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Embracing genderless fashion.

genderless fashion essay

Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele help celebrities embrace the gender-neutral trend. (Photo Credit: GQ)

Trends come and go, but we believe that the androgynous trend is here to stay, at least for now. As a fashion movement, genderless dressing is gradually making its way into mainstream culture as the trend is hitting the major fashion capitals of the world. Thanks to many young celebrities and fashion designers, people of all genders are breaking convention with what they choose to wear. 0

UoF was the first to offer a lesson in androgynous fashion illustration  in 2017 and it’s been one of our most popular lessons for the past four years.

genderless fashion essay

Acceptance, inclusivity and an openness to change are fashion’s gift to 2021. This year is predicted to be all about reinvention and the gender-fluid movement. Think recording artist, Harry Styles, the poster child for androgyny. His gender-bending looks have been puzzling his fans for the past few years. The movement is now picking up  steam with many non-gender collections being launched by established brands such as Marc Jacobs and Gucci.

genderless fashion essay

Harry Styles (Photo Credit: theguardian.com)

Although one could argue that celebrity androgyny can be traced as far back as the ‘30s with Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn, and in the ‘70s with Dianne Keaton and David Bowie, today’s celebs like Harry Styles, Tilda Swinton and Jared Leto are really pushing the envelope. In fact, some celebrity stylists are moving their clients away from a masculine-feminine divide to more ‘inclusive’ dressing choices. After all, inclusivity is the new buzzword.

genderless fashion essay

Marlene Dietrich, genuinely loved wearing trouser suits, and said she felt more alluring in traditionally masculine clothes. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

genderless fashion essay

Katharine Hepburn epitomized the independent American woman, and she was one of the first to popularize pants. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

genderless fashion essay

Actor and singer Jared Leto’s style has grown more and more daring. Leto has claimed that there is no singular definition of masculinity. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

While the majority of retailers, brands and designers have reacted slowly to the movement, many are starting to come around. The cashmere knit collection Inhabit launched its first genderless collection in the fall of 2020, Norma Kamali reformed her storied brand to a unisex label in 2019, Umit Benan launched unisex line B+ and Equipment launched a gender-neutral collection in 2020.

There are also a number of brands who are strictly genderless labels such as Telfar, Aries, Les Tien, Gypsy Sport and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. In 2018, Stefano Pilati introduced a fluid men’s wear label Random Identities. Even global giant retailers like H&M and Zara have incorporated genderless collections in their stores.

According to Rob Smith, the founder of Phluid Project (which launched in March of 2018 in NYC and online for access worldwide as a gender-free fashion brand), “ Consumers are ready for genderless fashion, especially Gen Z consumers ”  Smith said, at a WWD Culture Conference in November 2020 , “that 56 percent of Generation Z consumers shop outside their assigned gendered area.”

For merchants to adapt to gender-neutral fashions, retailers must re-evaluate their merchandising strategies, designers must reexamine what a genderless collection actually is, and the industry must learn the language and terminology.

During the WWD Cultural Conference Smith used a character called the “Gender Unicorn” to demonstrate the proper way to address gender and sexuality. According to WWD, Smith spoke of five things related to identity, including the sex one is assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, who one is intimately attracted to and then who one is emotionally attracted to.

According to Smith, the parts that are pertain to fashion are gender identity and gender expression. To begin, a person can be assigned one of three sexes at birth: male, female, or intersex. Then comes gender identity, which is what one identifies themselves as and gender expression, which is how one dresses to express themselves. Smith started his speech identifying himself as a “cis man,” meaning he was assigned male at birth and identifies as male.

Smith explained at the conference that when he was young, sexuality and expression were lumped together , “but now it’s all about separating your sexual orientation with your gender identity.”

In an interview with WWD, Christina Zervanos, head of public relations at Phluid Project, said the non-binary consumer “combats the word unisex, because it has the word sex in it. For a lot of people, it speaks to sexuality when it’s about how you identify yourself.”

“Gen Z is begging for the non-binary language,” Zervanos said. “It takes a lot of learning and unlearning.” According to Pew Research Center, 35 percent of Gen Z is familiar with gender-neutral pronouns, followed by Millennials at 25 percent. Throw in Gen X at 16 percent and the total number of people familiar with gender-neutral pronouns reaches 76 percent.

Smith also said at the conference , “If I was going to represent a young community, especially a gender-expansive young community, I need to learn the language.”

Many brands are implementing the language, refer to their gender-neutral collections as genderless, like Official Rebrand, the genderless label from non-binary designer and creative MI Leggett. They coined the term “gender-free.”

“Gender is not a fixed thing,” said Leggett in an interview with WWD, whose pronouns are they/them. “I’d never heard people use the term gender-free when I started the brand. It’s kind of a play on gluten-free. If you don’t tolerate gluten, you don’t have to consume it, so I thought it was a funny play. A lot of people use gender-neutral. That feels a little stale to me. Free implies more freedom. Agender, genderless, there’s so many ways to describe your ideology as a brand. It all depends on what you actually mean. So to me it’s gender-free.”

Fashion companies are falling into the trap of creating looks and calling them “genderless” even though a piece may lean more toward men’s wear or women’s wear. Typically, genderless clothes are either oversize, formless, and shapeless. For years women have worn men’s wear as well as men’s inspired looks that today, it became mainstream.

genderless fashion essay

Kanye West in a Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci leather kilt for his “Watch the Throne” tour. (Photo Credit: The Telegraph)

Unfortunately, men embracing woman’s garments did not translate as easily. In 2010, Kanye West wore a Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci leather kilt for his “Watch the Throne” tour, unfortunately his fashion choice received mixed reviews. In 2016, Louis Vuitton cast Jaden Smith (Actor Will Smith’s son) for its woman’s spring campaign, this was the first time the luxury house had a male modeling in their woman’s advertisements. There were many mixed reactions as celebrity men started wearing more fluid fashion choices. But Harry Styles changed the conception in 2019 when the singer wore a sheer Gucci blouse to the Met Gala and genderless fashion quickly started to move into the cultural mainstream.

genderless fashion essay

Harry Styles cemented himself as a fashion icon in 2019, in his frilled Gucci shirt and pearl earrings at the Met Gala. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Toda, the category of genderless fashion is growing. One of the first designers to launch a unisex, gender-neutral brand is Rad Hourani in 2007. The designer created his label after he held an art exhibit for neutral clothes, which he described in an interview with WWD as “ a tornado success where I started selling to department stores around the world.” Hourani noticed after moving to Paris at age 23 that all things were categorized according to “race, gender, age,” including fashion.

genderless fashion essay

Rad Hourani surrounded by models in his looks. (Photo Credit: Elle Canada)

“When I speak of neutrality, I speak of any gender or non-gender,” he said. “Unisex is free of any gender categorization or limitation. Clothing is a discipline in which I can express myself and my vision around neutrality in general. Expressing gender neutrality is a big part of what I do. There have been unisex pieces like sneakers, jeans, T-shirts, but to create a full high-end collection for 13 years now, I needed to create my own base and sizes.”

“In the past two years, [genderless fashion] became a bigger subject, but what I notice the most is they use designs that are loose-fitting, but I think it’s a much deeper look at unisex morphology. There’s nothing new about making a woman masculine or a man feminine. That’s not unisex, that’s making one the other,” Hourani said . “For androgynous, you can’t tell, but it’s not unisex. Unisex is free of any gender categorization or limitation.”

He also sees genderless fashion as less restrictive than gendered fashion. “If you only give a man a dress, you’re only limiting him to a dress. But if you give a human a neutral garment, they will wear it any way they want.”

POPULAR GENDER-FLUID DESIGNERS

genderless fashion essay

Gender-neutral looks from Entireworld. (Photo Credit: Entireworld)

Entireworld offers all of the basics you need to build a solid gender-neutral wardrobe.

genderless fashion essay

Bode’s unisex one of a kind reworked quilt pastel jacket. (Photo Credit: Bode)

Emily Bode utilizes vintage textiles to create one of a kind jackets and shirts you’ll want to keep forever.

genderless fashion essay

A look from Telfar. (Photo Credit: @slamjammilano)

The Telfar shopping bag has created so much buzz, but Telfar Clemens doesn’t only create sought after accessories, he also has some great fashion pieces too.

genderless fashion essay

A look from Wales Bonner. (Photo Credit: Wales Bonner)

Grace Wales Bonner is the designer behind the gender neural label Wales Bonner. The brand is known for its impeccably tailored blazers and trousers, all with an unexpected sartorial edge. Wales Bonner also teamed up with Adidas for a limited collab, offering up a range of sporty spice looks.

genderless fashion essay

A look from Wildfang. (Photo Credit: Wildfang)

Two Nike executives created the label Wildfang which offers a range of workwear, suits, tees, and more, all of which offer the pared-down, structured look that’s often found in the men’s department.

SO TELL US, WILL YOU EMBRACE THE GENDER-FLUID TREND?

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Antonia Sardone

Antonia Sardone is a new contributor to the University of Fashion. She is also a freelance fashion consultant, stylist and writer. Antonia Sardone graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising Communications, Marketing and Fashion Journalism. She is an industry veteran having worked for WWD for over fifteen years and has strong relationships with designers worldwide. Today, Antonia Sardone continues to write reviews for WWD as well as work with many contemporary designers on a variety of projects from helping to re-launch their websites to writing their brand books. She enjoys raising her children to be creative individuals, as well as styling, writing and traveling.

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Degendering fashion: the origins of gendered fashion, in part two of this series, we’ll explore the history of the gender binary in clothing. by emilia bergoglio., posted in: makers & crafts • march 31, 2021, editor's note.

This is part two of a three-part series that argues for degendering fashion, written by Emilia Bergoglio. After coming out as non-binary, Emilia now works to educate others on the impact that binary language has on fashion and home sewing.

Last month we started our discussion on the degendering of fashion by introducing the terminology used in the contemporary discussion of sex, gender, and presentation. To refresh your memory, sex refers to the biological sex of a person—from sex chromosomes to primary and secondary characteristics to hormonal levels. Gender, on the other hand, is the societal construct that includes roles, relations, and dress. In many Western societies, sex and gender are related, and gender is assigned based on sex to an individual. Presentation, finally, is the way a person expresses their gender, but it can be influenced by other factors such as personal safety and style preferences. In practice, one should never assume somebody’s gender based on what they wear.

genderless fashion essay

This month, I’d like to cover the next step of this conversation: How did we get here? And what can we do now?

Let’s start with how we got here. This invention of gendered dress is fairly recent. It’s not constant across cultures or time, and it is not based on any particular inherent—or “real” if you will—distinction. Therefore, it’s not necessary.

A Very Western History of Seamstresses and Tailors

In the West, until the 17th century, womenswear and menswear were fairly similar. They were both based around a tunic-style garment and made by the same professionals—the tailors. Generally speaking, the clothing divide was based on class and not gender. The great divide, which is the precedent of the gendering of clothing we see now in the West, started in France.

By the reign of Louis XIV, a group of seamstresses started organizing themselves in a separate guild, distinct from tailors, and dedicated themselves only to women’s fashion. At this point, fashion (for women) and tailoring (for men) went their separate ways. Fashion, due to its proximity to women, was cast as exaggerated and frivolous—distinct from tailoring.

Then, in England’s Regency period—from about 1790 until 1820—a new style became popular, spearheaded by people like Beau Brummel. Brummel is often called the arbiter of fashion for men at that time and was one of the most well-known historical reference points for dandyism. The new style from this time period paved the way for the modern suit.

Differences in dress became more and more gendered until gender itself became a binary so entrenched in the popular imagination that it started having a life of its own. People were rigidly classed into one of two genders, with dress rules so unbreakable that many countries had cross-dressing laws.

Over the centuries, women have borrowed items of menswear, from the shirtwaist to the pantsuit. However, the opposite was not true, which is evident even now in “woke circles,” where “inclusive” fashions are often simply adapted menswear—suggesting that menswear is the standard.

This binary framework for clothing is also evident in a colonial and racial context. Europeans saw the lack of strong gendered dress distinction in many Asian and African societies as evidence of cultural backwardness.

genderless fashion essay

George "Beau" Brummell, watercolor by Richard Dighton (1805) Caricature of Beau Brummell done as a print by Robert Dighton, 1805.

How do we Accommodate all Bodies?

While gendered dress may seem completely benign, it can present a problem for people who live outside of the gender norms of their society. Even for people who generally conform to gender norms, it restricts the choices available to them, as anyone who couldn’t find a piece of clothing in their size or in a color other than neon pink can attest. Since there is no strict need for these distinctions, what can we do to make shopping—and sewing patterns—inclusive and welcoming for all while also not eliminating people’s options?

There is no question that differences in bodies have to be accommodated. The approach I wish to see is gender neutral, not unisex. I’m not questioning the need for bust darts, higher rises, or long socks. Even in pattern drafting school, cutting is taught based on the differences in body shape between the sexes. This also includes making clothing based on the average, which is a problem. Even among people of the same sex, there are many variations in bodies.

genderless fashion essay

Image from the Jacques Esterel archives, 1971.

The title “women’s tops” doesn’t actually mean anything outside of a specific cultural context—what tops are we talking about? Blouses? Tanks? Shirts? Oversized? Slim-cut?—I’m so confused.

In my mind, the solution is simple. I question giving items a gender that is separate from that of the wearer. So, how about this: Imagine going to a clothing store and seeing items divided by type with a handy description. The title “women’s tops” doesn’t actually mean anything outside of a specific cultural context—what tops are we talking about? Blouses? Tanks? Shirts? Oversized? Slim cut?—I’m so confused.

However, “bust-darted shirts” and “fitted camisoles” actually describe the items, making searching for said items way easier. Also, the lack of gendered markers makes shopping a more inclusive experience for everybody.

Clothes Don’t Have Gender

In some ways, we are already getting there—in the last ten years or so, there has been a trend towards increased gender-bending in fashion, and the idea has become more accepted. But in total frankness, what I have seen is mostly the appropriation of what is considered “classic menswear” for the female body. This goes back to the point I stated before, that menswear is the “standard,” and the only thing left to do is adapt it for people who are not men.

genderless fashion essay

Photograph of Gladys Bentley, from The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The opposite approach—men wearing “women’s” clothing—is really not new. In the West, it has been pioneered by queer communities of color. Only in recent years, however, has it become more accepted. In my opinion, gender-bending is not only not enough but is even potentially backward in that it fails to address the root of the problem. We should completely remove the association of certain clothing with a specific gender and instead accept people wearing whatever clothing they want.

Clothes are just clothes and are only a proxy of expression—they don’t have any gender of their own separate from the wearer. In practice, this would mean simply letting go of the womenswear and menswear labels and describing styles—while also expanding sizing to cater to more people.

Of course, I also live in the real world, and I can see problems where ready-to-wear clothing is concerned. For example, one reason men’s shoes start at a UK size 5 is that, according to manufacturers, there aren’t enough size-4-wearing men in the market for Oxfords. However, if sizing expanded to include smaller feet and a corresponding increase in the number of women wearing Oxfords due to a loosening of gendered dressing norms, the consumer base would also increase. The same could occur in the opposite direction for “women’s” shoes, evidenced in the market shift towards larger sizes in recent years. Overall, there would be no need to generate new products, but only to re-market the existing ones as genderless and reconsider the relative production of different sizes.

In this part of the series, I have discussed the origin of the gender binary in clothing, which in the West traces back to the 17th century. From then, the separation between “serious” menswear and “frivolous” womenswear became more and more entrenched, even informing modern “unisex” fashion. Gendered distinction in clothing is a purely cultural question, which can cause harm to some people and limit the freedom of others.

Can we imagine a world where this distinction does not exist?

Next month, in the final part of this series, I will speak to some fellow trans people to discuss what can be done to empower folks and give sewists the power to adapt styles to fit their bodies.

References and Additional Reading

  • Sex and Suits: The Evolution of Modern Dress by Anne Hollander.
  • Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud by Thomas W. Laqueur.
  • The Biopolitics of Feelings: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century by Kyla Schuller.
  • Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler.

genderless fashion essay

Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them), artist, poet, and activist.

genderless fashion essay

Emilia Bergoglio

Contributing writer.

