Menswear. It’s hard to define, especially since pretty much everyone owns jeans and a t-shirt for casual days and a suit jacket/blazer for special occasions. Like it or not, in western society there is often a level of authority, power, and swagger that comes from masculine garments, and for women, wearing menswear has often been tied with liberation and independence.
For this theme month, we challenge you to make something inspired by traditional menswear, either for yourself or someone in your life! It could be casual or formal, historical or avant garde, with a feminine or masculine twist. Menswear for men! Menswear for women! Menswear for the gender fluid or non-binary!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- boxers, briefs, or boy-cut undies
- trusty jeans, trousers, or overalls
- a classic crew-cut tee or button-up shirt
- a blazer or bomber jacket
- a dapper necktie or vest
- a cosy fisherman’s sweater or “grandpa” cardigan
- or, use traditional menswear fabrics like pinstripes or shirting!
(Personally, I’m aiming for a pair of cargo pants for my husband, and a bomber jacket or blazer for me. Hold me to it, folks!)
Remember, this is the Sewcialists, so there are basically no rules. This is meant to be fun and inspiring! If your garment is, or reminds you of, traditional menswear, then it counts. We will have inspiration posts all through January, and then invite you to share your own makes in February by tagging them #sewmenswearforeveryone!
We know that some menswear projects are a bit more involved, so we wanted to announce the challenge earlier than usual so you can start planning. This topic was a popular one in our annual poll, so we are excited to see where the discussion leads us!
We will post a call for contributors this Wednesday, and take the first 3 volunteers on the blog at 7am EST, and the first 3 volunteers on IG at 7pm EST. If you would like to sew something for this theme month and write about it for us, that is your chance to sign up!
Let us know in the comments below: What might you make, or what was the last piece of menswear/menswear-inspired sewing that you did?
Gillian cofounded the Sewcialists in 2013. She lives in Canada and loves cats, bright colours and sewing! She blogs at www.craftingarainbow.wordpress.com .
Previous month I bought an amazing fabric for my boyfriend, it was so amazing I went back to buy more fabric for me! A pair of pants is ready, a shirtdress for me is almost ready and I’m going to make my first plan, the shirt for him!
It’s going to be our first (almsot!) matching outfit! >_<
I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I have one accidental matching outfit with my husband (cause I used the scraps from his project for myself) and I always find it entertaining to wear!
How perfect! I just spent yesterday trying to work out a BCA – Barrel Chested Adjustment – on the Foreman Jacket by Merchant and Mills for my husband! He will get the (hopefully) wearable muslin for Christmas, and now I can justifiably delay the `real’ version until February, lol!
Awesome!! There is not enough info out there on adjustments for male bodies, so i hope you’ll share what you figured out! (And I’m laughing at the idea of you gifting him the muslin with a card that says, “Sorry, the Sewcialists say I can sew the real thing yet!”)
Totally!!!! I can’t say it was very scientific- I tried to research but you are correct, there is very little about men’s pattern adjustments. I may have merrily cut the pattern up the middle and then had an ‘oh shit’ moment, did some math, and fudged the rest!
I DID tell him that, and he then spent about an hour trying to decide which of the 4 fabrics I gave him to decide from!
My husband honestly won’t let me sew clothes for him, because he’s super picky about how loosely he likes things to fit and what fabrics he’ll wear, and doesn’t want to make me feel bad by disliking something I spent sewing time on. So probably the most recent menswear inspired thing I made was a Christmas button down shirt for my older son, two years ago. I think I’m due to make something from that “Classic Oxford” pattern for my younger son, though!
But you made pants for yourself just last month, and that can totally be stretched into the category! 😉 You know I like flexible rules!
Can wait to see what you come up with – I hope there is a nice nerdy print in your stash waiting!
