Qweary: I’m AMAB — How do I Dress Androgynous Business Casual?
Misha asked: “I'm applying to work at a nonprofit, and when I looked at their dress code online, it said business casual. Now, I'm AMAB nonbinary, and would very much like to have some androgynous options available to me. Any advice? I'd prefer to avoid button up shirts and other stuff like that, as it just feels too masculine-coded in my head, and I'm not okay with that.”
Androgyny is so subjective that it’s hard to know exactly what you’re looking for, but I have some ideas and you can choose what feels right to you. For cost-friendly stores I recommend Express, Uniqlo, Torrid, ASOS, or thrifting. Higher quality and a bit more expensive are Everlane and Universal Standard.
My one big tip is: Be open minded and try things you’ve never worn before. A lot of people will decide that certain styles just aren’t for them — maybe they’ve been told that throughout their life, or they’ve just decided that it doesn’t look good on them. A lot of people tell me that wearing nicer professional clothing just doesn’t suit them. But if you keep an open mind, you’ll find some things that you truly love. As I’m showing clothes from the women’s department here, you may think, oh, that would never look good on me. It may look different on you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look great!! Once you divorce yourself from the idea that it has to look the same on you as it does on the model, you’ll find a lot more things you like.
Here are some tops that are traditionally seen as very androgynous. (Many brands interpret “androgynous” to mean “minimalistic,” and that’s entered the public consciousness even though I think it’s bogus.) That being said, I happen to be a huge lover of minimalist style. Here are some great pieces:told
You can go with a more flowy style:
I know you said no button-ups, but what about women’s button-ups? Note the shaping and collar difference
I’m really into basically everything Uniqlo carries right now. Here are all their blouses.
Another favorite, and also a staple:
This top is the perfect backdrop for a necklace, blazer, scarf, you name it. Highly recommend getting something like this.
Another option is a blouse that buttons half way. I think it would look sweet untucked, with jeans.
If you’re not so into minimalism, try similar styles with patterns.
I’d get a few blazers if you can because they’ll just make you feel like a badass business person. There are so many amazing styles in women’s blazers. This drapey one could be really androgynous:
A double-breasted one is also a great choice, especially if you want to accentuate your hips:
Or if you want to give a nod to femmes everywhere, why not try wide black and white stripes?:
Express also has this cool cut-away blazer:
I wear blazers and sweaters pretty interchangeably at work. You can even wear both!
I could see a wide range of pants working for you. I’m guessing you’ll want to stick with the women’s department, so here are some I love. You can do skinny, wide legged, high waist, low waist, cropped… so many options! Plus, in a business casual environment, you can wear some nice dark wash jeans! Now I’m just getting excited for you.
I love this golden yellow color. Perfect color for spring!
Anything Chino or beige will be a great wardrobe statement because it goes with so many things:
If you want to wear women’s jeans but are worried about things showing, try getting high waisted jeans and just pulling them down a little.
Despite many people’s insistence that skirts and dresses can’t be androgynous, I’m going to share them here. Proudly.
This is the most stereotypically androgynous dress out there. It’s basically a really long tee shirt. I love it. I’d even wear it, under the right circumstances!
Similar concept but a turtleneck!
Jumpsuits are awesome. You can put a blazer or sweater over it, or just wear it on it’s own! People shy away from them, yet it really looks great on everyone.
They don’t have this exact suit in stock, but here are some others I like:
Here are some women’s shoes that run in larger sizes
How cool would these be with jeans?
Here’s a cool equality pin I’m modeling from Little Bridget Jewelry. It’s a nice subtle touch to add to your blazer.
Watches are always a great accessory for a work environment. Here’s a nice simple tortoise shell one that’s different than your average men’s watch.
Hope these ideas helped. Best of luck!