Long before fashion powerhouses–including Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin–began creating menswear-inspired collections for women, women had been borrowing from men’s fashion for ages. TLC, Aaliyah, Janelle Monae and Rihanna have proved over time that in more ways than one anything guys can wear, women can certainly style better and rock harder. Baggy pants, jerseys, timberlands and tuxedos are amongst the fashions some of these women have borrowed from the guys and made it into their own. True to form, the style they donned with a masculine touch became some of their signature looks resonating through fashion, standing the test of time. –Kamille Cooper
Take a look at our list of the top 12 women who made menswear hot!
Never the one to shy away from expressing herself, not only through music but fashion as well, The “Rhythm Nation” bombshell styled out in military jackets, leather jackets, long tailored blazers and bowties in her early days. Opting for more feminine and elegant looks in this new decade, re-envisioned versions of her 80’s and 90’s style is very much present in fashion today.
Pushing style to mere limits, like it was nobody’s business, was one of hip-hop’s first female rap trios favorite things to do. In a male-dominated industry, Salt-n-Pepa and Spinderella put a fiery and feminine touch on a few men’s fashion, which included varsity jackets.
These crazy, sexy, cool women were among the few, alongside Da Brat, who paved the way and made it hot to rock men’s clothing in the music industry during the early 90s. The funky fresh and vibrant color palette of menswear the trio became known for included boxers and baggy shirts and just seemed to work.
Aaliyah’s signature look of baggy pants, mid-drift tops and over sized sunglasses on her petite frame was street but sweet. The sexual innuendo and mysterious undertone of her look had many women recreating her style and turning it into their own such as Ciara and Teyana Taylor. When it came to women stunting in menswear the “One in a Million” singer and her musical partner in crime, Missy Elliot, were trendsetters.
The dapper darling and Cover Girl has been rocking tuxedos, oxfords and loafers ever since she stepped onto the music scene. “I wear my uniform to honor them,” the star crediting her signature style to her mom, step-father and father. Her signature look, which she noted at 2012 Black Girls Rock, is “a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire.” Her fashion game is stylishly proper.
Since Solange’s style evolved, the natural-haired beauty has become somewhat of a style icon. A few of her notable and bold looks have certainly consisted of menswear inspired pieces including feminine tuxedo jackets and oversized blazers.
Sure King B’s known for her extravagant sense of style, donning some of the most coveted designer gowns known to man, but she’s also been known to dabble in guy-inspired fashions too. One of her most notable moments, after all, was at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards when she performed “Love on Top” in a purple and gold sequin Dolce & Gabbana masculine tuxedo and announced her pregnancy.
Paying homage to a few of the forementioned before her in an interview with VV, speaking on her street style Teyana stated, “I do feel like I influenced [the style]. I made it okay for female artists to be comfortable in their skin, to be comfortable in street wear, to not always be glamorous 24/7.” The ghetto chic G.O.O.D Music girl has been known to kick it in a pair of Jordans and snapbacks.
When she’s not rocking the red carpet, she’s been spotted a few times styled down, rocking men’s plaid button down shirts around her waist, frequenting Trapstar snap backs and baggy pants. Rihanna’s style has transcended to entirely new levels since her Music of the Sun days.
The fashion phenom has not only been known to debut menswear-inspired pieces in her eponymous brand’s seasonal collections, but she’s strutted the red carpet and the streets of New York in haute trendy gear as well, most notably in haute over-sized blazers.
Always a fan of menswear, Kourtney has managed to bring more glam to a red bowtie than Peewee Herman. The Kardashian always dresses up her menswear-inspired looks with a bold lip creating a subtle feminine touch.