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Menswear for Her feat. Jenilee Thornton

June 24th, 2013

If you’ve been a longtime follower of Articles of Style, you certainly remember Jenilee Thornton.

She was the first person I ever “hired” (as a photography intern) back when the site was small peanuts and desperately needed some artistic direction. She believed in the concept early on and it was her enthusiasm that really encouraged me take the site seriously and grow it into a full-time gig.

I knew she was the right person to bring on. Not only was she smart and talented, she also had inspiring personal style and wore almost exclusively menswear. “If you peeked into my closet you might think I was sharing it with a boyfriend or brother. Ties. Bucks. Tweed blazers. Braces. Cardigans. Etc.”

After a summer of dramatic growth with the site she went back down South to finish her studies, but before leaving introduced me to another photographer: her friend Alex.

Last I was on the site I was living in Nashville finishing school, after which I gravitated back toward menswear. About two years ago I took a position at Taylor Stitch, a menswear brand making all our clothes here in San Francisco. I have been juggling customer service, online and custom operations, all around problem solving and loving it! Though San Francisco took me some time to adjust, I’ve been enjoying a new culture, a new job, and consequently a new-ish wardrobe.”

Here Jenilee shows us how her “feminine menswear” style has adjusted to the West Coast.

1. Vintage Blackwatch

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There is a surprising amount of cross-over in men’s and women’s fashion.

Lately I’ve been finding alot of my inspiration (color palettes, fabric-mixing, accessories styling, etc.) from womenswear, which has far less “restriction” and far more innovation. On the other hand, our female readership on Articles of Style remains strong as women continue to draw inspiration from us gents.

Influenced vs. authentic:

“There is a difference between wearing men’s inspired clothing and actually wearing men’s clothing. I do both. And some of my favorite looks are a combination of the two. Ladies: don’t be afraid to wander into the men’s (or  boy’s) department of any store or resale shop.”

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“I have to say, I was pretty bummed to hear Rugby was closing their doors. I love the way their button down shirts fit! Luckily, I have this one in my possession and I’m not letting it go!

The blackwatch jacket was picked up from a thrift store in Dallas for $11 and, after some master tailoring, one of my favorite coats was born.”

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We’ve featured some sexy footwear on the site, but these captoe brogues might take the cake.

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  • Wool Camel Pants by Jcrew ·
  • Purple Oxford Cloth Women’s Shirt by Rugby ·
  • Brown Leather Belt by Jcrew ·
  • Sunglasses by Persol ·
  • Horween Carolina Brown Clutch by Mr. Hide Leather Sundries ·
  • Brown Leather high heeled wingtips by Cole Haan
  • · Vintage Blackwatch Blazer by Ralph Lauren (tailored to fit)

Silk Blackwatch Tuxedo

2. Chambray On Denim

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“For work, a button-down shirt and my Imogene + Willie denim (representing my first love, Nashville) tends to be my fall back.

In the San Francisco summer (which is a cold season here) I can’t leave the apartment without a jacket as heavy as this orange anorak.”

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I love Jenilee’s menswear-inspired shoes.

Her three pairs in this post are all takes on “versatile staples” that we’ve written plenty about in the past (captoe brogues, suede tassel loafs, and brown penny loafers).

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  • “Downing” Tortoise Frames by Warby Parker ·
  • Orange Field Jacket by Old Navy ·
  • Blue Polka Dot Shirt by Taylor Stitch ·
  • Blue Jeans by Imogene and Willie ·
  • Blue Sued Tassel Loafers by Dolce Vita ·
  • Brown Canvas Backpack by JCrew

3. Tweed & Plaid

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“It’s masculine inspired, not just masculine…

When wearing a heavily menswear-influenced outfit I usually try to mix it up with feminine items such as heels, skirts, jewelry  lipstick, etc. Makeup and hair are also easy areas to add a womanly touch.

On the rare warm day in San Francisco I try to take full advantage by ditching the tights and wearing a dress or skirt – even with a men’s blazer, button-down shirt and penny loafers.”

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“I’ve started acquiring quite the collection of custom shirts and this was my first!

I love the fit and the ability to monogram never gets old.”

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Guys: when looking at women’s fashion, pay attention to the details of the clothes and notice what elements of the outfit make it appealing.

Jenilee is a beautiful girl, no doubt, but she also understands aesthetics (colors, textures, silhouettes, etc). Women are the masters of fashion and beauty – don’t underestimate how much you can learn or interpret from observing their visual expertise.

For example – how about the combination of a tartan plaid shirt, grey tweed blazer, dark green trousers, and brown loafers for early Fall? Could easily be used as inspiration for a men’s outfit…

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  • Grey Herringbone Blazer by H&M ·
  • Red Plaid Custom Shirt by Taylor Stitch ·
  • Green Lace Skirt by JCrew ·
  • Brown Leather Loafers by Cole Haan ·
  • Green Leather Wallet by Kate Spade ·
  • Pearl Necklace by JCrew

Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Jenilee for participating! We miss you.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style

 

Photography by Alex Crawford