R29’s Fashion Guide To A Hot Queer Summer

·6 min read

You don't need to dress a certain way to be gay. You know that; I know that; we all know that. Although there are many different aesthetics in the queer community, we still celebrate certain items as iconically queer. These are the items that, to us, visually embody the gay spirit. As a new writer on R29's Shopping team, I seized the opportunity of getting to know my fellow LGBT+ coworkers with a product-focused query: what are your go-to queer styles for Pride month and beyond?

Since many members of the LGBT+ community have been outspoken online about their loss of fashion-forward choices during the summer months, the goal of this personal shopping roundup is to provide some fresh style inspiration for pieces that are breezy without giving up the gay agenda. Ahead, find a full collection of clothing and accessories that real R29ers will be sporting for their very own hot queer summers. There's everything from cheeky tote bags to mom shorts, Teva sandals, Robert Pattinson tees, floral button-downs, nap dresses, earrings shaped like loaves of bread, and beyond.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h2>Mom Shorts </h2><br>"I really like curvy mom shorts from American Eagle paired with Doc Martens and a cropped short sleeve button. The shorts are long enough that I don't feel aggressively femme, and pairing them with bigger shoes/a masculine shirt really feels right." – <em>Hannah Rimm, Money Diaries Associate Editor</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.ae.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:American Eagle" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">American Eagle</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>American Eagle</strong> AE Stretch Curvy Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ae.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fp%2Fwomen%2Fhigh-waisted-shorts%2Fcurvy-high-waisted-shorts%2Fae-stretch-curvy-denim-mom-shorts%2F0337_6616_857%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:American Eagle" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">American Eagle</a>

Mom Shorts


"I really like curvy mom shorts from American Eagle paired with Doc Martens and a cropped short sleeve button. The shorts are long enough that I don't feel aggressively femme, and pairing them with bigger shoes/a masculine shirt really feels right." – Hannah Rimm, Money Diaries Associate Editor

Shop American Eagle

American Eagle AE Stretch Curvy Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at American Eagle
<h2>Coveralls</h2><br>"I mean, I just love a coverall so much because I feel so cute and gay and gender euphoric in them. Plus, they’re really breathable so I don’t get too sweaty, especially paired with Chacos, Birkenstocks, or Tevas." – <em>Hannah Rimm, Monday Diaries Associate Editor</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.dickies.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dickies" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dickies</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Dickies</strong> Women's FLEX Cooling Temp-iQ® Short Sleeve Coveralls, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dickies.com%2Fcoveralls-overalls%2Fwomens-flex-cooling-temp-iq-short-sleeve-coveralls%2FFV332F.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dickies" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dickies</a>

Coveralls


"I mean, I just love a coverall so much because I feel so cute and gay and gender euphoric in them. Plus, they’re really breathable so I don’t get too sweaty, especially paired with Chacos, Birkenstocks, or Tevas." – Hannah Rimm, Monday Diaries Associate Editor

Shop Dickies

Dickies Women's FLEX Cooling Temp-iQ® Short Sleeve Coveralls, $, available at Dickies
<h2>Teva Sandals</h2><br>"They're comfortable and practical, and don't look awful. Great for the beach, but also good for the bodega run. I don't know if that makes them perfect for a gay outfit, but I guess practicality is pretty gay." – <em>Heather McTavish, Copy Creative Director</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.teva.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Teva" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Teva</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Teva</strong> Original Universal, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teva.com%2Fwomen-sandals%2Foriginal-universal%2F1003987.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Teva" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Teva</a>

Teva Sandals


"They're comfortable and practical, and don't look awful. Great for the beach, but also good for the bodega run. I don't know if that makes them perfect for a gay outfit, but I guess practicality is pretty gay." – Heather McTavish, Copy Creative Director

