9 Plus Size Cuties Share Tips For Androgynous Style

Over the years we've gotten lots of qwearies about dressing androgynous for different body types. There is hardly any information out there about dressing androgynous for anyone who isn't skinny!

This lack of representation is so damaging to people who identify as androgynous but don't fit into the mainstream androgynous body type. The current images are majority white, female assigned at birth, with a more masculine leaning style, and we want to demonstrate that androgyny can take many different forms. 

Step-by-step we at Qwear are reclaiming androgyny for all bodies. We perused the internet for plus size androgynous fashionistas to share some tips on achieving their look. I hope this provides some much-needed inspiration and tips to all you qwears!

 

1. Marquis Neal

Androgynous style
 

Where do you get your clothes?
When looking for clothes, i’m someone who really believes in “shopping around” so whether it means a small thrift store or a larger clothing retailer, I’m down to see what they offer. who knows, you might find a sweet pair of shoes, or even a cool ring, that might just be the missing link in completing an outfit.

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Don’t feel shame in your presentation. androgynous style doesn’t have a specific look nor does it mean a specific mix of genders. Don’t be afraid to shop in all sections of a store (i.e. women’s, plus size, kids, mens) if they offer multiple departments. You would be surprised that when you start trying gender non-conforming clothing options, how many more possibilities are available to you when trying to achieve a more androgynous look.

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny (for me) means not being afraid to experiment with masculine and feminine. It means I am in charge of my identity and that I don’t have to conform to the prescribed expectations that society holds on me as “male.” 

Photography by Joey Marinaro

 
Androgynous style
 
 
 

Marquis Neal describes himself as "your average bargain basement, fashion loving, makeup wearing, dream filled fat boy with hopes to change the way people look at anyone who is trying to be themselves the best way they can." Follow him @ashleytisdick on Instagram, as well as @marquimode on Tumblr and Snapchat. He says, "feel free to drop a line and say hello, I love hearing about others experiences and helping anyone out who may just have a few questions they’re itching to ask. :D"

2. Heather Rae Martin

 
Androgynous style
 

Where do you get your clothes?
I do quite a bit of online shopping and my favorite brands right now are BBC, Stussy, Asphalt Yacht Club, Tie Bar, and Stuzo Clothing. I usually wear "Men's" slim fit jeans from Joe's or 7 for all Mankind. My Lids membership card gets quite a workout throughout the year because I LOVE hats (bucket, snapbacks, 5 panels, etc.). I don't really like the mall - but I usually hit up Journey's for my feet and Hot Topic to accessorize. 

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
All of my "business casual" wear is supported by bespoke clothing from Ayehommes concierge service. I encourage folks looking for an androgynous look to go bespoke or custom. A pattern that fits your body with the desired cut can be best achieved by this type of clothing (especially if you're plus size). I also like to accessorize all along the gender spectrum from bowties (knotzland.com/) to bracelets and rings designed for everybody.

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny is something that all humans embody in one form or another. For me, specifically, it means being assigned female and identifying as a woman while being masculine of center in my gender expression.

 
Androgynous style
 
 
 

Heather Rae Martin is 31 and has an MBA and a Master's in Health Care Policy and Management. She sits on the board of Reaching Out MBA, an organization dedicated to supporting and inspiring LGBTQ MBAs. She DJ's in her spare time and can found on Instagram @HRae013 and Twitter @HRae07.

Photo credit: Njaimeh Njie & Karen Meyers

3. Ree Melanen

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
Second hand as much as I can. I alter whatever isn't quite right, and sew a lot of stuff from scratch. I also make my binders myself. Accessories and makeup are also really important for my look, my favourite jewellery is made by Earl Foolish (earlfoolish.com).

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Play with gendered codes and use them to your advantage.

What does androgyny mean to you?
At this point, I'm not quite sure. All I know is that I know I've got a good look together when I feel good and confuse the cis.

 
 
 
 

Ree is a "gender retired, part-time university student, part-time activist, and full-time recovering from depression." You can find them on Tumblr: @meduusalammikko, and Instagram @meduusalammikko.

