Non Binary Outfits - Understanding Non-Binary Fashion

Last Updated 11.02.2022
8 min read
Taimi

"Computers are binary, not people. All people are non-binary, for life is non-binary." Abhijit Naskar

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Regardless of whatever spectrum you fall on the LGBTQ+ rainbow, we can all agree that our fashion choices are an integral part of our gender expression. Our clothes and outfits make us feel comfortable and safe with our gender identity, even in a moment of crisis. 

They are the way we can express ourselves. The role of non-binary fashion is creating a safe space where queer individuals can feel accepted and safe.

That being said, you can't argue that non-binary people own the 21-century fashion industry. More people now understand that non-binary fashion is not defined by the presence or absence of the notions of masculinity or femininity. 

Rather, it is the elimination of rules and labels imposed on us by society. As such, people who don't conform are literally free to try on whatever tickles their fancy, and isn't that a fun way to live!  

An Evolving Fashion Industry 

A few years back, gender-neutral outfits could easily be defined as minimalist, monochromatic, and void of color. So what has changed in the past decade? 

Non-binary is an intensely wide spectrum that boasts of creativity and diversity. It's not only about representing a group that doesn’t conform to any gender- it's about getting out of a box of social confines of how a non-binary person can present themselves. The fashion of non-binary is personal and their levels of experimentation, not by the gender assigned at birth. 

A significant percentage of the Gen Z population admits that sexuality is not such a big deal, and this influence weighs heavily on big brands such as Versace and Balenciaga. But who says you have to shop labels to get it right? If anything, most millennials prefer thrifting to buying from department stores or designer boutiques.

The Art of Thrifting and Creating Style

Of course, it's easy to hop on fashion trends in the queer community or make fashion choices based on your favorite influencer. But what's original about that? 

If you wish to create an expressive but unique style that highlights your gender identity, you have to do all the heavy lifting. A little tuck, fold, and cut are the key to tuning your style. This effort can be maddening, so patience should be your best friend. 

Revamping a wardrobe is only half the work, but it's a lot easier when you're open to options and ready to experiment. Here are some tips and tricks to help you tailor the perfect outfits.

  •    Ignore the gender aisle

Assume you're the only one at the store, and it's yours to comb through. No section is out of bounds, and every aisle should call out to you. Even when shopping online, tick all male and female categories. Whatever you're interested in is yours for the taking.

This way, you'll have a broader selection of clothing and accessories. Creating outfits is a lot simpler if you have plenty of various clothes.

  • The spectrum is your best friend

Typically, pattern and color are neglected aspects of male clothing. On the other hand, female clothing seems very liberal with fabric and palette. 

Toy around with color and textures from either side. This shopping technique is great for the person struggling to dress their body types or experimenting with makeup. 

  • It's all about presentation

What you wear is a description of who you identify as and not what society defines you by. While some dress for comfort, others do it as an expression. If aesthetic is the goal, shop for different sizes or shapes.

 With cropped sweaters, baggy pants never go wrong, and sneakers liven up the suit. But who says that's the only combination for you? Beauty lies in front of your mirror.

  • Toy with the accessories

Typically they come in either feminine or masculine charm, but you can infuse bits of either into your outfit. For instance, hiking boots will pair greatly with dresses and a watch. Cargo pants can pair nicely with ballet sandals for a casual afternoon.

  • Shop for  advice 

 Take a moment to read blogs and watch tutorials to see how others describe themselves.  if you're a girl trying to go non-binary, sign up for newsletters about hair and wearing makeup. 

Make yourself the subject of each project and take away what suits you, but remember, a little bit goes a long way. 

Is there a Difference Between Gender-Fluid and Gender-Neutral Clothing?

For most people, non-binary fashion is often an "anything goes" situation. Nevertheless, there is a difference between these two dressing styles. Gender-neutral clothing is also described as unisex (androgyny) by most people. 

These clothes are designed to dress either gender, especially the binary. These outfits can be worn interchangeably between men and women, such as t-shirts and jeans. 

