How To Navigate The Men’s Department

Three of our favorite fashion insiders dish on their tips and tricks.

By: Jodi Taylor

At TC HQ we’re all for oversized, well, everything. T-shirt dresses and mom shorts filled our summer wardrobes, and for the coming seasons we’re buying oversized shirts, jackets, and sweaters galore. If we’re being honest with you (which, obviously we always are) when we first started wearing this style we had a hard time shopping it, that is, until we realized that the men’s department was a gold mine for all things oversized. We also came to realize that there are a few tricks to finding the perfect piece in the men’s department and we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of them all to save ourselves from walking around looking like we are drowning in our boyfriend’s clothing (the boyfriend we don’t have, might we add). Our Instagram feeds are literally overflowing with *cool* girls pulling off this oversized look flawlessly, so we figured they must have the answers we’ve been looking for. We’ve tried and tested the below tips and you’ll be happy to know that as we sit here and write this, we’re wearing the most perfect oversized sweater there ever was.

 

Emily Oberg

Editorial Producer for Style at Complex Magazine

 

Her favorite thing to shop for in the men’s department:

“I love jerseys—especially hockey and football ones [because] they make great dresses since they're super oversized. And of course, sneakers. Anything that will work with my existing wardrobe—hoodies, tees, jerseys, crewnecks. These all work pretty well if you add a good bag and a nice heel.”

Her favorite store to shop men’s in:

Barney's has a good selection of mens. Mostly vintage stores though—I'm not too much into new retailers.”

On certain items to stay away from:

“I used to buy a lot of men's denim, like vintage Levi’s, but they just fit so weird, even if you get them tailored. They're way too big. It's hard to make men's pants work.”

Her best tips:

“Jersey into a dress, hoodie into a dress, baggy denim into knee-length shorts.”

On the sizing she typically goes for:

“Usually and men's small or medium is big enough on me to be oversized, but these are rare when it comes to streetwear. Everyone wants a size small because the kids who are wearing it are so young [so] I’ll make a medium work!”

On if she ever tries anything on:

“I hate trying things on, it's so annoying! I know what works on me so it's easy to know if it'll work by looking at it on the hanger.”

Benefits of shopping men’s vs. women’s:

“I think men's is a bit more basic and plain. It's not going to go out of style and it's not fast fashion like women's. The cuts and styles are generally simple and you'll likely be able to wear things longer.”

Her thoughts on buying men’s shoes:

“Most of my sneakers are men’s. The good sneaker colorways usually only come in men's or youth, so I have to buy mens.”

The male celebrity she would want to style her:

“Kanye West. He transformed Kim!!! He definitely has a good vision of how women should dress.”

 

Aleali May

Image Consultant

 

What she likes to shop for in the men’s department:

“Athletic sneakers and jackets. The men’s department always carries more versatile styles!”

Her favorite store to shop men’s in:

Barney’s New York and H. Lorenzo would have to have my favorite men’s departments. From Raf Simons to Margiela to Acne Studios, they always have a nice number of items to choose [from] and have fun with.”

On the look she typically goes for:

“I tend to lean towards more streetwear but high-end looks. I love the oversized box shaped tees that the men’s department carries. I wear a lot of oversized t-shirts as dresses and the men’s department caters to that!”

On certain looks she stays away from:

“Overdone graphics. My style does include graphics, but I like to keep it minimal.”

Her best tips for shopping men’s:

“As women’s shirts are more fitted and short in length, the men’s tees are perfect for the t-shirt dress. Brands tend to make shirts long and tall, obviously to fit the variety of male consumers, but little did they know it’s also perfect for women, like myself, who play on the tomboy-chic look.”

“If you've never shopped in men's, I feel it's [best] to start with brands you already love in the women's department! You may find *that* piece that caters to your personal style with a more masculine approach.”

On the sizing she typically goes for:

“I usually go for a men’s medium or large to conquer the oversized or baggy look.”

Her thoughts on trying things on:

“I can shop without trying on pieces in the men’s department. I’m usually not looking for the most form-fitting clothing which makes it easier.”

Benefits of shopping men’s vs. women’s:

“The men’s department carries so many options for jackets and plain tees—different fabric and sizes based on height. I feel jackets are always a staple piece in menswear.”

The male celebrity she would want to style her:

“Pharrell.”

 

Sami Miró

Vintage Curator & Designer

 

On what she shops the men’s department for:

“Definitely jackets. They can never be too oversized. Seriously though. I have worn an XXL leather trench coat that ate me alive and it was perfect.”

Her favorite store to shop men’s in:

“Vintage shops and boyfriends’ closets.”

Her best tips for shopping mens:

“Technically anything can work from structured and tailored, to big and baggy. It’s about preference and dress code that or day or night. Anything long enough can be a dress and tops can be tied up to look similar.”

The size she typically goes for:

“Large is my go-to for sure.”

Her thoughts on trying things on:

“There is never any harm in trying things on, but once you’re an experienced unisex shopper you’ll gravitate towards what looks [and] fits right for your style and shape.”

Benefits of shopping men’s vs. women’s:

“When shopping in the men’s department you need to consider two things; 1) does it even match my style? 2) Does it work with my body type? For example, I have always worn men’s clothing because I have a more petite, athletic build which doesn’t work well with bodycons or tight feminine clothes, but [it] somehow makes oversized clothing look sexy. When it comes down to it, fashion is all about knowing yourself, so exploration is important.”

On if she’s ever purchased men’s shoes:

“Only the Converse x Commes des Garçons collab.”

The male celebrity she would want to style her:

“Mick Jagger.”

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