Ecowiser

Breaking Gender Barriers: The A to Z of Androgynous Fashion

Throughout the ages, fashion has metamorphosed to allow us to express ourselves in a way that best reflects societal standards. But, that’s the problem. This self-expression has always been restricted by set norms. Fashion at its core is art and art is to be explored. What better way to explore this form of art than to break down the boundaries between the masculine and feminine, combine the best of both and do away with the concept of the gender binary? The idea of androgynous clothes is not new but has been popularised by queer culture.

Thanks to countless LGBTQIA+ activists and non-binary influencers, we have now reached a point where androgyny is accepted and even celebrated in the fashion industry. Let us take a deep dive into the world of non-binary fashion and understand what it means, how it’s styled and how to incorporate sustainability in our quest to embrace fluid fashion.

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What are Androgynous Clothes?

Style doesn’t discriminate. Fashion has always been an avenue for self-expression and experimentation. However, due to existing gender norms, clothing and accessories seem very restrictive. Androgynous clothes on the other hand do not fall into the typical female and male category. They do away with the gender binary and embrace inclusivity. Clothes should not be defined by anything. Androgynous clothes are the best way to express your non-binary identity and diversify your wardrobe to look your best.

The origin of the term “androgynous” lies in Latin, and it refers to the quality of possessing both masculine and feminine traits. In essence, androgynous fashion thus refers to neutral, inclusive and gender-fluid clothing.

What Is the Difference Between Unisex Clothing and Androgynous Clothing?

Didn’t realize they are two entirely different concepts? Don’t worry, neither did I but it’s easy to differentiate once you really delve into it. Unisex clothing has always been acceptable and normalized to a great extent.

In fact, many popular brands already incorporate unisex lines. Unisex clothes are designed in such a way as to be considered socially acceptable when worn by either men or women. We see this with T-shirts, jeans, coats, sweaters, hoodies and more. Essentially they fit into both the “male” and “female” categories as defined by society. You’re really not breaking any gender norms by wearing unisex outfits. Moreover, unisex clothing is preferred when one wants to keep their gender ambiguous.

Androgynous clothes on the other hand incorporate both the feminine and masculine. It is an active resistance to the set gender binary and is a way of fashion that rejects what’s considered socially acceptable. That is definitely the biggest difference. If unisex clothing tells you “Hey this is an outfit you can wear regardless of whether you identify as a man or a woman!”, then androgynous fashion tells you “This is an outfit you can wear regardless of your identity, whether you are gender fluid, non-binary or cis.” This clothing has no labels. It is experimental, fun and fresh!

How do you dress androgynously? 5 Non-Binary Influencers You Need To Follow!

As mentioned earlier, the whole point of dressing androgynously is to not have to choose between the traditional feminine or masculine. Try to overturn stereotypical gender norms and mix skirts with tuxedos or formal pants with crop tops or incorporate traditionally feminine accessories and makeup with masculine clothing.

It is important to note that your gender expression through non-binary fashion may not necessarily align with what’s considered stylish in society. This is because designers still aim their content at the masses who want to fit into the restrictive binary fashion. But this shouldn’t stop you from wearing what you want to! As long as YOU feel good wearing something, it doesn’t matter what other people believe.

Honestly, the best thing about being androgynous is that there are no rules! Think out of the box and remove all your mental blocks set by societal standards. Find a piece of clothing that you like? Go ahead and try it on! Of course, even then, I won’t leave you high and dry. Instead, I will provide you with some of the best androgynous fashion influencers to spice up your outfits and inspire you to experiment to the fullest.

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1. Alok V Menon @alokvmenon

Alok V Menon is certainly one of the most influential individuals on social media. With their unique sense of aesthetics, groundbreaking writeups and inspiring public speaking, Menon is a must-follow.

Menon identifies as gender nonconforming and transfeminine which allows them to dabble in unique forms of expression, especially through fashion. They love bright colours, and bold makeup and include both feminine and masculine aesthetics.

