How the Fashion World (Unofficially) Turned #20GAYTEEN Into the Year of the Lesbian

Attention all butches, studs, bois, tomboys, androgynous women and lesbians of every ilk who love comfy, casual yet stylish clothes:

I have one word for you – plaid.

That’s right, the high fashion powers that be have decided to give one of the most beloved patterns (and stereotypes) the due attention it deserves. Of course, like everything else in the history of fashion, plaid has had its limelight years and is now getting recycled as an exciting new idea, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that you now have full permission to place every single plaid shirt you own into your daily wardrobe rotation and parade it around proudly, confident in your en vogue styling and knowing fully that your prized possessions now have the official nod of approval of the mainstream world. Not that you needed that to begin with, but hey, it’s as good of an excuse to pull your favorite shirt out as often as you like.

So that’s it. That’s all you need to know to be fashionable this Fall Winter Season! Right?

Well, not entirely. One, because if I end this article here, you might not get to find out about a super exciting new androgynous fashion brand, HLD – Light, and two, because depending on your geographic location and climate, as well as the level of open-mindedness surrounding you in said location, you probably need a few more items of clothing to avoid freezing your tushy off or getting arrested. So keep reading to find out what else you should set your fashionable sights on this season to keep both cozy and away from your own version of Orange Is The New Black.

In addition to plaid having a comeback, the other great news is that the athletic trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! Specifically, the hoodie and sweatshirt staples are getting renewed attention and according to at least one source, i.e. one Instagram post, the amount of hoodies you own determines the level of your Sapphic tendencies.

I’d most definitely make the argument that if anything, it is actually the number of button-ups you own which determines this, however, if I remember correctly, AfterEllen readers are made up largely of  Gen Z, in which case hoodies are essentially equivalent to the more mature button ups preferred by Millennials and Gen X.

So yes, hoodies, sweatshirts, tees, joggers and sneakers are still very much in and this is wonderful news for those of us who appreciate cool, comfortable, functional apparel.

If you live in a cooler climate, beanies and bomber jackets are your ticket. Shearling coats were also big on the designer runways and puffer jackets are still a great choice. Of course, if you wish to dress things up a bit, this is where the trusty staples such as black, grey or camel overcoat and stylish pair of boots come in handy. Brown (and its many shades) is the favored color this season. And if you happen to own some cowboy boots already (looking at you, Wayhaught fans), you’re set – cowboy themed outfits were one of the major themes in the collections showcased. It’s probably redundant to say that jeans continue to reign.

But what if you and your lady want to get fancy you ask? Well, fear not! Here is a fun trend to keep you both on point this Fall and Winter!

Remember the human disco ball post by Taylor Swift? Yup, that’s a thing this year. Personally, I can’t wait to see how this plays out on New Year’s Eve if the majority of the ladies opt to follow this trend…I’m thinking sunglasses at night is the way to solve this sensory overload! Seriously though, this shiny, sparkly trend is a fun way to up your game and get some cute matching going too, if you’re into that kind of thing and really, who isn’t?

Glossy materials and metallics are the key to achieve the desired look here. If you are on the more feminine end of the scale, finding a dress or flowy top should be a breeze this season. If, on the other hand, you gravitate towards more masculine expression, a glossy or metallic tie or bow tie matching your lady’s dress is the way to go. Silver watch, rings or silver cufflinks and studs would make for great complimentary accessories.

Want to take it a step further? Glossy or metallic vest or even a button up should do the trick. Just make sure you don’t overdo it on the shiny materials and end up looking like a wannabe Sir Elton John! Unless that’s the look you’re going for consciously, in which case, all the power to ya! If, however, you prefer to keep things classy, pick one accent piece and keep the rest of your outfit subdued, black being the obvious contrast color here.

Also, fun fact: sparkling surfaces are not limited to clothes this season! Glossy and metallic accents on shoes are a thing too. Can you think of any easier way to get away with wearing sneakers to a formal event?! And HLD – Light has the perfect, freshly launched high-top sneaker design to let you do just that.

Allow me to introduce you to the Aiykonix – The cool VEGAN sneaker that comes in small enough sizes to fit YOU!


Paying homage to the storied tradition of the silver screen era and infusing it with modern, even futuristic minimalist style, the Aiykonix is the perfect combination of iconic glamour and modern simplicity, transcending trends and lending itself perfectly to both formal and casual wear. In other words, this is the perfect sneaker that can do it all! Celebrate tradition, indulge in comfort and blaze your own trail in style with this gender- neutral design made from innovative, cruelty-free Vegan materials. The Aiykonix is handcrafted by master-craftsmen in the most prestigious shoe-making region of Italy and is made to order to eliminate overhead cost and waste. It is ethically sourced, in addition to being produced at fair price and wages.

If you are looking for a statement piece, ease of styling and that elusive casual sophistication, the Aiykonix by HLD – Light is the perfect match for you. This sneaker is available for purchase exclusively through the HLD – Light online store, and being a new release by a new brand, it is highly unlikely that you will run into that dreaded, awkward, unintentional twinning situation this holiday season or in the New Year.

HLD – Light is a female-founded and owned, direct-to-consumer, first Canadian Androgynous Fashion Brand with the goal to inspire, empower and to provide fashion diversity as a reflection of human diversity. It also gives back through its #IGiveAShirt and #IGiveADime initiatives, where for every one shirt or one hoodie purchased, one shirt is donated to someone in need and for every one purchase of shoes or accessories, 10% of profits are donated to a cause chosen by @hld.light’s audience on Instagram and email list.

Check out for additional styles and designs and help this all-inclusive brand redefine fashion through its Street-Style and Deluxe Collections! Tailor-made button ups coming in 2019!

Use code AfterEllen10 to save $10 off the new Aiykonix Vegan Sneaker or use AfterEllen20 to save 20% off any item in the Street-Style Collection.

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