Menswear isn’t just for men. Everyone can learn something from these eight women and non-binary people who are absolutely owning menswear.
There’s a style revolution that’s come to light lately. A revolution that has always been around to some degree but is just now becoming apparent to the general public: menswear is not just for men. More specifically, clothes aren’t just for one gender.
The revolution I’m talking about isn’t just about women wearing pantsuits. The reality is that we’re moving into a realm where clothing is more about self-expression rather than adhering to gender norms.
This article will cover eight women and non-binary people who confidently wear menswear better than men.
Before we dive in, it’s important to touch on the idea of genderless clothing. Most of us have grown up perfectly comfortable shopping for clothing in stores with clearly defined sections for men and women.
Men shop in the men’s section, and women shop in the women’s section. It is generally accepted that this is how things should be.
The truth is that not everyone is satisfied with this binary framework. Many people don’t feel comfortable shopping in a prescribed section of clothing stores and have been compelled to compromise over and over.
Many of those people had to adapt, to be brave and shop in a section where they’d get stares from other customers only to be stuck with ill-fitting clothes.
The idea of genderless clothing isn’t just women shopping in the men’s section or vice versa; it’s the principle that clothing doesn’t actually assign a gender. Clothing is just, well… clothing. All clothing can be gender-fluid.
The concept of gender-fluid clothing isn’t simply “pants are for men and dresses are for women.” It’s about satisfying the wearer with a wide array of styles and fits for them to choose from.
Gender identity aside, shopping outside of your normal section (including the young men’s and women’s sections) can be a great way to find clothes that fit better, especially for shorter and/or smaller guys.
Many people who explicitly seek out genderless clothing do so because they’re looking for different fits than what was available in traditional departments. For people seeking genderless clothing, it’s not the label that matters; it’s the fit and sizing.
Principles of Menswear
Less subject to trends than other fashion categories, menswear has always been rooted in the somewhat timeless principles of fit, color and drape.
Most menswear is designed for the male body. This usually means wider shoulders, a “V” shaped torso and narrower hips, but men come in all different shapes and sizes.
The thing is, no matter what shape or size someone is, a well fitted suit will be an objectively flattering garment.
This is just as true for a 6’5” bodybuilder (think The Rock) as it is for a 5’7” portly man (think Winston Churchill).
In fact, when done correctly, menswear flatters any body, regardless of shape, size, height or gender.
The people on our list below prove just how universally appealing the menswear aesthetic is, and we think many men could learn a thing or two from these stylish folks.
Women and Non-Binary People Wearing Menswear
Here are eight people who have embraced menswear as part of their personal style.
We’ll take a look at their outfits and hear how they approach personal style, with an emphasis on ungendered and androgynous fashion.
#1 Ciara Strickland [She/Her]
“The New Mixx, it’s bold yet refined, masculine yet feminine and [has a] ‘neo-nostalgic’ approach.”
One of the cornerstones of Ciara’s platform is de-gendering fashion by creating content to show her community, people who want to dress similarly and express themselves, where to start.
“I wanted The New Mixx to not only be an outlet for myself but to bring any form of inspiration for anyone looking to transform or empower themselves.”
Ciara’s closet is made up of clothing that works for both men and women. She wears what she feels comfortable and confident in and encourages others to do the same.
#2 Danielle Cooper [She/They]
“If you ask me, there shouldn’t be a gender marker attached to clothing. Style is about creativity and thinking outside of the box, so why are we trying to put people into a box based on their gender?”
Danielle is a major advocate of freedom of expression through style and regularly speaks to the privilege of being able to shop without discrimination.
“I realized that part of my own personal privilege is having the confidence to not let others’ views of me get in the way of the pursuit of my dreams and goals. I try my best to use this superpower to inspire and empower others to be seen, celebrated, and free. I pride myself in showing other queer people of color that it is okay to live in your truth.”