Such outfits make it hard to discern the gender of an individual, which is often the goal for most non-binary people. The style for these outfits could be monochromatic, such as the popular plaid shirts. Alternatively, they could be more vibrant, with intense patterns and bright colors like the overalls and jumpsuits. 

On the other hand, fluid clothes never seem to settle on a particular gender. They are better suited for temporary gender codes. This way, you can dress to express your current feelings.

Androgynous Fashion 

Androgynous fashion is a blend of female and male characteristics. Unlike neutral dressing styles, this style is often a reverse of stereotypical dressing norms. For instance, men wear garments traditionally designed for women, and ladies dressing up in man pants. 

Androgyny has been a thing over the past century, with women getting tired of tight, accentuated dresses. Non-binary people just made it cooler. 

This culture was further fueled when women joined the workforce and preferred wearing mens' clothes because they were the least restrictive. Since then, designers have been creating pieces that accommodate rapidly changing roles.

To echo the words of Miss Vera- “For every woman who burned a bra, a man is burning to wear one.

Gender-Free Fashion- The Beauty of Fluidity

Technically, fluid clothes can be any piece of clothing. However, gender-free fashion requires individuals to understand that fashion elements might not fully reflect their identity. 

Fluidity is an avenue for you to explore different ways to associate your style with gender, allowing you to reinterpret identity preconceptions. Instead of flipping expectations, you can apply stylistic elements to revamp obvious outfit choices. 

As the fashion industry continues to expand its target audience, designers are concentrating their creativity on pieces to be worn by anyone. Though this might be capitalism at play, the fashion industry plays a significant role in pushing for non-binary representation. 

Most brands acknowledge that the social construct is not as rigid as before. Launching lines on this basis allows for acceptance both within and outside the queer community. At this point, it is impossible to ignore the influence and power that the fashion industry has and its role in breaking down expectations.

Levi's is an American brand that publicly took a stand by posting a blog on non-binary fashion. The Levi's Guide to Unisex Style is an indication that the house designers believe in expression regardless of a person's gender identity. To this end, this clothing giant continues to partner with non-binary influencers.

Finding Your Style- How to Put up Neutral Outfits 

Curating a style might not be something you get the hang of on the very first day. Your wardrobe has a lot to say about you, and it's your job to find the best way how. Here are several pointers on defining your sense of style.

  • Before you're ready to show the world who you are, you must know what non-binary means to you. Do you identify as either gender, one that wasn’t assigned at birth, either, or freely changing? The point is to allow you to find clothes that express what you feel and incorporate them to match your moods.
  • Find the right cloth staples for your body type.  There are numerous items that can hide your gender, especially the female child. They include baggy sweaters and pants, oversized shirts, and sneakers. If the idea is to keep your body type sexless, tailoring is your middle ground. It allows you to cloth however you want while maintaining gender neutrality. it's especially essential for the girl  or femme trying to subdue her feminine features. 

  • Be bold - Don't be afraid of pulling out those statement pieces from your wardrobe. Your outfit should describe what you feel, so never hesitate to implement an idea. 
  • Accessorizing has no rules in non-binary fashion. This gives you the space to be experimental and bold with your ideas. Explore hairstyles, do your nails and makeup if you want to, so long as it suits your mood.

Sometimes, the rules might change if you're playing on a professional field. Typically, our workplace dress codes might impact our style, or you may require us to show up on formal occasions. So what are the guidelines for professional and formal wear?

  • Opt for proper fits- Steer clear from baggy, tight, or oversized items of clothing. 
  • What you wear should be clean and well pressed. It wouldn't hurt to layer on your favorite scent.
  • Work with neutral colors such as navy, gray, black, beige, or taupe. They are a safe option that makes you feel good about your outfit. 
  • How do you wear your hair? You can tie it up in a bun or pin it down if you have long hair.

Conclusion

The beautiful thing about non-binary fashion is its flexibility. If you are looking for clothing that allows you to express your personality, you have more choices now than ever. Best of all, you can do this without being bound by outdated gender norms.

At the same time, nonbinary clothing also meets the needs of people who see fashion as simply a matter of function. Choose what is comfortable, and works for you without being constrained by what is feminine or masculine.


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