Photo credit: Katarina Sällylä (first 2 photos) Saara Teinilä (last 2 photos)

4. Scott Holloway

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
Being a larger boy here in the UK means I shop around as a lot of stores don't stock sizes for more voluptuous guys like myself. I also like things that aren't just mass produced and that not everyone has so love to shop in Camden Market here in London as well as various vintage and thrift stores. I'm a real bargainista so never spend much on clothes and don't pine for designer labels. To me it's how you rock it that counts! (not the name on the label).

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Well my advice in general would simply be don't try too hard to look a certain way; It's all about finding your own style and it should feel authentic, not forced. Go shopping when you have time, rather than when you are in a rush so you can take more time to examine the rails and pick things up that you perhaps wouldn't usually. When trying things on remember some things that look kinda "blah" on the rails can look amaze on and vice versa so take your time to really try things on that aren't your typical style and are a bit outside of the box. A great place to start is with some statement accessories, a cheap and easy way to add the quirk factor to any outfit. Oh and most of all just remember not to take fashion too seriously, to have fun and be fierce!

What does androgyny mean to you?
To me androgyny is simply freedom to be yourself. Freedom to experiment and just have fun with fashion without fear of having to conform to labels that society is constantly trying to impose on us. I hate labels and I'm also a big kid at heart so love to have fun with what I wear and use it as a way of expressing my personality. Sometimes I look back and think "what was I thinking" but hey that's all part of the fun and it felt right at the time so who cares.

 
 
 
 

Scott Lee Holloway is a men's plus size model South East of the UK (near London). Visit him at www.starnow.co.uk/scottleeholloway and hit him up at @ScottLeeTweets on Twitter.

5. Anastasia (Androgynous God)

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
I get my clothing mostly from the Men's XL section at the thrift store. I seek out oversized clothing that I can alter to create the androgynous style I am comfortable in. I seek out pieces from XL - 5XL.   

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
My advice on dressing androgynous, especially if you are plus sized, is to look for pieces with more structure, like trousers and button up shirts. For a boxy oversized look, wear longer button-up tops. If you want an hourglass shape, consider a button up crop top, or try a cropped T shirt for the same boxy effect. Keep the volume with the pants by wearing a baggy track pant or high waist trouser.

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny is the perfect blend of femininity and masculinity. Silhouette is everything. 

 
 
 
anastasia2.JPG
 

Anastasia operates an online vintage clothing shop. Follow her on Instagram @androgynousgod, Lookbook @androgynousgod, and Tumblr @androgynousgod, and visit her etsy store: etsy.com/shop/androgynousgod

6. Liam

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
A lot of my clothing is actually from Walmart. They have a pretty good plus size selection, and some of their stuff is actually really cute. Even if I don't agree with their business practices, I don't have a lot of money, and their clothes are really inexpensive. Plus they've got some nice, fat-friendly leggings. Other favorite stores of mine are Hot Topic, Torrid, Modcloth, and Destination XL. Depending on where you live, Goodwill has some interesting stuff sometimes. I've found some great stuff through sites like RedBubble, Society6, Etsy, and Storenvy, and it's also cool to support indie artists!

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Look for inspiration in all styles of fashion, and in all genders of people, and in people without gender. Figure out what you like and don't like when it comes to an outfit. Browse through all the sections at clothing stores, regardless of your gender or lack thereof. Experiment: [If FAAB] throw on a binder or a bra underneath your top and see if you're feeling the way it looks... or go without one if you feel comfortable enough. Get messy with your makeup, chop your hair off or grow it out. Stop or start shaving. Heck, shave half your body and keep the other half hairy. Do what makes you feel good. This stuff is supposed to be fun, and it should make you feel good about yourself.

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny is more than just fashion to me. It's about feeling comfortable in my own skin, getting my outsides to match my insides. I'm at a point in my life that I don't know what gender I am... all I know is that I have a gender, and that I'm not the gender I was assigned at birth. Mixing looks that society deem "masculine" and "feminine" to create my own unique style makes me feel good. It even makes me feel attractive, which is something I've struggled with my entire life. I don't usually feel like a walking, talking political statement, but I take pride in the fact that people get confused about my gender sometimes, because in reality, I'm just as confused about it as they are.

 
 
 
 

Liam (L. O'Hara) describes themselves as an "asexual, Latinx artist who dabbles in a variety of media, and I'm still an emo kid, even after all this time." Follow them on Facebook: facebook.com/ohellohara/ and other social media @ohellohara. Their musical project is Roses for Juana.

