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The Rise of Androgyny In Fashion

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KCL chapter.

“Androgynous” as a word is ambivalent since attempting to describe what it means contradicts its very essence. Androgyny is all about self-expression and the eradication of gender norms; it is about embracing one’s own aesthetic irregardless of society’s expectations. It is clear to see that Androgynous fashion has become a staple in the fashion world with London Fashion Week 2022 advocating for gender neutrality by replacing a show featuring only male models with a show including models of all genders.

Androgynous fashion became increasingly popular in the late 1800s or early 1900s where men’s style of dress was opted for by women as it was seen as more convenient allowing women to complete their labour in ease compared to their usual puffy or long dresses which were often uncomfortable. Furthermore, it was popularised during World War Two because clothing was rationed (meaning everyone had to wear what they could find) and women began performing jobs originally completed by men such as factory work, which meant they had to wear male uniforms. 

Many female activists at the time also adopted menswear as a political statement such as Luisa Capetillo, a Puerto Rican female activist, who wore a men’s suit and tie in public. Moreover, with fashion brands looking for ways to reduce their production costs, a new umbrella term in fashion called “unisex fashion” originated. This form of fashion focused on practical rather than aesthetic styles. Although, slowly this changed with people beginning to gravitate towards such pieces due to style preferences. Furthermore the growth and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community allowed an entirely new group of people to embrace this androgynous aesthetic with many non-binary and queer people finding this the most comfortable form of dress, allowing them to express their identity freely. 

Thus, with the accumulation of time and destruction of gender roles androgynous dress became more and more popular. This is further perpetuated today with celebrities such as Harry Styles, Jaden Smith, Kristen Stewart and Billy Porter who are all iconic emblems of androgynous dress and shock audiences and fans all over the world with their alternative style.

Sukhman Kaur is the writer at the Her Campus at King's College London. She oversees the style category on the website including: fashion, interior design and more. Beyond Her Campus, Sukhman has worked at creating an online magazine for her Media Studies A-level which she received an A* in. She has also completed an EPQ giving her expert writing and referencing skills and she has analysed magazines such as Teen Vogue academically giving her a personal and knowledgable insight into the world of magazines. In her free time, Sukhman enjoys baking, going on walks and hanging out with her families and friends. She is a massive film geek always watching the next best TV show or Film.