Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Androgynous style is easy

By Lauren Tom

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The fashion industry has always been about bending and breaking boundaries with different looks. This is why the androgynous look is rapidly gaining popularity and turning heads as a new wave of trends inspired by masculine fashion are popping up everywhere. Gender-blurred fashion is one way to create a bold statement in a society where sexual and gender identities are still confined and limited.  


The androgynous look was first recognized in the Roaring ‘20s.  In addition to the famous risqué flapper dresses that were popular at this time, an array of men’s clothing became well-known in women’s fashion. Coco Chanel changed the fashion world with her more relaxed and less feminine and constricting outfits. Her menswear-inspired looks, such as suits, vests and trousers, changed and revolutionized how fashion was perceived. Following this trend, famous actresses such as Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn paved the way in making androgynous style iconic.

Lately in women’s fashion, androgyny has been very popular in the trendsetting world. It’s a look that women can achieve by mixing and matching masculine pieces with their own feminine flair. Celebrities like Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson and Janelle Monae have been spotted sporting the androgynous look on the streets and at social events.

Even men mix in the androgynous look to their style. Metrosexual fashion has become increasingly prominent as more men explore and become more in touch with their feminine side. Designers like Giorgio Armani, Rick Owens and Pierre Cardin embraced the unisex look as the fashion industry developed an allure and desire for androgynous style. The runway looks featured by these designers and others created a feminine feel in clothing for men, but managed to show masculinity through this style as well.

For women, the key to androgynous style is to keep the look simple and effortless while adding elements of your own. In addition, there is a variety of androgynous clothing brands that can provide one with the style. Clothing labels such as Original Tomboy, Androgyny, Marimacho, HauteButch, Wildfang, Saint Harridan, Veer NYC and VEEA are brands that sell many clothing styles that will help you get that androgynous look. However, these brands usually run on the pricier side – but that shouldn’t stop you from working this fearless look.

On your own, you can put together outfits by pairing boyfriend jeans or even high-waisted pants with a simple tee and cute cardigan over them. Also, a button-down top with black leggings and chunky jewelry is a look that anyone could pull off. For a dressier look, try a blazer in black to spice up a look from a casual dress to skinny jeans.

Accessories always help complete a look, and shoes usually help tie an outfit together. Try sporting oxfords or wingtips. Lace-up leather or suede spectator shoes are very masculine but also help balance out a girly, flirty outfit. Even Converse sneakers can suffice for this look. In addition, cute, simple flats or kitten heels can help dress up any outfit.

In terms of the androgynous look, hair and makeup are very easy. A slicked-back pony is always classy, or let your hair loose showing off a natural soft look. If you’re feeling bold, chop off those long locks and rock a cute pixie cut.

Makeup varies within the androgynous style. Try out a dark eye shadow or line your eyes in a grey or black pencil, but keep it simple. A nude lip color secures that fresh face simplicity that compliments the androgynous look.

Androgyny can bring out a powerful and a strong self-confidence in a woman that makes her feel fierce and sexy, in a non-revealing way. To some, mixing masculine and feminine pieces seem like a daunting task; however, by combining these pieces, you can create a new kind of style to spice up your wardrobe and break out of the traditional confines and “male” and “female” clothing.

Lauren Tom can be reached at [email protected].



2 Responses to “Androgynous style is easy”

  1. N. on September 21st, 2013 11:47 am

    I think the first sentence tells you exactly why ‘androgynous’, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are not static categories to be ‘mixed’, but a fluid social dynamic which is always changing anyway. Wearing pants, for instance, doesn’t make a female body ‘androgynous’ nowadays by itself, whereas in the olden times it would have been pretty radical. Anyway I know this is a fashion puff piece, I just think it raises an interesting question that’s not really examined here.


  2. Antony Levine on September 30th, 2013 6:40 pm

    This article should have had more images on what is “androgynous.” I know you explained it, but i’m still having a hard time getting a visual.


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