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As a non-binary person, here are some of the genderless designs I lean on in my wardrobe

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LACOSTE, TEVA, LEE JEANS, WRANGLER & UGG

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“I think identity is fluid, subjective and a personal experience you shouldn’t feel obligated to label or define to anyone but yourself.”

As society begins to embrace the boundless fluidity of gender and sexuality, fashion is becoming an increasingly genderless form of self-expression. Gone are the days of tokenistic gender-neutral clothing lines comprised of shapeless, uninventive, block colour basics (those are still good too, we just need range).

After years of being too often excluded from the fashion conversation, non-binary and genderfluid folks are demonstrating that gender-neutral fashion is whatever feels right to the individual. As actor Friday Anderson told Hello Giggles, “Non-binary people do not owe you androgyny. The moment I realized I didn’t have to change anything about my appearance or presentation to be non-binary was the moment I felt true freedom.”


Keep up to date with ethical designers over at our Fashion section. 


For Naarm-based non-binary and neurodivergent creator Jonti Ridley (aka @toughboy) getting dressed is simply “what I’m feeling, down to the fabric choice”. Spending their time modelling, writing, “runnin’ a tat shop” and just doing their best (me too), Jonti’s outfits are an extension of whatever, whoever and however they’re feeling on that day.

“If I’ve had an overstimulating week, best believe I’m wearing jersey cotton and silk with an oversized silhouette,” they tell me. “If I’m wearing a miniskirt with bike shorts and triple-stacked leather boots, chances are I needed to stomp out some feelings during my commute.” For further insight into their ever-evolving personal style, Jonti breaks down the genderless designs they lean on in their wardrobe.

Lee Jeans

“There’s something about a ‘workman’s’ pant shape and fit that soothes my non-binary soul like nothing else. Regardless of your natural shape, the straight leg of a workman’s pant with a mid-waist cut does wonders for the bum, without comprising your comfort.”

“Plus, these Lee’s are designed to go through it (thank you, heavy-duty cotton canvas), making them a go-to for anything from a pub crawl to a day in the studio. My go-to pairing for pants like this is an oversized graphic tee, a double-stacked canvas shoe and a carabiner of keys on my belt loop for good measure.”

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Wrangler Shirt

“For those with chesticles, just any ol’ button up from the rack (lol) can be risky business. From bursting buttons to creeping seams, they always felt uncomfortable on me. Shock horror!

“However, a unisex cut on a buttoned shirt means there aren’t any cheeky chest dart lines to cause that dreaded grabby look across your front (cause some days that’s not the vibe, and binders are spenny).

“Done up or dressed down, this Wrangler Auto Shirt gives just enough retro without looking like a costume. The square shoulders and structured collar look rad with a similarly structured pant or flipped on its head with a tartan pleated miniskirt – all shape, no bulk.”

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Ugg

 

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“I wasn’t born for heels – thoroughly tried and tested, I’ve never been able to evolve past the ‘Bambi on ice’ stage. The majority of my footwear are double-stacked platforms; a perfectly neutral option. These Ugg slides have just enough chunk to their sole for pop (and height), while the upcycled wool and elastic strap are pure comfort.

“I pair my slides with satin and silky textures for contrast, and depending on your colour choice, they make the perfect statement piece while your feet stay super snug (without the sweat or commitment of an enclosed boot).”

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Lacoste

 

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Tiny bags have no gender. Accessories don’t define anything other than your style that day, and even then it could be a complete farce. Personally, I would love to see tiny bags adopted into more non-femme, non-binary wardrobes. Confusingly, society somehow decided handbags were just for women?

“Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a sliding scale between gender and bag size – it’s not the size of the bag that counts, it’s how you carry it. If you’re going to splurge on a new bag, keeping the hardware and colour to a minimum means you’re going to have a wider styling pool to draw from, meaning more bang for your buck.

“This Lacoste leather piece is darling on its own (I’m thinking flared light-wash denim and a loud print on top), but you could add your own spin with hand-painted details or your favourite triple-stacked phone chain.”

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Teva

 

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“Again – in case I wasn’t clear – me and flatforms are endgame. Generally speaking, I don’t shop from Pride ranges because the ‘copy and paste rainbow’ the majority of brands slap on makes zero sense for the collections themselves.

“Teva, on the other hand, has adopted a retro palette and silhouette, thoughtfully designing their Pride range with a strong sense of style and freedom of expression in mind. These Flatform Universal sandals look like the perfectly queer marriage between ’80s Rainbow Brites and a ’90s shape and cut. A colourful sandal like this deserves full open-air exposure with a wide-leg short or a dress cut above the shins, pulled together with the perfect dad cap.”

Get it here.

For more on genderless fashion, head here.

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