines between masculine and feminine fashion should be blurred, without labelling clothing with a gender.
So what I really want to know, amongst the sea of boyfriend coats and jeans and jumpers, is when are we going to start seeing an influx of girlfriend coats and girlfriend jeans for men?
What I'm really looking forward to is the day a man comes home saying "Babe! I bought this amazing girlfriend top today!" And lo and behold he waltzes in wearing some teeny tiny crop top with tassels and hopefully a glittery pony on it.
Hmm. I wont hold my breath...