Before any significant LGBT+ movements of the 1960s and 70s, communities used physical appearance to express sexuality and gender. Fashion and certain styles have been important throughout LGBT+ history and remains a form of expression and identification. Gay fashion is often described as androgynous, which is ultimately about breaking the gender boundaries which society imposes on us, and wearing whatever makes you feel best, which is pretty badass!
Androgynous looks are particularly useful for those who identify outside of the gender binaries, those who are agender, androgyne, gender-fluid, or bigender. But are also adopted by gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and even heterosexuals. Style is about personality and self-expression.
For some, androgynous looks involve binding their chest, cutting or growing their hair, shaving or not shaving, and for others, it means shopping in all clothing departments, not only the one assigned to the gender they were born into.
Dressing androgynously can be used to negotiate gender and/or sexuality, for some people it is about making their exterior match their interior, and for others it simply makes them feel confident and attractive.
Slowly, more images of people dressed androgynously are being represented in the media with men wearing nail varnish and having glitter beards, and women chopping their hair into a short edgy cut and wearing suits. Celebrity icons such as Brittenelle and Ruby Rose are presenting androgynous styles on social media, making gender-nonconformity more visible and accepted.
For me, fashion is about expressing myself, which includes my sexuality. Sometimes I dress femininely and other times I dress androgynously, both of which equally express who I am. Androgynous looks for me are about dressing in both masculine and feminine ways, it is about breaking boundaries to feel confident and authentic in my appearance.
Here are some of my favourite androgynous looks:
I shop in both womenswear and menswear for shirts, whether it is fitted or oversized and loose, a shirt never fails to make me feel confident in my masculine side.
Skater brands such as Vans often sell unisex clothes. Large and baggy t-shirts, accompanied with a shirt or low crotch jogging bottoms are perfect for an edgy androgynous look.
Not only are jumpers and hoodies comfortable, but they also allow me to confidently express my masculine side.
Accessories such as beanies, snapbacks, backpacks, or simply wearing a shirt tied around my waist makes me feel confident and cool whilst also expressing my sexuality.
I would like to reaffirm that you do not have to dress androgynously to be gay or lesbian. I can wear lipstick and heels, and still be pansexual. Don’t force a style on yourself to try to fit in, whether that is to conform to current trends or to ‘look gay’. Wear what makes you feel good! Don’t be afraid to experiment or try out different clothes and styles. Find what makes you feel most comfortable and confident in yourself.
Comment whether you liked this post, and I will show what androgynous styles I wear in the Summer once the weather gets warmer in rainy Cardiff. Comment what styles make you feel most confident about your gender and sexuality!
Thank you to my model, Georgia for helping me make this post possible by wearing every outfit I threw at her and being patient with my lack of photography skills.
You can look online for androgynous fashion websites such as Gender Free World.
Check out Ruby Rose’s music video, which breaks gender boundaries, Break Free.
Qwear Fashion is a blog which explores a wide range of LGBT+ fashion, and may be useful to check out.