When they are not busy in the lab, Emilia enjoys spreading the love of sewing with everyone around them. As a strong believer in the statement, "you can make that!" they are always looking for more things to DIY. You can find them on Instagram @emilia_to_nuno .

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Get inspired & stay in the know:

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research

  • Open access
  • Published: 05 March 2022

Analyzing genderless fashion trends of consumers’ perceptions on social media: using unstructured big data analysis through Latent Dirichlet Allocation-based topic modeling

  • Hyojung Kim   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-9422-1944 1 ,
  • Inho Cho 1 &
  • Minjung Park   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3040-2759 1  

Fashion and Textiles volume  9 , Article number:  6 ( 2022 ) Cite this article

20k Accesses

4 Citations

Metrics details

After the development of Web 2.0 and social networks, analyzing consumers’ responses and opinions in real-time became profoundly important to gain business insights. This study aims to identify consumers’ preferences and perceptions of genderless fashion trends by text-mining, Latent Dirichlet Allocation-based topic modeling, and time-series linear regression analysis. Unstructured text data from consumer-posted sources, such as blogs and online communities, were collected from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020. We examined 9722 posts that included the keyword “genderless fashion” with Python 3.7 software. Results showed that consumers were interested in fragrances, fashion, and beauty brands and products. In particular, 18 topics were extracted: 13 were classified as fashion categories and 5 were derived from beauty and fragrance sectors. Examining the genderless fashion trend development among consumers from 2018 to 2020, “perfume and scent” was revealed as the hot topic, whereas “bags,” “all-in-one skin care,” and “set-up suit” were cold topics, declining in popularity among consumers. The findings contribute to contemporary fashion trends and provide in-depth knowledge about consumers’ perceptions using big data analysis methods and offer insights into product development strategies.

Introduction

Consumers’ blogs and social network opinions have become a valuable resource for gaining marketing insights and relationship management (Zhang et al., 2009 ). As social media has profoundly changed our lives, the widespread adoption of social media sources has generated a vast amount of textual data. Knowledge acquired from social networks interacts with consumers and affects many companies to find their competitive advantage in improving brand products or services (Governatori & Iannella, 2011 ; He et al., 2013 ). Consumer-driven fashion trends and continuous social media monitoring has created new paradigms of trend emergence, which lead to the discovery of key values for brands. For example, the traditional runway collections’ design aspects indicated the upcoming fashion trends; however, a social media platform with real-time content posted by consumers, influencers, and brands became streamlined fashion trends (Yotka, 2020 ).

Trend analysis is a technique that attempts to collect information and discover patterns and estimate future predictions (Immerwahr, 2004 ). The fashion industry adapts the trend analysis using the text-mining technique to predict consumer nature, which is associated with business success. The growth of Web 2.0 and social networks has increased the demand for unstructured data such as news, images, and videos online. According to IBM’s report, unstructured data accounted for 93% of the total data in 2020, and it is estimated that 1.7 MB of data are generated every second (Trice, 2015 ). Liu et al. ( 2011 ) found that 80% of an organization’s information consists of text documents, and that using automated computer techniques is essential to exploit the knowledge from the vast amount of text. However, investing consumers’ preferences and adaptation behaviors toward fashion trends is difficult because social media text-based communication analysis is costly and complicated in processing natural language.

The fashion trend implies various societal types and numerous clothing style choices according to different types of societies. Liberal society members tend to be more accepting of radical changes and innovation, while the conservative society community prefers to maintain its conventional costume (Kawamura, 2018 ). South Korea is famous for its highly fashion-conscious consumers who rapidly adjust to emerging trends (Hounslea, 2019 ), as they are willing to engage in digital technology development (Chakravorti et al., 2020 ). At 87%, South Korea’s social media rate is the third highest in the world, enabling consumers to easily follow current widespread trends and to generate new information (Shim, 2020 ). Given that gender fluidity in fashion has seen a recent boom globally since 2018 (Menkes, 2018 ), the genderless concept began to expand as the trend of emphasizing gender diversity expanded in South Korea. Szmydke ( 2015 ) explained that the traditional fashion industry has been providing design and service based on gender identity; however, masculinity and femininity have diversified with the advent of genderless fashion trends. In addition to the importance of the individual’s unique taste on style, current consumers independently define and express their gender identity (Kopf, 2019 ). Clothing is not only a simple method to express one’s lifestyle, but also a strong tool to represent one’s characteristics. Fifty-six percent of Gen-Z consumers who have a spending power of over 140 billion dollars shop outside of their designated gendered area (Marci, 2020 ), and searches for the term “genderless fashion” increased by 52% (Lyst, 2019 ). Moreover, 51% of gender-neutral global fragrance items were launched in 2018 (Murtell, 2019 ), and many fashion brands promoted a campaign of diversity and inclusivity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and body image. The men’s cosmetic market has grown 1.4 times in 5 years—reaching 1.4 trillion KRW (Lee, 2019 ) in South Korea in response to preferences for genderless items.

Therefore, the demand for adapting the genderless fashion trend has risen among general consumers and gender-neutral apparel has strode into retail prominence. Although very few studies have analyzed fashion trends in consumer behavior using the text-mining technique (Blasi et al., 2020 ; Rickman & Cosenza, 2007 ), no previous studies have focused solely on consumers’ perceptions of genderless fashion trends. Moreover, many researchers have explored genderless fashion in terms of design style elements, collection image characteristics, and sociocultural impact (Jordan, 2017 ; Rocha et al., 2005 ; Shin & Koh, 2020 ; Xu & Li, 2012 ) through qualitative research methods. The prominent genderless fashion trend is increasing, and the massive amount of big data has made it possible to understand consumers’ requirements and demands. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate consumers’ awareness of the current genderless fashion trend using the text-mining method. Therefore, this study demonstrates the genderless fashion trend perception among consumers on social media by applying textual data. More specifically, this research aims to answer the following questions.

What major keywords do consumers use when commenting on genderless fashion?

What are the main topics of genderless fashion and how do consumers perceive it?

How have the genderless fashion trends changed over time?

To investigate the research questions, we utilized a probabilistic topic modeling approach known as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA; Blei et al., 2003 ; Griffiths & Steyvers, 2004 ; Newman & Blocks, 2006 ) for consumers’ narrative postings on community sites such as blogs and online communities. LDA-based topic modeling is a supervised machine learning algorithm used to extract latent topics from the thematic structure of large volumes of texts (Elgesem et al., 2015 ). The computational content-analysis of LDA-based topics enables the classification of large amounts of unstructured text documents. Consequently, LDA-based topic models are efficient in discovering and describing hidden semantic structures in a collection of texts (Koltsova & Shcherbak, 2015 ). In particular, we analyzed the search keyword “genderless fashion” on the portal site NAVER ( http://www.naver.com )—the largest web search engine in South Korea. We then examined consumers’ perceptions of genderless fashion over the past 3 years by collecting their texts from blogs and online communities. After the data cleansing and preprocessing procedures, we specified the top keywords to extract the topics. Then, an n-gram analysis (Wallach, 2006 ) was applied to categorize the continuous sequence of high-order phrases from the morphologically analyzed texts. To define the number of topics, perplexity and coherence tests were examined for interpretability verification. The intertopic distance map (IDM; Blei et al., 2003 ) was used to determine the similarity of the chosen topics using a graphic plot showing the specific gravity of the topic and the distance among the topics. Finally, the selected topics were labeled and compared with the representative documents, and a time-series analysis was performed to measure the topic trend change.

This study advances our in-depth understanding of genderless fashion trends and contains diverse perspectives on consumers’ behaviors and interests. This study explains how fashion trends are perceived and commercialized, related to consumers’ use of social media. Further, we extend our research on fashion trend analysis by applying text-mining algorithms to extract the most relevant topics, which goes beyond the findings in the existing literature. Despite the high level of demand among consumers in the pursuit of acceptance of various gender identities in the fashion industry, relevant studies are scarce. In this context, research on genderless fashion trend analysis based on a consumer-driven text-mining analysis is essential, and the current findings will enable fashion brands to forecast customers’ preferences for purchasing gender-neutral products and develop marketing strategies through social media channels.

Literature review

  • Genderless fashion trend

The genderless fashion phenomenon has recently emerged as a new standard and has been cited as a major trend among consumers (Bernard, 2018 ; Kerpen, 2019 ; Segalov, 2020 ). The term “genderless” is also referred to as “agender,” “gender fluidity,” “gender neutral,” “gender diversity,” and “gender-free”—all of which refer to the state of being without a clear gender identity (Robinson, 2019 ). It refers to using products and creating styles according to individual personality and taste from a neutral perspective, regardless of gender. Most societies define traits specific to a gender and orient their members in that direction (Risman & Davis, 2013 ); however, genderless is interpreted as a movement to remove the social division between women and men and regard them as neutral individuals. For example, the binarity of gender was classified into distinct male and female segmentations, producing various stereotypes and corresponding behaviors. Strict adherence to traits of masculinity and femininity were expected from each sex, and costumes reflected the resulting dichotomous social norms. The perception of gender was influenced by factors such as feminism and relevant social movements in the 1960s and the development of mass media and the change from biological sortation to social gender. This had an impact on “androgynous” styles in the 1970s and “glam” looks in the 1980s, which transformed into the “unisex” concept, described as suitable for both males and females (Bardey et al., 2020 ; Mills, 2015 ). Lee ( 2021 ) highlighted that unisex is different from genderless fashion in terms of distinguishing methods to differentiate gender; it is based on the gender distinction between men and women, and embraces the same design, whereas the genderless style does not dichotomize gender and encompasses a wide spectrum of gender identities.

Millennials and Generation Z have different values and lifestyles than the previous generations, particularly in relation to the traditional gender role distinction. As the leading groups of trends and consumption, they want to define and express their gender identity on their own because of their great desire to express their social influence and external images (Wertz, 2018 ). A recent survey indicated that 38% of Generation Z and 27% of Millennials, who will account for $143 billion purchasing power in the next 4 years (Anyanwu, 2020 ), agreed that an individual cannot be judged or determined by gender. With this in mind, high-end brands projected runway models indistinguishable in terms of gender, while masstige brands introduced retail strategies to eliminate the distinction between men’s and women’s products in stores or launched new public brands. In addition to women’s and men’s wear brands, one major children’s wear brand removed boys’ and girls’ labels from the store floor plan to reinforce the extensive product choice preferences (Newbold, 2017 ), eliminating gender stereotypes for their customers.

Text-mining analysis

Text-mining is an artificial intelligence technology that utilizes natural language processing to obtain meaningful information from vast unstructured textual data (Liu et al., 2011 ; Nishanth et al., 2012 ) or to estimate uncertain patterns (He et al., 2013 ). It includes the processes of editing and organizing several documents composed of words, characters, and terms (Nishanth et al., 2012 ). As a big data analytics extension technique, text-mining analysis examines large and varied data documents to uncover nontrivial information such as unknown correlations, customer preferences, and market trends that aid in the best decision making in the business (Hashimi et al., 2015 ). In particular, after the rapid increase in social network services, social media mining has been adopted to understand and interact with customers and gain a competitive advantage. According to Reports and Data ( 2020 ), the text-mining market will reach $16.85 billion by 2027 owing to the high rise in the adoption of social media platforms, and many business organizations have deployed text-mining analytics to transform data into competitive knowledge.

Many previous researchers have used text-mining techniques to analyze consumers’ brand sentiments (Mostafa, 2013 ), to measure consumer preferences (Rahman et al., 2014 ), and to survey the commerce trend on social media (Shen et al., 2019 ). Regarding fashion, Lang et al. ( 2020 ) evaluated consumers’ fashion-renting experiences through in-depth text analysis using LDA-based topic modeling, and Dang et al. ( 2016 ) classified fashion content texts from social networks using a support vector machine. Choi and Lee ( 2020 ) researched ethical fashion using text-mining with network analysis, and Lee et al. ( 2018 ) analyzed luxury fashion brands and mass brands’ evaluations of Twitter messages. Owing to the strong capabilities of text-mining techniques, many attempts have been made to analyze social media content to yield valuable findings on consumers’ behavior and sentimental values toward a brand. However, previous studies have dealt with relatively limited information, focusing solely on consumers’ perceptions of genderless fashion trends. Consequently, to analyze mainstream fashion trends and understand consumers’ interests, a text-mining method was employed for this study.

LDA-based topic modeling

In this study, LDA-based topic modeling (Blei et al., 2003 ) was utilized to extract customers’ perceptions of the genderless fashion trend on social media. Topic modeling allows the user to detect and summarize latent semantic structures, and LDA is the most common method for clustering abstract topics that occur in a collection of documents (Nabli et al., 2018 ). LDA assumes that documents consist of a mixture of topics, and that topics generate words based on probability distributions. As shown in Fig.  1 , Blei ( 2012 ) explained the LDA model algorithm as follows: the square boxes are called “plates” and “N” stands for a collection of words collected within a document, “D” for a collection of documents, and “K” for a set of topics. The circles represent probability parameters, and the node “ \({W}_{d,n}\) ” is observed as a word in the document; while topics, topic distributions, and topic assignments are not revealed. There are full words (“ \({W}_{d,n}\) ”) in the numerous documents (“D”) collected by the researchers, assuming that each word has a corresponding topic (“ \({Z}_{d,n}\) ”).

figure 1

Graphics of document generation for LDA algorithm (Blei, 2012 , p. 81)

There are many different topics embedded in each document, and the distribution of topics differs. Therefore, LDA deduces the latent variables of the document through the words contained in the document and generates a specified number of topics from the document stack through the Dirichlet distribution. In this study, LDA-based topic modeling was adopted to understand the consumer-driven content of genderless trends in social media networks. Various researchers have explored LDA-based topic modeling to discover new knowledge about consumers’ communication. Bastani et al. ( 2019 ) analyzed the customer complaints of national financial agencies, and fashion design participants were analyzed to observe research trends (Jang & Kim, 2017 ). Gray et al. ( 2015 ) developed an LDA-based text-mining methodology to define fashion styles obtained from online apparel information with affiliate networks. In contrast to the approach of consumers’ research in the fashion industry conducted in the various studies discussed above, genderless fashion trend research is unknown. Therefore, we developed a primary approach to discover consumers’ preferences and interest in social media toward the genderless fashion trend with an LDA-based topic modeling proposal.

Data collection

We obtained data from the largest Korean search portal engine—NAVER—focusing on consumers’ online community and blog reviews for 3 years since the genderless fashion trend began (Menkes, 2018 ): from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020. To gain insights related to genderless fashion trends among consumers’ posts and communication, a search of the keyword “genderless fashion” was conducted, which produced 9722 posts. The web crawling program language Python 3.7 ( http://www.python.org ) was used to build the model. Consumers’ posting date, platform type, title, contents, and link information were gathered; the text-mining objects were title and content. Data were pre-processed to cleanse them of undesirable words, special characters, non-Korean words, and punctuation. Afterward, word tokenization was lemmatized and converted into the minimal unit of meaning formats such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, or adverbs in their dictionary forms. These words were accumulated in the bag-of-words model (Zhang et al., 2010 ), which represents a multiset of words regardless of word order. Words that occurred in 80% of the documents and in fewer than five documents were removed (Jauhari et al., 2020 ). Moreover, search keywords’ implied synonym words such as gender-neutral, gender fluid, gender diversity, and fashion that could have affected the results, were removed. Hence, only meaningful words relevant to the generation of the topics remained.

