While attending a formal dinner some weeks ago, I was seated next to an older guy who, upon seeing that I eschewed the ball gowns and dresses of most other women attending the event, confessed that any “blurred lines” between genders made him uncomfortable. What didn’t factor into his assessment of my androgynous suit jacket and trousers was that it made me extremely comfortable: it made me feel powerful. And with the rise of cultural icons like Janelle Monáe, more and more of us are beginning to access that feeling. For many people, androgynous fashion has become the very definition of ‘power dressing’. A woman wearing a beautifully tailored suit, or simply something outside of traditional female apparel, subverts the patriarchal power structures that encourage people everywhere to think of themselves as either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, with no in-between. As designer group ‘VEEA’ says, “You shouldn't have to be anybody else to be accepted”. These 10 clothing lines unlock that glorious grey zone between the sexes.
Describing themselves as modern day, female Robin Hoods, the team at Wildfang (based in Portland, Oregon) rob from the closets of men and redistribute the goods to tomboys the world over.
Founded in 2012 by Jenny McClary and Allie Leepson, Veer NYC is a New York based clothing company dedicated to helping women blur the lines between masculinity and femininity in their dress.
Fashion designer Alicia Hardesty was disheartened by the lack of clothes available for people that existed at neither end of the masculine/feminine spectrum, but rather somewhere in the middle. ‘Original Tomboy’ is Alicia’s answer to this “black hole” of gender conformity.
Based in London and in Lisbon, and under the leadership of fashion duo Evgenia Tabakova and Pedro Noronha-Feio, White Tent produces relaxed, cool, sustainable unisex fashion. Reinterpreting classic shapes with a focus on innovative cuts, White Tent is the answer to your androgynous prayers.
The vision of Brooklyn-based duo Crystal González-Alé and Ivette González-Alé, Marimacho crafts timeless masculine pieces for diverse bodies. Listing dandyism amongst its influences, Marimacho pieces are delights of unconventional masculinity.
One Wolf’s looks are the product of Latvian designer Agnese Narnicka, and fuck me if they aren’t beautiful. Slim tailored dark denims and slouchy sweaters define Narnicka’s line of unisex clothing: they’re the perfect clothes to take you through into a Nordic winter.
Established by sisters Vee and A back in 2012, VEEA is an impressive label on the rise. Meticulously tailored, high quality pieces define the collection of shirts that have so far been launched, with a line of trousers and vests still to come.
Fourteen specialises in formal wear for lesbians, queer and trans people. One of the tuxedo sets even has sparkles in the fabric. Just saying.
Saint Harridan only sells one suit, but they sell it tailored perfectly and beautifully to a woman’s body. Oakland-residing Mary Going formed the label after despairing at the lack of good suits for her own wedding
Androgyny’s speciality is button-up shirts, and they’re almost painfully beautiful. Crafted without the darting that is so often included in women’s tailoring, Androgyny’s shirts are form fitting without being too tight, and they don’t have the bagginess or overly long sleeves of a man’s shirt on a female body.
Polarn O Pyret is the wildcard of this androgynous bunch. Rather than creating clothes for adults, Polarn specialises in children’s wear. Describing itself as, “Not for girls” and “Not for boys” Polarn smashes the gender binary from an early age.