Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's a boy-girl thing

I wasn't the only person rocking animal prints last season, so were my friends Claire, Tom and Georgia (above). And the leopard print they were loving? A H&M menswear top for just £19.99. One top, three individual looks.

Menswear stores make good shopping territory for women, whether it's an androgynous look you're after or just because you've seen something on a boy that you know will look cute on a girl. Take Gap, for example. It's menswear section is prime hunting ground for girls like my friend Hannah, who shops there for the men's cardies and sweaters. The sizing is small enough not to swamp even the tiniest of frames, while you can be guaranteed suitably long sleeve lengths and less girlie details and colours than what's on offer in womenswear.

So, with Claire, Tom and Georgia working identical tops last season, what's the boy-girl buy right now? I asked Tom to be my Bargainista Boy and to go shopping for a steal that would look as good on him as on the girls. His bargain find? This faded denim shirt (below) from H&M menswear for £29.99. 'The simple, understated design is like Margiela, but obviously far more affordable,' says Tom. 'Plus, the pale denim will look great with a pair of black shorts.'

And, to prove the point that the shirt's got boy-girl appeal, our friend Donna already has one! 'It's a great cut, a good wash and you're not going to see every other girl wearing it,' she says. 'It fits around the shoulders really well - an important thing to note when buying menswear - and it's very Chloé, too.'

Me, I like the shirt's slim fit and the über-softness of the denim. It's perfect for working this season's double denim trend - just team with jeans in a darker wash.

To find the right denim shirt for you, here's a few tips:
1. Choose a fitted style - it will look more flattering, especially for slender figures which can easily 'drown' in denim.
2. Pay attention to pocket positioning, especially if there are pocket flaps. These tend to accentuate the bust, so avoid if you're top heavy. Instead, choose hidden pockets like the ones on this H&M shirt.
3. Go for a pale wash - it's easier to wear with darker denims and will see you right through the summer, too.

PS. Claire's getting married this Saturday!!! Lots of love and luck hon. Denim shirt for the honeymoon? It's light enough to throw over a bikini... x x x

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