Bisexual fashion: styles, trends, and icons
Bisexuality is defined as “attraction to two or more genders”. That’s a pretty straightforward definition. But when it comes to defining bisexual fashion, things can get a little murky.
Is There Such A Thing As Bisexual Fashion?
The bi experience is so broad and varied, and so it’s hard to narrow it down to one particular look. There aren’t very many “bicons” on film and TV to draw style inspiration from either. So, we’ve whipped up a quick and easy guide to get you started. Here, we talk about whether bi fashion is actually a thing, what it can look like, and some of the most recent bi style trends.
Is bisexual fashion a thing?
Before we jump into it, we need to point out that it is difficult to pinpoint a definitive bisexual fashion aesthetic because the bisexual community is so diverse. Sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression are all different and separate aspects of one’s identity—you can be a bisexual cisgender man, a bisexual trans woman, or even a bisexual non-binary person. Plus, two people who identify with the same label can express themselves in their own unique way. That’s gender expression for you!
All of this is to say that there is no one way to look bi. Bisexuals can look like the straightest people on the planet, unmistakably queer, or somewhere in between.
With that being said, there are a few outfits or pieces of clothing that many (but not all) bisexual people seem to be drawn to. For one, a lot of queer people tend to be interested in alternative fashion—be it punk, goth, emo, grunge, cyberpunk, or rockabilly. There is a case to be made for queer people finding comfort in subcultures that also know what it’s like to be misunderstood by the general public.
Bi people also tend to feel “invisible” and invalidated in both queer and straight spaces. Bi erasure is an issue that exists across so many different realms, from film and TV to history and academia. As such, it makes sense that many bisexuals like to signal their queerness to the world, whether through their clothes, hair, accessories, or piercings and tattoos.
Eight bisexual fashion trends
Looking to add more “bi-conic” pieces into your wardrobe? Start with these eight bi style trends:
This is one of those trends that doesn’t seem to have a known origin. For whatever reason, back when skinny jeans were at their most popular, bi folk seemed to just love folding up their jeans and exposing their ankles to the world no matter the weather. Wear your cuffed jeans with a low-cut sneaker or Doc Martens and you have an unmistakably bi outfit.
Layering with button-up shirts, flannels, denim jackets, or leather jackets can help zhuzh up an otherwise simple outfit.
For many bisexual females, fashion is a great way to express one’s queer identity. Some folks like to adorn their denim jackets with statement patches and pride pins—pieces that can signal to others that “Hey, I’m an out and proud bisexual!”
No, we’re not talking about the drag queen tuck. We’re simply talking about how some bisexuals love to tuck their shirts into their bottoms.
You can’t go wrong with high-waist jeans and a fully tucked dress shirt—it’s easy, casual, but still shows off your proportions. If you want something more casual and laid back, you can go for a French tuck instead.
The Bi Bob
Autostraddle’s Riese Bernard wrote about the bisexual bob in 2018, exploring how the trend had evolved over time. As a sort of “in-between” hairstyle that’s shorter than typically feminine shoulder-length and longer than more masculine short cuts, the bisexual bob is a popular choice for bisexual women who want to signify that they too are somewhat in the middle of the Kinsey Scale.
The trend started when people on Tumblr and Twitter began noticing bisexual TV and film characters sporting a similar look, from Avatar Korra from The Legend of Korra to Petra Solano from Jane the Virgin to Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place.
If, when walking down the street, you come across a girl dressed like your dad, chances are they’re bi. Bowling shirts, Bermuda shorts, muscle tees, football jerseys, khaki pants, and patterned button-ups—these are all staple pieces in a bisexual’s closet.
Much like dad fashion, shoes like Birkenstocks, Converse, and Vans are all super comfortable, practical, and laid back. And for a certain type of bisexual, that’s all that really matters.
The best thing about these types of shoes? They go well with pretty much anything, from neutral pants and shorts to more “girly” clothes like skirts and dresses.
Whereas a certain faction of bi girls like wearing comfortable clothing on regular days, that’s not to say that they don’t know how to turn it out when they need to.
One of the enduring pieces of bisexual female fashion is the power suit. Many bi girls love to play with androgyny and blur the lines of masculine and feminine, perhaps because they can connect with that feeling of being somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. And the power suit is the perfect outfit for it.
Plus, when you wear a power suit, you feel, well, powerful! And when you’re tired of feeling like your sexuality is invalidated or erased, wearing something that makes you feel amazing can instantly change how you see yourself.
Bicons like Janelle Monae, Kristen Stewart, and Tessa Thompson have all turned up to the red carpet in a sharp suit.
Statement Tees, Totes, And Accessories
Bisexuals carry the burden of being erased or rendered invisible both in straight and queer spaces. Straight people tend to think that bisexuals are just “gay people who haven’t decided on a side yet,” and queer people tend to think that bisexuals aren’t “gay enough.”
But bisexuals don’t need to pick a side, nor do they have to prove their queerness to anyone. You can be bi whether you have an equal attraction to men and women, date exclusively people of the same gender, or only date people of the opposite gender. As long as your attraction is there and you can personally identify with the bi label, you’re bi.
With all that being said, many bi people feel the need to stand out and show everyone that they are, indeed, out and proud bisexuals. Pins, bracelets, patches, statement tees, and tote bags are all great ways to get the message across. Then there are some quintessentially bi accessories like stacked bracelets and rings, chokers, and hats (particularly beanies), too.
The Bottom Line
So what is the bisexual fashion aesthetic? In our opinion, it’s not quite an aesthetic on its own, but borrows heavily from queer and even straight aesthetics.
Beyond that, bisexual style is also about owning one’s sexuality with confidence, and displaying it loud and proud—whether with a pin, a patch, a pair of comfy shoes, or a rockin’ power suit.