There might be a certain stereotype underlying the whole notion of the boyfriend expression in fashion. But despite the at least half real assertion of what it means, or perhaps even in its prevailing, boyfriend clothes work in a way commendable enough to have emerged as quite the trend. The ‘origins’ of it are ambiguous- or completely non existent even. That however does not make an adherence to the boyfriend awareness in fashion any less stylish a consideration to flaunt.
Even in a somewhat traceable reference of it dating to the 1960s, the boyfriend style wouldn’t be a much unencountered concept within the realm of dressing and wearing. Interestingly though and quite evidently as well, the boyfriend connotation does not allude to the male appearance. The same cannot be said of the male gaze as well, but that is a consideration best left for another expansively explosive arena of debating. It indeed is in attending to the women of the world that modes of fashion has come to scout this identity in being the ‘boyfriend’ (of the girlfriend of course, at least traditionally). And so we have what is essentially some characteristics of menswear crossing over to find expression also upon expanses of the female style, in an idea that though is not any new revelation of the contemporary times.
It would be sometime in the mid 19th century itself that women started dressing up in such clothes that occurred specifically till then as being elements of the men’s bastion. Moving away from the flowy female silhouette of skirts and corsets and dresses would be the woman of the 1850s who took not so much of a fancy to the functional shirts and trousers of the male adhering as they aspired instead for a world not restricting of their selves in movement as well as in motive.
That would be a trailblazing precedent indeed in clothing emerge as unisex at least in some forms of identification but the boyfriend assertion was obviously nowhere in play upon that spectrum. It of course would be a more ‘hip’ or ‘cool’ sentiment evoking this style of women wear in a manner that did not quite match their body structure that led boyfriend to find worded representation in this greater curation of fashion.
The style itself most definitely emerged as women having to choose their style from within the male closet in not much of a fashion intention though. It ‘evolved’ henceforth to assume the notion of the more modern woman- not tied down by the need to assert their identity as equals to their opposite sex- take the liberty of wearing the clothes of her boyfriend and keeping them as well. It would be in this strand of its newfound being that boyfriend fashion would come to be a thing, with everything from jeans and shirts to joggers and jumpers and pretty much every single item of what is not women exclusive clothing identifying in that dimension of the dressed.
Of course such a prospect in business could not be squandered in the opportunistic basis of the consumer world. And thus has ensued this development in boyfriend fashion coming to be a separate consideration, with one no longer needing to have a boyfriend to try out and flaunt indeed this trend in comfy, casual leanings. Instead easily availed out of a range of offerings essentially in such crafting that keeps in mind the structure of a female body to tailor traditional men’s apparel in the sizes of them is this interesting way to come across as fashionable that appeals to many a women of the contemporary times.
This conforming to making the boyfriend style emerge as a separate consideration in fashion specifically allude to women has meant also that the initially and understandably baggy basis of wearing such clothes that had to be directly pulled out from the men’s section has made way instead for relaxed, comfortable ‘fits’ to find sporting. The oversized dynamics continue to dominate the narrative as a very natural way in differentiation of the sexes in their physical form. But the fact that they are meant indeed not for men makes them more convenient and ‘natural’ a style of fashion for women to take to.
This convenience in mention also manifests in ways other than the expected norm in comfort. The not form defining but flowy still prevalence of these clothes always at least a size bigger than the optimum fit still manages to come across as perfect in what conjures up the pleasant awareness of the aesthetics. They allow for more scope in terms of styling since indeed one would never be devoid of the option in wearing them in a manner more defining in the prerogatives of style.
That is to say boyfriend shirts and tees are easy to work around to rest in the feminine way in fitting by very simple ways in tucking them perhaps or taking instead the accessorial route of belts and scarves to define the form and shape of the wearer if so intended. Serving thus the dual purpose in styling of both the accessorising and the custom fitting kind would be these derivations upon the once men’s apparel now identifying as unisex so that a newer category altogether of dressing is designed.
