Let this be a message to wear whatever you want!
came to his defense
The other week, Harry Styles graced us with his presence on the cover of Vogue and DAMN, did he look good. But his look, in particular the fact that he wore dresses, was bashed by a few online. Of course, fans rightfully came to his defense
But Harry is certainly not the first man or celeb to subvert gender expectations in their fashion.
While anyone, cisgender or not, should wear whatever the hell they want, it’s important to pay homage to the queer people who broke gendered fashion barriers first.
Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
You may be familiar with Marlene Dietrich, a bisexual actor from the ’20s and ’30s who regularly wore suits. Or Liberace, a gay American pianist who donned extravagant costumes decades before Elton John did. Marsha P. Johnson was a transgender activist and drag queen at the forefront of trans, queer, and drag fashion, who played in integral role in the Stonewall uprising and the following gay liberation movement, without which many changes with queer/trans fashion would not have happened. And of course, gay designers like Cristóbal Balenciaga and Christian Dior designed clothing that went beyond the gender binary framework for their time.
In order to celebrate wearing whatever the hell you want, I’ve put together a list of awesome examples of celebs saying “screw it” to gender norms in their fashion.
Actor Billy Porter at the Critics’ Choice Awards
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
Billy Porter is always upping his fashion game — I loved this sweet, romantic look from him.
Rapper Young Thug on his “No, My Name IS Jeffery” album cover
300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records
That dress though!!! Modern Cinderella vibes.
Singer Camila Cabello the 2018 Taylor Swift Reputation tour
John Shearer/TAS18 / Getty Images for TAS
I call this look Austin Powers chic, and I am living for it.
Rapper Bad Bunny in his “Yo Perreo Sola” music video
2020 Rimas Entertainment / Via youtube.com
I could do without the mini sunglasses, but the rest of this outfit? Perfection.
Nonbinary actor Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 American Music Awards
David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
This jacket is tailored to perfection. And that bowtie!!
Singer Annie Lennox performing
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Look, I don’t normally like orange, but on Annie Lennox?! Just YES.
Singer Grace Jones performing in Amsterdam
Rob Verhorst / Redferns / Getty Images
NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, rocks a tailored suit like Grace Jones.
Jennifer Lopez at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic
J.Lo would look good in anything, but damn, this outfit is awesome.
Nonbinary fashion icon Jonathan Van Ness at a 2020 Oscars viewing party
Michael Tran / AFP via Getty Images
Jonathan is fashion goals. I’m obsessed with this backless dress!
Nonbinary singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe at the 2018 Grammy Awards
Lester Cohen / Getty Images for NARAS
The flowers provide the perfect pop of color!
Nonbinary singer Sam Smith with their Attitude Person of the Year Award
Dave J Hogan / Getty Images
This outfit is giving me Wicked Witch vibes, but in the best way.
Singer and actor Zendaya at the 2019 Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images
Fun fact: Michael B. Jordan wore the same suit to an Oscars party months earlier.
Musician and writer Patti Smith at a rally celebrating the end of the Vietnam War
Leif Skoogfors/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Casual on the bottom, fancy on the top.
Actor Michael Urie at the 2019 Met Gala
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images
I am living for this half and half look. That tulle!! the glitter on the suit!! The heels!
Actor Katharine Hepburn in general
Alfred Eisenstaedt / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
Katharine iconically changed the game for women’s fashion, and we thank her for it.
Madonna at the Heathrow Airport
Tim Ockenden – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
And she wore this to the AIRPORT?! A queen.
TV personality Bobby Berk at a 2020 Oscars viewing party
Phillip Faraone / FilmMagic / Getty Images
I’m going to need this boots in my closet IMMEDIATELY.
Prince celebrating his birthday and Purple Rain’s release
Paul Natkin / WireImage / Getty Images
Like Elton, Prince really changed the fashion game. An absolute icon.
David Bowie at a London concert in 1973
Michael Putland / Getty Images
I mean, I’d be remiss not to mention David Bowie. Yet another icon!
Actor Ruby Rose at the 2019 Australians In Film Awards
Phillip Faraone / WireImage / Getty Images
Honestly, I love anything that’s glittery.
Actor Blake Lively at the UK A Simple Favor premiere
Jeff Spicer / Getty Images
Blake!!! How do you always look THIS GOOD?!?
Musician and actor Jaden Smith at the Justin Bieber’s Believe premiere
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Jaden is an amazing example of a Gen Zer who totally defies fashion norms. You love to see it.
Singer Lil Nas X at the 2020 Grammys
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images
The outfit is absolutely iconic, and will go down in history books.
Gender fluid actor Nico Tortorella at Love Ball III
Dia Dipasupil / WireImage
They look amazing in this dress! I’m loving the layers of lace.
Elton John performing onstage
McCarthy/Express Newspapers / Getty Images
Okay, so I wouldn’t wear this on a regular day, but it’s still pretty awesome.
Basketball player Dennis Rodman at a Maxim event
Jean-paul Aussenard / WireImage / Getty Images
I need this bralette/crop top.
Musician Harry Styles at the 2019 Met Gala
Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
Actor Kristen Stewart at a San Sebastian Film Festival red carpet
Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images
This outfit is awesome, but mostly I’m looking at her eyeliner. How is it always so intense and amazing?
Musician Kurt Cobain on the cover of The Face magazine
The Face Magazine / Via theface.com
I would 100% wear this.
And finally, psychic Walter Mercado posing for a portrait
Harry Langdon / Getty Images
Personally, I believe we should all be wearing a lot more sequins.
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