7. William "Beave" Brooks

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
Unfortunately for the plus size male we don't really have a "one stop shop" for finding clothes. My motto is leave no rock unturned! Explore stores that don't normally carry your size. I look for things that are supposed to fit the small frame body oversized. And obviously don't let the section deter you. But I definitely thrift ALOT! And I make many of my items.

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Be inspired. Google androgynous looks. You don't have to copy them verbatim but I guarantee it will get your creative juices flowing.

What does androgyny mean to you?
For me androgyny mean not letting gender norms dictate expression.

 
 
 
 

William "Beave" Brooks is a DC/ Maryland based personal shopper and stylist for the Big Guy!! He says, "I wanna show that although difficult sometime (due to the lack of consideration given to the big guy by the fashion industry) it is possible to be Big and stylish! I also aim to Inspire and help them realize every pound they have is pure awesomeness." See more stylings on his Instagram: @the_awesome_life_of_a_beaver and Tumblr: @BigGuyFly. Or email him at  bebowfashions@gmail.com

8. Chea Calvert

 
 

Where do you get your clothes?
I mostly shop at Salvation Army & Goodwill. I shop there because they give back to the community and they have wide selections of blazers, vests, slacks and ties! My accessories come from Walmart, Rue21, & Ross.

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Just Do It!!! Do what you feel, try out different styles, go crazy you might find something you like!

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny, to me, means being versatile with my style and coming into my own. It's about pushing my own limits while being comfortable in my own skin.

 
 
 
 

Chèa Calvert goes by B.L.A.I Z.E. which means Blessed Loved and Intelligently Zoned for Excellence. They are a local actor in Austin, Tx on a series called Street Stories. Find  B.L.A.I Z.E. on Instagram: @blaize86, Facebook: facebook.com/chea.calvert.3, Snapchat: c.calvert86 and Twitter: @blaize1986

9. Shannon

Where do you get your clothes?
Gap: I'm on the upper edge of their sizes, but I like the men's shirts and women's blazers. Nordstrom Rack for men's accessories and for shoes. eShakti for femme, vintage-inspired pieces. H&M for men's v-neck sweaters. I also sew, so I make a lot of my own clothes, including all of my vests and lots of bow ties.

Any advice for people looking to achieve a more androgynous look?
Have fun with the details! The addition of a brightly colored tie, a vibrant pocket square, a serious (or not-so-serious) lipstick, a lapel pin, a bold watch, a geometric pair of earrings, or a cool pair of socks can make a huge difference. Think about balances: I wear a lot of pattern, so I try to mix different scales/sizes, more geometric with softer, organic patterns, and balance really busy prints with simpler ones, like a chaotic floral with a simple stripe. If you're more of a monochromatic fan, think about balancing textures so that there is still variation. The best way to do this is to play around with your fabric choices: wool, cotton, denim, silk, leather, chiffon, lace can all add textural details, and when juxtaposed in interesting ways can push at the boundaries of what we might consider conventional images of androgyny.

What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny, for me, isn't precisely about finding a place in the middle of the gender spectrum or dressing masculine as a cis woman; it's much more about considering the gendered cultural connotations of the many different things we put on our bodies, and having fun playing with and juxtaposing those. As a fat, queer woman I feel like an object of attention in a lot of ways, not all of them nice, and being both playful and sharp with the way I use gendered clothing makes me feel like I can attract that attention on my own terms, at least a little. Femme dandy is perhaps the term I'm happiest with, because there is a serious queer femme slant to most of my wardrobe, but I add to that the delight in tailoring, textural details, and interesting patterns and fabrics that 'dandy' connotes. Sleek geometric lines and minimalist, sharp tailoring have never felt right on my body, which is fat and full and curvy, so I turn to the lavish plushness offered by the dandy. 

Shannon is an art historian, currently working on a PhD in contemporary art. Shes live in the Midwest with her lazy but cheerful Old English Bulldog, Imogen, who likes very short walks by the lake and very long rolls in the grass. She balances heavy grad school reading with novels about spinsters and with designing and sewing her own clothes. Follower her Tumblr at @with-a-rare-device and on Instagram at @rare.device.

 

As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.