2. Jayjay Kings @jayjaykings

Jayjay Kings describes themselves as a self-taught makeup artist turned drag entertainer celebrating diversity and equality.

They go by he/she/they pronouns and no one exemplifies the true potential of nonbinary fashion better than them. They love fishnets and shimmer, bold patterns and their makeup is nothing short of a work of art.

3. Jamie Windust @jamie_windust

Jamie Windust is not only a brilliant writer, public speaker and model who has been named London’s most influential person but they are also an impeccable fashion influencer.

They embrace mixed prints, colours and larger-than-life cutouts and have created a uniquely personal brand of fashion. They strongly advocate for the inclusion of the LGBTQIA community into the fashion industry.

4. Markevious Harris @poeticdrugs

Another personal favourite influencer of mine better known by their Instagram handle ‘Poetic Drugs’ adds what the beauty industry has been lacking for so long. Good male representation.

Not only is his makeup looks an absolute serve, but he also delves into gender-fluid fashion like nobody else. So, if you want some brilliant out-of-the-box inspiration, he is a must-follow.

5. Jason @virtual.brat

Jason’s provocative brand of fashion is authentic, stylish and unique. They incorporate current fashion trends into their outfits and style denim, boots and mini skirts better than anyone else.

Their fun makeup along with their y2k aesthetic makes them stand out as a true beauty and fashion guru.

Best Ethical Non-Binary Fashion Brands

Now that we have the gist of it and are ready to embrace genderless androgynous clothing, let us look at some sustainable and ethical non-binary fashion brands to spice up our wardrobe. It is not only important for brands to provide gender-fluid and gender-neutral clothing in order to break gender norms and stereotypes but also for them to be ethical during their production process. They need to be cruelty-free, eco-friendly, zero waste, use natural fabrics, protect the rights of their workers and promote sustainability.

KINdom

One of the best clothing brands out there, KINdom believes that human beings and nature are intrinsically connected to each other and hence we must be responsible stewards of the universe. It is because of this core belief that KINdom is dedicated to using sustainable, natural, recycled, reclaimed, and indigenous materials while also providing consumers with gender-inclusive clothing.

They use natural cotton labels printed with water base ink and unbleached hand tags connected by jute twine to reduce pollution. They have replaced plastic packaging with vegetable-based bioplastic to pack and store each product. In fact, KINdom’s goals align with those of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Not only is KINdom sustainable, but it is also very inclusive with sizes ranging from XS to XXL. They have tees with catchy slogans, wardrobe essentials for everyone and convertible clothes! They truly are the very pinnacle of sustainability providing solutions to overconsumption by creating clothing items that can convert into two different outfits!

Check out the website

non-binary clothing
From KINdom site

RILEY STUDIO

Riley Studios partners with a number of innovative mills and manufacturers from across the globe to provide consumers with gender-neutral and gender-inclusive clothing essentials made from organic and waste materials. They use everything from recycled nylon died with onion skins to shirt buttons made from milk waste all in order to rectify the mistakes of the unethical fashion industry.

Moreover, their recycled fabrics divert waste from landfill they try to ensure a circular lifespan for their materials. They ensure that none of their clothes ends up disposed of of as waste by providing consumers with a lifetime repair guarantee on all products. They have done away with tactics like sales and seasonal releases which promote overconsumption. They have a wide variety of basics in attractive earthy tones and inclusive sizing ranging from XS to XXL.

non-binary clothing
From Riley Studio Site

BIG BUD PRESS

Big Bud Press specialises in genderless clothing, is a sweatshop free and independently audits all its manufacturing partners. They almost exclusively use natural fabrics: 100% cotton fabrics and any non-cotton fabric is made out of recycled yarns. They use non-toxic dyes and water-based screen printing for their garments.

They also use 100% recycled poly bags for everything from storage to packaging while sending it through mail etc. They are always actively looking for new methods to be more sustainable. They are very VERY size-inclusive with sizes r