Queer Outfit of the Week: Confusing the World and Confronting Yourself in Butch Leggings

Welcome to Queer Outfit of the Week where I scour the world and tell you all about my one favorite queer outfit this week. I’ll envision a scenario where you or your girlfriend or your best friend or your mom or your cat could wear it and talk all about why it’s a great outfit for that event. Every week will be a different style, gender presentation and event so there’s a little something for everyone — even the person who just wants to look at pictures of stylish queers! So let’s get to it — we’re going to figure out what the heck we’re going to wear this week!

This week Autostraddle writer, teacher, inspirational spoken word artist and all-around pretty neat human Gabby wrote just about the best article ever about stepping out on the street and out of her comfort zone in leggings. So maybe this is your week to do the same. Of course, there’s no reason not to do so with a little style. Oh look at that! Gabby has graciously showed us just the style to do it in.


Gabby’s look is a great option for anyone who wants to start wearing leggings, particularly for masculine of center folks. The boxy, masculine nature of the over shirt keeps the look more butch, while the Bklyn Boihood shirt makes clear to anyone in the know that you’re down for the get down. Plus, even though they’re currently trending for everyone, military boots are always a nice way to butch it up a bit.

That being said, Gabby’s look is also a great option for someone center of center or femme who just hasn’t been comfortable wearing leggings in pubic before. I know I was nervous for a long time to wear leggings with anything besides a skirt. Fortunately, the triple layered, slightly longer shirts provide a lot of coverage if you’re nervous about showing off your butt.

The real key to this outfit it the hat. A slouchy grey or black hat pairs well with a cozy flannel shirt and makes the entire outfit more laid back. You might find it more relaxing to try something new, like leggings, if your overall look is more casual. It lets you try something out without feeling like it needs to be a statement on your identity or longterm clothing preferences.

If leggings are completely off the table, this look also works well with black jeggings or even a pair of cute skinny corduroys. You could even go for a pair of slim black pants. Just keep in mind that you want to keep the bottom half of the outfit more narrow to play up the more boxy top.

Scotch and Soda Flannel Gingham Shirt//Bklyn Boihood T-Shirt//Hanes Classic White Tees//Guess Cayote Lace Up Boots//Stretch Cotton Full Length Long Leggings//Loser Machine Hat

Wherever your leggings journey takes you, butch or otherwise, be sure to enjoy it! Very few things in life come as simultaneously cheap, comfortable and stylish.

If you see something that you think should be featured on Queer Outfit of the Weeksend me an ASS messageask on my tumblr, or tweet me @Ohheyitslizz

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. No lie, leggings were on sale at Target this weekend (half off!) and I snagged a pair in black. My legs get mad cold. While I wasn’t planning on wearing them without pants over them, kudos to you, Gabby!

    • omg i’m going to go to target this weekend and get new leggings thanks for the tip i love you courtney

  2. I’ll admit that I’m still on the fence about leggings as pants. I want to like them! I want to wear them! (Especially these cats-in-space leggings that I saw on the internet and will eventually find and own.)

    But you guys. I’m so nervous slash self-conscious about cameltoe. How do you avoid cameltoe when you wear leggings. Somebody please explain to me how I can embrace leggings without being worried that everyone in the world can see the entire outline of my vag.

    • honestly i rarely wear leggings that are tight on the crotch area, there’s usually a bit of a drop-waist there. i think maybe the key is getting leggings that are designed to hit at the hips instead of the waist — or getting the kind that have things going on around the waist, I don’t know the right way to describe “things going on” but I guess i mean the difference between leggings that look like tights without feet and leggings that look Yoga-ready.

    • i’m really into leggings with long-ish loose-ish shirts because then even if you have camel toe no one knows!

      • yep what vanessa said! if you pair the outfit with some crazy boots, the only part of your leggings people can see is the space just above and below your knees. CAMEL TOE CRISIS, AVERTED.

      • That is my MO with leggings as well. I own a fair number of longer tunics so my crotch is always covered.

    • This might sound weird, but wearing a panty liner masks cam toes. Unless they’re super snugg leggings, then I’d opt for a longer shirt or dress.

    • it’s all about the gusset. my go to pair of leggings are from danskin and somehow the magical gusset eliminates the entire camel toe sitch.

      but they are also almost always hanging slightly drop-waisted (or like drop-crotched? like when your tights start to slide down a little?) like riese said. so. maybe it’s that.

