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The Le Smoking jacket for women was created by Yves St. Laurent in 1966. This androgynous style was and still is daring and chic. There is one photograph that has set Yves St. Laurent’s infamous ensemble in fashion history forever, which was taken by Helmut Newton. You know the one, you’ve seen it before, and although it was taken in the late 60s, it still looks modern and current….

Women like Bianca Jagger, Catherine Deneuve and Lauren Bacall adopted the “Le Smoking” tuxedo style suit while many women across the globe were still wearing incredibly feminine and naive clothing; maxi dresses, mini dresses, rainbow color pallets, color blocked shifts and bells. For our ReStyle series at BurdaStyle we styled Alden in our men’s tuxedo jacket. The inspiration behind this look is obvious, but I wanted to add a freshness to this classic play on masculine/feminine. We paired the tux jacket with Alden’s own plaid dress, sheer polka dot tights, statement jewelry and recreated the infamous slicked back hairstyle and dark eyes.

Pictured above: Le Smoking by Helmut Newton, Catherine Deneuve and Yves St. Laurent, Alden in our tux pattern, 1960s girls in mini dresses


  • Cali_large

    Apr 22, 2010, 04.35 PMby threadsquare

    Wow! Who knew a jacket could cause so much fuss? I love this chic look. I always have and always will. That doesn’t mean I think I pull it off very well, even though I’ve tried. Seasidelaundry…I agree with Alison…that is a great memory & story :)

  • Missing

    Apr 21, 2010, 01.08 AMby sontology

    LOVE Le Smoking (given a French name because Yves St Laurent spoke French). It’s stylish, sharp, slick, and very grown up – no little girly-girl can pull off this look. The suit isn’t a man’s suit – it’s a woman’s suit, cut and styled to suit the feminine body. There’s no way it’s masculine.

  • Beach_baby_ii_large

    Apr 18, 2010, 06.49 AMby seasidelaundry

    A memory & a definition of true femininity (for me.) I was 13 & went to a party in U.S. A girl visiting from France came in borrowed white dress (more like a child would wear) not fittting well, not at all in style, & a little small. As evening progressed & a chill blew into the yard, she was given a boy’s navy sport jacket. Now, we know being from another country, an attraction. But, she really made a statement without even trying & I have always wanted to attempt this look. So, yes, my approval & I do love it with a girly item underneath.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Apr 19, 2010, 04.27 PMby alisondahl

      I love that story. It’s so interesting how some styles which can stick with you forever come from a quick decision or a fleeting moment in time…

  • Missing

    Apr 17, 2010, 02.49 AMby saswears

    I love the look, the styling, infact everything about it. In fashion, you have to know what looks good on you, and go for it. Your style also matters. As long as you can give the bodily carriage to what you wear, you will stand out from the crowd.

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    Apr 15, 2010, 09.24 PMby fidgetfingers

    I don’t think it matters what men think, it only matters how you feel in your clothes! Personally, I think this is a good way to make plain jeans and tshirts more tailored. I’ve worn this type of jacket before with cutoff shorts and plain shirts because it makes me feel more put together, and it’s nice for those odd spring days where the weather keeps fluctuating.

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Apr 15, 2010, 09.59 AMby janul

    Hmm, I really can´t decide on this one :). I think some women can pull this androgynous look off (Patti Smith! love her look), and some don´t. I think the oversized jacket is not very flattering on Alden… Maybe it´s because she has very feminine curves and overall look, and looks much better in more feminine clothes. I wish I knew what men like, really. I think they appreciate if a woman knows what suits her, be it “man look” or more feminine style… because everyone looks good in different clothes and has to find out which style is best. I hope that makes sense… But I guess it´s just late for me, as men started to find me feminine enough after I got married… lol :D

  • Me_and_daddy_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 11.39 PMby nadya c

    I love the androgynous look of the jacket and a woman who wears it has fearless style and is comfortable with her femininity. Its true though not all women can pull off a jacket like this.

