The battle of the sexes is currently at bay, but that doesn't mean we can't borrow from the boys from time to time. Lately, women have been adopting a menswear staple--the necktie--and sporting them in a sophisticated way that blurs the gender gap. For us, the androgynous look is inspired by Diane Keaton's quirky Annie Hall; in the 1977 classic film directed by Woody Allen, Keaton wore an iconic vest and tie that made every girl want to raid their boyfriends and brothers' closets. Now this classic men's accessory is popping up on runways and red carpets, making it an appropriate subject for today's Trend Report!On The Runway
Dapper looks ruled the runway for F/W 12. Miu Miu offered a clever play on patterns, pairing the matching Jacquard Jacket ($1950) and Jacquard Pants ($1050) with the contrasting prints of the Jacquard Dicky ($290) and Silk Jacquard Tie ($245). The Silk Gazar Shirt ($830) and Spazzalato Leather Belt ($350) break up the clashing motifs. Over at Ralph Lauren, layering was key. A brown tie peeked out from underneath the Green Multicolored Crewneck Sweater ($1598) and Ocelot Jacket ($5998), while a purple tie brightened up the Lavender Striped Shirt ($998) and Brown Plaid Wool Coat With Shearling Collar ($6498).
On The Red Carpet/Street
WHO: Laura Bailey
WHAT: At the Chanel Resort 13 show in Paris earlier this year.
WEAR: Look 13 from Chanel's Pre-Fall 12 collection; Chanel pink sunglasses; black pumps.
WHY: A crisp button-down and tie combo feels elegant paired with a feminine, ankle-length skirt.
WHO: Street style
WEAR: A white pantsuit; oxford blue button-down shirt; printed navy tie.
WHY: Accessories--like dangling earrings, mirrored sunglasses, and stacks of bracelets--jazz up a masculine pantsuit.
WHO: Jessica Alba
WHAT: Attending a Lucky Magazine fashion and beauty blog conference in Los Angeles in April.
WEAR: Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet Delray Tie Embellished Crewneck ($297, available September 3rd); Topshop pants.
WHY: A sweater with an embellished sequin tie is a quirky alternative to the basic shirt-and-tie combo.
WHO: Emmy Rossum
WHAT: At Comic-Con International in San Diego last month.
WEAR: Ralph Lauren Collection Gabardine Suit in Robin's Egg Blue and Python Sandald in Robin's Egg Blue from the S/S 12 collection; Ralph Lauren Vintage Collection Art Deco diamond drop earrings (c. 1930) and aquamarine, ruby, and diamond cocktail ring (c. 1940).
WHY: A tailored short suit is still alluring with bare legs and strappy peep-toe sandals.
Get The Look/Ties
If you need to liven up a solid button-down blouse, go for a bright printed tie like Stefania Bartoni's Vintage Chain Print Tie ($354) or Thomas Pink's Elephant Daisy Printed Tie ($115). The hill-side's Polka-Dot Tie ($83) is a more understated version, but the spotted motif still adds a dose of charm to any outfit. A solid-colored tie is essential, too; just choose a pretty, pastel hue over somber blacks and browns. We suggest Reiss' Brooker Plain Silk Tie ($75) in Ice Blue or J.Crew's Chino Suiting Tie ($60) in Stone.
Get The Look/Shirts
Don't feel tied down to neckwear! You can channel Alba's playful look with a number of printed shirts. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel's Cotton Short Sleeve Tie Sweater ($375) or Moschino Cheap & Chic's Colonial Rose Printed Silk Top ($375) would look sassy with cropped, tailored pants and pointy-toe pumps. ASOS' Playsuit With Sequin Tie ($68) is a great going-out option. A sparkly short tie glams up the cute one-piece and lets everyone know you can hang with the boys!--Tiffany Tse
Photos of Laura Bailey, Jessica Alba, Emmy Rossum, and Diane Keaton, courtesy of Getty Images; street style photo, courtesy of Stockholm StreetStyle; Ralph Lauren backstage photo, courtesy of First View; Miu Miu runway photo, courtesy of Miu Miu.