I never liked the term “Borrowed from the Boys.” This phrase refers to traditional menswear styles that can be reinterpreted for the modern woman. Leather jackets, graphic t-shirts, boxy blazers, distressed jeans, and penny loafers are all considered menswear-only pieces, and when a woman chooses to wear any or all of these pieces she is officially labeled a tomboy, void of all traditional femininity.
Leather jackets were popularized by bad boys James Dean and Marlon Brando in the mid-1950s, and their rebellious girlfriends immediately adopted their new outerwear option. Especially after the feminist explosion of the 1960s, the “bad boy” look of blue jeans, a t-shirt, and leather jacket was as popular among women as it was the men. Surprisingly, a woman can wear a leather jacket while still wearing lipstick and most people will not think there is a jacketless boyfriend somewhere nearby.
On the preppy side, women have incorporated pants into their daily wardrobe since Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s, and Diane Keaton helped re-popularize the masculine look in the 1970s. Oversized blazers and sturdy footwear have been popular since women entered the workforce in the 1970s and 80s, so think it is revolutionary for a woman to not to wear an a-line dress and heels to work every day is a kind of ignorant.
Today, in 2016, I am wearing an outfit that came 100% from the woman’s section. I am wearing a leather jacket but I do not want to smoke a cigarette, the holes in my jeans are not a cry for rebellion, and my loafers do not make me want to destroy the patriarchy… actually I take that last one back.
Here are some leather jackets that would impress James Franco: