Avoiding Gender Stereotypes With Androgynous Fashion

A woman in a flannel shirt and cropped hair, or a man wearing loud prints walks by and there are questions. Is she/he gay?

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Clothing reflects your personality and so, is an important mode of expression. Queer fashion is an issue of debate since it has become the most obvious way of stereotyping identity. A woman in a flannel shirt and cropped hair, or a man wearing loud prints walks by and there are questions. Is she/he gay? No, probably not, since someone’s orientation cannot be based solely on their clothes. But after all, fashion is heavily dependent on one’s perception of their body and their self.

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Several Hollywood celebrities have begun embracing the androgynous style, not just for the sake of fashion but also to express their queer identity. For example, Kristen Stewart, who came out recently, made a drastic shift from tousled hair and dresses to cropped hair and pants. Ellen DeGeneres is a great example of androgynous fashion done right. She wears perfectly tailored suits reflecting a masculine look and sports pixie hair that brings out her feminine features. Other queer celebrities like Samira Wiley, Ellen Page, Cara Delevingne, St.Vincent, Ruby Rose et al are also well-known icons of androgynous fashion.

Popular queer Tumblr bloggers have been coming up with some really good ideas for the androgynous look. It seems like one can experiment a lot with combinations of pants with jumpers, bow ties, thin ties, suspenders, colourful vests and jackets, floral prints and a splash color on hats, caps and beanies.

Jenny Shimizu, the famous queer fashion model, was discovered as a mechanic and went on to define the grunge look in the 90s. Now, she’s a household name in androgynous fashion.

Closer home, Bollywood stars like Anushka Sharma and Sonam Kapoor have been gracing the red carpet in suits instead of the traditional dresses. It goes to show how quickly the trend is being picked up in India as well. Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone are coming to be seen as actresses who favour pants over dresses. However, unlike their Hollywood counterparts, Indian actresses seem to be playing the androgynous style in a less-masculine, more-feminine manner.

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Ranveer Singh, the audacious actor, broke through several rigid barriers in men’s fashion when he wore a skirt to one of his promotional events. It was the kind of celebrity representation that many people in the niche of Indian society have been expecting forever now.

Androgynous fashion has gained a lot of validation today, through large fashion brands and celebrities. Tailors and the men’s section aren’t the only options anymore. Styling doesn’t need an expert opinion, either. Now that leading brands are picking up on this trend and launching unisex collections, what are you going to pick up the next time you go shopping?

About the author

Tanya S

An English Lit student, Tanya S is constantly oscillating between what to eat and what to read. On most days she can be found watering the money plant on her bookshelf.