We received a question from a reader asking us to find inexpensive gender-neutral fashion:
I love all your posts about non-binary/genderfluid people! I recently have come out as genderfluid, and it’s so helpful to see others going through it as well!
Any chance of a fashion roundup of affordable gender non-conforming clothes? -El
This has proven to be more difficult than anticipated. Trans-men and -women have a comparatively decent amount of clothing options — gender-neutral fashion usually comes from high-end designers with luxury price tags.
I can’t wait for the day that we can walk into trendy, inexpensive, fast-fashion shops and see gender-neutral sections (I’m hopeful!) or, hell, even the abolishment of gendered fashion altogether. After all, getting rid of gender binaries in fashion would blow the entire industry wide open! Could you imagine, say, Alexander McQueen coming out with a line of structured, mixed-material, ethereal dresses for masculine bodies? Or Armani developing a collection of impeccably-tailored suit options for feminine bodies? Maybe, someday, even avant-garde, gender-neutral fashion for all body types will become mainstream! Gender-neutral and trans fashion is already working its way into the world of haute couture, but, for now, finding inexpensive clothing options for gender-nonconforming people can be totally frustrating.
While H&M doesn’t currently offer a specific gender-neutral clothing section, I’m impressed by how much of their clothing offered can suit masculine women, feminine men, and every gender in between. It requires a little more digging than any of us would like, but there are definitely a lot of garments offered that could easily suit any gender — all at reasonable, competitive prices. I was pleased to find that even their plus size section (which goes up to 4x) offers masculine options for feminine bodies!
There really aren’t many retailers out there embracing gender-neutrality whatsoever, but progressive retail giant Target just made a huge announcement! They’re launching a much-anticipated line of gender-neutral clothing for children as part of a partnership with Swedish company Toca Boca! This is a major step and hopefully the start of a nationwide trend. Target has also been moving to phase out gender-specific labeling and product categories, as if you needed another reason to love them!
A quick Google search will reveal a lot of clothing options for transgender people, but gender-neutral clothing is hard AF to come by, honestly. Unless you’re comfortable in shapeless, oversized t-shirts and jeans, finding gender-neutral fashion inexpensively will be tough.
The solution is obvious to me: abolish the very idea of gendered clothing. After all, each of us are comprised of shades of traditionally masculine and feminine traits, mixed to the point of rendering the very genderization of those traits ineffective. Those who identify as women define femininity for themselves; same for men and masculinity. Gendered aesthetic expectations don’t need to exist; they’re social constructs that a lot of people find extremely oppressive, so it’s high time we start kicking these restrictive, arbitrary social rules to the curb!
So, to answer the original query: there really aren’t many options for affordable genderless clothing, but things are looking up! Currently, finding the kind of garments you’re looking for at inexpensive prices will require digging through rack upon rack at H&M and shops like it, and maybe a little creativity, too. Facebook has a lot of clothing swap groups for people who don’t conform to genders or who are gender-fluid- you might find some great pieces there. Other than that, I simply encourage you to define masculinity and femininity for yourself, and to wear whatever you damn well want to wear!