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Three style hacks in one: how I styled myself with menswear

By KANDACE ANDERSON

Okay I know I say ever style hack is my favorite yet but… this my favorite style hack yet!

During our interview of Dominique Devereaux of House of Devereaux for the Business of Style podcast, she challenged me to style myself in a menswear inspired outfit. Check her out below. She looks amazing! I was pretty intimidated by this one but as always, I’m up for the challenge! 

Here’s how Dominique describes this style hack:

“So I call it- “Make Menswear Work”. Often times I will pull inspiration for my pieces from menswear styles. I particularly love the pairings of crisp button downs with my blazers, the problem is I don’t own a lot. But guess who does? My husband- his is a true clotheshorse and when I don’t have time to run out and shop or I just want a quick new look I will literally take the shirt off of his back. What I love about men’s dress shirts is they are versatile, come in so many patterns and prints and with my husband being tall like myself- I don’t have to worry about issues of it being too short in the body or the arms, like I often do when buying off the rack. Typically, I would pair them with accessories like scarves and oversized hoops in order to stylize it or make it more feminine.”

 

 

The failed attempt

My first thought was to try and wear my husband’s classic white button up shirt as a belted dress. Let’s be honest: this idea was pretty unimaginative. This simple menswear inspired look was also way too short for my taste, even more so belted. I’ll spare you guys the images. You’re not missing much.

Getting closer

I’m always a fan of layering underneath a spaghetti strapped dress. I happened to find myself stuck with this velvety blush colored dress that I wasn’t sure I wanted. I was grabbing for my favorite pair of high waisted jeans but then my hand veered toward the slinky dress. I said to myself…why not? Shockingly, I liked it! Well, sort of. The shirt was too baggy underneath but I felt I was getting somewhere.

A hack within a hack

To lose the bagginess, I took the skinny fabric belt from a vest  I have and wove it in between the buttons of the shirt, then pulled and tucked it. Voila! I had a ruffle front super dramatic top. I put the dress back on with it and I was like…girl YES! Almost.

 

No joke. Another hack.

As I started checking myself out in the mirror in every angle possible, you know this move right haha, I noticed the sleeves that I’d rolled up kept sliding down. Here’s where the last hack of the day came into play. I took two skinny black hair ties and placed them at the top of the cuff of each sleeve. Then I pulled the fabric just above the tie over the tie. My sleeves stopped sliding and I get some added definition and interest. The first time I tried this, it didn’t work so well. But with this stiffer and sturdier fabric, it worked like a charm.

The finishing touch

I have no idea why I bought this chain link belt but I did. I couldn’t help myself. It called me. I knew I was taking a risk because it was a piece I couldn’t return. I had nothing to wear with it so its been sitting in my closet for months. Lo and behold…it has been patiently waiting for THE moment and that moment happened. I knew my look was missing something and something told me to grab that belt. BAM. Here we have it ladies. A menswear inspired look I was geeked to show you and even more excited to show Dominique. I think I’ve done her proud!

 

Takeaways

I have three distinct takeaways listed below that I want you to keep in mind while you’re shopping and styling yourself.

1. Try it! That weird idea..that inkling you get…try it out. It can’t hurt. You may get some duds but you will end up with one killer look and that’s totally worth it.

2. Buy that super extra accessory, even if you don’t know how you’ll wear it. Sometimes you need to experiment in the moment and you want some special pieces on hand.

3. Keep skinny elastic hair ties on deck to pull off a 3/4 length sleeve on a long sleeve top

Somebody, please invite me somewhere fun so I can wear this menswear inspired look anywhere other than my backyard 🙂

And don’t forget,  your best style hack is Departmynt.

XOXO Kandace