Measurement and research process

To perform the research data analysis, we used Python 3.7 to perform data processing and applied LDA-based topic modeling. The detailed research process flowchart, performed over four steps, is shown in Fig.  2 . First, the web crawling technique was performed using the keywords “genderless fashion” to collect consumers’ review posts on NAVER’s blogs and online communities. The number of keyword changes over 3 years was evaluated to estimate consumers’ preferences and interests. Second, data cleansing and preprocessing of unstructured text data were conducted to eliminate irrelevant or generic words. Consequently, the entire text document was into split into individual words, which is known as word tokenization. Then, stop-word removal and word lemmatization were applied to filter meaningful words on natural language data. For example, onomatopoeic words (“haha,” “nope,” etc.), emoticons, propositions (“the,” “a,” etc.), inappropriate words (“recently,” “more,” “really,” etc.) were removed. Then, the top 50 text frequency words and bigram rates were analyzed. Next, to analyze topic modeling based on the LDA algorithm, a topic model number was defined by applying the measure of perplexity and coherence parameters. Then, each topic model’s labeling was selected based on the observed keywords and representative documents associated with the high weight of the topic. In this step, an IDM was applied to determine the degree to which each topic was related to other topics and the degree of similarity between topics. Fourth, to measure the topic trend change over the past 3 years, we investigated the number of consumers’ posts containing each topic. Subsequently, a time-series linear regression analysis was performed to confirm the annual trends of the topic.

figure 2

Research data processing flowchart

Status of consumers’ posts and media news about genderless fashion

We compared the number of posts over 3 years from 2018—when genderless fashion was cited as a major trend—to 2020 by crawling consumers’ blog and online community posts on NAVER and media news posts. In these 3 years, 9722 pieces of consumer-generated content about genderless fashion were uploaded, and the yearly trend showed that the number of online posts had steadily increased: 1435 postings in 2018, 2538 postings in 2019, and 5749 postings in 2020. Consistently, there were 104 online news articles in 2018, 524 in 2019, and 1008 in 2020. As shown in Fig.  3 , both consumers’ and media news outlets’ posts continued to increase, especially in 2020, when it doubled compared to 2019. Therefore, it was confirmed that consumers’ interest in genderless fashion has grown rapidly.

figure 3

The number of consumers’ posts and media news for 3 years (2018–2020)

Text frequency

To analyze the key terms related to genderless fashion, we combined the titles and contents of consumers’ posts. Data cleansing and preprocessing were essential for generating meaningful topic modeling. We performed word tokenization to analyze the text dataset as a morpheme, turning it into the smallest unit of meaning through natural language processing (Bastani et al., 2019 ). To filter out unnecessary words, stop-word removal (Nabli et al., 2018 ) was conducted, eliminating undesirable fragments such as punctuation, single-letter words, grammatical errors, and numbers. The resulting set was extracted with only nouns and adjectives after word lemmatization, maintaining the basic dictionary form of a word after removing the inflectional endings. Accordingly, the frequency value of the occurrence of all extracted words was obtained, except for the words that appeared more than 80% of the time or in less than five documents. The top 45 keywords based on the extracted frequency are listed in Table 1 . The results of visualizing the top 50 of the highest frequency keywords from 4051 word lists is shown in Fig.  4 . Words with a high frequency of occurrence are expressed as bigger and bolder in the word cloud. To review the top-ranking frequency occurrence words, genderless fashion-related brands (e.g., Gucci, Olive Young) and merchandise (e.g., product, design, style, item, bag, pants, shirts, store, jacket, sunglasses, knit) were extracted in the fashion and beauty industry (e.g., clothes, cosmetics, hair, makeup, jewelry). Concerning color, black was the highest, followed by white, blue, gray, and green (in order).

figure 4

Word cloud visualization results

N-gram analysis

We attempted to improve text classification by determining which words were connected in the unigram dataset. Bigram means that two-word phrases belong to the n-gram analysis method to generate contiguous word pairs in the corpus and gain the contextual word association (Crossley & Louwerse, 2007 ). It is also useful to compare bigrams in two different sentences because it allows us to identify the similarities and various types of words in context. The results of the top 35 bigrams from 6703 two-word lists are shown in Fig.  5 . Cosmetics (e.g., super hyalon, skincare, mask pack, moisture line, hand cream, basic cosmetics, skin moisturizer, BB cream), fragrance (e.g., perfume recommendation, body spray, Eau de perfume), fashion brands (Maison Martin Margiela, Thom Browne, Zadig & Voltaire, Push the Button, Bottega Veneta), and style-related items (oversize, wide pants, jogger pants, denim pants, wild slacks) appeared accordingly.

figure 5

Results of the bigram analysis

Select the optimized number of topics

We analyzed the coherence score and perplexity score to evaluate the optimal number of topics as quantitative diagnostic metrics. The coherence score measures how frequently the top keywords of each topic co-occur to identify which of the top words contributes the most relevant information to the given topic (Blair et al., 2020 ). The perplexity score is an indicator of whether the topics are clearly classified, and it is assumed that the smaller the value, the better the actual literature results reflected by that topic (Inglis & Foster, 2018 ). Therefore, the smaller the perplexity value and the larger the coherence value, the more semantically consistent the topic model that is constructed. By calculating the perplexity and coherence values for all the words in the web-crawled document, we ensured that the LDA-based model achieved maximum coherence score and minimum perplexity score with the number of topics ( k  = 18; Fig.  6 ).

figure 6

The interpretability of topic modeling

Topic selection and labeling

The IDM for topics extracted from topic modeling in this study is shown in Fig.  7 . IDM is a diagram that shows the weight of a topic and the distance between topics, and makes it possible to understand the degree of relevance of each topic to other topics (Sievert & Shirley, 2014 ). The topic view is on the left, and the term bar charts with 18 topics selected are on the right. Selections are linked so that the researcher can briefly demonstrate the aspects of the relationship of the topic terms. The distribution of topics related to the subject shows that the proportion of each topic is similar, which confirms that the deviation is non-significant. Furthermore, because the topics do not altogether overlap with each other, the association between the topics is low, which means that each topic is divided into a relatively clear research area.

figure 7

Intertopic distance map (IDM) of genderless fashion LDA topic modeling

We classified consumers’ perceptions of genderless fashion for 3 years by identifying keywords derived using LDA-based topic modeling algorithms and documents with a high weight of the topic. Table 2 shows the topic number corresponding to the keywords of the topic, the weight of the topic in the document, the date of the posting, and the title as an example from topic number one to five.

The topic labeling process was discussed and confirmed by five experts in the fashion and textile industries. Table 3 represents 18 topics and top keywords for genderless fashion trend topic modeling in accordance with the analysis of major keywords and documents with high topic weight in previous works.

Time-series analysis

To understand the trend of each topic by year, the year was applied as the independent variable, the weighted average value of the topic by year was used as the dependent variable, and a series linear regression analysis was performed. In addition, the values of the regression coefficient and the significance probability of the linear regression analysis were verified as criteria for judging the rise and fall of trends by year. Only those topics with a significant p-value (< 0.05) and a Durbin–Watson value greater than 1.5 and less than 2.5, if the regression coefficient value was positive, were classified as a “hot topic”; while, if negative, they were classified as a “cold topic,” and topics for which no meaningful result could be derived were classified as a “neutral topic” (Griffiths & Steyvers, 2004 ).

The hot topic that has been rapidly growing among consumers in the genderless fashion trend for the last 3 years was “perfume and scent.” In contrast, “bags,” “all-in-one skin care,” and “set-up suit” (i.e., a casual outfit that can be used together or worn separately with a jacket and pants) were cold topics, indicating that consumers’ interest in these gradually declined. The remaining topics were classified as neutral topics because they were non-significant in the time-series analysis (see Table 4 ).

The concept of gender diversity has begun to expand with the trend of focusing on individuals’ unique taste importance. Consumers began to self-define and express their gender identity and discuss it through social media channels. With access to massive amounts of unstructured data from blog and online community reviews, the purpose of this study was to identify consumers’ perceptions and preferences regarding genderless fashion based on the text-mining analysis approach. In particular, we selected the LDA-based topic modeling method to examine a large amount of qualitative information obtained from consumers’ posts.

Text data were collected from the search keywords “genderless fashion” on the NAVER portal site from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020. A total of 9722 postings were collected, word tokenization was conducted after data preprocessing and cleansing, and word frequency and n-gram analysis were performed to remove stop words. To determine the optimal number of topics, perplexity and coherence scores were evaluated, and 18 topic keywords were finally selected through the LDA algorithm analysis. To select each topic, the contents of the representative documents with a high weight of the topic were reviewed. Finally, a time-series regression analysis was performed to understand the trend of topics by year, and the hot topic of the uptrend and the cold topics of the downtrend were selected.

First, to review the text frequency and n-gram analysis results, our study findings revealed that consumers are interested in external images as independent individuals rather than meeting other people’s standards, and often talk about fashion brands (“Gucci,” “Maison Martin Margiela,” “KIVULI,” “Zadig & Voltaire,” “Push the Button,” “Bottega Veneta”), items (“clothes,” “bag,” “pants,” “shirts,” “jacket,” “sunglasses,” “jewelry,” “style”), and cosmetic and perfume products (“skin,” “sheet mask,” “skin moisturizer,” “makeup,” “body spray,” “body mist,” “hand cream,” “Eau de perfume,” “Super hyalon,” “BB cream,” etc.) related to genderless fashion. This indicates that consumers’ recommended products and styles of genderless fashion are affected by the diverse fashion labels collection. Consumers are interested in the coordination and design details of certain brand items related to the gender-neutral concept. In particular, beauty cosmetics and fragrances, which are dominated by female-oriented stereotypes, are now being highlighted, regardless of gender division, owing to the influence of genderless fashion trends among consumers. Kim ( 2021 ) stated that many brands are launching gender-free cosmetics, which has become an opportunity for male consumers’ interest in skin care to become specialized. These results can be understood in the same context as those of previous studies (Newbold, 2017 ; Reis et al., 2018 )—that genderless fashion is a response to the needs of the fluid market niche increase aside from femininity and masculinity stereotypes. Wertz ( 2018 ) also indicated that Millennials and Generation Z’s consumption trends value individuality and practicality rather than gender. Concerning color, An ( 2018 ) as well as Hong and Joo ( 2020 ) mainly pointed out that “pink” was the trendy color on gender-neutral menswear collections; however, we discovered that achromatic colors such as “black,” “white,” “gray” mentioned mostly among the consumers. The results suggested that the men’s collection combines colorful colors into genderless fashion, but our study confirmed that consumers prefer dark colors.

Second, 18 topics were analyzed from LDA-based algorithms and 13 topics were classified as fashion categories (i.e., “summer jewelry,” “men’s fashion & grooming,” “hairstyle & color,” “high-end fashion’s basic item,” “bags,” “FW fashion,” “collaboration,” “genderless concept models,” “luxury brand sunglasses,” “pants style,” “set-up suit,” “domestic eyewear brand,” and “capsule collection”), while 5 topics were classified as beauty and fragrance categories (i.e., “moisturizing skin care,” “perfume and scent,” “cosmetic beauty brands,” “body spray,” and “all-in-one skin care”). The fashion industry has provided designs and services differently according to gender (Szmydke, 2015 ); however, new product development and rebranding strategies have emerged in accordance with the gender fluidity change followed by consumer-driven change. Previous studies (Hong & Joo, 2020 ; Shin & Koh, 2020 ) have investigated genderless fashion in terms of design and style based on the collection images. Kim ( 2020 ) and Yang ( 2020 ) researched genderless trends in cosmetic brands’ advertisements. Hence, our results indicated that the main interest in the genderless concept of current consumers lies in the fashion and beauty fields by expanding existing qualitative studies using big data. In particular, South Korea’s male cosmetics consumption is number one in the global market (Im, 2016 ), which is consistent with our results. The effect of the gender fluidity phenomenon on the beauty industry was also revealed in our results (e.g., “super hylaon,” “LAKA”) as the genderless-only cosmetic brands.

Third, our time-series linear regression analysis revealed a hot topic (“perfume and scent”) and three cold topics (“bags,” “all-in-one skin care,” and “set-up suit”), while the rest were presented as neutral topics. The topic that has continuously grown among consumers in relation to the genderless fashion trend in the last 3 years has been “perfume and scent.” Certain brands of seasonal perfumes (“Jo Malone,” “Diptyque”) and scents (“Eau de perfume,” “common”) were mentioned among the consumers. As “gift” suggests in the topic, genderless fragrances have a sensuous and soft scent, which are easy to give as a present regardless of gender. According to BBC’s report, gender fluid fragrances have surged in popularity, increasing to 51% as compared to 17% in 2010 (Bolongaro, 2019 ). In contrast, “all-in-one cosmetics” attracted high consumer interest in the beginning, but they gradually declined in popularity. The high demand for “moisturizing skin care” indicates that male consumers used all-in-one products because of their convenient usage in the past; however, now they can choose exclusive genderless products, allowing them to choose their own products by function and purpose (Hong, 2020 ).

Considering the changes in consumers’ perception of fashion products, interest in bags has been declining. “Tote bags” and “size” were considered because of users’ light-weight concerns, and they referred to the brand look-book (“Beanpole”) or fashion week collection (“Juun. J,” “Push the Button”). Yoo ( 2020 ) explained that handbag brands have expanded the range of tote bags, particularly because of their unique characteristics as well as the effect of genderless fashion trends. The “set-up suit” topic also showed a steady decline. Business casual suits are tailored (“custom”) or users prefer practical styling with a comfortable pattern (“comfort”) along with the demand for female consumers. Demand for women’s suits increased with the growth of genderless fashion, but it seems that the demand has decreased owing to the recent increase in telecommuting under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusions

Existing research on genderless fashion trends has focused on the style characteristics shown in collections and advertisements (Hong & Joo, 2020 ; Kim & Lee, 2016 ; Yang, 2020 ). Therefore, there is a possibility that our subjectivity was involved and consumers’ perspectives were not included. Recently, the number of consumer-led products and brands has increased remarkably; therefore, consumers’ recognition of fashion trends is critical as they affect the industry enormously. A few studies have focused on consumer reviews on fashion subjects using the big data analysis method. Lang et al. ( 2020 ) investigated consumers’ fashion rental experiences, and Choi and Lee ( 2020 ) studied ethical fashion perception. However, this is one of the first studies that deals with consumers’ preferences for genderless fashion trends by applying text-mining and LDA-based topic modeling techniques. Through this computer-aid method, researchers can extract hidden implications or estimate patterns from a natural language dataset (Hashimi et al., 2015 ). To analyze and understand consumers’ behaviors in real-time is becoming essential; thus, we investigated consumers’ unstructured data in fashion trends analysis.

This study has managerial implications for product planners who develop merchandise based on recent trends. We found that consumers have a high interest in brands and products related to perfume, fashion, and cosmetics in terms of genderless fashion trends that can make their individuality stand out despite gender division. Therefore, when a product planner plans a merchandising product group targeting consumers, these product categories can be prioritized. In particular, given that the topic of “perfume and scent” has been on the rise among consumers, strategic promotions and collaboration with genderless fragrance brands can also be conceived.

The limitations of this study and suggestions for future research are as follows.

This study collected the text documents from consumers postings of blogs and online communities, therefore it is not focused solely on a specific generation. Because the genderless fashion is popularly accepted by Millennials and Generation Z (Anyanwu, 2020 ), it would be meaningful to closely consider the opinions of various generations in the future. Continuous research is expected to be conducted in the field of fashion and textiles, because text-mining research is still scarce and at its nascency. For future research projects, it is necessary to analyze not only consumer opinions related to genderless fashion trends, but also related articles introduced in the mass media. If in-depth analyses can be conducted in the aspects of social interest and the business industry, more insights can be gained to enhance the proposed model in this study.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and analyzed during the current study are available from the first author on reasonable request.

Abbreviations

Spring summer

Fall winter

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Incho Cho: Visiting Professor, Department of Fashion Industry, Ewha Womans University, 52, Ewhayeodae‑gil, Seodaemun‑gu, Seoul 03760, South Korea.

Minjung Park: Professor, Department of Fashion Industry, Ewha Womans University, 52, Ewhayeodae‑gil, Seodaemun‑gu, Seoul 03760, South Korea.

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Kim, H., Cho, I. & Park, M. Analyzing genderless fashion trends of consumers’ perceptions on social media: using unstructured big data analysis through Latent Dirichlet Allocation-based topic modeling. Fash Text 9 , 6 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40691-021-00281-6

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Non-binary finery: can genderless fashion move beyond a label?

In Australia and beyond, big brands are flaunting their rainbow credentials, but trans designers and businesses urge a move beyond agenda-less spin

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“Genderless” has become a buzzword in fashion – especially during queer festivities when brands are particularly eager to pitch themselves to LGBTIQ+ communities.

Models wearing robes made for booking.com by Australian designer Jordan Gogos, as a fundraising initiative for queer youth charity Minus18.

On 26 August, companies ranging from high-street retailer Dangerfield to Booking.com partnered with Australian queer youth charity Minus18 to release non-binary finery for Wear It Purple Day . Even Westfield shopping centres have a curated Wear It Purple collection.

