This guide will help you find your style, whether you are a lesbian just discovering yourself or have been a lesbian for years and struggling with it. We’ll go over some of the basic principles of lesbian style and explain a couple of enduring trends.
Types Of Lesbian Fashion Trends
Fashion has always been a part of lesbian culture. Some women wore male clothing in the 19th century to pass for men. Butches were able to differentiate themselves in the 1950s when lesbians began adopting butch-femme roles and secret queer bars appeared. They would wear masculine aesthetics such as t-shirts and jeans and have short hair. Lesbian fashion evolved from the 80s to the 2000s into a more recognizable and definitive style. Stereotypical signs of this era include flannel, leather or denim jackets, heavy boots, button-up shirts, and denim.
Lesbian fashion is as diverse as the community. We’ve moved past the stereotypes of “tomboys” and rigid butch/femme roles. Lesbians today encompass a variety of gender identities and expressions. You can find terms such as high femme lipstick lesbians (also known as futch chapsticks), stone butches (also known by the time as “stone butches”), cottage-core lesbians (also called “sporty tomboys”), and many others.
Femme Lesbian Style
Lesbians, queer women, and femme lesbians prefer a “feminine look.” It means wearing feminine clothes and hairstyles. Lipstick lesbians are also women who enjoy wearing makeup.
Popular trends among women present include fringed bags and white gogo boots inspired by the 60s. Folksy tapestry jackets, a pop of yellow or blue in a monochromatic look, also appear.
Because they are more feminine, femme lesbians can feel invisible and not taken seriously in the community. Some femme lesbians add elements to their style to show their queerness. These accessories and choices of fashion are not exclusive to queer individuals, but they are things that many queer people incorporate into their wardrobes. This includes:
- Piercings, wild earrings, and quirky designs: TikTok has a new trend called “lesbian earring.” They’re loud, quirky earrings made of things like miniature succulent pots or tiny SPAM cans.
- Combat Boots or Doc Martens? Docs are not for lesbians. However, the rugged, utilitarian boot is a favorite among lesbians.
- Denim jackets adorned with a lot of pins. The Riot Girl period of the 1990s saw young activists adorn their jackets in eye-catching patches and statement pins.
- Statement T-Shirts and Totes: Again, not exclusively queer fashion, but still a popular choice among queer people. You can shout out your queerness or any other important part of your identity with a graphic shirt or tote.
- Practical Accessories: They claim that you can tell whether a woman is lesbian by how she keeps her keys. The stereotype of the down-to-earth, practical tomgirl is one of the longest-lasting lesbian stereotypes. Carabiner-attached keys and Swiss Army knives are often seen on the belt loop of a tomboy.
Fashion has evolved to be more “gender-neutral” or “gender-fluid.” The lines between what’s considered a feminine or masculine outfit or item of clothing are blurring as more people realize that clothes do not necessarily have a gender. In 2021, women will be wearing 80s-inspired, oversized “boyfriend jackets, as well as soft pastel suits and jumpsuits.
You can find inspiration from female lesbian icons, including singer Lauren Jauregui and actresses Sarah Paulson, Cara Delevingne, and St. Vincent.
Butch Lesbian Style
The butch lesbian style celebrates masculinity, while femme lesbians are characterized by feminine fashion. In a New York Times article on butch lesbians, the term “butch” was defined as “an aesthetic,” which also conveyed “an attitude and a lot of energy.” Butchness can be defined in terms of both gender and sexuality. However, it’s hard to do so. Casey Legler, a former Olympic model and swimmer, says that “[butches] exist within this realm of masculinity which has nothing to do cis men – that’s what we [butches] can talk about.”
What looks and styles are considered to be quintessentially masculine? One of the most common is a short, male hairstyle.
It is believed that butch lesbian style is not as stylish or “put together” as feminine fashion. This assumption is based on the idea of what a woman ought to wear and shouldn’t wear. Butch identity is ultimately about rejecting the traditional feminine.
Butch lesbian style is more than menswear worn on a woman. It’s safe to say that menswear trends influence butch fashion trends. Butch lesbian style can be seen in 2022 with utility wear, nautical pieces, bomber coats, wide-cut pants, and Bermuda shorts. These days, neon chunky sneakers have also become popular among men. Regarding the general fashion trends 2022, we’ve got early 2000s styles, top-to-bottom colors, sequins, shimmer, and bold stripes.
Butch lesbian icons include Lea DeLaria (actor and comedian), Jenny Shimizu (model), JD Samson (musician), and Roberta Colindrez.
Futch, Stem, or Chapstick Lesbian Style
If you imagine gender identity and expression on a spectrum with masculine at one end and feminine at the other, the chapstick lesbian is right in the middle. The term “chapstick lesbian” is also known as “futch,” a combination of the words “femme,” “butch,” or “stem,” derived from “stud,” “femme,” and “stud.”
The stem style can be more challenging to define because Futch lesbians are a mix of masculine and female. Some stem lesbians prefer to dress in a genderless or neutral way. Other stem lesbians are more comfortable wearing a combination of feminine and masculine styles.
In the last few years, “genderless fashion” has become more popular, as more people are comfortable wearing clothes and styles that don’t necessarily correspond to their gender identity or orientation. Jaden Smith, an actor, and rapper, made headlines a few decades ago because he liked to wear skirts and dresses. Harry Styles is also in the spotlight for his incredible style, incorporating lace, florals, and glitter.
Specific fashion characteristics stem or futch lesbians tend to have:
- Stem lesbians enjoy wearing menswear-inspired clothes but still maintain some feminine characteristics, such as body shape, long hair, and makeup.
