Androgynous Fashion: Changing The Style Narrative

Fashion has always been a way of communicating one’s personality, mood or life in general to the world at large. Thankfully, designers and brands inevitably create a much-needed sanctuary for those set of people who have otherwise been excluded — thus, the old rules of conformity have to be continuously challenged both from an acceptance and commercial point of view.

One thing is certain, for any seemingly new trend that sets in, be rest assured that it made waves back in the day. A good example is the concept of androgynous fashion whose main aim is to avoid gender stereotypes. The androgynous style portrays a human as neither a typical boy nor a girl.

In the past, androgynous fashion held a huge stigma due to its ties to the feminist and LGBT or gender fluid communities. But in modern day, androgyny has gradually become far more accessible. It has gone beyond a male dressed as a woman just because he’s gay, for instance. It is now more about how the style in itself reflects one’s mood in that moment or personality as a whole; exclude any form of gender bias.

Nigeria, for instance, is a country filled with fashion-conscious individuals. These people draw inspiration from and get influenced by the western world which not only shapes their ideas or illustrations but how best one can express themselves through their attires. Since the genderless concept isn’t widely accepted in this part of the world, it is hard to fully enforce these new trends seamlessly in such a society. Notwithstanding, many are thriving while at it even though it still doesn’t stop the average man from dashing a glance at the individual in a rather judgmental manner.

While any one piece of [unisex] clothing can’t be labelled androgynous –depending on the way you wear it – there are some favourites that scream androgyny. It is to be noted that androgyny can be depicted in several ways asides cross-dressing; some of which include:

  • Loose, black, geometric clothing which is an automatic fave in the ‘high street fashion’ community.
  • Capes and hoods are also androgynously stylish.
  • Science fiction references are common within this style due to futuristic fiction and film depictions of style tending to portray such. For example: plastic clothing, shiny metallic materials, alien style makeup and hair.
  • Gender crossing in makeup and style. You want one side of your hair short and the other long? Go for it! You want to wear a skirt over a pair of skinny jeans? Great! Androgyny is all about breaking the boundaries of gender, so don’t give room for limitations of any sort. Express yourself freely.

While borrowing fashion from the opposite sex is hardly a new and controversial premise, it is one trend whose full potential should be explored around the world. Notable individuals who make this trend interesting and admirable are Janelle Monae and Jaden Smith, to mention a few. One can feel how comfortable they in their different attires.

But, at the end of the day, what matters most is your comfort and how best you can interpret your personality through your style, in easy ways for the world to understand.

This article was written by Violet Johnson

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