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32 Awesome Examples Of Celebs Ignoring Gender Norms In Fashion Because It's Not Just Harry Styles, Y'all

Let this be a message to wear whatever you want!

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 folks 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.

Marlene Dietrich in a suit and top hat
Alfred Eisenstaedt / The Life Picture Collection via Getty Images

You may be familiar with Marlene Dietrich, a bisexual actor from the 1920s 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 an integral role in the Stonewall uprising and the subsequent gay liberation movement, without which many changes in 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 choices.

1. Actor Billy Porter at the Critics' Choice Awards:

Billy in a long strapless dress with a flared bottom
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Billy is always upping his fashion game — I loved this sweet, romantic look from him.

2. Rapper Young Thug on his No, My Name IS Jeffery mixtape cover:

Young Thug in a dress with 3/4 sleeves and a large ruffled skirt with a belt that also wraps up over the shoulders and around the arms, and a pointed long hat
300 Entertainment / Atlantic Records

That dress, though!!! Modern Cinderella vibes.

3. Singer Camila Cabello during the 2018 Taylor Swift Reputation tour:

tight three-piece suit with English-style ruffle collar and ends of sleeves
John Shearer / TAS18 / Getty Images for TAS

I call this look Austin Powers chic, and I am living for it.

4. Rapper Bad Bunny in his "Yo Perreo Sola" music video:

leather half-zip long sleeve top with matching miniskirt and thigh-high boots and gloves
2020 Rimas Entertainment / Via

I could do without the mini sunglasses, but the rest of this outfit? Perfection.

5. Nonbinary actor Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 American Music Awards:

tuxedo jacket and shirt with a bowtie and high waist jeans
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

This jacket is tailored to perfection. And that bow tie!!

6. Singer Annie Lennox performing:

Annie in a plaid oversized suit with a black shirt underneath
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Look, I don't normally like orange, but on Annie?! Just YES.

7. Singer Grace Jones performing in Amsterdam:

Grace in a tailored suit with a deep V with no shirt underneath
Rob Verhorst / Redferns / Getty Images

NOBODY — and I mean NOBODY — rocks a tailored suit like Grace Jones.

8. Jennifer Lopez at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards:

white 3-piece suit with a tie and vest underneath with a rhinestone belt and cuffs and loose pants
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

J.Lo would look good in anything, but damn, this outfit is awesome.

9. Nonbinary fashion icon Jonathan Van Ness at a 2020 Oscars viewing party:

Jonathan in a long sleeve dress with an open back and a large satin cowl
Michael Tran / AFP via Getty Images

Jonathan is fashion goals. I'm obsessed with this backless dress!

10. Nonbinary singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe at the 2018 Grammy Awards:

Janelle in a floral patterned tuxedo suit with loose pants and a frilled button up with bowtie
Lester Cohen / Getty Images for NARAS

The flowers provide the perfect pop of color!

11. Nonbinary singer Sam Smith with their Attitude Person of the Year Award:

lace sheer pants with an open long lace cardigan with a satiny trim and flowy 3/4 length sleeves
Dave J. Hogan / Getty Images

This outfit is giving me Wicked Witch vibes, but in the best way.

12. Genderqueer model and artist Chella Man in a dress from his own Opening Ceremony collection:

13. Singer and actor Zendaya at the 2019 Harper's Bazaar Icons party:

Zendaya in a floral patterned double-breasted suit with a tie and button up beneath
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Fun fact: Michael B. Jordan wore the same suit to an Oscars party months earlier.

14. Musician and writer Patti Smith at a rally celebrating the end of the Vietnam War:

Patti in tight dark jeans and a suit jacket with a button up and tie underneath
Leif Skoogfors / Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Casual on the bottom, fancy on the top.

15. Actor Michael Urie at the 2019 Met Gala:

Michael in an outfit that's half a ballgown with ruffled tulle and a strapless top, and half a suit with glittered pinstripes and cropped pants with a nude heel
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

I am living for this half-and-half look. That tulle!! The glitter on the suit!! The heels!