Shop Teva

Teva Original Universal, $, available at Teva
<h2>Lightweight Sweater Vests</h2><br>"I love a sweater vest in any season. Like many other lesbians and queer women, I've become increasingly fixated on the fashion of early 20th Century Sapphics who cemented the vest as a queer item. It's one of those items that's been seen as 'ugly' by the mainstream that it inherently doesn't cater to the cis male gaze and it straddles a line I love between historical fashion and modern workwear. Wearing them (and if you're me <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CO7vJjBHJ2g/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:making" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">making</a> your <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGNJte4p3yV/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:own" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">own</a>) in 2021 can pull any outfit together IMO, no matter what the weather." – <em>Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Health & Living Writer<br></em><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.zara.com/us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Mango</strong> Knitted vest with print, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop.mango.com%2Fus%2Fwomen%2Fcardigans-and-sweaters-vests%2Fknitted-vest-with-print_87037651.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mango" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mango</a>

Lightweight Sweater Vests


"I love a sweater vest in any season. Like many other lesbians and queer women, I've become increasingly fixated on the fashion of early 20th Century Sapphics who cemented the vest as a queer item. It's one of those items that's been seen as 'ugly' by the mainstream that it inherently doesn't cater to the cis male gaze and it straddles a line I love between historical fashion and modern workwear. Wearing them (and if you're me making your own) in 2021 can pull any outfit together IMO, no matter what the weather." – Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Health & Living Writer

Shop Zara

Mango Knitted vest with print, $, available at Mango
<h2>Oversized T-Shirt</h2><br>"Currently my go-to big t-shirt is this one. Perhaps counterintuitive to have a Rob T-shirt as my gay T-shirt, but I think 'Twilight' is gay culture." – <em>Abbey Maxbauer, Social</em> <em>Senior Editor</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://sadstreet.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sadstreet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sadstreet</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Sadstreet</strong> ROBERT PATTINSON SHIRT, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsadstreet.com%2Fcollections%2Ffeatured%2Fproducts%2Frobert-pattinson-shirt" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sadstreet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sadstreet</a>

Oversized T-Shirt


"Currently my go-to big t-shirt is this one. Perhaps counterintuitive to have a Rob T-shirt as my gay T-shirt, but I think 'Twilight' is gay culture." – Abbey Maxbauer, Social Senior Editor

Shop Sadstreet

Sadstreet ROBERT PATTINSON SHIRT, $, available at Sadstreet
<h2>Birkenstocks</h2><br>"Birkenstocks, especially with socks, are a part of the perfect gay outfit because it truly exudes the 'going to pick up some bread at the farmer's market with my girlfriend' vibes." – <em>Andie Kent, Tik Tok Publishing Coordinator</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.birkenstock.com/us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Birkenstock" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Birkenstock</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Birkenstock</strong> Arizona Soft Slide Sandal, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fbirkenstock-arizona-soft-slide-sandal-women%2F2896765" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nordstrom" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nordstrom</a>

Birkenstocks


"Birkenstocks, especially with socks, are a part of the perfect gay outfit because it truly exudes the 'going to pick up some bread at the farmer's market with my girlfriend' vibes." – Andie Kent, Tik Tok Publishing Coordinator

Shop Birkenstock

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Slide Sandal, $, available at Nordstrom
<h2>Big Bud Press</h2><br>"I really like how Big Bud Press's clothes aren't gender-specific, and they're size-inclusive so they fit lots of different bodies. The shorts are longer than most "women's" shorts, which is nice, and they come in a literal rainbow of different options (which is pretty gay)." <em>– Lily Fulop, Designer</em><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://bigbudpress.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Big Bud Press" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Big Bud Press</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Big Bud Press</strong> Classic Work Shorts - Fudgesicle Brown, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbigbudpress.com%2Fcollections%2Fshorts%2Fproducts%2Fclassic-work-shorts-fudgesicle-brown" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Big Bud Press" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Big Bud Press</a>

Big Bud Press


"I really like how Big Bud Press's clothes aren't gender-specific, and they're size-inclusive so they fit lots of different bodies. The shorts are longer than most "women's" shorts, which is nice, and they come in a literal rainbow of different options (which is pretty gay)." – Lily Fulop, Designer