But what does the genderless label actually mean, besides brands being able to double their market for every item?

Sometimes, it’s not terribly clear. Often, genderless collections from brands like Bonds and Uniqlo are just unisex tracksuits and streetwear, rebranded as though it’s radical for women to wear trousers in 2022. Rarely do they include gender-affirming gear like chest binders and tucking lingerie.

So when it comes to courting trans and non-binary customers, there is a danger that the gender-inclusive label can be empty pinkwashing – branding that lulls shoppers into a false sense of security without offering anything material such as fit, function, and knowledgable customer service.

In 2021, Afterpay — naming-rights sponsor of Australian fashion week — launched a “ genderfree ” online shop. The infinite-scroll interface features quotes from queer and trans luminaries like Alok Vaid-Menon (“Any article of clothing should be for anyone who wants to wear it”) alongside items from brands like Levi’s, Jeffrey Campbell, Birkenstock and Shein.

Yet inclusive intentions only stretch so far. Most of the items listed in the Afterpay shop only fit limited sizes and shapes, and once you click through to a merchant partner’s site to complete your purchase, the gender binary resurfaces like a pop-up ad: the Levi’s website, for example, is divided into men, women, kids and accessories.

Erin Spencer (they/them) and Bec Cerio (she/they) run Sock Drawer Heroes, a Sydney-based online retailer catering to the trans and gender-diverse community. As well as stocking gender-expression gear such as binders, gaffs, and packers, they also provide community resources and transition info.

“With anything we sell, we offer a certain amount of support to the person we’re selling it to. It’s great for companies to offer gender-free stuff but it could also give a young person the wrong idea about how they will be treated when they go and buy it,” Spencer says. “They might walk in [to] buy this gender-free item and still get misgendered.”

The Sock Drawer Heroes team wearing t-shirts made in collaboration with Wear It Purple.

For non-binary designer Rae Hill (they/them), it’s always positive to see more brands thinking of trans and non-binary customers and more products at various price points.

“You get to this tipping point though, where big brands that don’t really have the queer and trans experience start to capitalise on something that they’re seeing as a niche,” they say.

Often what that means on the runway, Hill says, is a “unisex look that essentially strips all the creativity and fun out of gender”.

“I don’t think we should take the gender out of fashion,” Hill says. “Instead of ‘genderless’, there needs to be more of a fluidity of gender.

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“The gender of a piece of clothing is whatever gender you feel when you wear it, and not that you have to fit into the gender of that piece.”

There are practical ways that designers can support fluidity and inclusivity. Hill’s brand, Origami Customs, specialises in gender-affirming swimwear and underthings handmade in Montreal. There are no sizing limits, and each item can be customised for the individual: a pair of undies, for example, can be made in different fits, fabrics, gusset widths and closures to accommodate different mobility and sensory needs – and whatever’s in your pants.

Models walk the Gogo Graham runway during New York fashion week in February 2022.

Hill describes their work as practical: clothes that you can “cut down a tree in” and wear to lounge by the pool, looking like a snack. Other trans designers include Gogo Graham, whose fantasy armour fashion, made from upcycled materials, draws inspiration from Studio Ghibli; Carmen Liu, a lingerie brand catering to trans women and girls; and Rebirth Garments, whose riotously patterned club-kid looks sit in sharp contrast to the bland minimalism that major brands often associate with gender inclusivity.

Beyond aesthetics, Hill urges customers to consider the core values embedded into the clothes we buy – from the social and environmental impact of manufacturing through to where corporate profits flow.

Cerio cites PayPal as an example of a company that will “whack a rainbow logo on” without backing it up. For years the company engaged in highly visible pride campaigns while simultaneously drawing criticism from LGBTIQ activists for their onerous policies around name changes; though in April of 2022, they committed to reviewing their policies after a US Senate inquiry . Worse still, she says, some companies court trans and gender diverse customers while donating to anti-trans politicians .

Fashions on the field, the longstanding racing fashion event, will replace male and female categories with ‘best dressed’ and ‘best suited’ at the 2022 Melbourne Cup.

Spencer suggests companies could start with staff training, and rejigging the gender categories instore and online. “The cheapest thing they could possibly do is just change the language,” they say. That’s already happening at a few major retailers (including Bonds and Dangerfield) and even at the races: the Melbourne Cup’s long-running Fashions on the field competition announced on Wear It Purple day that it will do away with male and female categories, instead awarding the Best Dressed and Best Suited racegoers.

Rather than approaching trans and gender diverse communities as just another market to capture, fashion labels could also take the opportunity to rethink how they design for different bodies, the language they use around gender, and how their labour practices and manufacturing processes impact marginalised groups. Instead of a genderless label, it might mean refashioning the agenda to move beyond seasonal marketing campaigns, and into year-round inclusion.

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CIMODE 2022: Advances in Fashion and Design Research pp 232–243 Cite as

Gender Issues in Genderless Clothing: A Theoretical Framework in Fashion Interdisciplinary Research

  • Benilde Reis   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0525-0853 5 ,
  • Madalena Pereira   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7526-396X 6 , 7 ,
  • Nuno A. Jerónimo   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2452-0417 8 , 9 &
  • Susana Azevedo   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5229-3130 10  
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Studying fashion’s history and gender problems raises the question of genderless, by highlighting the significance of fashion, as a modern phenomenon. Clothing is considered, in this sense, one of the most noticeable consumer goods and a significant factor in the social formation of identity [ 1 ]. Genderless fashion and gender issues are contemporary. It is present in articles, photography, art, music, movie stars, and fashion and has accompanied the progression of history; several authors have previously handled this subject.

Interdisciplinary research encompasses research and analysis of phenomena in various areas of scientific study. In this case, areas such as Fashion Design, Sociology, and aspects related to product attributes and mainly to consumer behaviour. Consequently, it is pertinent to give the research an interdisciplinary character concerning the design of genderless clothing and link the different aspects addressed in this work, which implicitly belong to it. This theoretical framework in fashion interdisciplinary is based on PhD thesis research entitled: Gender Issues in Genderless Fashion: Trend versus Paradigm (Translated title from: Questões de Género no Vestuário Sem Género: Tendências versus Paradigma. ), which analyses genderless clothing in detail, addressing other associated concepts such as sex, sexual orientation, types of gender, unisex, androgynous, among others [ 2 ].

  • Genderless clothing
  • Fashion design
  • Fashion research
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Reis, B., Pereira, M., Jerónimo, N.A., Azevedo, S. (2023). Gender Issues in Genderless Clothing: A Theoretical Framework in Fashion Interdisciplinary Research. In: Broega, A.C., Cunha, J., Carvalho, H., Providência, B. (eds) Advances in Fashion and Design Research. CIMODE 2022. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-16773-7_20

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By Shriya Zamindar

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The pages of the art world's history are littered with references to artists and their muses. From Picasso to Manet and the stalwarts of the fashion world, the concept of the muse is omnipresent. It may have lost its appeal with the ease of finding the object of your fascination one Google search away, but Leicester-born and Gujarati-origin artist Jemisha Maadhavji’s portraits of her muses– who give a new meaning to fashion’s new bid on fluidity– are a reflection of the changing times.

“I really love people, and I am always interested in how individuals represent themselves in their daily lives. Even as a teenager when I used to go to the city centre I was very interested in what people were wearing, especially how uniquely people dress,” says the artist. Describing her childhood neighbourhood as a melting pot of diverse cultures that saw several colourful sari shops and stores selling Indian confections– a starting point of sorts that defines her need to document vibrance and colours in the flamboyant fashions worn by her subjects. Currently completing her master’s degree in fine arts from De Montfort University, the budding artist’s portrait, Symphony of The Libertine, has been selected as part of the travelling Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition to be showcased at the South London Gallery amongst other art hotspots.

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Symphony of The Libertine, oil on canvas

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Guccyotic, oil on canvas

The painting depicts a young fashion student with a distinct sense of style. Dressed in a bold floral print shirt and a nath that dangles from nose to ear, Maadhavji’s subject sits with feet dangling across the armrests of a chair. She further creates a series of portraits of her muse, with a telling focus on the role of dress and style identity. Her subjects are real people, not a fiction of the imagination, not quick portraits of people on the streets, but a considered and layered study of personalities that she hopes to relay. "Whether it's their way of dressing or the way they present themselves, I relate that to myself and how I feel,” explains the artist about her selection process.

Her practice that navigates experiments with dressing, the real image and the derived– produces a nuanced idea of genderless style , stimulating viewers to respond and open a discussion on the construct of masculine and feminine. Heavily influenced by Susan Sontag’s essay Notes on Camp , Maadhavji developed a new understanding of the role of fashion in identity that she likes to explore in her art. She quotes an excerpt that stuck with her, “What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful and feminine in women is something masculine.”

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Perfumed Dreams, colour pencil and acrylic on paper

“What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful and feminine in women is something masculine.” — Susan Sontag, Notes on Camp

There is a certain pattern to her genius. The bold and contrasting use of colours and a code-breaking approach to mixing her very real muses that are propped around –oftentimes, fictionalised accents, just add to the final picture. The frequent use of flowers as the main decorative element for her male muses enhances the idea of fluidity and genderless fashion that she introduces into her portraits. “When I paint my muses, it’s almost a reflection of myself, so partially, I consider these self-portraits ,” Maadhavji deliberates. While fashion is a big deciding factor when choosing her subjects, it’s not the well-dressed that holds her attention. “I think looking good is not the theme at all,” she clarifies.

“When I think of fashion, I don't go for trends, I like to wear things that I want and not something dictated by trends so when I see individuals like that, it really interests me. You can tell that a certain person is really independent– they’re not dressed in the way other people expect them to.” For her, breaking that boundary with genderless fashion is an important facet to capture in her paintings, where she also reconnects to her roots. “As an Indian, when you look at religious festivals or weddings, it's always a very colourful affair, so it comes very naturally into my paintings,” she says. Maadhavji tries to highlight the discourse around the segregation of colours and floral themes based on gender through her paintings, questioning the sense of seriousness portrayed in paintings of men as opposed to the fairer sex in museums, who project a more flamboyant sense of being. “It’s probably a Western thing,” she ponders, “When you look at Indian royalty , or gods and goddesses, there’s no colour barrier,” explains Maadhavji.

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Plant Human Person Flower Blossom Art Graphics Floral Design and Pattern

Music In My Eyes, oil on canvas

Part of this series is the painting Guccyotic, referencing the Italian fashion house. Maadhavji’s love for the brand stems from creative director Michele’s pioneering vision known for interrogating boundaries of colours, artifice, and fluidity in fashion. The influence of style in her paintings is a direct reflection of her own. “To be honest my style is inspired by my muses, but my muses also portray my style,” laughs Maadhavji, when asked about her personal fashion choices. She holds up a blazer to the laptop screen that features a bold poppy print and metallic gold embroidery . She had it made by a tailor on a recent trip to India. An object of pride for her that she talks about excitedly, the blazer, while hers, also shows up on the subject in her recent artwork.

  “When I paint my muses, it’s almost a reflection of myself, so partially, I consider these self-portraits.” — Jemisha Maadhavji

Image may contain Human Person Clothing Apparel and Pants

I Dream From Where You Are, oil on canvas

I Dream From Where You Are is a portrait that explores her own imagination alongside her subject. “There’s a certain sophistication to how this individual holds a teacup or the way he sits, which is why the interiors and the clothing are like that,” describes Maadhavji. She creates an alternative reality for the subject, combining elements like a sofa she saw in Vogue Italia , a rug from Liberty London, a wallpaper inspired by Sabyasachi’s floral motifs , and her own blazer on the model, starting new conversations around fashion’s role in identity. “I hear people say, “the figure is very masculine but everything else is very feminine”, I really don’t want people to say, “that’s feminine and this is masculine,” she confesses.

An admitted introvert, Maadhavji began developing her niche during her university days, building up the courage to ask ones that piqued her interest for permission to photograph them and then paint. To achieve the desired end result, the artist conducts a series of casual interviews to better understand her subject, and then plans her shoots, executing them from the eye of both a stylist and a photographer. In a manner, the artist is reversing the advancement of portraiture by first photographing and then taking a slower medium to alter reality, addressing the norms and constructs of fashion and self-expression dictated by archaic and politicised ideals of the yesteryears.

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The Future Of Retail Is Genderless

By Steff Yotka

Image may contain Human Person Clothing Apparel Sunglasses Accessories Accessory Overcoat Coat and Saskia de Brauw

The image of Harry Styles in a Gucci dress on US Vogue’s December cover proved so controversial that it became international news – and not for the obvious reason that it’s Harry Styles and he looks amazing! Even politicians weighed in on the Tyler Mitchell-lensed photoshoot in which Styles, who is far from the first, or even the most provocative gent to slip into a dress, wears several frocks by Gucci, Chopova Lowena, Wales Bonner, and Harris Reed. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for the record, thought Styles looked “bomb,” but at its core, the dress debate highlighted an issue that plagues much of the fashion world and the world at large: the gender binary. 

Let’s state the obvious: A piece of fabric, a textile, or a garment has no gender. This is an indisputable fact! But for as long as fashion has existed as a codified set of seasons, fashion shows, and trends, it has worked under the assumption that gender exists in a binary. Every aspect of the fashion system is beholden to the segregated ideas of menswear and womenswear: universities, fashion weeks, retail floors, e-commerce websites, modelling agency boards, and even creative directorships are divided down gender lines. Many within the industry have begun to remedy this fractured system, but the industry at large must ask itself: How can we represent the spectrum of gender in a more inclusive and realistic way?

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Inside Browns East, a de-gendered retail store in London Photo: Courtesy of Browns

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One place to begin is retail. Beyond a capitalist pursuit, shopping is a means to self-realisation and self-expression. From our earliest moments, clothes define us. As we grow older, the search for the “perfect” black boot, shearling coat, or high-rise jean becomes less about finding the trendiest or most coveted item and more about the one that best agrees with our own set of aesthetic codes. 

Yet to even begin shopping for new jeans, we are commonly asked to assign ourselves to one of two fashion genders: men’s or women’s. This happens at brick-and-mortar stores, which divide up menswear and womenswear into separate areas, floors, and sometimes even buildings. It happens online, too, where many of the most popular luxury e-commerce sites divide their offerings with little crossover.

“We recognise that [style] can be fluid and flexible – meaning that one day, you may identify with and choose to express greater degrees of femininity than you might on a different day,” says Ssense’s Brigitte Chartrand, the vice president of womenswear buying. “[But] we also recognise that the average consumer at this moment, and despite our collective, growing consciousness about gender identities and continuums, still has a mental model that they use when buying clothing. In other words, when browsing through our assortment of over 50,000 items and 600 brands, there’s a simplicity and ease in organising clothing by men’s and womenswear departments because it aligns with how people think of clothes and navigate online and brick-and-mortar stores.”

The industry has long operated on the idea that divvying up products into two categories based on a binary understanding of gender is easier. But you have to wonder, this system is easier for whom? 

“Shopping online comes with its own sets of frustrations in that almost every online retailer you go to, everything is organised in a binary,” says William Defebaugh, the non-binary founder of Atmos , a magazine dedicated to climate change and environmental issues. Brick-and-mortar stores are equally frustrating. “Sometimes I’ll be honest, it’s so off-putting that I just won’t even go in or I won’t even shop,” they continue. 

For someone who aims to buy sustainably and second-hand, as Defebaugh also does, finding the right items online is even more difficult. “Finding that intersection between sustainable and also de-gendered was very difficult and very limited,” they say, noting that The RealReal is one site without a gendered search function. (The site itself does categorise items by Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s, however a general search brings up items from across categories.) “It really boiled down to me having to just get over it and become comfortable with sometimes shopping in the women’s section, sometimes shopping in the men’s section. That was definitely uncomfortable at first, just to have to make that choice every time I wanted to purchase something.”

Scottish designer Charles Jeffrey uses a simple analogy: “It’s like bathroom stalls, but it’s just not public. You could go onto a website that is divided between men’s and women’s and feel like, ‘Oh my God, what store do I go into?’ That could be a difficult moment for you. Having to choose between men’s and women’s in retail is the same sort of thing.”

