By L.R. Zimmerman

What I think is so cool about fashion these days is that you can literally wear whatever you want. You can mix prints, even decade styles. Women are wearing menswear. Men are wearing their hair in braids. Tailoring is shifting towards a more gender neutral fashion and current trends are generally a looser, more comfortable fit. It’s a healthy evolution because this specific style of fashion enfranchises us from having the pressure of looking either like a “real woman” or a “real man” as if there’s nothing in between. And please tell me, what is a real woman supposed to look like anyway?

I browsed the internet and the runway for current androgynous trends, and after researching, I found that these androgynous styles are already circulating around Joplin fashion. Maybe it was because I was paying more attention to local fashion or fashion in general, but androgynous fashion is happening in our little Midwest nook. Even local, downtown shops are sporting androgynous fashion, like Sophie’s.

 

Here are some local people I spotted wearing some of this year’s trends!

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Androgyny is the rejection of gender, and when it comes to fashion, an androgynous style is that which avoids anything related to the typical gender stereotypes. It used to be solely tied to the LBGT community, but nowadays we can see anyone rocking this style, regardless of their sexual orientation. As the fashion of our binary society adapts, the presence of non-gender fashion is essential. It’s empowering us to be who we are and dress how we feel

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” 

― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

This specific quote – from the book, Eleanor & Park always stuck with me. It influenced me to dress how I feel and act how I feel. I even influenced my influencer friend and local fashion icon, Krystal, as she referenced this in her recent Julie fashion article. This philosophy still holds true to me, life is art. Fashion is art. It’s supposed to make you feel something. With all that being said, here are four genderless looks to try based on how you’re feeling that day. 

 

Feeling romantic…

Moody floral prints are on point this season. I love the heavy contrast of pastel florals layered over a black background, especially when they are printed on romantic fabrics like silks and satins. Throw on an oversized denim jacket, a wide brimmed fedora and a pair of chunky chelsea boots for helpless romantic vibes all season long. 

 

Feeling chic…

If you’re wanting to shift your style to look as boss as you feel, power suits are the real deal this fall. Statement shoulders are making a comeback and a sure fire way to turn a head or two. Long, flowy coats and embellished loafers also have an ungendered, sophisticated appeal. An easy way to pull off this look is by digging through the menswear section at your local thrift store. Plaid, oversized sports coats, bulky blazers and cowl neck sweaters are a good layering pieces to look for. To achieve a genderless vibe try wearing a button down shirt with a square silhouette. Another way to achieve a super chic look is by layering neutral tones. 

 

Feeling sporty…

Grab a pair of classic sneakers, an oversized sweatshirt and your favorite pair of loose fitted jeans. Mom jeans, dad jeans, cargo pants are all on trend. No need to squeeze into skinny jeans anymore. You know, the pair that clings to your body like a human vacuum sealer. Wearing edgy items such as chunky dad sneakers and an oversize graphic sweatshirt is another great idea for anyone who wants to look bold, edgy and androgynous. Layering a retro hoodie under a pea coat will give sporty style a more refined look. Another good way to polish off your sporty appeal is by cuffing your jeans. Here is my tutorial for how to properly cuff jeans…

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Feeling lazy…

I feel this way all too often. I dreadfully open my closet door and a tidal wave of uncertainty washes over me. I wear the same outfits over and over again. My wardrobe becomes bleak and the bane of my existence. A way to stay on trend and not think much about what to wear is by going full monochromatic. While I was watching Milan fall fashion show, this look kept occurring and it’s so simple, dress head-to-toe in any color except black or white.  Fleece fabric is also making a comeback and a comfortable way to stay trendy and lazy. Co-ords are also a super easy way to put together an outfit without much thought. However, the ultimate lazy outfit is so simple, a white tee and your favorite pair of jeans.

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