Menswear-Inspired

Style blogger Susan B. wears a grey houndstooth topper, grey jeans and brown boots and bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

When we hear the term “menswear-inspired,” suiting and strict tailoring may be what come to mind. But it can also be applicable to prints, textures and colors. Over a decade ago, I spotted an image on one of the early street style blogs that has stuck with me: a gentleman in a grey suit with rich cognac brown shoes and leather portfolio. Not earth-shattering, but that color combo so inspired me I’ve wanted to replicate it ever since.

Earrings | Jacket (similar) | Sweater (similar) | Bag | Jeans (c/o) | Boots

Well, it happened again…this houndstooth jacket was available last week when we shot this outfit, but has since sold out. (I originally purchased it during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.) Yes, it’s a more oversized piece, but I like how the softness and movement balance the slightly masculine houndstooth print. If you’re the belting kind, this jacket could be belted without looking too bulky. I’m wearing a Small. Here’s the same style in a few solid colors.

More Menswear-Inspired Toppers

Susan B. wears a grey houndstooth jacket and brown croc-embossed bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The jeans were gifted from Everlane, and are part of their new Authentic Stretch denim collection. I prefer my denim with some stretch, so was eager to try them. These are the Mid-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans in Washed Black. When I first pulled them out of the package, I thought “there’s no way I’ll get these on,” but was pleasantly surprised. They not only fit but are very comfortable too! The fabric is thicker than a lot of stretch denim I’ve tried. I’ve worn these for several hours at a time, and haven’t noticed bagging at the knees either. I find them comparable in fit and quality to some of my premium denim.

That v-neck sweater is an older one in merino wool that I’ve been wanting to replace. You’d think it would be simple, but trying to find one that’s the right color, good quality, a nice light weight, not too long and without any “statement sleeve” nonsense has been almost impossible! Cashmere is everywhere but good merino wool is rarer.

Both necklaces are a few years old. The tortoiseshell/gold one was Lauren Ralph Lauren I think; here’s one with a similar look. The grey stone bead necklace was from Ann Lightfoot. Here’s a nice selection of current pieces. And here’s a necklace with a similar look.

Brahmin medium Duxbury bag in Pecan. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve had this Brahmin bag for a couple of years. I just love that rich color! (Color is “Pecan.”)

Croc-Embossed Bags

Susan B. wears Everlane Day boots in Brick. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These are the Everlane Day Boots. LOVE these boots! I ordered the first day they hit the website, and took them on our trip to San Francisco and Napa a couple of weeks ago. Wore them out to dinner most nights. I find them very comfortable. The leather is very soft, and they didn’t need any breaking in. That color is what I’ve been searching for since Mr.-Grey-and-Cognac first popped up on my computer screen. They run true-to-size and not as narrow (IMO) as some other Everlane shoes. 

Ankle Boots

Do you incorporate menswear-inspired elements in your outfits?

Photos by Tannaz Telikany.

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44 Comments

  1. SuD
    October 15, 2018 / 4:06 am

    Nicely coordinated. You look great!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      Thanks, Sud!

  2. Martina
    October 15, 2018 / 4:42 am

    I found some nice merino at Banana Republic…and i’m Going to have to try those jeans!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      I’ve been wanting to check out the BR sweaters, will take a look next time I’m there.

  3. October 15, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Love this look and I would wear it in a heartbeat. I have the same Brahmin bag only in a cream color…such great bags. Love the topper….

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Pam! Aren’t the Brahmin bags awesome?

  4. Janice
    October 15, 2018 / 5:51 am

    Love this look! Are you letting your hair grow out? I have a pixie and have been contemplating doing the same.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Janice! Yes, I’m letting it grow out just a bit.

  5. Kathleen
    October 15, 2018 / 6:02 am

    The thing that I noticed when I saw this look was it wasn’t too matchy-matchy looking. The contrast color of the bag and booties is perfect with all that gray! I still remember the post you did of Lauren Hutton where she looked put together but everything didn’t match! I think it’s more difficult to do this look right but, when it happens, it looks effortless and unplanned.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen! I’m always wary of being too matchy. I try to keep in mind Tom and Lorenzo’s phrase, “goes with, doesn’t match.”

  6. Lily
    October 15, 2018 / 7:28 am

    Love the men’s department. I find the colors more to my taste, beautiful muted tones. Although I’m too small for the smallest men’s size, the men’s department is a good source for cozy, classic winter scarves.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Oh, I love men’s scarves too!