Jeffrey graduated from the BA program at Central Saint Martins and launched his brand Charles Jeffrey Loverboy as a part of Fashion East’s spring 2016 menswear season. He describes his initial approach to garment design as less about gender than costume. Still, the label of genderless or genderqueer was applied to him by the industry for the way he put skirts, kilts, and historically minded frocks on models of all genders. “I am a queer designer and a queer person, but it was a label that was projected onto me to be honest with you,” he says. “Only from reflection and really owning that label did we think about how we could curate the product into stores or suggest how to do so in that way that didn’t necessarily adhere to a binary system.” 

By Erin Paterson

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Jeffrey has reorganised his own e-commerce site to be more open-ended about gender. At the bottom of each page, a sliding scale allows users to change the model who appears wearing the garments. The genders of the models are not specified anywhere on the site and symbols at each end of the scale look more like a sorcerer and an anthropomorphic bat than traditional codes for men’s and women’s. “If that’s your perception of [the symbols], well, it’s great,” Jeffrey laughs, stressing that it’s up for interpretation. “I quite like the idea of just stepping back. It’s for the user to consider and to choose where they see themselves.” 

He admits that when it comes to presenting his clothing to wholesale and retail accounts things can become more difficult. “When it comes to the cut, and how the buyers then digest it afterwards, there does have to be some consideration from us that applies to more of a binary code system,” he says. “We do have to have some garments that [are tailored to] fit a particular body type. […] We’ve got some jackets that you would say would be more associated for a human body that has boobs and hips, but then looks amazing on a model that does not have those attributes. I’m actually making an effort not to assign a gender, [but] it’s all about how the buyer and the consumer digest it.”

Jeffrey continues, “I think if we start tapping into more actual social aspects of it, like how does somebody feel within the store, like actually put their feet in an LGBTQ+ person’s shoes and how they would navigate within the store, and actually start coming up with some solutions to make them feel a bit better – I think that’s maybe a vehicle for change there.”

There are precious few buyers and retailers who are already operating in a genderless space. Browns led the way when it opened its Browns East store in Shoreditch in 2017, with the entire space merchandised in a genderless model. The company opened a genderless brick-and-mortar retail space for many reasons, says buying director Ida Petersson, but chief among them was data showing customers shopping across the two-gender divide. “It felt really right to put it forward as a more gender-neutral store where you take away some of that tension that some people have because they are stuck shopping in one section,” Petersson says. The space is divided into installations where, say, the Gucci collection can live in harmony across from the Balenciaga one, with pieces for all genders hanging together. Petersson says that, perhaps as expected, knitwear, accessories, and streetwear are big sellers in the store, as well as outerwear. “Trousers are a little bit more tricky” – though not impossible, she notes – “just because of cut.”

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To execute a genderless retail model, the buying teams have to work closely together and on occasion defy the binary codes for separate menswear and womenswear appointments set by the industry. “That’s part of my role because I oversee both men’s and women’s. We work together, making sure that we are aligned and that we overlap where it is appropriate,” Petersson says. “The teams work really closely together to align themselves and do appointments together both in new gen and for a lot of the main, big clients as well.” 

In the three years Browns has operated the store, Petersson says her main learning has been “that you can, in a way that seems quite simple, change people’s perception.” 

“Sometimes it takes more time, of course, to get someone out of their comfort zone,” she continues, “but it is about the experience, how you create that, and how you get them to interact with the product. It’s obviously a very interesting – and, let’s face it, a challenging – time for fashion, but I think now is also time to be experimental and be brave and try new things.”

Even retailers who seem to be firmly rooted in a binary system can make change without overhauling their entire model. Ssense is leading the way by not only carrying genderless brands like Telfar , but by shopping across gendered categories and showcasing products on models of all genders. The retailer’s editorial team, which populates its homepage, also features creatives and stories that are more inclusive of the full spectrum of gender. 

Chartrand, the vice president of womenswear buying, says that the Ssense buying teams already work closely together and don’t adhere to or “make a distinction [about where to stock a product] based on who the brand advertises to or as. Our decisions to upload products to a department is based on whether or not it appeals to our buying approach.” She adds that Ssense has carried items intended for one gender, like Kenneth Ize’s debut menswear collection, in both the men’s and women’s sections of its site. 

“It’s a continuous journey for us and we do have plans to make some updates to our site in the coming months,” she continues. “We recognise that these continuums exist in every person and are not prescriptive, so we want to continue to honour that and also bring our customers along with us on this journey.”

For shoppers, the journey can’t start soon enough. While luxury brands and retailers are beginning to implement more gender inclusive practices, there is a world of fashion lovers who remain stuck in the rigidity of the binary model. “I think about younger people, kids, and teenagers who are interested in exploring the full expanse of their gender identity, who are just going to malls or shopping wherever they are in the suburbs of America and the world over, and everything is just screaming at them that there is this binary: You have to be this or you have to be that, you shop here and you shop there,” says Atmos ’s Defebaugh. “Today, I feel a bit more comfortable in my shopping experience, but I’ll say that there is a reason it took me 30 years to come into myself and my understanding of myself as being non-binary.”

“Shopping has an impact on people,” Defebaugh concludes. “Fashion’s purpose is for self-expression, and so the idea that this force or this energy that we call fashion has become in some ways oppressive for people’s understanding of their own gender in how we market it, it’s really quite ridiculous. Fashion should be the opposite: It should be a force for liberation.” 

This article was originally published on Vogue.com.

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Japan’s evolving definition of genderless fashion

genderless fashion essay

In Japanese society, traditional gender roles still prevail. Although reducing unconscious bias is an uphill task, part of society is attempting to achieve gender equality through SDGs. The fashion field is no exception. In recent times, genderless fashion has been on-trend all over the world.

“Genderless fashion,” which is aimed to break societal gender norms in fashion, started spreading in Japan in the mid-2010s. Although the term “genderless fashion” referred to both females and males, it was commonly known as the word “genderless danshi (male),” which defined men who cross gender boundaries. Their style was not bound by the stereotypical manly style of fashion. “Genderless male” is often considered androgynous.

genderless fashion essay

This fashion style included wearing makeup, colorfully patterned clothes and wearing ladies’ items. At this point, this is mostly about a fashion subculture and is not necessarily associated with sexuality.

The current definition of genderless fashion in Japan

Recently, more people have started questioning the Japanese traditional gender roles and are aware of sexual and gender minorities. Some people also have a desire to escape from peer pressure to behave appropriately for their sexuality, age, body shape, profession and so on. Japanese fashion firms have responded to these social changes in their products through genderless collections.

The Japanese fast-fashion brand GU has developed “genderless” items with a wide range of sizes and colors. They are designed to fit anyone no matter their sexuality, gender, gender identity or age. On the other hand, some newly launched fashion brands don’t categorize their products by gender at all. IIQUAL is one such example of a fashion brand that respects diversity. Their philosophy is to enable people to express themselves without being bound by various stereotypes. In addition to their products, they also conduct interviews to introduce various ways of living and thinking which challenge stereotypes.

この投稿をInstagramで見る IIQUAL(イーコール)(@iiqual.official)がシェアした投稿

How to make the current “genderless fashion” a new standard

While “genderless fashion” gets people’s support, some are critical of the idea or of categorizing this fashion with the term “genderless.” By labeling it with a well-known word, promotion of products or brands can be easier, which can help to spread the concept. However, there is a possibility of the term being misleading unless the essence of the concept is understood due to the fact that “genderless fashion” is still commonly associated with an androgynous style of fashion.

Japan’s current “genderless fashion” aims to be gender-inclusive and break various stereotypes in a society where there is still a lack of understanding for sexual and gender minorities. In order to make current “genderless fashion” sustainable, the fashion industry needs to not only promote the products but also to explain the context, such as problems facing various minorities.

More articles about genderless fashion in Japan

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genderless fashion essay

Moe Kamimoto

Her mission is to make the world a better place for everyone since she studied human rights and environmental issues in college. She is especially interested in sustainable fashion and cosmetics, diversity, and gender equality. A nature and animal lover.

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Unisex, Genderless: Let the Debate Ensue

He is an independent fashion writer and critic. As a columnist, he currently contributes to The Business of Fashion, Il Sole 24 Ore and D, and has previously contributed to Vogue Italia, Dutch magazine and Tank. As a commentator, he contributes to publications such as System, Vestoj, Alla Carta, Self-Service, Encens.

Fashion communication has adopted a decidedly political language of late. This is particularly evident in the ongoing debate about gender and clothing. While clothes, per se, have no definite gender connotations, on a symbolic level clothes do actually hold specific gender connotations. In the current climate of ongoing deconstruction of old norms, the notion of genderless has become central to the global aesthetic and cultural debate, to much media fervor. The essay analyzes the very idea of genderless in comparison to the notion of unisex which surfaced during the 1970s, another moment of intense cultural deconstruction. By dissecting the two terms and related fashion imagery, the essay highlights the changes in the way fashion both communicates and acts, leaving the ending deliberately open.

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GENDERLESS STREETWEAR: Fashioning Presentations of the Body through Hood By Air

Profile image of Nicole K . Rivas

2014, MA Fashion Studies Thesis

Gender and fashion have always been two fields of study that complicate, question, and reinterpret our understandings of dress practices. As gender has become a complex entity in and of itself, it is crucial to understand the present ideologies occurring within today’s representations. The theoretical underpinnings of my research questions how we think about gender in this contemporary moment, and what is possible in our thinking when it comes to dress practices; embracing our openness to new types of bodies and ideas of the gendered body. This thesis seeks to reflect how the work of Shayne Oliver and his clothing label Hood By Air (HBA) deconstructs gendered identities to transform the human experience into an artistic production of the self. This research also addresses the fashion industry to recognize new concepts of “masculinity” and “femininity” such as power, confidence, beauty, and “swagger” expressed through clothing, and creative ways to present conceptual fashion through performances and installations. Cultivating this ideology of “genderless” as a contemporary embodiment through powerful presentations of the body, Oliver uses a series of dialogues which include language, performance (art), and design, where all these elements construct the branding of HBA’s philosophy. Code words like “powerwear” and “genderless,” contorted bodily expressions presented within fashion shows, and designs of the human muscular structure projected on the garments manifest as “codes” that conceptualize the body as performative. What is incredibly enticing about HBA is its ability to perform and embody “genderless” for the wearer. The label’s aesthetic to explore the internal human anatomy and expose these impressions through graphical prints, exaggerated silhouettes, and bodily performative gestures that devaluate the differentiations among the female and male form, remove the presence of gender entirely. Through an analysis of interviews, fashion presentations, design, editorial spreads and installations, this thesis considers the discursive constitution of gender and fashion, and argues wearers as active agents in developing one’s individual experience. By investigating the role of dress, HBA diminishes the definitions that separate or identify consumers based on gendered identification and thus, exhibit designs of genderless streetwear. Offering innovative research within the field of Fashion Studies, this paper seeks to comprehend how these methods of design suggest a beginning stage to this current shift in gender roles and society in present visual culture. KEYWORDS: Power, Genderless, Performed Body, Masculinity, Femininity, Codes, Stylization, Embodiment

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Argued by Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction is a critical practice of reading and rewriting meanings: it aims to the decomposition of linguistic systems, by unveiling the function of oppositional categories. Integrating the Judith Butler deconstructive approach to gender identity and its performativity, the essay explores the mechanisms of social determining processes over subjects, defining to which extent fashion participates in gender intelligibility and projection of Self within the society. Along the analysis of Zanaughtti and Knight’s fashion film Disrupt, Distort, Disguise, the paper inquires provocative queering practices that reject any fixed, essential way of being man or woman . According to Butler’s studies, it unfolds the very fallacy of ‘gender’ noun, its binarity and hierarchical order: gender is a continuous process of citation and alteration, and it is all about doing . As in the movie, such imitative structure is implicitly revealed by Cross-Dressing performances: a ...

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Gender performativity has had significant influences in cultural studies and sociology, yet empirical cases of the theory remain scarce. While some analysis examines performativity in work, the focus is on organizations and how gender ‘gets done and undone’ within them with little attention paid to bodies outside organizations. Based on two empirical studies of freelancing fashion models, we extend Butler’s gender performativity to analyse the routine bodily practices and gender performances of men and women in fashion, investigating what happens when men and women perform the same work but under different gendered expectations. Fashion modelling presents a case that reproduces heteronormative definitions of femininity while potentially challenging traditional notions of masculinity and work. Observing ‘everyday transgressions’, we evidence how gender performativity, while largely reiterative of normative heterosexuality, may subtly confound the conventions. Observing how models ‘do and undo’ gender extends the analysis of gender at work to non-organizational bodies that tend to be under represented within the literature.

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This sociological research studies how fashion editors, art directors, and photographers make the fluidity of gender more visible within an industry established on the binary womenswear/menswear. It addresses gender fluid practices as a questioning of the conditions in which relations between body and dress are made systematic. The research has identified some of the restrictions faced when producing gender fluid fashion imagery, and highlighted the alternative solutions that originate from these limitations. This paper proposes to apply live and inventive methodological approaches to fashion studies. The design of my methodology was concerned with its capacity to study a subject still mostly understood through a binary ontology. Consequently, the “Diagrammatic Manifestos” is a research method attentive to the conditions in which relations can be made different, rather than identical, to dominant gender ideals. Throughout the series of interviews, diagrams were operated as analytica...

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The 21st-century fashion industry has embraced what might otherwise be expressed as ‘The Inclusive Turn’. Moving beyond the archetypal fashion model (tall, slim, white), corporeal variations are now appearing on the runway and in media campaigns. Historically marginalised bodies—non-white, nonbinary, transgender, older, plus-size, and differently-abled—are beginning to receive recognition, propelling the agentic capacity of fashion’s ‘Other’ bodies to represent themselves, and be represented. With organisations like the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) now routinely running ‘Diversity Reports’, fashion designers are coming under increasing pressure to revise their practices for greater inclusion, translating the rhetoric of diversity into action through production. In addition to industry scrutiny, the expansion of fashion from the traditional centres toward the peripheries has increased global investment and interest in fashion, necessitating broader visions of diversity and inclusion. In this panel, extended, productive dialogues that question the barriers leading to diversity and inclusion in fashion practice, broadly defined, are encouraged. Multidisciplinary papers exploring the possibilities, challenges and problematics of achieving this aim are therefore welcomed. Papers will address topics that include, but are not limited to: Adaptive/accessible fashion; analyses of fashion media and/or exhibitions; Body positivity; Decolonising fashion; The economics of inclusivity; Size-inclusive fashion; Feminist/queer interpretations of diversity in fashion; Idealised bodies in fashion history; Historical precedents of diversity in fashion; Modest fashion; and, Visibility and representation.

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This article was written for The Conversation. It reviews the V&A exhibition Fashioning Masculinities, relating this to various identity theories, focused on the example of Harry Styles, in a dress, on the cover of Vogue.

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Wedding Fashion Goes Beyond the Binary

Some designers are creating looks that embrace a wider range of gender expressions.

Four models pose in variations on the traditional white wedding dress, including two white jumpsuits, a two-piece crop top and flowy pants and a gown with an arm piece that flows into a train.

By Alix Strauss

Moments before MJ Zayas and Donald John Krams exchanged vows on Sept. 24, 2022, at the Loft by Bridgeview, an events space in Island Park, N.Y., Mr. Krams was brought to tears when he saw his soon-to-be spouse for the first time.

“The green was a must. It’s my favorite color,” said Mx. Zayas, who uses the pronoun they. “Wearing this ensemble and seeing my husband cry at how beautiful he thought I looked in it were the most affirming and unforgettable moments of my life.”

Mx. Zayas, 32, a grant coordinator at a nonprofit service provider for people with developmental disabilities in Plainview, N.Y., near where the couple lives, wore a custom emerald green jacket and a matching pleated, high-waist skirt. They accessorized with combat boots and a large, exaggerated black bow that hung purposefully around their neck — a stark but complementary contrast to Mr. Krams’s rented suit from Men’s Wearhouse. (Mr. Krams, 34, is an operations associate for Moncler, the luxury coat company.)

Mx. Zayas’s outfit was created by Shao Yang, the owner of the Tailory New York , a clothing company specializing in customized, inclusive and gender-neutral options.

