Borrowed From The Boys (In The Band)
Last weekend, I went thrifting in Greenpoint with some male friends of mine. We walked into a Beacon’s Closet and I was totally overwhelmed. I love thrifting, but the idea of looking through every. single. rack. can be daunting when you walk into a large store. My male counterparts and I headed for the women’s outerwear section, tearing through numerous leather jackets and puffers. I checked out the maxi dresses for a hot minute, and then I walked right across the store to the men’s section. I knew that the best oversized jackets, tee shirts, and button downs awaited me there. After regrouping to try on, my friend had picked out mostly women’s clothes and I, men’s clothes. On our bodies, everything we chose looked exactly right for us.
It got me thinking about how inspired I am by men’s fashion, a very specific men’s fashion that is. We see button down shirts and slacks labeled as “borrowed from the boys” in editorials all the time: women adapting a dapper, traditionally masculine aesthetic. The boys I borrow from are already borrowing from, well, the girls. They’re rock musicians who already dress in a counter-cultural fashion - a fashion that, whether they realize it or not, will become mainstream in a few years.
I spend hours a week watching old concerts, music videos, and interviews of my favorite bands on YouTube, so it’s no wonder that what I consume ends up playing a part in my everyday life. Below is a mood board of some of my “male style icons”, which low key also serves as a collage of my crushes throughout the years. The catch is that when I look at them I’m not entirely sure if I want to be with them or BE them, if you know what I mean. They give off an effortless cool that I want to emulate myself. I’ll explain how exactly each of them have influenced my style below, and, as always, I’ll link to some cool products inspired by them at the end of the post!
Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails. Trent’s look in the video for "March of The Pigs" is one of my favorites. I’ve actually basically worn this outfit before: mesh, black tee, leather pants, combat boots. Also shout out to the vinyl pants on Chris Vrenna on the drums. I Am Gia is shook.
Kurt Cobain, Nirvana: Kurt imagery seems to be everywhere these days, but the shoot with the leopard fur coat and sunglasses is certainly iconic. He’s also pictured above in a red version of the glasses. Whenever I see people in those glasses, I immediately think of Kurt. I also definitely bought an oversized striped sweater once because I thought it looked like one he wore.
Sting, The Police: I grew up watching videos of The Police from a very young age, and Sting’s glasses in the "Can’t Stand Losing You" music video really stuck with me. I’ve searched for a pair of prescription glasses of their size and shape for years, always settling for a pair that’s not quite as exaggerated.
Carlos D, Interpol: Carlos was on stage making leather holsters look chic as hell years before Urban Outfitters snuck them into every single look on their online store.
Nick Zinner, Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Ok, Nick Zinner doesn’t really have an iconic fashion look apart from his wild hair and tiny frame. Still, no one embodies “do I want to be with you or be you?” more than him for me. I feel like I relate to him and his little vampire ways, down to his signature apathetic peace sign photo pose. I saw a thick black button down while on my thrifting trip and tried it on solely because it looked like something he would wear (basically what he’s wearing in the video linked next to his name). Plus, no one rocks a tiny vintage graphic tee like him, and that’s definitely a wardrobe staple for me.
Brian Molko, Placebo: Obviously I couldn’t leave out one of the biggest androgynous fashion icons of our era. Truly I just want to look like Brian in the Pure Morning video every single day of my life. I mean, the hair, the makeup, the shoulder cut outs, the black nails (AND toe nails, the man knows a mani/pedi) – c’,mon!
Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance: I’ve been wearing red-brown eye shadow nearly every day for a few years now, and I truly have to credit Gerard Way for that. I loved the way he used to wear all red eye shadow back in the day, and I wanted a way to recreate that look for daytime wear. However, I do use more true red eye shadow shades when I go out or on the weekends (all shades included in my Lime Crime Venus palette). My inspiration was none other than Gerard.
Cole Smith, DIIV: Apart from his music, Cole Smith is possibly best known for his extremely oversized outfits. He always looks like he’s absolutely drowning in his clothes, and it somehow looks so right. I have an oversized tee shirt dress from Cos and I love how I feel when I wear it: like I’m just swimming in fabric and I could look like anything underneath and it wouldn’t matter. I’ve considered pairing it with wide leg pants for a true Cole-inspired look.
Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins: I’m sorry, I just couldn’t not include the Zero look from the "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" video. That’s the only reason he’s here. Shiny silver pants and the Zero shirt - what a look!
Jesse Rutherford, The Neighbourhood: We all know that I think the cutest member of the NBHD is actually Zach Abels, but Jesse has really become quite the style icon over the past few years. His style is like Cobain meets Bret Michaels plus BDSM minus a shirt. The dude wore a chain as a tie with a three piece suit last year. He’s gritty and creative, and I always find myself wanting to emulate his fearless aesthetic.
Get the look! Shopping guide below.
Slater Pants by I Am Gia (for when you want to be a member of NIN) // Karen Tee by Nick Zinner x Skim Milk (for when you want to both channel and support the Little Vampire) // Venus Palette by Lime Crime (for endless Gerard looks) // Oversize Round Sunglasses by Zero UV (since I'm not sure anyone will ever make prescription lenses to rival Sting's) // The Love Tempo Sunglasses by Crap Eyewear (to get the Kurt look) // Crossover V-Neck Dress by COS (this is technically a women's dress but it still seems like something Cole Smith would wear with baggy pants) // Lace Up Striped Sweater by The Ragged Priest (a feminine touch to the Kurt striped sweater) // Falling Jacket by UNIF (an actual men's jacket with added emo graphics)
Who are your fashion icons? Borrow from the boys, and learn from the ladies: you can get inspiration anywhere!