  • Il_430xn_156061385_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 05.43 PMby suzetewilliams

    Well, of course we’re all entitled to our opinions – men DO care what you wear! My husband is living proof of that and he’s neither old nor gay ;-). A lot of my friends are male and they DO care what women wear, whether it is because they find something sexy, sophisticated or simply trashy. Actually, we have this common misconception that men don’t care about fashion, but the majority of designers and people behind the scenes in the fashion industry are men (no, not all of them are gay).

    I live close to London which is one of the most eclectic cities in the world (perhaps after Tokyo and closely followed by NY) and I love its fashion sense from Goth looks to Preppy, to the African or Indian lady in traditional costumes strutting her stuff down Brick Lane, but I’m still not feeling this jacket “Le Smocking” (as if giving it a French name is going to make it more appealing).

    And please don’t bring back shoulder pads! Been there and done it and wasn’t that happy about it the first time round. Lol

    Sorry, just my opinion.

  • Avatar3_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 05.03 PMby carottesauvage

    Special mention to Patti Smith on the ‘Horses’ cover!

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Apr 19, 2010, 04.25 PMby alisondahl

      Yes! I love how one would never know that Patti Smith wears a lot of Ann Demeulemeester jackets and has collaborated with her in the past on her clothing… she calls her androgynous style “Look at me, don’t look at me.”

  • Avatar3_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 01.46 PMby carottesauvage

    Not feeling sorry for the blokes, I am afraid. If every woman had to expose their cleavage or show their legs to comfort the poor things. … mother or whore, NO thanks!! The oversexualization of women bodies is even worse nowadays Simply love the style as much as the Garconne look from the roaring twenties, coinciding with women claiming their independance.

  • 63da73618ae0ab8ece37c5663d95530c91512100_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 07.34 AMby machelefranklin

    Go for tuxedos and go for the androgynous style… there’s no strict line between men and women and there’s no strict rule for how one or the other should dress up, so just go ahead. And if men are confused by a girl dressed up like a boy, well, then they should grow up, this is 2010.

    2 Replies
    • Robe_skulls_large

      Apr 14, 2010, 10.29 AMby nessie

      +1, love this style ! (However, being overly gifted in the breasts zone, I can’t really pull it off :( )

    • Il_430xn_156061385_large

      Apr 14, 2010, 05.49 PMby suzetewilliams

      I respect everyone’s opinion and for me the difference of opinion is part of what makes life fun, but one thing bothers me sometimes… Life can be complicated enough as it is and us looking and acting more like men only makes life more confusing. Especially for them – we expect so much from these “poor creatures”, but we are forgetting that the lines between men and women are so blurred that they are more confused than ever! Actually, we are confusing ourselves in the process as well.

      I know we’re only talking about clothing here, which really shouldn’t be an issue, just a matter of different tastes, but I just wonder whether it doesn’t start there? Life was never perfect before the 50s, but it was less complicated on the expectations between male and female… or so I hear/read… I’m only 41 years old. Just thought I’d clear that up since I realise that I’m sounding like a 90 year old. lol :-)

  • Il_430xn_156061385_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 07.17 AMby suzetewilliams

    Mmmm, not very sure about this one. I love jackets, but I’m more of an Audrey Hepburn/Jackie Onasis style. I don’t believe in the androgynous look… well, some people can pull it off and still be feminine, but on the whole, I think women should remain feminine (that isn’t to say we shouldn’t wear trousers). Men are already confused enough as it is…

    2 Replies
    • 11012193_10154291143778709_5088354849278823877_n-2_large

      Apr 14, 2010, 12.43 PMby Anna Aasbjerg

      Don’t agree on that one! Being tall and skinny with short, black hair, men still find me feminin eventhough I wear boyfriend-jeans and white, oversize shirts.
      So to all you Audrey Hepburns and Jackie Onassis’ out there: Most men don’t care what you wear. It’s your personality they care about. If not, wrong man!

    • Model_shot_4_edit_large

      Jun 29, 2010, 08.39 PMby smartalex999

      i gotta agree with Mitmit on that one. I find pixie-cut hair and the androgynous style to be extremely sexy and it shows confidence because not everyone can rock that look- but those who can- WOW i love it and i know my guy friends agree…

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