Over the past few years, industry professionals have seen a small but notable rise in gender-neutral wedding attire — a departure from the feminine and masculine garments that defined bridal fashion — particularly from designers who are a part of the L.G.B.T.Q. community and allies who feel a responsibility to provide inclusive apparel. These garments are often custom made and can include three-piece suits, jumpsuits, dresses and blazers. More traditional silhouettes might feature dramatic and personalized touches or surprising colors.

A 2022 report by Klarna , a Swedish fintech company that provides online financial services, found that 36 percent of U.S. consumers had purchased fashion outside of their gender identity. Gen Z consumers are the biggest adopters of gender-fluid fashion, the report said, “with almost 58 percent of shoppers in this age group having purchased a fashion item outside of their gender identity.” (Millennials trailed behind at 40 percent, while Gen Xers contributed 22 percent.)

“Having options for how people want to dress for their wedding is finally becoming reflective of the multitude of ways people are identifying and expressing themselves,” said Lei Bretón, 46, a transgender formal wear designer based in Indianapolis and the owner of the House of Bretón , which offers wedding attire for trans, queer, gay, nonbinary and plus-size clients.

“Wedding dressing is a language of its own,” said Jackson Wiederhoeft, 30, a New York-based designer and the owner of Wiederhoeft , which specializes in flamboyant and androgynous garments. “You can say things with your body and with dressing that you can’t say with words. That power is extreme. It’s a statement for yourself and everyone else in the room.”

Mx. Wiederhoeft, who uses they, said they wanted everyone to see themselves and their bodies in a way they never expected while wearing something gender affirming. Given the industry’s ongoing challenges to be more inclusive, it’s a grandiose goal.

“In terms of fashion, we are seeing genderless or nonspecific gender in bespoke designs by people who have the financial resources to take the gamble to decide if now is a good time to test the waters,” said Helana Darwin, a sociologist who specializes in gender and the author of “Redoing Gender: How Nonbinary Gender Contributes Toward Social Change.” “That doesn’t mean we’re seeing that across the fashion or wedding industry.”

To move the needle, Dr. Darwin suggested that other clothing manufacturers would have to “decide that it makes financial sense to create genderless clothing and that there’s sufficient demand for them to invest the resources into the supply.”

The wedding industry might be the last to adopt gender-neutral offerings, she added, “because this particular type of fashion has the risk of eliciting outrage when it goes away from the gender binary.” She argued that there was still a widespread belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. “So people feel strongly about clothing and how it should reflect that,” she said.

One of the biggest hurdles in normalizing gender-fluid attire is the sizing in traditional bridal collections. Mx. Bretón, who uses they, said that most trans and nonbinary bodies didn’t fit a typical suit or dress, which is why “it’s so important to have someone who understands their specific bodies and can make them feel comfortable and fully seen,” they said.

Mx. Bretón, a self-taught Colombian-born designer who created custom looks for 30 clients in 2023, often starts designing with clients a year before their wedding date. Offerings include three-piece, stretchy wool suits. Prices range from $3,500 to $4,000, depending on the fabric, and include a custom shirt. Dresses are purposely made with spiral steel boning, which offers more movability and a defined fit, they said. A light pink “Jellyfish Liberace” jumpsuit, complete with a “Little Mermaid” treasure trove-inspired silk cape, costs $4,500.

“Fabric doesn’t have a gender. It’s the gender that we put on it,” Mx. Bretón said. “As a trans designer, it’s important to give more permission to wear whatever you want.”

Mx. Wiederhoeft agreed.

“This is the day to say who am I, who do I want to be, and who am I in the context of this relationship?” said Mx. Wiederhoeft, who described the industry as a slow-moving entity where all visions and voices are not represented. “Bridal boutiques are not carrying what’s exciting. They don’t want to take the risk. Not everyone is in this moment. There is still a fear.”

Last year, Mx. Wiederhoeft opened their Fashion Week show with Richie Shazam, a nonbinary model who strutted the runway donning a $7,000 modern, Victorian-inspired white wedding dress with sequin-covered long sleeves, which created a pixilated disco ball effect. A large, black embroidered bow embellished the front.

“Many people are not used to seeing queer imagery. There’s still a lot of convincing, but gender is in the conversation,” Mx. Wiederhoeft said, adding that “visibility” is one way to help normalize and make these outfits more accepted.

Curtis Cassell, 35, was working as a waiter for the Ivy Room at Tree Studios, an events space in Chicago, while designing costumes on the side from 2014 to 2017 and routinely saw two fashion options at weddings: men in black suits and women in white dresses.

“I wanted to create a line of gender-fluid wedding wear that didn’t fit into the wedding world and didn’t fall into the men’s rack or women’s rack, but rather filled the aisles in between,” he said.

Mr. Cassell, who is from Ohio and moved to the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2018, said he enjoyed balancing masculine clothing with feminine drama, like trains, beading and hoop skirts. In 2020, he created Queera, a gender-inclusive formal wear company in New York. His first collection, released that year, was a nod to the beach and to Romeo and Juliet — “think dramatic, historical, big shapes a la old-school Met Gala,” he said.

His 2024 collection is a deconstructed analysis of the tuxedo. “A mix-and-match gender expression of shirts and suits and tuxedos, which have exploded into gowns and blazers,” said Mr. Cassell, who designs six to eight wedding outfits a year for clients while still waiting tables. “We should have garments divided into body types that represent everyone’s identity and expression, especially on your wedding day.”

Marteal Mayer, 34, the owner and designer of Loulette Bride , a boutique bridal store in Greenpoint, offers the type of shopping Mr. Cassell encourages. Her sustainable and natural fabrics are made into gender-neutral garments in a wide range of sizes “that are all within one collection, so you don’t have to be designated to a certain section,” Ms. Mayer said.

Loulette Bride focuses on textured fabrics like silk jacquard and lace from France. Prices range from $500 for tops to $4,500 for gowns. Shirts are lined with cotton bobbinet, creating a breathable netting, making it extra malleable for different body types. There are dozens of garments that people can mix and match, including dresses, pants, jumpsuits, skirts and capes.

For her Spring 2022 shoot, she photographed two male friends in her dresses.

“It’s important to show representation of everyone in a safe environment where they feel seen and understood,” Ms. Mayer said. “You can’t just show slim, straight female bodies in size zero. That’s hard to see yourself in.”

Ms. Yang, 44, the owner of the Tailory New York, was working in a predominantly male environment, creating customized men’s suits, when her frustration with the lack of options for women and the gender-fluid community inspired her to start an inclusive line in 2014.

“I was in a boy’s club, and no one wanted to partner with me when I told them about expanding our services to other types of bodies because they didn’t see a need,” she said.

Her wedding line consists of different customized options: a three-piece tailored suit, jumpsuit, dress and beaded blazer, all of which “strikes the perfect balance between your feminine and masculine sides,” said Ms. Yang, adding that her jumpsuits, a fused-together dress and suit, are her most popular items.

“It affirms someone’s identity,” she said. “Most of our clients are fluid and don’t fit into the traditional wedding category.”

Ms. Yang dresses over 300 people every year for their weddings and special events. Her jumpsuits are made from Italian stretch satin and start at $2,950. Hand beading or embellishments can cost an additional $1,500 to $5,000. Fees include customized designs, fittings and alterations. “Creating wedding clothing for everyone is a revolution,” she said. “It’s encouraging everyone to live as themselves and to feel safe, vulnerable and seen while doing that.”

Still, some people may find that genderless clothing can be “a high risk for wedding fashion to take,” Dr. Darwin said. “Especially when you’re mixing and mingling symbols of different things to create your own hybrid and reality.”

But people like Mx. Zayas say that having gender-neutral options is life affirming.

“I wanted to wear an expression of myself; I wanted to break the rules,” Mx. Zayas said. “I don’t know what I would have worn if these options were not available. Clothing shouldn’t have rules, especially on the biggest day of your life.”

Weddings Trends and Ideas

Beyond the Binary: Some designers are creating wedding fashion for the modern era that embraces a wider range of gender expressions .

Wedding Cakes of Great Lengths: Mega wedding cakes are momentous for reasons beyond their size — they are part of an emerging trend of extremely long cakes .

Popping the Question: Here are some of the sweetest, funniest and most heartwarming ways that c ouples who wed in 2023 asked, “Will you marry me? ”

Classic Wedding Traditions: Some time-honored customs have been reimagined  for modern brides and grooms seeking a touch of nostalgia with a contemporary twist.

Buddy-Buddy Honeymoon: Some newlyweds are seeking some rest and relaxation after their nuptials — with 25 of their nearest and dearest .

Going Child-Free: Some brides and grooms are addressing the age-old dilemma of “who’s going to watch the kids?” by hiring babysitters for their guests’ little ones .

Vows: Worried about writing your own vows? Consider hiring a professional .

Wealth of Geeks

Wealth of Geeks

50 Iconic Fashion Trends From the 1950s All Genders Can Copy

Posted: February 23, 2024 | Last updated: February 23, 2024

<p>Many of the most popular fashion trends in the 1950s were fiercely feminine or extremely masculine. For the most part, cinched dresses and gangster suits are distinctly gendered. But 1950s fashion trends also included some androgynous styles that men <em>and</em> women wore, throwing the binary out the window.</p> <p>While we may think about this era as putting men and women in separate boxes, many overlapping fashion trends in counterculture movements are genderless. The <a href="https://www.faverie.com/magazine/50s-fashion/" rel="nofollow noopener">’50s fashion scene</a> offers a wealth of feminine, masculine, and nonbinary styles that translate well into today’s fashion world. Embrace womanhood, channel manly energy, or kick gendered fashion concepts to the curb with these alluring <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/g35727976/50s-fashion-trends/" rel="nofollow noopener">’50s style trends</a>.</p>

Many of the most popular fashion trends in the 1950s were fiercely feminine or extremely masculine. For the most part, cinched dresses and gangster suits are distinctly gendered. But 1950s fashion trends also included some androgynous styles that men and women wore, throwing the binary out the window.

While we may think about this era as putting men and women in separate boxes, many overlapping fashion trends in counterculture movements are genderless. The ’50s fashion scene offers a wealth of feminine, masculine, and nonbinary styles that translate well into today’s fashion world. Embrace womanhood, channel manly energy, or kick gendered fashion concepts to the curb with these alluring ’50s style trends .

<p>It wasn’t only messy hair that would be unholy during Biblical times. “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes,” is another Mosesian diktat, “or you will die, and the Lord will be angry with the whole community.” The messy look, so prominent in today’s youth, would not have gotten them far during the Old Testament days.</p>

Cuffed Jeans

The 1950s was when cuffing your jeans became a thing. The idea of “styling” a clothing item to be a little different fit well into counterculture movements and allowed people to curate their personal style more. Cuffing jeans is one of the most genderless ’50s trends, as men and women were both rolling up their bottoms for a cool look.

<p>While influencers have their agenda- making as much money as possible from income streams attached to social media- they can also provide a helpful service. Their vlogs and reviews can be self-centered, but viewers and readers can pick out valuable information that helps them make more informed decisions.</p> <p>That said, Instagram gurus aren’t welcome in certain locations worldwide. Consider adding these locations to your itinerary if you’d like an influencer-free trip.</p>

When the summer heat rolled in, everyone wore straw hats. These lightweight hats were perfect for hot, sunny weather. Women wore large-brimmed, floppy straw hats to the beach or by the pool, while men wore smaller straw hats with a defined silhouette.

<p>We’re partial toward the skinny tie and thrilled to see it making a comeback! While the narrow tie trend was more common among men, edgy women in the ’50s would also wear the sleek tie with pantsuits. The skinny ties look particularly good on women, creating a refined and polished vibe.</p>

Narrow Ties

We’re partial toward the skinny tie and thrilled to see it making a comeback! While the narrow tie trend was more common among men, edgy women in the ’50s would also wear the sleek tie with pantsuits. The skinny ties look particularly good on women, creating a refined and polished vibe.

<p>Saddle shoes, sometimes called bowling shoes, are one of the most <a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/g9996928/50s-fashion-trends/" rel="nofollow noopener">iconic fashion trends from the ’50s</a>. These typically two-tone laced shoes are incredibly comfortable, appealing to men and women as casual footwear. Anyone and everyone can wear these versatile shoes, and they go with everything from jeans to dresses.</p>

Saddle Shoes

Saddle shoes, sometimes called bowling shoes, are one of the most iconic fashion trends from the ’50s . These typically two-tone laced shoes are incredibly comfortable, appealing to men and women as casual footwear. Anyone and everyone can wear these versatile shoes, and they go with everything from jeans to dresses.

<p>The Ivy League aesthetic combined academic fashion with sportswear. It encompassed styles like sweater vests with ties and branded crewnecks with sweatpants. Those who embraced this aesthetic wore Oxford shirts, saddle shoes, pleated skirts, cardigans, penny loafers, and patterns like argyle and plaid.</p>

Ivy League Style

The Ivy League aesthetic combined academic fashion with sportswear. It encompassed styles like sweater vests with ties and branded crewnecks with sweatpants. Those who embraced this aesthetic wore Oxford shirts, saddle shoes, pleated skirts, cardigans, penny loafers, and patterns like argyle and plaid.

<p>Stovepipe trousers are narrow, fitted pants, often with a mid or high waistline. The pants typically fell an inch or two above the ankle. Women mostly wore these, accentuating their small waist and wider hips for a curvy and classy look. Men in the ’50s didn’t sport these pants often, but today, they’re a fabulous nonbinary clothing item.</p>

Stovepipe Trousers

Stovepipe trousers are narrow, fitted pants, often with a mid or high waistline. The pants typically fell an inch or two above the ankle. Women mostly wore these, accentuating their small waist and wider hips for a curvy and classy look. Men in the ’50s didn’t sport these pants often, but today, they’re a fabulous nonbinary clothing item.

<p>Don’t get us wrong — many women still wore heels in the ’50s. But comfortable shoes were on the rise, which made moccasins an appealing option for men and women. These shoes were more proper than slippers but just as comfortable. They were ideal for running errands or lounging at a friend’s house.</p>

Don’t get us wrong — many women still wore heels in the ’50s. But comfortable shoes were on the rise, which made moccasins an appealing option for men and women. These shoes were more proper than slippers but just as comfortable. They were ideal for running errands or lounging at a friend’s house.

<p>In the age following that of the young, urban professionals (yuppies for short), the ‘90s was a decade of big, bold statements to match the big, bold, deregulated stock market. <em>Wall Street</em> may have been released in 1987, but Gordon Gekko’s power suit influence lived on well into the ‘90s with the full pinstripe suit craze. A visitor to the ‘90s would have been forgiven for thinking they had taken a wrong turn, ending up in the Prohibition era. </p>

Baggy Suits

Men in the ’50s paired their skinny ties with baggy suits, creating an interesting contrast. In the first half of the 20th century, tailored suits were the norm in elite circles, but the ’50s ushered in an era of the loose suit. Even when women wore suits in the 1950s, they were usually fitted, but now, women can look chic and fashion-forward in the baggy style.

<p>The Hawaiian shirt <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/history-hawaiian-shirt-180974598/#:~:text=Though%20its%20precise%20origins%20are,for%20use%20in%20men'%20s%20shirting." rel="nofollow noopener">appeared in the 1920s and 1930s</a>, but by the 1950s, everyone owned one. Folks wore these colorful and fun tops on casual days in the summer. So, they were commonly seen at the beach, pool, or golf course. Men wore them the most, but women sometimes wore them over bathing suits or tank tops.</p>

Hawaiian Shirts

The Hawaiian shirt appeared in the 1920s and 1930s , but by the 1950s, everyone owned one. Folks wore these colorful and fun tops on casual days in the summer. So, they were commonly seen at the beach, pool, or golf course. Men wore them the most, but women sometimes wore them over bathing suits or tank tops.

<p>A major part of the gender-fluid fashion trend was loafers! These smart and cosmopolitan shoes have a collegiate vibe, giving outfits a polished feel without needing high heels. Of course, men wore loafers long before this, but the ’60s was when these comfy shoes became fashionable for women.</p>

Penny Loafers

Penny loafers are another ’50s shoe making a comeback in modern fashion. These comfy slip-on loafers were a big part of the Ivy League aesthetic, simultaneously delivering a casual and sophisticated vibe. This genderless shoe was popular among men and women, while loafers weren’t part of women’s fashion earlier in the century.