Shop Big Bud Press

Big Bud Press Classic Work Shorts - Fudgesicle Brown, $, available at Big Bud Press
<h2>Baggu Medium Crescent Bag </h2><br>"My love for accessorizing and legumes knows no bounds. Of course, I want a bag that comes in colors like Lentil and Pinto. #beansrgay" – <em>Nico Teitel, Video Animator</em><br><br><em>Shop </em><strong><em><a href="https://baggu.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Baggu" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Baggu</a></em></strong><br><br><strong>Baggu</strong> Medium Nylon Crescent Bag, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbaggu.com%2Fcollections%2Fcross-body%2Fproducts%2Fmedium-nylon-crescent-bag-lentil" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Baggu" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Baggu</a>

Baggu Medium Crescent Bag


"My love for accessorizing and legumes knows no bounds. Of course, I want a bag that comes in colors like Lentil and Pinto. #beansrgay" – Nico Teitel, Video Animator

Shop Baggu

Baggu Medium Nylon Crescent Bag, $, available at Baggu
<h2>Bandanas</h2><br>Mercedes here, to take it on home with the rest of my shopping picks. <br><br>The cottagecore aesthetic is still thriving in all of our little femme hearts. You need two things to be part of the coveted club: a lovely dress (check) and a bandana in your hair. This quick and easy hairstyle is iconic, practical, and perfect for summer. <br><br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://goto.target.com/gzjyB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Universal Thread</strong> Women's Printed Bandana, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoto.target.com%2FgzjyB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

Bandanas


Mercedes here, to take it on home with the rest of my shopping picks.

The cottagecore aesthetic is still thriving in all of our little femme hearts. You need two things to be part of the coveted club: a lovely dress (check) and a bandana in your hair. This quick and easy hairstyle is iconic, practical, and perfect for summer.


Shop Target

Universal Thread Women's Printed Bandana, $, available at Target
<h2>Oversized Button-Downs</h2><br>Like I said in our latest <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/what-to-buy-with-100-dollars#slide-16" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Most Wanted" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Most Wanted</a>, I've been obsessed with this Everlane top since I got it. While the trend recommended is any oversized button-downs (think of your classic white with the sleeves rolled up). I highly recommend a silky, soft oversized top like this one that will flatter absolutely everyone while still being breezy for the summer heat. <br><br><br><em>Shop<strong><a href="https://www.everlane.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Everlane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Everlane</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Everlane</strong> The Japanese GoWeave Square Shirt, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.everlane.com%2Fproducts%2Fwomens-jpnse-goweave-light-square-shirt-bay-leaf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Everlane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Everlane</a>

Oversized Button-Downs


Like I said in our latest Most Wanted, I've been obsessed with this Everlane top since I got it. While the trend recommended is any oversized button-downs (think of your classic white with the sleeves rolled up). I highly recommend a silky, soft oversized top like this one that will flatter absolutely everyone while still being breezy for the summer heat.


Shop Everlane

Everlane The Japanese GoWeave Square Shirt, $, available at Everlane
<h2>Doc Martens Sandals</h2><br>It's a good thing Doc Martens sells sandals for when the weather gets too hot for their iconic boots — even though that doesn't stop some die-hard fans. These sandals match any and all outfits, giving them a hard-core look. <br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.drmartens.com/us/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dr Martens" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dr Martens</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Dr Martens</strong> BLAIRE HYDRO LEATHER GLADIATOR SANDALS, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.drmartens.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fp%2F24235001" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DR MARTENS" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DR MARTENS</a>

Doc Martens Sandals


It's a good thing Doc Martens sells sandals for when the weather gets too hot for their iconic boots — even though that doesn't stop some die-hard fans. These sandals match any and all outfits, giving them a hard-core look.

