Consider the following scenario: After staring at the clothes hanging in your closet for, maybe, 20 minutes, you still maintain you have nothing to wear. Could it be that the way you think about said pieces has something to do with your disdain? It certainly could. Shoppers who grew up in the internet era have essentially been trained to use brand-created labels to sift through a bunch of products online in an attempt to fill the gaps in their wardrobes. (See also: The wildly detailed filters organizing any e-commerce site ever.) However, younger shoppers are ditching these labels altogether, judging by Gen Z's increasing interest in shopping gender-neutral wardrobe staples. Now, what fills a shopper's cart is less about aesthetics or arbitrary categories and more about function and practicality for all.
A 2019 study by CivicScience surveyed 2,000 Americans about their views of unisex clothing and found 27% of Gen Z participants were interested in gender-neutral brands that cater to a wider demographic. Founder of global investor group The Craftory, Ernesto Schmitt, who led the TomboyX venture, estimates that “20 to 30 percent of consumers now prioritize purchases based on a product’s mission, rather than its function, even if it is more expensive.” In other words, the cause matters more than the brand or the label. You can see this play out in Gen Z's unrelenting efforts to push progressive ideologies forward, especially when it comes to fashion. You can barely go five minutes without seeing brands place buzzy words like “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” next to a collection marketed toward young shoppers.
Wildfang’s often-sold-out Shacket, with all its versatility and layering potential, is a prime example of an item gone viral not for a gender designation but for its look, feel, and utility. Similarly, Lacher Prise’s Echape Top has soared in popularity for boasting a universally appealing silhouette. Although this increasing demand for inclusivity on all fronts is nothing new, the market's influx of gender-neutral staples — ones that go well beyond the ol’ graphic tee and hoodie combo — just confirms what you probably already knew: If you ditch those proverbial boxes, getting dressed comes with significantly fewer limitations.
If you’re ready to change the way you think about your wardrobe, just ahead is a curated selection of some of the best gender-neutral wardrobe staples on the market — ones guaranteed to work hard in your closet regardless of your personal style. These picks come at a range of price points, from easy purchases to investment buys you'll keep for years to come. Even better, they're all as functional as they are fashion-forward.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
You can never have too many T-shirts in a capsule wardrobe. But the easy fit of Pacsun’s ultra-affordable version guarantees it'll stand out in a sea of basic tees.
Just as the name suggests, TomboyX designs pieces that are comfortable for all, regardless of where someone identifies on the gender spectrum. This bodysuit will easily work its way into any outfit or any wardrobe any day of the week.
Big Bud Press’ striped T-shirt oozes ‘70s style, and regardless of which colorway you go with, its graphic print doubles as a fun neutral.
Whoever said gender-neutral clothing isn’t interesting to look at was sadly mistaken. Actually, they were flat-out wrong, and One DNA’s innovative take on the classic button-up is all the proof you need.
On days that don’t require real clothes, grab a pair of Los Angeles Apparel’s sweatpants to (cozily) get you through it. You might just find yourself wearing them again the next day... and the next, and the next.
Breaking down gender barriers is threaded within Stuzo Clothing's DNA, because, according to the brand, "clothes don’t have any organs last time we checked." This size-inclusive lace button-down just confirms the brand designs clothes with everyone in mind, prioritizing fit, feel, and function over fictional labels.
Every well-dressed person needs an oversized cardigan in their capsule wardrobe. Why not go for one with a little extra flair in the form of cheeky embroidery or a little smiley face?
The early 2000s called, and they want their cargos back. Madmars’ paneled pants are an updated take on the super-cool classic.
Layering is key to making it through the cold-weather months unscathed. Invest in a few loose-fitting, comfortable sweaters to get the job done.
If the crew neck sweatshirt is the unsung hero of the elevated athleisure category, then gray iterations are the MVP. Translation: It will truly go with anything you own.
For those who like to stay on top of the trends, Lâcher Prise’s modern draped top will put you lightyears ahead of the masses. The cowl-neck also functions as a hood for those extra-cozy days.
Thicker than your typical shirt, but not quite a jacket, Wildfang’s Shacket can just as easily be dressed up as it can be worn with that old college T-shirt (you know the one) and sweats.
Oversized by design, None Studio’s longline silhouette will help protect your outfit from the elements. The drawstring hood is just icing on the cake.
The best time to wear a cable-knit sweater is quite literally all of the time. And this one looks how wearing a cloud probably feels.
You’ve probably heard of duvet coats, but what about duvet pants? Designed in the same insulated, quilted style, they’re just as cozy and wick away just as much moisture as you’d expect.
Designed on a whim before a night out, this FIST tank top has a distinct edge that appeals to everyone.
These unisex pants are made from a super sturdy, 100% cotton fabric that only gets better after multiple wears.
This turtleneck sweater dress is a one-step outfit with endless styling potential. Wear it with wide-leg pants or solo-dolo; both are acceptable.
This sherpa-lined hoodie by Olderbrother is far from your typical hooded sweatshirt. The brand describes it as being as soft as the inside of a cat’s belly. I mean, what’s better than that?
That perfect androgynous fit is hard to find, but Aderror’s warped jeans tick all the boxes — well-tailored, a comfortable low-rise, and an ankle-length hem.