Fashion has seen many drastic changes through the years. Fashion trends differ from era to era but a trend that’s been around for centuries is the idea that clothes should be gender specific.
Many argue that the expression of our gender is the most prominent factor for our choice of clothes. This is an idea I strongly disagree with.
We’ve found ourselves at a time where there’s a large amount of young people that would be content with seeing the eradication of clothing being divided by gender, where the only differentiation is size. This is evident in the increase of gender neutral clothing brands and online brands which allow consumers to buy clothes based on type rather than gender.
I think we mainly adorn ourselves with clothing that reflects our personal style. Some choose clothes that give them comfort, others choose items that they feel accentuates their bodies, overall we all get a sense of contentment from what we wear.
Growing up I thought my choice of clothing could only come from the girls or women section but it wasn’t until two years ago that I realised that clothing in the men’s section featured a whole range of styles just waiting to be explored. One only has to take a trip down these aisles to notice that the materials and texture of the fabric are often of better value and cheaper.
When Jaden Smith was made the face of Louis Vuitton’s 2016 Spring/Summer womenswear collection, there was a lot of negative uproars. This inspired an increase in the discussions about gender and fashion. Moves similar to this by big-name brands has led to people thinking of how, what is essentially just fabric, is gendered.
There’s a sudden surge in parents who refuse to limit their children to clothes specified to their children’s gender. Online boutiques like Jessy & Jack are among the many companies that are set up to offer babies and kids clothes and accessories that don’t incorporate any gender clichés.
Up until the mid 1900s pink was even considered a masculine colour and blue was considered feminine, as young boys would wear the virile and bright pink while women would wear the delicate and soft blue. It says a lot about whether or not gendered clothing actually matters that the two most strongly gender-associated colours only came about in the last 50 years.
It will be interesting to see where the concept takes us in the next few years and if children who grow up wearing clothing that cross the gender binary will change the way gendered clothes are viewed.