Dressing uniquely on a high-street budget is entirely feasible. Admittedly, it's a case of being armed with a little know-how, and we're here to provide such invaluable guidance on a regular basis. One hot tip the team at Who What Wear UK is willing to (finally) reveal is this: The ASOS menswear department is a veritable shopping haven for girls who like to mix things up a little, and we have the proof.
Clearly, au fait with raiding the boys' rails is one of the brand's insiders, Debbie Shasanya, pictured below. She constantly shops from these lines and has kindly shared a few of her favourite outfits so you can see how this mix and match approach is done by a pro. In addition, we also received intel from the e-tailer that the men's and women's design teams are merging to work on some products together, putting a definitive stamp on fashion's move towards genderless style.
"I am not much of a minimal dresser, so I like to switch up my normal bold, colourful and print-clash outfits, and I find menswear gives me a break—whether that's in a super-oversize white tee or a simple beanie hat," Debbie says. "I also like a boxy camo jacket and have a few from reclaimed vintage (exclusive to ASOS) that I love pairing with some vintage jeans and a pair of heels."
"Womenswear is looking more and more to the men's arena for inspiration due to the urban sports and '90s streetwear trends. Casual dressing is increasingly important, and this naturally houses genderless, oversize silhouettes, which haven't been in womenswear for quite some time," explains Sian Ryan, head of womenswear design at ASOS.
There are some real gems hidden away in the categories your male friends have claimed for years, and much of that is thanks to the fact that ASOS's design teams have a) noticed loads of women shopping from the men's sections, and b) that men are more willing to step outside of the traditionally masculine sartorial parameters that they have been penned into for so long. So before you assume we're simply talking about bog-standard boyfriend knits (we've all been "temporarily borrowing" those for years), think again.
Looking for that all-important velvet choker? Surprise! We just found your new favourite one in the boy's department—it's £6 and emerald green. "We are seeing great reactions to unisex product on menswear (e.g., chokers, velvet, lace and kimonos) that originated from womenswear, so we are encouraging teams to work together on these," says James Lawrence, head of menswear design at ASOS.