  3. i think you look very very much great great fine “butch leggings” should probably be ~~~~a thing~~~~~

  4. There two primary types of leggings. Cotten leggings worn as gym wear and spandex leggings worn as dance wear. So a person would wear cotton leggings anywhere they would wear sweatpants and wear spandex leggings more like tights. That’s my position on the “are leggings pants?” debate.

    • this is a little confusing to me because i would never wear cotton leggings as gym wear? all my gym leggings are spandex and thicker and kind of made to absorb sweat and also not rip when my thighs rub together while i run, because i feel like cotton leggings are super thin and could never handle the abuse i put my spandex leggings through? but then i wear cotton leggings anytime i just feel like wearing leggings, BUT i also sometimes wear my spandex gym leggings (which are thick, much thicker than tights) everywhere because why not. i would never wear tights (see through) as pants, but i feel like any leggings that do not turn actually see-through when you bend down are fair game. yes/no?

      • Yes, people should wear what ever makes them happy and comfortable. In general, I think that spandex seams dressier and more form fitting and cotton seems more casual. So a dress and spandex leggings or a tshirt and Cotten leggings makes the most sense to me. At the same time, people can add dressy pieces to a casual outfit or casual pieces to a dressy outfit. It prevents an outfit from going too far in either direction.

      • I think as long as they fit well and you can’t see through them, they’re probably fine. I wore leggings as pants from ages birth to 12 and no one ever tried to stop me, so I don’t see what the big deal is with them now. Currently my only pair of leggings is the super thick spandex kind, but they are white and kind of ridiculous looking so I wouldn’t dream of wearing them in public unless paired with running shorts or a nice kilt. But I wish I could wear them all the time because they are SO WARM AND COMFY.

  5. ty to this article + how badass/hot gabby looks in this outfit for validating my recent lumberjack-grunge life choices

    • Lumberjack grunge is basically me everyday. Although sometimes I try for lumberjack chic but I think I miss the mark more often then I pull it off.

  6. This is a slammin’ outfit, no lie. I just can’t do it myself. I can’t bring myself to wear leggings as pants. Aside from my Body Feelings, I just keep flashing back to a friend of mine from undergrad who had A LOT of feelings about leggings. She was a textile & merchandising major (or a “thread monkey” as they were affectionately known) and one time when a friend of ours tried to wear leggings out, she screamed “LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS” at the top of her lungs and then actually threw herself on the floor and flailed around a bit. She may have been a little drunk at the time.

    • As someone who doesn’t have an ass, I feel like because leggings are so tight they actually kind of make me look like I do have one. Like they sort of give it some definition. Also possibly because there really isn’t a crotch, so my butt is more defined? Though they prob do look better on someone with more booty

  7. Leggings are my Number 1 on the weekends or whenever I don’t have to wear pants, but I’ve never wore them out because of self-consciousness and body issues. This article may be the motivation I need!

  8. In theory I really like leggings as pants, it’s just that every time I leave the house in them I have a panic attack about there only being one layer of cotton/spandex between my crotch and the world? Maybe I’m not doing it right.

  9. yay for legging pants c: i have two pairs of denim leggings that i miraculously found secondhand (they were the needles in the haystack) & they allow me to wear my big wintertime clothes without feeling disproportionate or uncomfortable.

    though that being said, i feel like if people want to wear leggings & show off their butt, they should be able to. i recently saw a post where a bunch of middle-aged women were first saying “how sad that people make judgements based on how someone dresses” & then eventually basically saying that they didn’t understand people wearing leggings so that their butt could be seen. which if it was “i don’t understand it, but whatevs” wouldn’t have bugged me, but it felt like their words were full of side-eye.

    but um yes. leggings. like constant hugs for your legs. i like them. c:

  10. Gabby, I salute you! I would totally wear leggings if it wasn’t so darn cold… And also if the pair I bought wasn’t see through. Oops!

  11. My partner recently bought me two pairs of leggings with galaxy prints on them. I’m gonna wear them with t-shirts/shirts and blazers/suit jackets and look dapper as fuck. ILU leggings.

  12. Aside from the fact that I just can’t wear leggings as pants,
    this article makes me want to hug Gabby.

  13. I’ve never even owned leggings, but prepping for finals week is kicking my butt, and I might just have use this post for inspiration to be comfy and feel lazy and still look good!

  14. i do indeed feel confused and confronted. in a good way. if you know what i mean. (i mean gabby looks really hot and uh i gotta go.)

  15. Wow Gabby looks great! looks like skinny jeans or jeggings (jean-styled leggings) without the zipper.

Comments are closed.