Nonbinary is a term to describe a person who can’t identify as exclusively a man or woman. They may identify as both, as none, or as another gender in the spectrum. The term non-binary may seem like a relatively new concept receiving more attention in the media, education, and politics, but it has been around us throughout history.
The history of Hijras in India goes back to the 9th century and, to this day, is a recognized third gender outside of the binary men-women genders. In Tehuantepec, Mexico, the third gender “muxes” has been recognized and celebrated ever since the pre-Hispanic ages and has a strong ethnic component still relevant these days.
But throughout history, we’ve created a binary system to “simplify” our ideas and expressions. We made lots of expectations, stigmas, and beliefs about what men and women should be.
Clothes have been binary for centuries because our beliefs have. Emotions, kindness, and sweetness are often related to women, and roughness, strength, and courage are often associated with men. But are these ideas still accurate or representative of who we are?
The path towards non-binary fashion hasn’t been easy because first, we started to let go of many of these binary beliefs. We started seeing more women in roles of power, women as doctors, scientists, engineers, police officers, lawyers, and so many other roles that were only offered to men for a very long time. With figures like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton, the world opened its eyes to see women with strong personalities that didn’t follow the ideals of what women in their time should be doing. They didn’t identify as LGBTQ+; they were simply strong female characters that successfully broke some of these gendered stigmas.
On the other hand, masculine qualities have been redefined by role models like Freddie Mercury or Elton John. They showed that being a man has nothing to do with their sexual orientation, vulnerability, or strength. This has helped to ease the very toxic and obsolete ideas of what being a manly man should do. And with these blends and changes in gendered expectations, we started to move away from binary categories. We opened our eyes to a world where genders, personalities, and fashion are non-binary.
As we move away from binary categories in restrooms, pronouns, and official documents, we are also moving apart from binary fashion.
The nonbinary fashion movement came as a counterculture to illustrate the urge to let go of gendered labels. With social media as a communication tool to raise our voices, more information about the huge spectrum, and a more diverse group of Representatives in office, we are letting go of these rigid boxes that didn’t allow nonbinary people to be their authentic selves.
Today we celebrate nonbinary people and nonbinary fashion with some exciting trends. Because nonbinary fashion doesn’t exclude binary people, it celebrates all genders with smart and clever designs that aim to bring together everyone to celebrate our authentic selves, bringing to a closure gendered expectations and leaving behind old binary fashion. Here are the nonbinary fashion trends for this season.
The Loose Fitted Shirts
With the hot season finally here, one of the garments that you can use over and over is a loose-fitted shirt. This versatile piece can be styled up with formal shoes, a skirt, or formal pants. It can also be long enough to be a shirt dress, so you can go for a relaxed look for the summer with sandals to take a walk on the beach. Accessories like belts, necklaces, spartan sandals, and bags will be very important to make this look interesting and change the style every time you wear your loose-fitted shirt.
Classic colors like white, greys, and blues are always the easiest to use as you can create multiple outfits with them. However, a wide range of colors, prints, and textures are available in this versatile piece.
The Graphic T-Shirts
Fashion trends come from different sources, but it is not new that pop culture has been one of the main sources of trends in the last decades. Che Díaz, the controversial non-binary character in the Sex and the City spin-off, And Just Like That, brought more conversations about non-binary visibility to the table. And although many fans and viewers of the show didn’t like this character entirely, it’s definitely an inspirational figure for many non-binary people. Their effortless looks with silly graphics, flowy pants, and sneakers are setting a trend in non-binary fashion that we’ll definitely see more frequently this summer.
The great thing is that these effortless clothes can be easily found at modest prices at department stores or local boutiques. There is a lot of room to go as subtle or loud with your graphics as you want to.
The Cargo Pants
After about ten years of seeing skinny jeans in different washes, colors, and prints, we are moving away from this silhouette and getting more into relaxed cuts that are comfortable during the hot season and are flattering for people with skinny legs.
The Cargo Pants result from massive popularity in streetwear, getting sophisticated with high fashion designers and elevated by celebrities and pop culture characters. Most stores carry cargo pants for “men” and “women,” but there are many inclusive fashion companies that are making this garment, a general piece that non-binary people and people of all genders can use this season. Some of the most popular colors in cargo pants are olive green, brown, and black, but you can find them in different colors and style them with an endless amount of t-shirts, shirts, vests, jackets, etc.
