Annie Hall androgyny
Boys borrowed the girls' boas, platform shoes, slinky shirts and sometimes even their makeup, but now it was the girls turn to try on the boys’ style. Diane Keaton, Woody Allen’s chanteuse in the neurotic 1977 venture Annie Hall, was very much unlike other leading ladies in one all-important area—this lady looked like a man (fashion-wise, natch).
In the late 70’s, women’s lib was breaking free from the chains of old-fashioned female constrictions. There was a collective gasp in the late 60’s when girls donned ‘boys clothes’ and wore pantsuits outside the house, but this… this was outright stealing from their closet. That wacky Annie wore men’s blazers, baggy pants, vests, oversized shirts, ties and floppy hats—sometimes all at once, or sometimes a jacket was just an accessory.
For those not comfortable with completely adopting a man’s head-to-toe look, women found a fashion vacation in men’s shirts, vests and maybe a tie. Women weren’t trying to take away men’s fashion; they just wanted to walk in their shoes for a moment, try them on for size. After all, a nice pair of wingtips are a little more comfortable than a pair of slide stilettos.
Although the movie was released in 1977, this menswear-inspired fashion was at its strongest in the early 80's. New Romantic girls adorned themselves with men's shirts and skinny leather ties, topped men's vests with shiny brooches, and paired canvas sneakers with fedora hats. Amy Linker, who played eternal outcast Lauren Hutchinson on the 80’s TV hit Square Pegs, had a penchant for suspenders to create her own unique sense of style. Tons of high school girls copied her lead, and paired the look with tons of Cyndi Lauper-esque bangle bracelets as a reminder that yes, they were still girls.
It's an unfair world when girls can pilfer through boys' closets, but boys can't wear skirts, dresses and pumps. Or maybe they could, but they realize how unpractical a mini skirt and hobbly heels are when you want to run, jump and play. Just because you wear the pants in the family, doesn't mean you can't be feminine.