Trends: the Boyfriend -- or 2 for 1 shopping


Diane Keaton made it famous, but the boyfriend's back.

By Kaitlin Resler

One of fashion's favorite repeating trends for women is borrowing from the boys.

Whether it's the cut of trousers, haberdashery details on blouses or shirts, masculine textiles on feminine silhouettes, tomboy elements of dress pepper women's fashion just about every season.

At the moment it's particularly popular. And hey, If the sizes are right, it's double-duty shopping, sampling the men's selections in stores to find pieces that are so neat and necessary that they'll fit both a his and hers wardrobe. The only problem is deciding who wears what garment when, or whether or not perfume or cologne lingering on blazers and sweaters prevents a second-wearing.

So, from stores in the Capital Region, here are some looks I like for guys or women.


In a continuation of fall's plaids and other patterns for guys, spring is offering bright prints and colors that have me wondering just how many different ways I can wear a men's dress shirt.

men's shirts Jcrew.jpg (JCREW)

I like the cottony, less pressed look of the men's shirt wall at J. Crew or Gap. Sadly it seems like the saturated spring colors of the men's sections haven't made their way into some of the women's offerings this season (we're still getting stuck with pastels -- which are lovely, but sometimes a deep, rich color is all we need to be reminded of the impending summer), but this hardly seems to matter as we can just snag a few from men. The tiny patterns are quite nice, but held-back enough to work well for a gal or a gent. (J. Crew shirts $59.50).


(This one is just for the girls) Pants are trickier. I tend to shy away from actually bothering with men's pants myself -- guys have enough trouble it seems finding stores that carry certain waist and lengths as it is -- instead preferring to try some of the aforementioned 'boyfriend' jeans. The name promises something slouchy, usually worn-in and a bit scruffy. No, it's not quite the same double-duty shopping, but it's a good way to get the look. The cuts designed to look like boys jeans but made for women are, I've found, a bit more girl-friendly in the waist-to-hip cut as well as the cut or length of a zipper.

H&M has a few pairs of the girl's version for $19.95, a nice price to see if you like a trend, while pricier versions can be snagged at Banana Republic or Gap.


Probably the easiest and most enviable are the sweaters and coats littering the men's sections these days. Tossed on over the flouncy, floral dresses spewing from every store display window, they exude exactly the kind of effortless cool necessary for this particular spring.

gap sweater detail.jpg

The green sweater from Gap, at $34.99, almost had me handing over my pennies with its funny pockets and fisherman-esqe collar -- and it would fit neatly into any guy's wardrobe to toss on over printed dress shirts, or a simple tee.

HM blazer.jpg

The jackets also fall into the ultimate in double-duty. Loads of stores are tossing men's inspired military jackets into the girl's section, cropping the waist and slimming the cut through the shoulders, but I quite like the generous cut of the men's versions. Thrown on over something girly or prim, or even just a structured outfit, it changes a look from something a bit too-too girly into effortless and stylish. (Jackets at H&M $30-$60, plus a $15 off promo on all coats and jackets throughout the store).

So go shopping together or... umm... borrow them. The only sad part is that you might have to give these pieces back.


hmm, who will buy that green fisherman's sweater first kaitlin -- you or me? :p

Those jackets look like official Chinese Communist Party garb. Buy them this year, I guarantee you'll be dropping them off at the Good Will next year with a "What was I thinking?"

Turnabout is fair play. I know a few guys who would look dashing in their girlfriends' capris.

"My grammy never gave gifts. She was too busy getting raped by Cossacks."

Editors: It's a line from Annie Hall

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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