Shop Dr Martens

Dr Martens BLAIRE HYDRO LEATHER GLADIATOR SANDALS, $, available at DR MARTENS
<h2>Bike Shorts </h2><br>There's no denying that bike shorts are iconic for everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. But nothing exudes a stronger queer vibe than the combo of a big T-shirt (like the one in the previous slide) and these essential black bike shorts.<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.everlane.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Everlane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Everlane</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Everlane</strong> The Perform Bike Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.everlane.com%2Fproducts%2Fwomens-perform-bike-short-black" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Everlane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Everlane</a>

Bike Shorts


There's no denying that bike shorts are iconic for everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. But nothing exudes a stronger queer vibe than the combo of a big T-shirt (like the one in the previous slide) and these essential black bike shorts.

Shop Everlane

Everlane The Perform Bike Short, $, available at Everlane
<h2>Funky Earrings</h2><br>Nothing screams "I'm queer" like funky earrings. The lesbian community on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFicvaNzF7M" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tik Tok" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tik Tok</a> took this idea and ran with it. There's no specific brand or style for the earrings. They just have to be fun, quirky, and unique (major probs if it's hilariously weird!). <br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/qminishop" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Qminishop" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Qminishop</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>qminishop</strong> Miniature French Baguette Dangle Earring, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.etsy.com%2Flisting%2F928156221%2Fminiature-french-baguette-dangle-earring" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>

Funky Earrings


Nothing screams "I'm queer" like funky earrings. The lesbian community on Tik Tok took this idea and ran with it. There's no specific brand or style for the earrings. They just have to be fun, quirky, and unique (major probs if it's hilariously weird!).

Shop Qminishop

qminishop Miniature French Baguette Dangle Earring, $, available at Etsy
<h2>The Nap Dress</h2><br>If you dream of a romantic picnic with a bed of flowers surrounding you and your partner, then the Nap Dress is for you. It's the ultimate cottagecore piece; comfortable. flattering and very femme.<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.hillhousehome.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hill House Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hill House Home</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Hill House</strong> The Ellie Nap Dress, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hillhousehome.com%2Fproducts%2Fthe-ellie-nap-dress-white-swiss-dot" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hill House Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hill House Home</a>

The Nap Dress


If you dream of a romantic picnic with a bed of flowers surrounding you and your partner, then the Nap Dress is for you. It's the ultimate cottagecore piece; comfortable. flattering and very femme.

Shop Hill House Home

Hill House The Ellie Nap Dress, $, available at Hill House Home
<h2>Floral Button-Downs</h2><br>A staple in every cool queer person's closet! An oversized floral button-down is usually left open over a solid color shirt (tank top or T-shirt). It's classic. You simply can't go wrong with it. <br><br><em>Shop<strong> <a href="https://amzn.to/34f9CyD" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Goodthreads" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Goodthreads</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Goodthreads</strong> Men's Slim-Fit Short-Sleeve Printed Poplin Shirt, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/34f9CyD" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Floral Button-Downs


A staple in every cool queer person's closet! An oversized floral button-down is usually left open over a solid color shirt (tank top or T-shirt). It's classic. You simply can't go wrong with it.

Shop Goodthreads

Goodthreads Men's Slim-Fit Short-Sleeve Printed Poplin Shirt, $, available at Amazon
<h2>Tote Bags</h2><br>Tote bags are an essential part of gay culture. That's obvious. No matter the season, we will always have our reliable tote bags. With so many different designs and brands to choose from, it's only natural that we would have so many. This one is one of my favorites: the message is clear, precise, and hilarious. <br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://gayprideapparel.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gay Pride Apparel" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gay Pride Apparel</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Gay Pride Apparel</strong> Be Gay Do Crime Tote Bag, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgayprideapparel.com%2Fcollections%2Ftotes%2Fproducts%2Fbe-gay-do-crime-tote-bag" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gay Pride Apparel" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gay Pride Apparel</a>

Tote Bags


Tote bags are an essential part of gay culture. That's obvious. No matter the season, we will always have our reliable tote bags. With so many different designs and brands to choose from, it's only natural that we would have so many. This one is one of my favorites: the message is clear, precise, and hilarious.

Shop Gay Pride Apparel

Gay Pride Apparel Be Gay Do Crime Tote Bag, $, available at Gay Pride Apparel

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