Ungendered: The Essential Unisex Items for the Modern Fashionista(o)

These 4 unisex items belong in your modern wardrobe - whether you're masculine, feminine, both, or neither.

Androgyny [image source: Gucci], crowdink, crowd ink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Androgyny [image source: Gucci]

When it comes to styling, I tend to live in that happy space right between “masculine” and “feminine.” I love mixing items that would fall along the traditionally femme and traditionally masculine spectrums. And it’s not a new style trick. Gender-fluid/nonconforming folks have been doing it forever. But with a greater availability of unisex lines, it’s simply becoming easier to source specific items, and unisex clothing has taken a modern turn.

There are tons of other ways of dressing and identifying as femme that don’t involve lace, glitter, and pastels, of course — just like there is a myriad of ways to dress along the masculine spectrum.

Lines like Zara’s latest gender-neutral clothing collection have inspired me to explore a different interpretation of what dressing femininely or masculinely can look like. Lines like these has just intensified my search for new pieces to mix in with my basic masculine or feminine staples (like my turtlenecks and the beret).

The best part about using unisex pieces as outfit cornerstones is their versatility – a characteristic that allows you to play with styles, not to mention with the way you express yourself, without having to own two different wardrobes. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So here are 5 essential unisex pieces that you simply must have in your wardrobe:

  1. The Turtleneck

The cashmere turtleneck line from Uniqlo is a total dream. Versatile and warm, it’s the perfect ungendered item. It can be tough, slick as hell, or a little bit punk. Actually, the possibilities are endless. Wear it down with a blazer, coat, or leather jacket.

For a femme-of-centre styling, throw it on over a boxy cut sheath dress and leggings, and some sleek ankle boots to nail a cozy, but chic look.

  1. The White Shirt

Well-fitted crewneck sweatshirts are certainly one of the essentials for a modern wardrobe. They are a casual staple that you can dress up or down with ease. Wear a white shirt under an oversized, thick-knit cardigan. Finish with skinny jeans and a pair of knee-high boots for the perfect effortless French look. Feeling some grunge street-chic? Tie it around your waist and pair it with some combat boots.

It is scientifically proven that guys with white shirts are considered as more attractive, so just wear it, gents.

  1. The Leather Jacket

One simple black leather jacket just goes with anything. It can certainly be the statement piece. Leather jackets are incredible layering tools. You can wear a leather jacket over skinny cargoes or extend the life of a summer dress into fall by pairing it with a leather jacket.

For a more masculine look, you can pair it with turtlenecks or white shirts, skinny jeans, and boots for the edgy, punk, Saint Laurent look.

  1. The Oversized Outerwear

Oversized outerwear is usually super-cozy since they are designed for a relaxed fit. It is also very adaptable. For a femme outfit, put the coat over tapered jeans and a textured bodysuit (or a fitted top). Bold thick-framed sunglasses and a wedged bootie will polish off the look.

For a more masculine interpretation, emphasizing contrast, pair it with skinny jeans and boots or go total-sporty pairing it with joggers and white sneakers.

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Eros Liu is a Melbourne-based writer, sucker for fashion, pop culture fanatic, and strawberry milkshake enthusiast. He is also an occasional coat hanger. Currently studying a Master of Commerce at RMIT University, specialising in marketing, Eros is working at CrowdInk. For a while, he worked as a fashion freelancer for Target magazine/RAMP magazine in Shanghai. He’s also had the pleasure of working for ELLE magazine Hong Kong as a personal assistant and then he accidentally splashed two flat whites on the beautiful marble table on his first day. It was all very The Devil Wears Prada.