<p>It probably seems like plain white T-shirts have always been part of fashion, but they were mostly treated as undergarments until the 1950s and the greaser movement. People wore them by themselves or under an open jacket rather than just wearing the T-shirt around the house or under an Oxford shirt.</p>

Plain White T-Shirts

It probably seems like plain white T-shirts have always been part of fashion, but they were mostly treated as undergarments until the 1950s and the greaser movement. People wore them by themselves or under an open jacket rather than just wearing the T-shirt around the house or under an Oxford shirt.

<p>The ’60s embraced soft and organic textures with knit dresses, knit matching sets, crochet tank tops, and crochet skirts. Stars like Tina Turner wore spicy crochet outfits, while celebrities like Mary Tyler Moore wore sleek knit outfits. This cozy trend persists, with famous designers and brands like Phillip Lim and Burberry often using these materials.</p>

Fitted and Bulky Sweaters

The ’50s were a big moment for sweaters. It’s tough to find any modern person who doesn’t own at least one sweater, but they didn’t become the wardrobe staple they are today until the ’50s and ’60s. This era saw trends involving both fitted and bulky sweaters. They were immensely popular because they fit into many of the aesthetics of the time , including beatnik, Teddy Boy, and Ivy League.

<p>The <a href="https://atomicjaneclothing.com/blogs/news/rockabilly-fashion-what-exactly-is-it#:~:text=The%20Elements%20Of%20Rockabilly%20Fashion&text=The%20most%20defining%20elements%20of,bandanas%2C%20and%20bright%20red%20lipstick." rel="nofollow noopener">Rockabilly fashion scene</a> was colorful and eye-catching, combining edginess with flamboyance. People who wore Rockabilly fashion loved rock and roll music. The style utilized typical ’50s looks, like cinched flare dresses and cuffed jeans, but added a provocative flair. This aesthetic combines many elements of Teddy Boy style with greaser vibes.</p>

Rockabilly Fashion

The Rockabilly fashion scene was colorful and eye-catching, combining edginess with flamboyance. People who wore Rockabilly fashion loved rock and roll music. The style utilized typical ’50s looks, like cinched flare dresses and cuffed jeans, but added a provocative flair. This aesthetic combines many elements of Teddy Boy style with greaser vibes.

<p>Horizontal stripes are prevalent today, but they were everywhere in <a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/1990s-movies-we-still-love-watching/" rel="noopener">the 1990s</a>. People sported strips on sweaters, button-downs, tank tops, T-shirts, skirts, pants, hats, and more. But the striped rugby shirt was a staple in many wardrobes and seen in practically every ’90s teen sitcom.</p>

Stripes slowly gained popularity in the first half of the 20th century, and by the ’50s, they were everywhere. They found their way into every clothing style, including suits, coats, swimwear, trousers, blouses, sweaters, skirts, dresses, and more. They seemed to have a place in almost every aesthetic, from Rockabilly to Ivy League.

<p>The gangster suits, also called mafia suits, from the 1950s had a slick and polished feel to them. They were often double-breasted, made from luxurious materials, featured three pieces, and styled with accessories like pocket watches, pocket squares, and distinct hats.</p>

Gangster Suits

The gangster suits, also called mafia suits, from the 1950s had a slick and polished feel to them. They were often double-breasted, made from luxurious materials, featured three pieces, and styled with accessories like pocket watches, pocket squares, and distinct hats.

<p>Socks were boring until the ’50s and <a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/fashion-trends-sixties-that-are-still-everywhere-today/" rel="noopener">’60s fashion trends</a>, when people started playing with different sock silhouettes, colors, patterns, and materials. Teddy Boy and Ivy League aesthetics used patterned knee socks and colorful ankle socks to elevate their looks. Both men and women wore eye-catching pairs to add a pop of color and contrast.</p>

Colorful Socks

Socks were boring until the ’50s and ’60s fashion trends , when people started playing with different sock silhouettes, colors, patterns, and materials. Teddy Boy and Ivy League aesthetics used patterned knee socks and colorful ankle socks to elevate their looks. Both men and women wore eye-catching pairs to add a pop of color and contrast.

<p>Suede creeper shoes have suede uppers and thick soles, creating a lifted look. They were popular in the beatnik, Rockabilly, and Teddy Boy spheres. Creepers have a timeless appearance, working with edgy, preppy, and casual looks. Elvis wore them, which likely made them trendier, especially with the popularity of his song “Blue Suede Shoes.”</p>

Suede Creeper Shoes

Suede creeper shoes have suede uppers and thick soles, creating a lifted look. They were popular in the beatnik, Rockabilly, and Teddy Boy spheres. Creepers have a timeless appearance, working with edgy, preppy, and casual looks. Elvis wore them, which likely made them trendier, especially with the popularity of his song “Blue Suede Shoes.”

<p>If you’ve seen<em> The Outsiders</em> or <em>Grease</em>, you probably know what a greaser is. This style features plain white shirts, fitted, cuffed jeans, slicked-back hair, loafers, boots or sneakers, and leather jackets. It was more than a fashion look; it was a rebellious movement comparable to modern punk. Copying this aesthetic may be a little costumey, but you can incorporate elements for a stylish look.</p>

Greaser Aesthetic

If you’ve seen The Outsiders or Grease , you probably know what a greaser is. This style features plain white shirts, fitted, cuffed jeans, slicked-back hair, loafers, boots or sneakers, and leather jackets. It was more than a fashion look; it was a rebellious movement comparable to modern punk. Copying this aesthetic may be a little costumey, but you can incorporate elements for a stylish look.

<p>Makeup in the 1950s was very feminine and consistent. Even across different aesthetics, like Rockabilly, Teddy Boy, and Ivy League, women wore pinky blush on the apples of their cheeks. This created an endearing, flushed look. Beatnik was the only aesthetic that resisted makeup trends, as beatnik women often went with a more natural look.</p>

Pinky Blush

Makeup in the 1950s was very feminine and consistent. Even across different aesthetics, like Rockabilly, Teddy Boy, and Ivy League, women wore pinky blush on the apples of their cheeks. This created an endearing, flushed look. Beatnik was the only aesthetic that resisted makeup trends, as beatnik women often went with a more natural look.

<p>The pancake hats or flat caps are straight out of <em>Peaky Blinders</em>. These have been out of style for a while, especially in America, but <a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/flat-cap-trend-2023" rel="nofollow noopener">they’re slowly coming back into fashion</a>. If you want to get ahead of the curve, get a plaid flat cap, and you’ll be the trendiest person you know.</p>

The pancake hats or flat caps are straight out of Peaky Blinders . These have been out of style for a while, especially in America, but they’re slowly coming back into fashion . If you want to get ahead of the curve, get a plaid flat cap, and you’ll be the trendiest person you know.

<p>People sometimes confuse beatnik with the Ivy League, but they differ greatly. Both utilize tailored yet casual silhouettes and clothing like sweaters, trousers, and loafers. But the beatnik style was an artsy social movement that gave us some of the best genderless 1950s looks. The aesthetic featured turtlenecks, skinny jeans, capris, stripes, and lots of black. It’s a crossover of modern goth, academic, and hipster styles.</p>

Beatnik Scene

People sometimes confuse beatnik with the Ivy League, but they differ greatly. Both utilize tailored yet casual silhouettes and clothing like sweaters, trousers, and loafers. But the beatnik style was an artsy social movement that gave us some of the best genderless 1950s looks. The aesthetic featured turtlenecks, skinny jeans, capris, stripes, and lots of black. It’s a crossover of modern goth, academic, and hipster styles.

<p>Veiled fascinators are headpieces that attach to women’s hair using a hairclip, comb, or headband. They’re very fancy and were everywhere in the ’50s. Ladies often wore small face veils with them. These are coming back in elite circles, so you might see celebrities sporting them on the red carpet or people like Kate Middleton wearing them out and about.</p>

Veiled Fascinators

Veiled fascinators are headpieces that attach to women’s hair using a hairclip, comb, or headband. They’re very fancy and were everywhere in the ’50s. Ladies often wore small face veils with them. These are coming back in elite circles, so you might see celebrities sporting them on the red carpet or people like Kate Middleton wearing them out and about.

<p>The Peter Pan collar is one of our favorite fashion trends to come out of the mid-20th century. These were hot in the ’50s and ’60s, showing up on blouses, dresses, coats, T-shirts, and more. Women primarily wore them, but they’re currently creeping into menswear! The Peter Pan collar is a wonderful alternative to the typical Oxford collar.</p>

Peter Pan Collar

The Peter Pan collar is one of our favorite fashion trends to come out of the mid-20th century. These were hot in the ’50s and ’60s, showing up on blouses, dresses, coats, T-shirts, and more. Women primarily wore them, but they’re currently creeping into menswear! The Peter Pan collar is a wonderful alternative to the typical Oxford collar.

<p><a href="https://recollections.biz/blog/cardigans-through-time/" rel="nofollow noopener">Cardigans first gained traction</a> in the 1920s and ’30s, made a triumphant comeback in the ’50s, and have been a comfy wardrobe staple ever since. They’re easily one of the best androgynous clothing items, creating cozy, casual looks with an air of sophistication. They can be loungewear or business casual. Their versatility is endless and fits into every ’50s aesthetic.</p>

Cardigans first gained traction in the 1920s and ’30s, made a triumphant comeback in the ’50s, and have been a comfy wardrobe staple ever since. They’re easily one of the best androgynous clothing items, creating cozy, casual looks with an air of sophistication. They can be loungewear or business casual. Their versatility is endless and fits into every ’50s aesthetic.

<p>Wayfarer sunglasses are one of the most popular sunglass silhouettes to this day. In the ’50s, some considered them too masculine for women. But they’re perfectly androgynous and moody. These shades were prominent in the beatnik community but quickly became a mainstream item we still wear today.</p>

Wayfarer Sunglasses

Wayfarer sunglasses are one of the most popular sunglass silhouettes to this day. In the ’50s, some considered them too masculine for women. But they’re perfectly androgynous and moody. These shades were prominent in the beatnik community but quickly became a mainstream item we still wear today.

<p>Pleats found their stride in the fashion world in the ’40s and ’50s. This draping technique tends to come in and out of style, but we adore it. Men and women wore pleated clothing in the ’50s, such as pleated tennis skirts, fit and flare dresses, wide-leg trousers, suits, and even trench coats.</p>

Pleats found their stride in the fashion world in the ’40s and ’50s. This draping technique tends to come in and out of style, but we adore it. Men and women wore pleated clothing in the ’50s, such as pleated tennis skirts, fit and flare dresses, wide-leg trousers, suits, and even trench coats.

<p>Following World War II, couture fashion designers became popular again as people gleefully spent more money on clothing. Christian Dior and Coco Chanel were particularly popular at the time. These glamorous designers substantially impacted fashion and designer labels became even more recognizable and desirable.</p>

Dior and Chanel Couture

Following World War II, couture fashion designers became popular again as people gleefully spent more money on clothing. Christian Dior and Coco Chanel were particularly popular at the time. These glamorous designers substantially impacted fashion and designer labels became even more recognizable and desirable.

<p>Polka dots are playful and cute today, but they <a href="https://www.iiftbangalore.com/blog/polka-dot-its-history/#Frank_Sinatra_releases_his_first_hit_%E2%80%9CPolka_Dots_and_Moonbeams%E2%80%9D_in_1940" rel="nofollow noopener">once represented death and bad luck</a>. They very slowly crept into fashion in the late ’20s and ’30s. Frank Sinatra released “Polka Dots & Moonbeams,” and polka dots became a hot pattern throughout the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Men rarely wore them back then, but today, polka dots are a fun pattern for anyone.</p>

Polka dots are playful and cute today, but they once represented death and bad luck . They very slowly crept into fashion in the late ’20s and ’30s. Frank Sinatra released “Polka Dots & Moonbeams,” and polka dots became a hot pattern throughout the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Men rarely wore them back then, but today, polka dots are a fun pattern for anyone.

<p>Teddy Boy style was halfway between beatnik and Ivy League. This aesthetic involved fitted pants, sweaters, colorful socks, suede shoes, and short jackets. These outfits weren’t quite as clean-cut as Ivy League looks and weren’t as edgy as beatnik style. It was an extremely popular style because of its casual and mainstream appeal.</p>

Teddy Boy Style

Teddy Boy style was halfway between beatnik and Ivy League. This aesthetic involved fitted pants, sweaters, colorful socks, suede shoes, and short jackets. These outfits weren’t quite as clean-cut as Ivy League looks and weren’t as edgy as beatnik style. It was an extremely popular style because of its casual and mainstream appeal.

<p class="p1"><span>Lip fillers are the “in thing” in the cosmetic world. Unfortunately, some women take fillers too far and exaggeratedly wear them. This leaves much to be desired.</span></p>

Tying into the obsession with pin-up models during the 1950s, women almost always lined and filled their lips for a dramatic and colorful appearance. Lips were usually dark or bright reds and pinks, with a sweetheart silhouette and vivid hue. Think of Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn’s standard makeup look; they usually wore intensely vibrant lipstick, and their lips looked plump and full, similar to modern beauty trends .

<p>Audrey Hepburn often wore adorable capri pants when out and about, making them <a href="https://www.baltimoresun.com/2002/05/05/capri-pants-are-back-and-thats-bad-news/#:~:text=Capri%20pants%2C%20named%20for%20the,shirtwaist%20dresses%20to%20backyard%20barbecues." rel="nofollow noopener">a trendy item in the 1950s</a>. They could be denim, khaki, or other popular materials and were considered very laid-back. These pants were at the forefront of the new sporty-casual look, similar to athleisure today.</p>

Capri Pants

Audrey Hepburn often wore adorable capri pants when out and about, making them a trendy item in the 1950s . They could be denim, khaki, or other popular materials and were considered very laid-back. These pants were at the forefront of the new sporty-casual look, similar to athleisure today.

<p>There is something sensationally chic about quilted clothing. Thanks to the extra stitching, quilted coats offer a luxurious texture and high-end look. In the 1950s, these were popular at ski resorts, especially among the affluent. We love that anyone can wear them today, making them work for relaxed looks or refined outfits.</p>

Quilted Coats

There is something sensationally chic about quilted clothing. Thanks to the extra stitching, quilted coats offer a luxurious texture and high-end look. In the 1950s, these were popular at ski resorts, especially among the affluent. We love that anyone can wear them today, making them work for relaxed looks or refined outfits.

<p>It might feel like winged eyeliner was invented in the mid-2000s, but this makeup style took hold in the 1950s and ’60s. Ladies in the 1950s loved dramatic and defined makeup looks, and wingtip eyeliner created a striking and sharp appearance that fit perfectly into the era’s aesthetics.</p>

Wingtip Eyeliner

It might feel like winged eyeliner was invented in the mid-2000s, but this makeup style took hold in the 1950s and ’60s. Ladies in the 1950s loved dramatic and defined makeup looks, and wingtip eyeliner created a striking and sharp appearance that fit perfectly into the era’s aesthetics.

<p>Some ’50s fashion trends rejected the traditional gender silhouettes, but most embraced them to the nth degree. This was apparent in the women’s dress silhouettes of the time, which often featured a super cinched waist that created the desired hourglass figure. You can see this in fit and flare dresses, belted looks, and certain pantsuits.</p>

Cinched Waists

Some ’50s fashion trends rejected the traditional gender silhouettes, but most embraced them to the nth degree. This was apparent in the women’s dress silhouettes of the time, which often featured a super cinched waist that created the desired hourglass figure. You can see this in fit and flare dresses, belted looks, and certain pantsuits.

<p>Pillbox hats can be costumey nowadays, but more people are embracing them as vintage accessories. These stiff, small hats were <a href="https://goodwillakron.org/stylish-pillbox-hats-from-vintage-collection/#:~:text=A%20small%20woman's%20hat%20with,hat%20to%20her%20husband's%20inauguration." rel="nofollow noopener">popularized by Jackie O</a>, making them an essential hat for any fashionable 1950s woman. These hats also showed up in many couture designer lines, especially Chanel.</p>

Pillbox Hats

Pillbox hats can be costumey nowadays, but more people are embracing them as vintage accessories. These stiff, small hats were popularized by Jackie O , making them an essential hat for any fashionable 1950s woman. These hats also showed up in many couture designer lines, especially Chanel.

