It all started with a River Island jacket.
For months and months (and what felt like years and years) I searched in vain for the perfect bomber jacket. You know when you just need something because you're obsessed but you have your heart set on a very specific idea inside your head? Yeah, that happened.
I wasn't even being overly fussy: all I wanted was a simple black bomber jacket, preferably in a soft, suede-like fabric, that would skim my hips and keep me warm on summer evenings. Something that would go with everything.
As it turned out, it was surprisingly hard to find. Maybe it's just a problem I'll always have with coats and jackets, but I searched everywhere and every bomber jacket I found was either too cropped, too bulky or too shiny.
In the end, I found my perfect jacket in River Island - one of the first shops I'd looked in. I'd already rummaged several times by this point, each time my desperation increasing, but it was somewhere I'd never looked before that I found the jacket I'd been searching for: in the men's department.
I know a lot of women who buy from the men's ranges now, so it's not really a secret any more. But a few years ago, it was a bit of a eureka moment to my uninitiated mind. That moment was pretty life-changing for my wardrobe. A whole new world of possibilities had opened up...
That bomber jacket still sits in my wardrobe, a trusty old friend that I know I can always rely on - and often do. But it's now been joined by an army of other menswear pieces.
The latest addition is this ridiculously comfy Love Moschino jumper from Mainline Menswear, which has already been worn more than any of my women's jumpers (sorry, ladies!). I tend to buy jumpers a little oversized anyway and avoid anything too clingy, so it makes sense to look at men's brands first.
I now nearly head straight to the men's section now when there's a certain look I'm after: an oversized denim jacket, baggy jumper or an off-duty model type of tee are all easier to find in the menswear department. And if you're yet to give the men's section a go; here are 3 very good reasons to do so next time you hit the shops:
3 good reasons to shop the menswear section
As if us ladies don't already spend too much on our appearance (hello makeup and costly hair cuts), someone thought it would be a good idea to make our clothes cost more than men's too. But why spend £50 on a women's t-shirt when you can get a men's one, in exactly the same design, for half that price? Buying from the menswear section means you can get more for your money - and get a better quality piece without breaking the budget, since brands often have a great budget to produce each piece of men's clothing.
Fewer people will have it
We've all been there: you fall head over heels with a top, race from till to bedroom and wake up the next day crazy excited to wear it. You put it on, check yourself out the mirror, walk out of the door with your head held high, beaming from cheek to cheek... and then spot someone on the bus wearing the same top. Your new top. Only it's not just yours - it seems like everyone has it. As nice as it to know you have great taste, it's more than a little crushing to bump into at least two people wearing the same thing as you - especially if you happen to live or work with them.
When you shop from the menswear section, that's way less likely to happen. And while everyone's Whatsapping their outfit plans to make sure they don't all wear the same embroidered Topshop jacket on the same day, you can smugly throw on your Topman jacket safe in the knowledge that you won't find yourself accidentally twinning with anyone.
The boyfriend look is here to stayBoyfriend jeans, boyfriend jackets, boyfriend tees... It seems you just can't go wrong with anything with the word 'boyfriend' in front of it. But why borrow from your boyfriend when you could just go out and buy the clothes for yourself - and get to keep them? Plus, as we already know, it's cheaper than buying a women's version with the word 'boyfriend' stuck on the front. Just make sure your other half doesn't already have the same t-shirt first...
Do you ever wear men's clothing? What pieces do you look for in the men's section?