Genderless Clothing: The Complete and Ultimate Guide

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Looking around at all the clothing options that exist out there, it’s clear that gender-free fashion has been making significant strides in recent years in the fashion industry as a whole. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to figure out.

Some stores may have gender-neutral selections alongside their standard menswear and women’s wear, but, too often, they take the term “gender neutral” to mean “bland.”

Luckily, we recognize that there are some massive gaps to fill in the category of size-inclusive and genderless fashion. That’s why we’re here to give you a rundown on how to navigate the gender-neutral fashion sphere.

Let’s start by breaking down some terms and checking out a quick history of gender neutrality and androgyny in fashion:

Different Terms: Androgynous, Genderless, and Unisex

What Is Androgynous Clothing?

Androgyny is a form of self-expression or a style of appearance. It is separate from terms describing one’s gender identity (such as non-binary or gender fluidity). While anyone can choose to dress in a gender-fluid and non-conforming style, it can also be a form of gender expression. This is why it is often talked about by fashion brands and fashion designers around the world.

The word “androgyny” derives from Latin; the Latin word “androgyne” is literally a combination of the words for man and woman. Androgynous fashion combines “feminine” and “masculine” elements, blurring the lines between genders, or simply going beyond any kind of gender definition at all.

What Is Genderless Clothing?

Genderless clothing can often be swapped out for the term androgyny. Some, however, find a unique distinction between the two terms. While androgyny plays with and frequently combines gendered clothing elements, genderless clothing created by gender-neutral clothing brands avoids any kind of gender distinctions at all, creating a wholly neutral look that ignores any kind of gender binary.

Genderless clothing is focused more on neutrality than combination. However, there can be an overlap between androgynous and genderless clothing; both are styles that do not conform to a gender binary. Genderless clothing is often used synonymously with gender-neutral clothing.

What Is Unisex Clothing?

Unisex clothing is another term often used interchangeably with androgynous and genderless clothing. It is a slightly older term that indicates that a garment or clothing line is intended to be worn by anyone across the gender spectrum.

Unisex clothing is frequently described as gender inclusive. It often indicates a fit that is accommodating for different body types due to the clothes’ shapes. 

History of Genderless Clothing

Old Roots

Gender-neutral clothing may seem more popular now than ever, but it isn’t actually anything new. Throughout history and across the globe, there have been different versions of unisex clothing.

From the long, draped tunics of ancient Rome and the Middle Ages to Japanese kimonos and sarongs from Southeast Asia –– there are many historical examples in which there was a minimal distinction in clothing across genders.

Advancements in the 50s and 60s

The 1950s saw the evolution of the term “gender” to mean social and cultural aspects and expectations rather than biological sex –– which implied the fact that these don’t always align. During the second-wave feminism of this time through the 1970s is when unisex clothing began to pop up.

Yves Saint Laurent made history with le smoking, in 1966 –– the tuxedo for women. Around this time, the Nehru jacket also became popular in Western fashion. This piece, inspired by the traditional garment worn by the Prime Minister of India, was a slick tunic with a short collar, often featuring pinstripes or other patterns. Along with other innovations in men’s sports coats, vests, ascots, and turtlenecks, this provided an alternative to the traditional, plain suit.

1968 saw Paris runways and designers experiment with egalitarian, futuristic styles that had no traditional gender conformity. Some of these designs appeared to be straight out of Star Trek with their synthetic fabrics and sleek designs. However, this foray into genderless clothing was marked by a masculine tilt. It seemed to mostly undo itself by the 1980s.

Unisex Visions of the 70s

We tend to think of genderless thinking as a relatively new phenomenon, but the 1970s was actually a time in which it became more popular to raise children in gender non-conforming ways. Just think of all the boys with long hair and the girls wearing bell-bottom pants.

A criticism of the adult unisex fashion of the time, however, is that it frequently focused on showing off the body rather than making it neutral; for example, Rudi Gernreich’s costumes fo the TV show Space: 1999 envisioned a gender-neutral utopia consisting of revealing and tight-fitting garments. Certain aspects like makeup and jewelry still remained quite gendered.

Grunge Fashion

New strides in genderless and unisex clothing styles were made in the 90s, with the era of grunge music and fashion. Kurt Cobain often wore dresses, nonchalantly citing it as a matter of comfort over anything else. His relaxed attitude toward thwarting gender norms seemed to rub off on grunge culture overall.

While other artists like Prince and David Bowie wore flashy statement pieces, grunge became defined by understated clothes like combat boots and flannels that reached across the gender spectrum.

Today, broader conversations around gender and sexuality have opened up the floor for more gender-inclusive fashion. While big moves on the runway often garner more attention, many stores and brands are making an effort to blur the distinction between genders.

Creating a Silhouette

For some, genderless fashion has nothing to do with a certain body type or look; it’s much more about the clothes themselves rather than the form they take on. Others may wish to emphasize or de-emphasize aspects of their physical form to create a more neutral silhouette.

If the latter sounds like you, here are some tips to navigate a gender-neutral look:

Oversized Pieces

Oversized clothes have long been a staple of streetwear that is popular everywhere, from New York to Los Angeles. Whether it’s jeans, tees, hoodies, or any other kind of garment, creating that boxy or draped effect can be both casual and edgy. Aside from being extremely comfortable, oversized garments also draw the eye away from the form of the body, focusing attention on the clothes themselves.