- Stem lesbians like to mix masculine tops and feminine bottoms.
- Lesbians who are stem or futch use less makeup and maintain their hair and nails in a low-maintenance manner than lesbians.
- Lesbians who prefer comfort and practicality over style are often called Stem or Fuch.
Cottagecore Lesbian Fashion
The term “cottagecore,” used in lesbian online spaces such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, took off around early 2020. The time describes someone who wants to leave the city and begin anew on a Western farm.
Cottagecore is more than just a trend. It’s a movement. Cottagecore is an aesthetic that is defined by rustic, cozy interiors. This includes ceramics, embroidery, and old books. It’s basically what Miss Honey’s cottage looks like in Matilda.
The Advocate reports that the cottage-core responds to people feeling burnt out by their busy, urban lives. They’re tired of the minimalist style that has dominated interior design for the past ten years. Instead, they decorate their apartments with porcelain teacups and potted plants and take comfort in old-fashioned activities like arts & crafts and baking.
Cottagecore fashion comprises linen dresses in floral or plaid patterns, prairie frocks with long sleeves, knitted sweaters, and sun hats. It includes garden boots, Mary Janes, lace collars, rattan bags, and laced-up shoes. Cottagecore lesbians also like fantasy elements such as goblins and fairytales.
Vegan, Sustainable, Hippie Lesbian Fashion
It is a stereotype that lesbians tend to be more vegans. Many lesbians are inclined towards activism and counterculture. Lesbians know what it is like to be oppressed and different. They also fight for their place in society.
Their political values define the whole vegan/sustainable-living/hippie lesbian look. This principle is extended beyond the diet of vegans. Most vegans avoid leather, suede, animal skins, fur, feathers, and certain types of wool.
Vegans are often convinced that veganism is better for the planet and adhere to it to live sustainably. Many eco-conscious vegans also support recycled fabrics, thrifted, upcycled, vintage clothing, and natural materials without or with minimal artificial dyes.
As with many other styles, the vegan/hippie style is marred by stereotypes. From dreadlocks to dungarees, Birkenstocks to burlap, there are many. Modern innovations have made eco-friendly, sustainable clothing look like regular clothing. This blurs the line between “hippie” style and sustainable clothing.
Witchy/Goth Lesbian Fashion
Amelia Abraham writes in an article that witchcraft is a haven of safety for the LGBTQ+ communities. In a patriarchal, religious society, witches were considered symbols of “the other.” Everyone (especially women), who refused to conform to societal norms, was labeled a witch. They were exiled.
The internet has allowed more people to learn about the occult and find others interested. Some use it to channel their frustrations about feeling out of place into something fun and tangible. Others use it as a form of political resistance. Others are drawn to the folk magic of their ancestors.
What is the witchy lesbian style? Witchy people like to wear crystal necklaces and tapestry jackets. They also love animal bone talismans. Some people prefer the goth/punk style of black clothing, white makeup, black eyeliner, and lipstick.
Dark Academia Lesbian Fashion
Dark Academia is a popular style among Gen Zs, especially on TikTok. It’s like Preppy fashion but more sophisticated and less energetic. This look is usually favored by those interested in literature, arts, architecture, and history.
Dark Academia lesbians wear monochromatic looks or neutral, earth tones like brown, beige, cream, grey, navy, and brick red. Lesbians from Dark Academia dress in neutral earth tones like brown, beige, and cream. Fabrics like cashmere and wool are more expensive, while outfits feature minimalist classic jewelry, such as gold necklaces, bracelets, and smartwatches.
Lesbian Clothing Brands Owned By Queer People
Consider shopping at these queer-owned brands if you want to change your look. You’ll not only be shopping with a brand that understands the challenges queer people face in finding their style, but you will also support your local community.
Kirrin Finch is a retailer of “conscientious apparel inspired by menswear,, ” allowing queer women to feel comfortable and confident in their skin. The company sells casual button-ups, stylish chinos, and sharp suits for those who prefer a tomboy look.
Kirrin Moffat cofounder Kelly Moffat said the brand was designed to “fill the gender-defying gap by creating apparel inspired by menswear that fits a variety of bodies.”
Stuzo Clothing, a black woman-owned streetwear clothing brand based in Los Angeles, is a company that produces gender-free clothing. Stuzo’s website says the company is “for non-conforming people who are brave at heart.” This is evident from their colorful, bold jumpsuits, snarky shirts, and unique jackets. Stuzo has been worn by celebrities such as Ruby Rose, Lena Waithe, and Tiffany Haddish.
Wildfang is a queer-run clothing company that focuses on inclusive, sustainable fashion.
Their best-selling products include the utility-inspired Essential Coverall Jumpsuit in various colors and patterns and a stylish double-breasted jacket with pockets and an incredible inner detail that tells you, “You f*cking have this!”
Telfar Clemens is one of the queerest fashion brands. It’s best known for its affordable but chic shopping bags. Everyone from Zoe Kravitz and Dua Lipa has worn Telfar.
Chromat offers “future forward bodywear” in all sizes and shapes. Finding comfortable, flattering activewear and swimwear for queer women, especially those with plus-sized bodies, can be difficult. Chromat is a brand that aims to solve this problem. This brand sells items such as swimwear designed for transgender bodies and a unique type of breathable sports bra that can change shape.
The Bottom Line
This guide will help you update your wardrobe if you are a lesbian.
We’ve made this guide as inclusive and diverse as we can. Don’t stop there! Many brands cater to lesbians. They can help you refresh your style or find a new one.