Another great thing about cargo pants is that they are friendly with different types of footwear, from easy-going sandals or sneakers to some sophisticated flats or pumps; leverage this item for several occasions playing with different accessories and colors.
Athletic Sportswear is the New Casual
Ever since Paris Hilton made the Juicy Couture tracksuit a massive trend that changed the sportswear industry altogether, we started to see more athletic clothes intended to be worn for everything but working out. Athletic companies like Adidas are designing fashion pieces, understanding that people want comfortable clothes that look good and are multi-facet.
Celebrities wearing leggings, sneakers, and an Adidas jacket around Beverly Hills made this kind of look admired and replicated by people around the world.
This massive trend is not going away soon. In fact, its popularity increased during the two years of the pandemic because comfort is becoming more important for the everyday life consumer.
Most athletic sportswear silhouettes are very welcoming to different types of bodies; this is why many non-binary brands are leveraging the popularity of these clothes to make more exciting clothes this season. You have the classic solid-colored tracksuit or the option of wearing colorful prints.
During the warm seasons of the year, we tend to connect more with nature. Days are longer, and we can go and take a walk in the early evening to watch the sunset. People near the coast get to spend more time on the beach, feeling the air and having a great time outdoors. These emotional and exciting factors are many times the source of inspiration for designers.
This is why we wear some variations of florals every spring, and in the fall, we have browns and oranges as the leaves of the season. This summer, we’ll see lots of vibrant blues with the glow and the energy of the ocean and the sky. Every year, we see a variation of pastel blue and navy in the summer, but this year we highlight those vibrant and lively blues. These blues will be present in dresses, skirts, shorts, footwear, and accessories. You name it! You can wear them as a whole monochromatic look to look taller or style them with prints, neutrals, and accessories.
The Tie is Back
A tie is a fascinating accessory that elevates an outfit to a higher level of elegance. We saw ties of different textures, colors, prints, and sizes in recent fashion shows. You can wear them as formal attire for an evening event or make it casual with a pair of jeans and sneakers and a leather jacket. A tie creates a strong vertical line in your torso, which helps most people look taller. If you are already tall and don’t want this effect on you, you can wear a tie that doesn’t create a strong contrast with your shirt. (black and white create a strong contrast, black and navy, or black and olive green create a lighter contrast).
Since many people are still working from home, and virtual meetings are more common than ever, this accessory helps you to add versatility to the classic shirts you already have. And sometimes, those little changes help us feel more empowered.
More than One Print
There are prints that we have been wearing for decades. Designers simply change the color or size to make them slightly different season after season. Animal prints have been in style ever since real fur was socially acceptable and trendy. Polka dots and stripes are some of the most popular prints because they are very easy to use, and if you wear them in classic colors like black, white, navy, or grey, you can match them with many different colors.
But this season, we are taking a step forward. We are not just putting together prints with color; we are matching prints with more prints! The idea is to find something in common between these prints, like color. If you find two navy prints, they will go along nicely in one look. Think about printed blazers, ties, pants, leggings, shorts, shirts, bags, footwear, linings, etc. It may seem like a very risky trend and that it’s very easy to go wrong. Still, it’s all about trying things on, asking for feedback from whoever you trust, and being open-minded about possibilities in your wardrobe.
After all, these trends are not a new invention in fashion never seen before. We may already have a couple of things in our closet that we can use to follow some of these exciting non-binary trends that are coming for the season.
Remember that wearing a non-binary fashion doesn’t make you a non-binary person, and it’s not exclusive to non-binary people. In fact, non-binary fashion is about recognizing, understanding, and accepting that we are so much more than the gender we identify with. Even straight cisgender men may be attracted to fashion that for centuries has been labeled as women’s clothing and the other way around.
We are moving away from some of these obsolete ideas, and fashion is moving along with us. Let’s welcome non-binary fashion in our world as a form of expression and gratitude towards those brave people along the way who have been diligent about this very important matter.
Political Fashion is all about illustrating the progress of human history through our clothes. Non-binary fashion is part of human progress.
Non-binary fashion is Political Fashion.