Yesss! I love this theme! I think women feel empowered in menswear because the dang patriarchy historically dibsed many of the best clothes. The last piece of menswear I sewed for a man was a button-up shirt…and the last thing I sewed, full stop, was a button-up shirt for me. I <3 button-ups.
Historically, that sure does seem to be true! I do appreciate that not women in my work place get to wear the comfiest clothing (stretchy pants, tunics and leggings etc) while the guys are still stuck in chinos and button-ups! 😉 Which, quite frankly, is why I’m in the process of sewing my husband stretchy khakis, because he too deserves a nice bit of lycra.
I’ve read about how technology began to free women, but I’d read an essay on the specific contributions of fabric technology for sure!
Great theme! 👍😃🙏👏 I’ve got plenty of menswear patterns lined up!! 👍👏👏😃
Woohoo! Your sewing always makes me wish I was one of those sewists who delight in beautiful details – I’m more slapdash, but I adore what you make!
That’s funny 😂 I always think I’m slapdash too! 👍👏🙏🤪
I bought the Thread Theory waistcoat pattern for my husband last month — now I will *have* to make it up sooner rather than later!
Eeeeeexcellent….and you know, you just might *have* to buy some fabric for it too! 😉
This is such a good theme! I’ve been promising my husband a Harrington jacket for a few years now, maybe this will be the push I need!
I hope it’s a fun push! And the end of February is still a nice long way away, so hopefully you can enjoy the sewing process and not feel rushed!
My partner has said he is “too fat” and doesn’t want any new clothes until he loses weight! 😬 This is the first time I’ve known a male who was dealing with this. I need to investigate a bit to determine whether well-fitted clothes for his current weight would make him feel good or if that would make him feel worse. In the meantime, I love to wear button-up shirts and trousers. I think the last menswear-type sewing I did was several pairs of cuffed linen trousers back in 2016.
For years my husband didn’t want to get the tattoos he dreamed of because he wanted to lose weight first – it’s been a journey, but I’m glad he decided to get the tattoos and be happy! I find it really hard to find mens patterns that fit him, but I love sewing him clothing that makes him feel proud and look good. I hope you can find a pattern for your partner that makes him feel foxy at any size!
As someone who likes to dabble in androgyny, I am into this for all the selfish reasons. I’ve made the husband-unit button-up shirts and even a traditionally tailored sports coat, but I’m going to keep this one for myself. I think something circa “Desperately Seeking Susan” version of Madonna in a white tank and boxers… or maybe some straight up old man button-up pajamas… I’ve already done the menswear vest on me…but I’ve been playing with drafting one better for the D-cups & lady curves… decisions, decisions… aaaaah. I don’t remember who proposed this one, but I’m not gonna lie – I was glad it won.
All I remember is that I was initially nervous about properly hosting the discussions around this – but I’m so glad we went for it, cause now I’m pumped!!!
It is a potentially loaded term, that’s for sure. I’m happy we choose to expose & explore loaded terms. 😉
This is awesome! I’m planning to be making my uncle a suit jacket for Robbie Burns Day, which I guess is too soon for this challenge, but at least it’ll be fresh in my mind! And maybe I’ll be I spited to use some of the other wonderful suitings in my stash.
You know we don’t care about rules and dates! I can’t wait to see his Robbie Burns jacket!
I often buy men’s rather than women’s tee shirts as I am quite tall and like the body length, but as I have narrow shoulders I usually end up resetting the sleeves to make them fit as I would like. I also like men’s suit jackets but again tend to adjust the width of the shoulders, by putting in a dart parallel to the armhole seam (easier than resetting the whole sleeve on a tailored garment).
Oh interesting!!!! So you do a vertical dart along the shoulder seam to pull it in? (Or am i picturing this wrong?) Sounds like a really useful adjustment!
I’ve just smashed out 5 pairs of Thread Theory Comox Trunks for my youngest brother. My four year old daughter helped choose the fabric, so he’s going to be rocking love hearts, watermelons and unicorns on his butt 😀
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