‘But you hated these clothes!’ The complicated history of ‘lesbian fashion’

Last Updated: June 8, 2024By

\n## Redefining Fashion: How Lesbian Style Breaks Boundaries and Shapes Identity\n\n“When it comes to lesbians, clothes can really shape our place in the world,” says fashion historian Eleanor Medhurst. “They can let us be recognized by others in our community, or allow us to be hidden from the world at large.”\n\nTake Christina, Queen of Sweden in the 17th century, for instance. Christina’s sexuality is still a bit of a mystery, but there’s evidence suggesting she had romantic feelings for women. Her bold fashion choices still resonate with many lesbians today, including Medhurst. Christina’s wardrobe was a mix of masculine and feminine styles. She often wore men’s shoes, shirts, and vests, alongside elaborate women’s gowns and skirts.\n\nChristina is just one of many fascinating subjects in Medhurst’s new book, “Unsuitable: A History of Lesbian Fashion.” This book explores the diverse styles worn by women who loved women throughout history, whose personal lives were often hidden, and whose romantic relationships were dismissed as mere friendships.\n\n\n\nIn the 1920s, Parisian lesbian bar Le Monocle was a hub of fashion experimentation, with women sporting everything from tuxedos and ties to dresses and bobs set in finger waves. The legendary drag king Stormé DeLarverie, who is said to have thrown the first punch at the 1969 Stonewall\n

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