How to Put Together Gender-Neutral Outfits, From A Non-Binary Person
I might look female to the casual observer, but I’m not. I’m actually non-conforming to any gender. I’m agender, and have been out of the closet for about four years. Being agender means that I’m neither male nor female when it comes to gender expression.
But, what does that mean for my fashion choices?
Well, it means I may or may not choose to put on makeup. It means I might wear my hair short, or I might wear it long. Though there’s no rule against it, I don’t do dresses because I feel emasculated in them. I like to keep things unisex, and I make it a point to hide my “curves” for the most part.
Honestly, being gender-neutral isn’t easy to do in fashion. People have certain expectations, you know? As someone who has been working the genderless look for a minute, here’s my advice at putting together the most gender-free outfits you can get.
First off, figure out what gender neutral means for you.
Being genderless can mean a million different things to the person who is genderless. Some choose to work outfits that incorporate both male and female aspects to them. Some lean closer to female or male. I personally minimize my body’s appearance as much as possible. At the end of the day, being agender or non-binary is what you make of it.
Use what you feel works for your expression when you come up with your outfits, and you’ll usually do well.
Choose a genderless role model and start a mood board.
There are so many people who are genderless out there and many of them are super-stylish! Gender-neutral people are super-hot in Hollywood and the runway. Models like Andreja, Satsuki Nakayama, and Rain Dove are proof positive that genderless can be beautiful.
Once you find a model you love, start a mood board that shows the kind of clothes or outfits that catch your eyes. From there, you can build a good wardrobe theme.
Choose a style that’s open to gender neutrality.
Style is what makes your look yours. You need to choose a style you love if you want to rock an outfit. Your style influences how you feel and act in an outfit. It’s the “secret sauce” to a good wardrobe. Certain styles are way more genderqueer-friendly than others.
I find that most streetwear is unisex, and that works well with the aesthetic I try to put together. Goth clothing and glam rock clothing tends to be very unisex in style as well, since both scenes traditionally housed genderqueer misfits. Ravewear also works well in this sense.
One of the best genderless styles I’ve seen, believe it or not, is corporate wear. Suits, vests, and similar outfits are incredibly flattering and will always be welcome at work. That being said, it’s very pricey to find a custom-tailored suit.
Wear what works with the look you want to achieve.
Don’t worry about what section you need to shop in when you’re looking for clothing. It’s possible to wear both male and female clothing with success when you don’t have a gender. What matters more is how the clothing makes you look.
Clothes can flatter you or they can blow you up. The number one rule is to find clothes that give your body the look you want. Some shops, like Haute Butch, offer genderless suits designed to minimize female bodyparts. Other shops will bring out girly figures on men. Even more, like 69, will hide everything.
You might want to avoid clothes with connotations tied to a gender.
This isn’t a rule, but it’s definitely something I stick to. Personally, I don’t wear dresses anymore. I feel emasculated and weak in them. I was born a girl, and I don’t like being reminded of it with my dress style. So, I avoid them and stick to pants.
I avoid pink, unless it’s in my hair. Most androgynous people I know do the same. That being said, it’s not a rule.
Learn the most important clothing staples for androgyny.
Certain clothes hide gender better than others. These include sneakers, vests, oversized shirts, baggy pants, and blazers. It’s a good idea to stock up on these while building a genderless look of your own.
Obviously, the staples you choose depend on your style and body type. Most of the staples you’ll need can be gotten from a more conservative store like Uniqlo. (Bonus tip: Uniqlo offers tailoring, which can help you hide your gender even more.)
Use loose tops to hide a bust, and tailored pants to hide a butt.
I was unfortunate enough to have a massive bust size while identifying as genderless. It happens. I managed to become a professional at hiding how big my boobs really are. Loose shirts without a bra are my go-to look. It’s comfy and boob-concealing.
Restrainers and chest binding can be a good way to minimize curves, but it can be painful and ineffective. If you’re above a DDD cup like I am, you won’t be able to hide them through a binder. Sorry.
When it comes to keeping your body type looking sexless, tailoring will be your best friend. Well fitted pants and shirts can help tuck away just about everything. When in doubt, ask a tailor how to make your look more neutral.
Don’t be afraid to be bold.
Genderless is daring. It’s bold. It’s a middle finger to traditional gender roles in a totally artistic way. Designers get it, and that’s why genderless fashion designers are often way more bold than the typical brand.
Wildfang and NOTEqual are two genderless brands you can always rely on for some good gender-free goods. Better still, they are always vocal about LGBTQ rights and make a point of helping activists with the cause.
Work your hair, nails, and accessories as you see fit.
There are no rules about genderless accessorizing, so it’s up to you to determine your look. Want long nails? Go for it. Want long hair? Sure, it’s doable. Makeup, nails, and hair do not a gender make.
At the end of the day, being genderless is about making yourself feel beautiful or handsome. It’s about being you. So as long as you’re doing that, you are good to go.
Cover image via Huff Post