Ask the Stylist: Boy Look On A Budget

August 8, 2011

Ask The Stylist, Daily Digest

Ask the Stylist: Boy Look On A Budget

Dear Ask the Stylist

I loved your Masculin Feminine feature but I find workwear shopping kinda stressful with all the badly cut suits on the high street. Maybe you could show us how to achieve the masculine/feminine look on a budget once the A/W collections hit? Aine.

What a great suggestion Aine! Here are some budget options for how to get this look.

Look 1: Suit or tuxedo suit


You’ll find a well cut androgynous suit in COS at BT2 (€135 jacket, €69 trousers) – this label is ace at clean cut clothes and the tailoring on this suit is superb. Zara also has some great tailored suit work wear options for this autumn winter.

A tuxedo suit will nail this trend for you in one purchase. Although key designers all have a good tux suit offering, I haven’t spotted any budget options (you could be lucky and spot one in TK Maxx) so if you come across one, it’s an excellent investment in that it’s an evening wear alternative along with being an exceptionally smart work wear option.

So if you can’t get a tux suit, get this look with separates instead.

A Tux Blazer

Bastyan (at Brown Thomas or online at John Lewis) and All Saints are higher end high street options for same colour tux blazers. Maje have the most beautiful all white tux blazer, but it’s an investment piece at over €250.

Tuxedo jackets with different coloured labels are bountiful ever since Stella McCartney paid homage to 50s menswear style with her Contrast-Lapel Tuxedo Jacket. 

Come October you can get the ivory and black blazer at Penneys, €23 (Zara previously did a version) or a cropped version in French navy or Oxblood, a key colour for AW11, at Topshop (€75, in store now).  Joanathan Sanders Editions at Debenhams also do a take on the French navy with black lapel blazer (£75).

Style tip: A Tux blazer is not just for work; on weekends dress it down with a t-shirt and jeans.

Look2:  Tuxedo Blazer +waistcoat+ trousers + feminine blouse & shoes

Wear a black tux blazer with black ankle cropped trousers (Zara €29.95) or tapered trousers (Topshop £58), a white pussy bow blouse (Asos) and a suit waistcoat (Ted Baker) for that Olivia Palermo inspired look.

A silky or sheer shirt or blouse will also work instead of a pussy bow blouse. It’s about adding a touch of femininity to an otherwise masculine look. Finish off with feminine court shoes or pointy court shoes will add that Isabel Marant touch of class.

Look 3:  Tuxedo Blazer + stiff shirt+ pencil skirt + court shoes or high heeled brogues

Try any of the tux blazer suggestions above with a white tuxedo shirt from Zara (€29.95) and a Mango pencil skirt (£42.90).

Look 4: Menswear inspired trousers + Alexa inspired shirt

Zara definitely has the best selection of tailored trousers right now. Try their straight trousers in black or navy (€39.95) and wear them to work with a tie neck or contrast lapel blouse.

Miss Selfridge has the most fabulous selection of these blouses if you want to channel the Alexa Chung look.

Other options to get this look

Oversized brooches are plentiful at Debenhams for around the €20 mark.


If you’d like to embrace a full on boy look, then work a brogue with the above options as they are everywhere right now.

Rockport (€100) and Bertie at Arnotts (€111) and are our favourites – both do real leather brogues while you’ll find budget faux leather versions-a-plenty on the high street.

So, whether it’s a simple tuxedo shirt or a great fitted blazer, there’s a borrowed-from-the-boys style solution to suit everyone this season.

See the images for our suggestions in the gallery below

Related posts:

  1. Ask the Stylist: White Shirt
  2. Ask the Stylist: Lace
  3. Tennis Chic
  4. Accessory Alert: Brogues
  5. Ask the Stylist: Summer Lunch
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. zara suit | - August 10, 2011

    […] love the masculine feminine look (see how to get the look on a budget) in tailoring this season and have been looking around for a great blazer.  This two tone tux […]

  2. Rachel Bilson, in Erdem, at the CBS Party | - September 1, 2011

    […] worn in our out of trousers and skirts, buttoned up or worn open, which can either nod to the mannish trend which is so current right now or be more girly and feminine if you choose floral, sheer or pussy […]

Leave a Reply