The Boy-Meets-Girl Trend Everyone Can Pull Off

Photo: Courtesy of Crystalin Da Silva.
Old Navy shirt, jeans, and bag.
As cooler temps signal us to switch up our wardrobe, it's tempting to go on a sweater-weather shopping bender. But considering all the fall-worthy pieces already in our closets, that feels a little indulgent. So in a show of restraint, we're challenging ourselves to find items from the depths of our arsenals that we can reimagine for the season ahead. To help us get the job done, we turned to a West Coaster whose style is built on timeless staples: Crystalin Da Silva. The Portland resident took pieces that look good on everyone — like a white button-down and a striped boatneck tee — and mixed 'em with boy-meets-girl wares from Old Navy. The result: two easy-to-replicate looks that not only downplay the shirts' traditionally preppy vibes but also breathe new life into these lived-in basics. Ready to upgrade your own closet classics? Read on for Da Silva's quick-hit advice, below. First, tell us why a white button-down is such an enduring closet staple?
"The great thing about tailored, preppy pieces is that they serve as a blank canvas. They’re the building blocks to a versatile closet. A white button-down is a chameleon — it adapts to whoever is wearing it. It’s understated and universally flattering." How did you take such a classically preppy staple like the button-down and give it a laid-back feel?
"You can’t go wrong with a white button-down and denim. I love these boyfriend jeans. They’re slim but still have that relaxed look, which isn’t always easy to find. Any time I can pair some of my favorite neutral basics, I’m a happy girl."
Photo: Courtesy of Crystalin Da Silva.
Old Navy top, pants, and jacket.
What was your approach for the striped tee?
"A striped tee is one of the most wearable pieces you can own. You can dress it up, down, and wear it for just about any occasion. This is the one print that can make any outfit chic, and this boatneck option from Old Navy is perfectly classic. To help balance out the preppy piece and make it more me, I paired it with boyfriend jeans and loafers." You recently moved from San Francisco to Portland. Have you noticed a difference in the way people dress in each locale?
"The Portland style scene is super laid-back and casual. You'll see more muted tones and a more mature style than in San Francisco." How has your wardrobe reflected that difference?
"I actually kept everything [from my California wardrobe]. You do a lot of walking in both cities, and both experience cool weather. Plus, I try to make style decisions based on how I’m feeling and not necessarily where I’m located."

What's your best advice for someone who's hesitant to dip their toes into a less traditionally feminine, or masculine, look?
"Mixing masculine and feminine pieces together is key. It’s also important to pair more fitted pieces with loose-fitting options. The great thing about this trend is we all have these separates in our closet, you just never think to pair them together."

Finally, what would you do to transform these low-key looks for a slightly dressier occasion?
"For the striped-tee look, I would swap the white boyfriend jeans for something high-waisted, tuck my shirt in, and throw on a pair of block-heeled pumps. For the button-down look, I would simply throw on a pair of sky-high pointed pumps, ditch the hat, and add a clutch."

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