Quite fittingly then, in ‘celebrating’ the essence of this derived way in wearing, it could not have emerged as more ‘appropriate’ an evocation of this non- archetypal residence in fashion sensibilities that someone as perceivedly feminine as the ‘sex symbol’ Marilyn Monroe herself would come to set the trend in. With someone like her iconic in the appeal of physical beauty over and above her skills of the histrionics coming to endorse almost, or spark instead the beginnings of this new aesthetic of fashion would be a determining factor indeed in establishing the attractiveness that oversized clothing can be made to manifest in.
That should be somewhat ironic as well, for Monroe whose image had been carefully crafted for the male gaze to be embodying instead quite the other character of a ‘shapeless’ choice in her personal capacity. And that it should still manage to create the stir that it did then and continuing top assert its prominence as waves through the times speak of the inherent versatility- and beauty- of which loose fitting clothes are a determinant.
Marilyn’s pick for what would be part of her character portrayal in the 1960 movie The Misfits also would be ‘versatile’ in the aspect of drawing upon both the initial and latter representation in oversized, men’s clothing deliberately donned by people outside the male identity. And thus the jacket of her wearing is one entailed out of a men’s wardrobe indeed even as the rather custom made loose cut and reverse buttoned shirt and jeans too would as easily pass off as the now understood reference in boyfriend fashion.
It again would be celebrity doings in validation decades after that would ensure that such boyfriend beginnings in fashion would come to covet mainstream presence. Quite a dramatic case in moving away from the expected notions in feminine fit essentially being snug pieces of fashion to adhere instead to the ‘couldn’t care less’ allowance for comfort, or even personal preference for that matter, such expression in approval for bigger jeans initially coming from some of the most charismatic of public personalities was also complemented by another area of similar happenning.
Those decades also saw supermodels dressed in nothing but large white dress shirts making quite a splash across screens as perfume advertisements specifically. And it would be through this trail of the hanging cuffs capturing also the attention simultaneously with the bare legs in aesthetic indeed an assertion in fashion of not the right size that the boyfriend trend would come to suffice as a ruling in much stylish popularity. The term boyfriend probably came along due to the first such encounter of this type and in this time happening through the public image of Katie Holmes having taken to the streets wearing then boyfriend Tom Cruise’s jeans. And it has stuck since the-presuming it to be the ground of its etymology that is, and very ‘fittingly’ indeed even when it is not quite the tailored fit fashion tended to occur in for long expanses of time.
This premise of what can be referred to in much basicness as a loose style of clothing might not be giving away of its ‘desirability’ as possessing indeed the style quotient. With its nature in bagginess first and foremost likely occurring in much dishevelled attributes of sloppiness or even lazy and untidy in rather unjustified assumptions, the characteristic flair of boyfriend fashion resting on its casualness tends to be rather misrepresented. But creating such pieces of clothing that fall in place along this line of understanding is no less demanding of a sartorial sense. In fact in having to carefully consider just the right extent of extra space that should find accommodation in this realm of residing, curating such clothes that fit in this category of style can call for instead an extra sensibility in dressing.
Emergent upon this ground of greater attention to detail indeed, boyfriend fashion happens to be a very distinctively decipherable style of clothing indeed. Loose for sure but not lousy as such, with even the former characteristic easily adaptable to demands for the traditional fit through hacks galore is this particular way of working out one’s individual personality. Even the tailored to the hem consideration in crafting clothes that identity as the boyfriend type helps its cause in coming across as a relaxed fit that endows upon the wearer a charm not associated with what one might consider unflattering.
More contemporary styles and makes of boyfriend clothing tends to be intentionally flattering as well, with cuts and shapes so designed so as to maintain the vision of the free flow and comfort without constricting in any way the expanse upon which it unfurled. The case of their pairing is also as breezy an affair, whether one chooses to sport the style in its totality or picks up just one element to team up with other styles. As charmingly chic as they are cool can be the way of defining the boyfriend style in fashion and clothing which is what makes it another of the factors verifying once again the quintessential biasness of fashion towards woman. Sure, men are no less fashionable indeed and the boyfriend naming of a feminine style stands definite testimony to that. But the fact that it still is women who are making extra fashion buzz out of this arrangement in hipping up the essentials makes the boyfriend fashion statement quite a darling to them the world over.