There is no better way to explore beyond the comfort zone of your wardrobe than with a gender-inclusive piece. Typical gender stereotypes are being put to rest as more androgynous styles are emerging in high fashion all around the world. Not only is unisex clothing comfortable and chic, but it also allows for a unique personal expression without saying a word. These pieces are conducive to all body types and blend the lines between male and female fashion. Unisex clothing is not inherently masculine or feminine, so there is sure to be a piece that allows you to find just where you feel you belong on the gender spectrum from day to day.
For those who are experimenting with their gender or simply those who enjoy taking fashion risks, these nine choices from African brands including Kente Gentlemen and Atto Tetteh will fit right into your closet. From belts to pleated shirts, unisex styles are taking the world by storm, finally including those who felt as if they did not fit into the gender binary. Clothes are how you present yourself to the world, and wearing items you feel comfortable in is a step in the direction of acceptance and understanding. Below, The Folklore shows you great ways to style seven unisex pieces.
1. Mix and match
Don’t let the brand name fool you. The Baba and Soke Blue Roi Suit from Kente Gentleman has endless possibilities as it can be styled together. The jacket has buttons that can be fastened together or kept open to showcase the top underneath. Choose from the blue or rose-pink versions and add heels or box-fresh sneakers for a classy finishing touch.
2. Experiment on yourself
The Kweku Pleated Shirt by Orange Culture will never confine you to a certain look. Almost the entire collection could be considered unisex, but this loose-fitting blouse is the perfect start to a chic, androgynous look. It can be easily styled with loose dress pants, but the simplicity of the design leaves room for more self-expression.
3. Break the mold
Also from Orange Culture, the Metallic Tola Top is simple yet eye-catching. The brand also offers Shine Shine Trousers that will accentuate the metallic look for those aiming to carry the outfit into the nighttime. It can also be paired simply with jeans or dress pants. The striking blue material boasts two chest pockets and a belt-like tether that meets in the back.
4. Go bold in burgundy
The Burgundy Jacquard Jacket by Nicholas Coutts is a unique twist on the standard suit jacket. It features four black and white feather-like patches near the top, which allow for a perfect pairing with a standard pair of black trousers. It could also be dressed up with a black or white skirt, depending on the season.
5. Keep it simple
For those who prefer a simpler look, the Accra Dey Jorm Tee from Atto Tetteh is for you. The classic cotton graphic tee flatters the body with its slim fit and white vertical lines. It can be worn with almost anything – a simple pair of jeans for a stroll around the park or plaid trousers for date night. Versatility at its finest.
6. All in one
When you really think about it, we’ve all been wearing jumpsuits from a very young age: onesies as babies, and playsuits as toddlers. Today, the sartorial baton has been picked up by South African brand ALC, with this burnt-orange Nkululeko short-sleeve boiler suit. It has been updated with utilitarian details including multiple pockets, an elasticated waist with belt loop and easy silver snaps.
7. The extra mile
Why stop at one when you can have two? Also, from ALC, this green Mugwenya jumpsuit is inspired by classic workwear. The longer sleeves are perfect for chillier weather while the dark-green hue is a bold color that is not overwhelming.
Words by Betsy Brossman