  7. Rondi
    October 15, 2018 / 7:43 am

    I love this outfit! You look wonderful!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      Thanks very much, Rondi!

  8. Anon
    October 15, 2018 / 7:54 am

    I, too, have found it very difficult to find merino wool in women’s clothing, except in socks.

    I love the warm cognac with cool colors.This started in menswear, and now I’m trying it, too. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to it. Now I see brown shoes with charcoal and black suits, so maybe…

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      To me, there’s just something so elegant about this mix. I love black and brown together too!

  9. Elaine
    October 15, 2018 / 8:35 am

    I notice that you have turned the cuffs of this jacket up to reveal the lining, which I think looks good with this casual outfit. I’m trying to decide whether I should have the sleeves of a similar jacket shortened or just fold them up. My concern is that the jacket will not look appropriate when I want to wear it in a more formal way. Your thoughts?

    • Elizabeth
      October 15, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      I’m confused about the sleeve length of this jacket. The link shows what appear to be bracelet length sleeves. Susan’s look much longer. That aside, the whole look is wonderful!

      • Susan B
        Author
        October 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

        Hi Elizabeth, I’m very short, so what looks “bracelet length” on someone else may look full length on me. Thank you!!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Turned up cuffs will usually suggest a more casual look. But I think it also depends on what else you wear with it, and how structured the piece is. I’ve started having my sleeves altered so I can wear them either way.

  10. Elizabeth
    October 15, 2018 / 8:56 am

    You look lovely, Susan! This 0.75 coat length makes your legs look longer.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Thanks very much, Elizabeth!

  11. E
    October 15, 2018 / 9:20 am

    Uniqlo makes a great v neck merino, they last forever, you can wash them too. I have the charcoal and it looks like a good match.
    Thank you for a great blog.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 9:24 am

      I love Uniqlo, but sadly their sweaters are too long for me. 🙁

  12. Maggie Vita
    October 15, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Great SoCal fall look! I love your longer hair, too.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:01 pm

      Thank you, Maggie!

  13. Rosie
    October 15, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    Susan,
    Are those Everlane jeans running true to size? Love their cut and truly love stretchystretchy.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 12:46 pm

      Yes, they run TTS.

  14. Connie
    October 15, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    I love the color combination. I have a similar brahmin bag in pecan and it never occurred to me to wear it with gray. Now, I have to find some similar booties. Fab look…thanks for the inspiration!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Connie! I just love this color with grey, navy and even white or ivory.

  15. October 15, 2018 / 2:00 pm

    I love this look and do wear a lot of menswear inspired clothing. Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns. The cognac accessories look perfect too.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Kathy! I love a good houndstooth too.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Duchesse. Those sweaters look gorgeous. I fear they may be too long for me, but am very tempted!

  16. Jan Whichard
    October 15, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    Jan

  17. Michelle Smith
    October 15, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Terrific look!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you, Michelle!

  18. Susie
    October 15, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Hi Susan, I am always inspired by your looks, and especially like the variations that you show! The same day that I received this email, there was an email from Everlane with some new Italian Wool Blazers. The Oversized Blazer in Glen Plaid seems like it would work nicely in this type of look!

  19. Lisa
    October 15, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    I have a collection of very nice merino v necks and cardigans I have purchased from Lord & Taylor on line. Excellent quality and value!

  20. Jean
    October 15, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    “statement sleeve” nonsense – Amen! I hate them.

  21. barbara from Guelph
    October 16, 2018 / 8:44 am

    I too, recently got the Everlane stretchy jeans and thought “I’ll never get into these” but surprise, surprise. They really are comfortable. I was disappointed when Vanesa Friedman in her post yesterday in the NYT about sustainable clothing didn’t mention Everlane. I like their transparency and attention to sourcing. I refuse to buy clothes made in third world countries without oversight. So kudos to Eileen Fisher and Everlane. I appreciate your emphasis on quality and would love to see more on efforts in the clothing industry to increase transparency in sourcing. And I must say I look forward to all your columns. You are an inspiration!

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 2:13 pm

      Hi Barbara, I was really surprised at how comfortable they were, given the sturdiness of the fabric. These are a winner!

  22. Fran
    October 19, 2018 / 11:28 am

    Wow, you just dropped 20 years in that first photo, definitely a look for you. I have loved the androgynous style since the 60s. I am petite and feminine but like to play with boyish clothes.

    • Susan B
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks Fran!

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