Boy. Named Sue
WORDS BY J. CLAIBORNE BOWDON
Band of Outsiders, one of those brands that’s so on point and now that it’s ubiquitous in the style clique, but completely unknown in the mainstream, has managed to deploy no less than three seasons (that I can confirm) of a women’s wear line that goes by the name of Boy., and yeah it’s a tricky punctuation proposition, but it’s worth the risk. The way they’ve gone about designing the line makes it seem like such a logical extension of themselves that it almost betrays its brash achievement. The feet of Boy. may be wearing high heels, but those feet are firmly rooted in Classic American sports clothing and menswear.
Women have been making menswear their own since before Marlene Dietrich put everyone else that ever donned a top hat and tails to shame, so why not have a menswear line make the menswear for them? A few tweaks in the tailoring and a shift of proportion in the length and the job’s done. Boy. almost looks as effortless as that. In fact, Boy. looks like your girlfriend raided your closet and took some of your best stuff to a very gifted tailor, and there’s very little in the world more endearing and alluring than the sight, or recognition (some girls can be downright occult in their appropriation,) of your clothes on an attractive woman.
Even if you don’t care much for clothes, should you drop by Boy.’s website, there are still all of the fantastic snapshots to take in. These wonderfully composed Slim-Aarons’-eye-with-Terry-Richardson’s-technique faux Polaroids maintain a feeling of spontaneity that extends life to the subjects and ease to the clothes. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy, both aesthetically and psychologically. The clothes on display have a delightful and unmistakably girlish quality to them, but no one since Audrey Hepburn has been seen frolicking in such attire (damn shame if you ask me). Show them out in the world, on the street, in potential real-life situations: Leslie Mann on a maritime day out, Sarah Silverman at Canter’s Deli (Are all these women with “man” in their names intentional? Is Band of Outsiders that crafty?), Marisa Tomei hanging out in a restaurant kitchen) rather than boxed up on an extravagantly orchestrated shoot, and you open up just enough possibility in the minds of the consumer-viewer to make the clothes a warm, more familiar option. It certainly isn’t a question of whether they look good or not.
The great thing about the line is that it’s hard to really pin it to a particular style era. The influences and source material certainly come to mind as you take it all in, but all of it feels fresher, contemporary, its own thing. Boy. is less regal than Ralph Lauren, and more stylish than J.Crew. Boy. is a girl you want to know better.
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