Structured Pieces

Not everything needs to be loose and relaxed. Some people may find benefits in more structured garments, especially undergarments. For example, sports bras and compression tops can help minimize the bust or lend some extra support where needed. Tucking underwear, which has thicker fabric than other underwear, serves a similar purpose.

Playing With Patterns and Lines

There’s more to creating shape to a piece of clothing than, well, the actual shape of the clothing. Certain prints and patterns can create illusions to the eye. For example, vertical stripes have been known to visually elongate the body. Small, busy prints can de-emphasize an area, while large, bright ones do the opposite. Some details can help create interest in certain areas.

Use Accessories To Your Advantage

Accessories can go a long way in creating a certain look or feel. Shoes, hats, and bags can add a pop of personality (not to mention utility). They can even adjust a silhouette; strapping a fanny pack around your midsection draws in the waist, for example, while looping it diagonally across your torso creates a more uniform look.

How To Find Genderless Clothing

There are many ways to find clothes that feel comfortable and affirming of gender-fluid and LGBTQ folks. You could simply browse around stores or the internet until something catches your eye. However, finding clothes that are both gender neutral and fit well can be a struggle.

To make the search a bit easier, here are some tips.

Look for the Right Terms

The words and phrases mentioned earlier can help you, whether you’re looking at labels or doing a quick Google search. Genderless, gender neutral, gender inclusive, unisex, androgynous, and agender are all words to look out for.

Check Sizing Charts

This is particularly important when you’re getting clothes online. Sizes can vary by brand and label, so going simply by your “usual size” can be unreliable. Check the measurements on the sizing chart to ensure a garment fits you the way you like.

Look for Gender Inclusive Brands

More and more brands are embracing gender-neutral categories. Others do away with gender categorizations completely. TomboyX offers comfortable, high-quality, and gender-affirming clothes for folks across the gender spectrum.

Check Out Thrift Stores

It’s true that finding a true gem in a thrift store can be a long game. You have to sift through a ton of stuff to get to what you really want; however, there is no place that features as many diverse options as a thrift store.

Just as gender definitions and expectations have changed throughout the past century, so has gender expression –– you may find an unexpected piece that fits perfectly and helps you pursue sustainability.

Know Your Style Goals

Genderless is only one way to describe somebody’s personal style. There’s a lot more that goes into it. Personal expression and taste play a major role in defining the rest of your look.

Examine your personal preferences to find clothes that speak to you on all levels. Whether you’re going for a workwear look or sweats and hoodies, go all out.

Try Out Genderless Styles From Head to Toe

Genderless clothing can go much farther than just jeans and a hoodie. Gender-inclusive underwear, for example, is a great place to start. You want to feel comfortable at every layer –– certain underwear styles, like boy shorts or boxers, suit everyone.

Examples of Genderless Clothing

It’s important to stress that it’s up to an individual to decide what clothes best express their gender identity or lack thereof. A dress, for example, may be considered by some to be feminine –– however, somebody who identifies as non-binary or genderless can absolutely rock a dress.

The following are simply examples of clothes that express certain neutrality:

Underwear and Loungewear

As we mentioned earlier, underwear is a great place to start when putting together a gender-neutral outfit. However, it can be overwhelming when you’re not sure what to look for, since a lot of brands heavily gender underwear selections.

TomboyX has all amazing gender-inclusive and affirming underwear options to choose from. For example, boxer briefs, boy shorts, and tucking bikinis all have widely accommodating fits. Bralettes, sports bras, and compression tops ensure that you can be stylish and supported.

Casual Wear

Some of the most notable respites of the gender-fluid fashion enthusiast exist in street style and activewear from retailers around the world. From T-shirts to outerwear pieces like hoodies and sweaters, this is a category that has long been gender inclusive.

Along with joggers, sneakers, and sweatshirts, this style of clothing is a surefire way to stay comfortable. Many streetwear options come in oversized fits, so you can avoid skin-tight or overly structured garments.

Other types of genderless casual wear include relaxed muscle tanks, jeans, button-downs, and flannels.

Formal and Business Wear

The dress code for formal occasions and office environments can vary heavily. However, you can never really go wrong in a pair of well-fitting slacks.

Whether it's perfectly tailored or tastefully oversized, a blazer is a great go-to that can be easily dressed up or down. For some business-casual events, jumpsuits are a fun, gender-neutral option.


The world of gender expression is incredibly vast and diverse, and gender-neutral clothing is championed by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Zendaya, Bad Bunny, and countless other stars. So it only makes sense that your clothing options should be, too!

At TomboyX, you can find a variety of fits and styles, as well as prints and colors, that prove that genderless clothing can be 100% exciting.

No matter what you wear, wear whatever makes you feel best in your own skin!


A Brief History of Unisex Fashion | The Atlantic

Grunge Fashion Officially Made Androgyny No Big Deal | The Cut

Gender-Neutral Clothes Are Trendy, But Not New — Humans Dressed Similarly for Centuries | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

A History of Androgyny in Fashion | The Oxford Student