What's better than dressing from just one side of the closet? Borrowing from both. Not just unisex styles, both men and women can pull pieces from traditionally gender-specific wardrobes to accentuate for added expression.
We brought in Seattle tastemaker Colton Winger and draped him in womenswear, proving that blurred gender lines in fashion have never looked so good.
How would you define your personal style?
Winger: I’ve always taken inspiration from so many outside sources: architecture, shapes, the colors of the sky during different points of the day, art, life, experiences. For me, it means I’m able to express how I’m feeling through these combinations. I find that when I’m feeling rebellious to social norms, I tend to wear more architectural pieces and pieces that fall outside of what someone would typically see a man wearing. When I’m feeling self-conscious, I look to styles that accentuate parts of my body that make me feel sexy and attractive. When I’m feeling introverted, I find myself hiding behind clothes that still feel like me but aren’t going to catch anyone's attention. When I travel, I use clothing to tell my own story and share my individuality. That’s what’s so empowering about clothing: it's a tool to form a sentence, that when combined tell a story.
When it comes to fashion for men and women, it seems like the lines are getting blurred. Everyone is borrowing from each other’s closets. What are your thoughts on this shift and how can people embrace it?
You’re right. The lines are definitely being blurred more now than ever. If you look back on the history of fashion and personal style, you can see necklines, hem lengths, color palettes, etc. that reflect what’s happening in the world at that time.
In my opinion, I feel like fashion and personal style is a direct reflection of how far we’ve come as a society. We’ve created a platform for deep, deep self expression and it’s absolutely beautiful. Yes, there are "trends," but what we are seeing more now than ever is a generation that is blurring the lines to show that they are in control of how they express themselves.
In order to embrace this, it’s important to self-reflect during these times and ask yourself how you feel and what you’d like your voice to be. There are resources out there and now is the time to explore, trial and error. Figure out what you align with—whether a style, a company, a person, a feeling—and make mental note of that.
The world exists in a black and white, yin and yang, positive and negative. The pendulum swings back and forth, and right now the universe is giving us permission to explore. I’m proud to be part of a community that supports each other in this arena.