16. Actor Katharine Hepburn in general:

Katharine in a classic suit with buttons and a silky high neck top underneath
Alfred Eisenstaedt / The Life Picture Collection via Getty Images

Katharine iconically changed the game for women's fashion, and we thank her for it.

17. Madonna at London's Heathrow Airport:

Madonna in a suit jacket with a tie underneath, dark loose pants, and a long peacoat on top
Tim Ockenden — PA Images / PA Images via Getty Images

And she wore this to the AIRPORT?! A queen.

18. TV personality Bobby Berk at a 2020 Oscars viewing party:

Bobby in a shiny tight suit with a long train and glitter heeled booties
Phillip Faraone / FilmMagic / Getty Images

I'm going to need those boots in my closet IMMEDIATELY.

19. Prince celebrating his birthday and Purple Rain's release:

Prince in a silk floral halter dress
Paul Natkin / WireImage / Getty Images

Like Elton John, Prince really changed the fashion game. An absolute icon.

20. David Bowie at a London concert in 1973:

David in a turtleneck silky dress with long bell sleeves
Michael Putland / Getty Images

I mean, I'd be remiss not to mention David Bowie. Yet another icon!

21. Actor Ruby Rose at the 2019 Australians in Film Awards:

Ruby in a loose sparkly suit with button up underneath and oxford shoes
Phillip Faraone / WireImage / Getty Images

Honestly, I love anything that's glittery.

22. Actor Blake Lively at the UK A Simple Favor premiere:

Blake in a 3 piece suit with a peter pan collar and satin tie and a double-breasted vest underneath with slightly pleated pants
Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

Blake!!! How do you always look THIS GOOD?!?

23. Musician and actor Jaden Smith at the Justin Bieber's Believe premiere:

Jaden in a hoodie and loose patterned skirt underneath with long socks and sneakers
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Jaden is an amazing example of a Gen Z'er who totally defies fashion norms. You love to see it.

24. Singer Lil Nas X at the 2020 Grammys:

Lil Nas X in a leather monochrome outfit with 2 belts, tight pants, and an open crop moto jacket with holsters and mesh underneath and studs and buckles on everything
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

The outfit is absolutely iconic and will go down in the history books.

25. Genderfluid actor Nico Tortorella at Love Ball III:

Nico in a lacey loose dress with a ruffled high neck top and layers kind of like a shirt over the top of the dress, with loose long sleeves
Dia Dipasupil / WireImage

They look amazing in this dress! I'm loving the layers of lace.

26. Elton John performing onstage:

Elton in a large elaborate dress with trailing ruffled sleeves and a poofy skirt and large hat with swirling wire sticking out
McCarthy/Express Newspapers / Getty Images

Okay, so I wouldn't wear this on a regular day, but it's still pretty awesome.

27. Basketball's Dennis Rodman at a Maxim event:

Dennis in a black twisty bralette crop top with a lacy open button up above it and jeans
Jean-Paul Aussenard / WireImage / Getty Images

I need this bralette/crop top.

28. Musician Harry Styles at the 2019 Met Gala:

Harry in a sheer lacy top jumpsuit with bell sleeves and a ruffle at the top then loose bants
Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

HARRY!! 🥵🥵🥵

29. Actor Kristen Stewart at a San Sebastian Film Festival red carpet:

Kristen in loose cropped ankle pants with four layers of hanging chains mid-thigh on one leg and a loose jacket with only the top button fastened with similar chains around the shoulders
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?

30. Musician Kurt Cobain on the cover of the Face magazine:

Kurt in a collared button up floral short sleeve dress with a slightly pleated flare skirt
The Face Magazine / Via

I would 100% wear this.

31. Psychic Walter Mercado posing for a portrait:

long sequin robe with collar and trim and swirly vine patterns
Harry Langdon / Getty Images

Personally, I believe we should all be wearing a lot more sequins.

32. And Elliot Page, who recently came out as trans and who has used fashion as a way to express himself and his identity throughout his career — we love to see it!

Elliot Page in a suit with a thin tie and collared shirt with a gingham pocket square
Mark Sullivan / WireImage

THIS SUIT!! Flawless.


This post has been updated to include Elliot Page, an actor and fashion icon who recently came out as transgender.