#3 Natasha Espinoza [She/Her]
Natasha is a custom suit clothier, specializing in making suits for everyone. “Everyone deserves to feel like their most authentic selves, and a custom suit can be part of that puzzle piece in their self-discovery journey.”
“I love playing around with my feminine and masculine side. I want it to showcase that style has no gender; it’s fluid and you can wear anything with confidence behind it.”
#4 Coach Cam [She/They]
Coach Cam shares daily positive inspiration through workout routines and style to inspire others to find joy in their lives.
“I don’t really have a philosophy around ungendered style in general. It’s always been dress in what makes you feel confident, comfy and affirmed!”
#5 Alee [She/Her]
Alee is a vintage, boots, and raw denim enthusiast. Often, that presents as a more traditionally masculine style.
Her motto: “I don’t like to feel tied to labels. I don’t look at it as men’s clothing. I just look at it as clothing, and if I like it and I feel comfortable in it, then that’s all that matters to me.”
#6 Jess Frausto [She/They]
Jess’s platform is all about exploring personal style through thrifted finds. For her, style is about evolving and changing to adjust to who you are.
“That’s the beauty of personal style: it’s personal. Style is a reflection of someone and what they feel makes them feel their best. People are continuously growing, and style is a visual representation of that growth.”
#7 Nedi B. [She/Her]
“Feeling good from within is where fashion starts for me.” Nedi is a powerhouse of inspirational and motivational content as well as style. She inspires her audience to empower themselves.
“When someone is aware of who they are, it doesn’t matter what they put on, that self-love confidence will shine through any article of clothing.”
#8 Violet Ezedimora [She/They]
Violet is An Ex-beauty Queen that decided not to play by the rules.
“I want to live and express myself freely through fashion. As a beauty queen, I was thought to be prim and proper, and as much as this is not a bad thing, I was uncomfortable with the boundaries set. I looked forward to the freedom to express myself, and I did that through fashion.”
“I have fallen in love with structured pieces, many of which I find in the men’s section. And no, I’m not gay. I do not have to be gay to enjoy menswear. And I absolutely do not have to adhere to societal rules on how a woman should dress. I wear anything I please, and that includes ‘menswear’”
Developing your own personal style is a journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And this is especially true for anyone exploring non-conforming fashion.
We can all learn a couple of things from the people on this list:
First, menswear works well not because it’s worn by men. It works well because it’s rooted in fit, color and drape. It works equally well on any body type.
Second, the people on this list should inspire you (and me) to explore style in a less restricted way.
TMM often advises you to “wear the fit, not the label”. It doesn’t matter which section of the store your clothes come from. It only matters how they look on your body and, more importantly, how they make you feel.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!
Susan Spilecki says
As a 5’5″ butch woman, I also like your tips for shorter people and menswear. I found it a little off-putting that most of your models didn’t wear socks. I live in Boston where it is currently in the teens with windchill, and between Smartwool for outdoors and London Sock Co. for indoors, I have toasty butch toes! Keep up the good work.
This is awesome, Brock & co. Thanks for this coverage! It’s rare – even today – to see menswear truly embrace the non binary & trans folks who have always been a primary component of menswear styles.
Big fan of your site, and now even moreso.
Thank you for highlighting these awesome folks! I am a woman who loves menswear, and it’s great to see some representation on the blog.
Also, I’m so glad I found TMM a few months ago. At 5’5”, I have a lot of the same issues that shorter guys do when trying to find menswear that actually fits me. Your recommendations, style advice, and general tips (like how to find an alterations tailor) have been invaluable. Keep up the great work!
Glad to hear that, Elena! Thanks for reading!
Vanessa Lisette says
I am short as well and I love Uniqlo because they tailor slacks for free with purchase! That’s where I buy slacks exclusively now when I learned that! I hope that helps.
JOHN MOTZI says
Hi David – Nice article! Here’s one that you missed: https://www.instagram.com/reapersower/
Thanks! We’ll get them on the list when we update the article.