<p>Pin-up models were super popular in the ’40s and ’50s, and many women incorporated elements of the pin-up aesthetic into their fashion sense. These looks were very saucy, especially for the time, featuring super tight silhouettes, eye-catching hair accessories, dramatic makeup, and themed outfits. This aesthetic was exclusively for women, thanks to the prominent feminine vibe.</p>

Pin-Up Aesthetic

Pin-up models were super popular in the ’40s and ’50s, and many women incorporated elements of the pin-up aesthetic into their fashion sense. These looks were very saucy, especially for the time, featuring super tight silhouettes, eye-catching hair accessories, dramatic makeup, and themed outfits. This aesthetic was exclusively for women, thanks to the prominent feminine vibe.

<p>The 1990s hosted the rise of grunge music, hip-hop, reality TV, and blockbuster movies, but this artistic and innovative decade also gave us some fabulous fashion trends that we’re still head over heels for. Lucky for us ’90s enthusiasts, many of the top trends from that era are coming back into style, so you can rock your rose-pink eyeglasses and chunky platforms once again! People are adopting these iconic ’90s trends into modern fashion, giving them a new spin but maintaining their funky charm.</p>

For us, plaid will always be an essential, genderless pattern. This versatile pattern didn’t catch on in mainstream fashion until the ’50s, and it’s been a beloved look ever since. Men and women in the 1950s wore plaid, often on pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, suits, hats, and more. It was particularly prominent in preppy aesthetics like Teddy Boy and Ivy League.

<p>The Chesterfield coat is an iconic style that was popular throughout the 20th century but became a fashion option for women around the 1950s. These formal coats were typically dark and featured a lavish velvet collar. Designers in the 1950s played with this classic fashion item, turning it into fitted skirt suits and shorter coats, reinventing the Chesterfield.</p>

Chesterfield Coat

The Chesterfield coat is an iconic style that was popular throughout the 20th century but became a fashion option for women around the 1950s. These formal coats were typically dark and featured a lavish velvet collar. Designers in the 1950s played with this classic fashion item, turning it into fitted skirt suits and shorter coats, reinventing the Chesterfield.

<p>Leather gloves were immensely popular in the 1950s, sometimes called driving gloves. Men had been wearing leather gloves for decades, but now, they were part of women’s fashion, too. They were stylish and sharp, creating nuanced looks for everyday errands.</p>

Leather Gloves

Leather gloves were immensely popular in the 1950s, sometimes called driving gloves. Men had been wearing leather gloves for decades, but now, they were part of women’s fashion, too. They were stylish and sharp, creating nuanced looks for everyday errands.

<p>Nowadays, we might just refer to this type of look as “preppy,” but in the ’50s, it was distinctly associated with sailing culture. Striped shirts, straw hats, capri pants, and boat shoes were staples of this aesthetic. It had a laid-back resort feel. For a while, only those who spent time on boats dressed like this, but it began to enter mainstream fashion in the ’50s.</p>

Sailing Style

Nowadays, we might just refer to this type of look as “preppy,” but in the ’50s, it was distinctly associated with sailing culture. Striped shirts, straw hats, capri pants, and boat shoes were staples of this aesthetic. It had a laid-back resort feel. For a while, only those who spent time on boats dressed like this, but it began to enter mainstream fashion in the ’50s.

<p>Khakis swing in and out of fashion, but they were in their renaissance <a href="https://www.racked.com/2016/8/25/12417314/khaki" rel="nofollow noopener">during the 1940s and 1950s</a>. After World War II, America was ready to embrace new styles that combined formal and casual, work and leisure. It partially stemmed from military clothing, too. Men and women wore khakis, achieving a nice middle ground between style and comfort.</p>

Khakis swing in and out of fashion, but they were in their renaissance during the 1940s and 1950s . After World War II, America was ready to embrace new styles that combined formal and casual, work and leisure. It partially stemmed from military clothing, too. Men and women wore khakis, achieving a nice middle ground between style and comfort.

<p>Dark Academia is an aesthetic, or way of life, that puts a heavy emphasis on studying and learning — especially the arts, language, literature, and anything with ties to the ‘Classics.’ There’s a romanticization of campus life, Ivy Leagues, ambition, and anything odd or obscure.</p><p>Scrolling through the #darkacademia tag on Tumblr, you’ll find a lot of quotes from Donna Tartt’s <em>The Secret History</em> and photos of museums, skeletons, and dimly-lit libraries. You’ll also see a lot of Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath, and Franz Kafka.  </p><p>When it comes to dressing the part, dark academia draws inspiration from films like <em>Dead Poets Society</em> (1989) and <em>Maurice</em> (1987). Not only is the color palette dark but there’s an emphasis on androgyny that makes dark academia an easy trend to follow no matter your gender identity. </p>

Trench Coats

The trench coat has a long and rich history . It emerged in the early 19th century and joined mainstream fashion around the 1920s. Hollywood made the trench coat a must-have in the ’40s and ’50s, with stars like Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe wearing them in films such as Let’s Make Love and A Foreign Affair . Not only were trench coats crazy popular, but designers experimented with trench dresses, trench skirt suits, and other styles.

<p>In general, people in the 1950s, especially women, were eager to try different styles of gloves. A popular option was the sheer glove, which curated a saucy and sophisticated aura. These sheer gloves were whimsical and chic, sometimes featuring lace, polka dots, or floral patterns.</p>

Sheer Gloves

In general, people in the 1950s, especially women, were eager to try different styles of gloves. A popular option was the sheer glove, which curated a saucy and sophisticated aura. These sheer gloves were whimsical and chic, sometimes featuring lace, polka dots, or floral patterns.

<p>The wool-felt coat feels timeless, but it didn’t come onto the scene <a href="https://teorna.com/blogs/fashion-trends/the-history-of-the-wool-coat-from-function-to-fashion" rel="nofollow noopener">until the late 18th century</a> and was exclusively for the affluent. Over time, they became more accessible until they were a trendy item for the masses in the ’40s and ’50s. They’re another item popularized by their appearances in films.</p>

Wool-Felt Coat

The wool-felt coat feels timeless, but it didn’t come onto the scene until the late 18th century and was exclusively for the affluent. Over time, they became more accessible until they were a trendy item for the masses in the ’40s and ’50s. They’re another item popularized by their appearances in films.

<p>It isn’t often that America has both men’s and women’s Wimbledon champions in the same year, but 1974 was the annus mirabilis for young US tennis stars, Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors. Connors was on fire in 1974, winning three grand slams (he was banned from the French Open). Moreover, Evert, who described the run-in to that year’s Wimbledon as “a total fairytale,” was world number one, winning two grand slams, losing a final, and making a semi-final.</p><p>They agreed to marry if they both won Wimbledon and even though one fairytale happened, the marriage never happened. With Evert only 19 and Connors only 21, they agreed their tennis careers should come first.</p>

Tennis Aesthetic

The tennis aesthetic is a timeless vibe. It involves crisp, mostly white outfits with contrasting navy blue, cherry red, or dark green accents. These looks were sporty but elegant. It featured tiny pleated skirts, sweater vests, dainty jewelry, fitted sweaters, crewnecks, high socks, sneakers, loafers, and more.

<p>Cat-eye sunglasses have been on the scene for quite some time but lately have been taking the shape of the small-framed 90s style of the trend. These sunglasses add an air of elegance to any outfit; however, they can be worn even with the most casual of outfits.</p>

Cat-Eye Glasses

The cat-eye glasses are one of the most iconic accessories from the mid-20th century. Cat-eye glasses were first introduced in the ’30s and were irresistible to women in the ’50s and ’60s. They could be sunglasses or reading glasses. Their modish vibe made them a fashion statement. The glasses are slowly coming back in style, and we love to see it.

<p>There seem to be two types of people in this world: those who love velvet and those who can’t stand it. Velvet was heavily associated with the grunge era in the 90s, but it’s come a long way since then. Velvet is an incredibly warm material, which makes it ideal for cute winter outfits. Still, it can also be a fashionable and cozy choice year-round.</p>

Velvet had a big moment in the ’50s. From velvet-collar coats to velvet pants to velvet headbands, this fuzzy material was everywhere. It was perfect for the time because it captured the comfortable but charismatic style of the era. The lavish feel and distinct look made it ideal for high fashion, while the supple texture made it suitable for loungewear.

<p>Do you remember the time when it was fashionable to wear a giant belt with almost every outfit? An old-school belt is the perfect accessory, whether creating a defined waist with a maxi dress or a business casual slacks and blouse.</p>

Belted Looks

Since the cinched waist was a prominent silhouette in the ’50s, belted looks were in style. Men had always worn belts, but now, women were wearing them too! Belts were a fabulous addition to dresses, matching sets, A-line skirts, pantsuits, skirt suits, beatnik outfits, Ive League looks, and more. They could be thin or thick, big-buckled or small. Belts often matched the dress or suit, using the same fabric.

<p>Silk scarves became a feminine symbol in the 1960s, with women wearing them in various ways. These elegant and lovely scarves could be belts, headbands, neckties, bracelets, handbag accessories, and much more. 1970s men’s fashion utilized them too. Today, Hermès silk scarves are a coveted item.</p>

Neck Scarves

Neck scarves and ascots were trendy in the 1950s, with both men and women wearing them. Scarves were particularly popular with the Ivy League, Teddy Boy, and Rockabilly aesthetics but appeared in almost every ’50s style. The playful scarves could feature polka dots, stripes, and other popular patterns of the time, often made from silk, chiffon, or satin.

<p>In the 1950s, women were only just starting to wear pants, so the wide-leg trousers were very fashion-forward. While fitted pants were trendy, so was the dramatic flow of wide-legged pants. They created balanced looks where the bottoms were robust, and the tops were slim and small. Men wore them too, but women’s wide trousers were often more exaggerated and high-waisted.</p>

Wide-Leg Trousers

In the 1950s, women were only just starting to wear pants, so the wide-leg trousers were very fashion-forward. While fitted pants were trendy, so was the dramatic flow of wide-legged pants. They created balanced looks where the bottoms were robust, and the tops were slim and small. Men wore them too, but women’s wide trousers were often more exaggerated and high-waisted.

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IMAGES

  1. Decoding Genderless Fashion, the Future of the Industry

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  2. Why genderless fashion is both a blessing and a curse

    genderless fashion essay

  3. WHAT DOES GENDERLESS FASHION STILL MEAN?

    genderless fashion essay

  4. 3 Designers on How They Define Genderless Fashion

    genderless fashion essay

  5. Genderless Fashion: Fad or the Future?

    genderless fashion essay

  6. WHAT DOES GENDERLESS FASHION STILL MEAN?

    genderless fashion essay

COMMENTS

  1. EMBRACING GENDERLESS FASHION

    EMBRACING GENDERLESS FASHION Antonia Sardone - April 4, 2021 - Fashion Education Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele help celebrities embrace the gender-neutral trend. (Photo Credit: GQ) Trends come and go, but we believe that the androgynous trend is here to stay, at least for now.

  2. Degendering Fashion: The Origins of Gendered Fashion

    Posted in: Makers & Crafts • March 31, 2021 Editor's Note This is part two of a three-part series that argues for degendering fashion, written by Emilia Bergoglio. After coming out as non-binary, Emilia now works to educate others on the impact that binary language has on fashion and home sewing.

  3. (PDF) Genderless clothing issues in fashion

    Genderless clothing issues in fashion Conference: 1st International Textile Design Conference (D_TEX 2017) At: Lisbon, Portugal Volume: Textiles, Identity and Innovation: Design the Future...

  4. Analyzing genderless fashion trends of consumers ...

    Given that gender fluidity in fashion has seen a recent boom globally since 2018 (Menkes, 2018 ), the genderless concept began to expand as the trend of emphasizing gender diversity expanded in South Korea.

  5. Is Genderless Fashion Breaking The Final Frontier?

    24 October 2018 indigital Would you wear this?" Pierpaolo Piccioli asked me as he slipped into a greige plissé trench coat from his Valentino women's SS19 collection in September. I would. Whether it's fashion's impact on me or an evolving mentality affecting designers, the feeling for 'genderless' fashion has never been stronger than it is now.

  6. Non-binary finery: can genderless fashion move beyond a label?

    Instead of a genderless label, it might mean refashioning the agenda to move beyond seasonal marketing campaigns, and into year-round inclusion. Explore more on these topics Australian fashion

  7. Gender Issues in Genderless Clothing: A Theoretical ...

    First Online: 20 October 2022 1262 Accesses Abstract Studying fashion's history and gender problems raises the question of genderless, by highlighting the significance of fashion, as a modern phenomenon.

  8. PDF Gender Issues in Genderless Clothing: A Theoretical ...

    Abstract. Studying fashion's history and gender problems raises the question of genderless, by highlighting the significance of fashion, as a modern phenomenon. Clothing is considered, in this sense, one of the most noticeable consumer goods and a significant factor in the social formation of identity [1].

  9. Gender Issues in Genderless Clothing: A Theoretical Framework in

    Genderless fashion and gender issues are contemporary. It is present in articles, photography, art, music, movie stars, and fashion and has accompanied the progression of history; several...

  10. Genderless Fashion: A (Still) Binary Market

    Gender is commonly associated with two distinct and opposing sexes. Over time, such binarity has engendered stereotypes commonly observed in the fashion market. However, something called genderless fashion has recently gained prominence in the media. This research first posits that discourse in specialized media can influence the issues of ...

  11. Genderless clothing issues in fashion

    The object of study in this research is to analyse genderless clothing in all its complexity, which encompasses an analysis of the phenomenon in many areas of study such as sociology, fashion design and consumer behaviour. Attributing consequently, an interdisciplinary character in this research. Considering historical-social, socio-economic ...

  12. Artist combines genderless fashion, fluidity and self-expression in her

    Her practice that navigates experiments with dressing, the real image and the derived- produces a nuanced idea of genderless style, stimulating viewers to respond and open a discussion on the construct of masculine and feminine.Heavily influenced by Susan Sontag's essay Notes on Camp, Maadhavji developed a new understanding of the role of fashion in identity that she likes to explore in ...

  13. The Future of Retail Is Genderless

    Browns led the way when it opened its Browns East store in Shoreditch in 2017, with the entire space merchandised in a genderless model. The company opened a genderless brick-and-mortar retail space for many reasons, says buying director Ida Petersson, but chief among them was data showing customers shopping across the two-gender divide.

  14. Japan's evolving definition of genderless fashion

    "Genderless fashion," which is aimed to break societal gender norms in fashion, started spreading in Japan in the mid-2010s. Although the term "genderless fashion" referred to both females and males, it was commonly known as the word "genderless danshi (male)," which defined men who cross gender boundaries.

  15. Unisex, Genderless: Let the Debate Ensue

    The essay analyzes the very idea of genderless in comparison to the notion of unisex which surfaced during the 1970s, another moment of intense cultural deconstruction. By dissecting the two terms and related fashion imagery, the essay highlights the changes in the way fashion both communicates and acts, leaving the ending deliberately open.

  16. (PDF) GENDERLESS STREETWEAR: Fashioning Presentations of the Body

    Offering innovative research within the field of Fashion Studies, this paper seeks to comprehend how these methods of design suggest a beginning stage to this current shift in gender roles and society in present visual culture. KEYWORDS: Power, Genderless, Performed Body, Masculinity, Femininity, Codes, Stylization, Embodiment

  17. (PDF) Construction of Gender through Fashion and Dressing

    Two basics social - cultural factors that shape the gender are dressing and fashion. A chorography (especially the last two centuries) shows these different constructions of masculinity and ...

  18. Exploring Japan's 'genderless' subculture

    Although women who dress in a more stereotypically masculine way may also identify as "genderless," in Japan, the term jendaresu-kei more commonly refers to biological males who are neither...

  19. Gender-Inclusive Wedding Fashion for the Modern Era

    "In terms of fashion, we are seeing genderless or nonspecific gender in bespoke designs by people who have the financial resources to take the gamble to decide if now is a good time to test the...

  20. Unisex clothes plus androgyny bodies equals genderless fashion

    The poster presented during the 3th Symposium intend to explain the differences between androgyny bodies, unisex clothes and genderless fashion. This is an interdisciplinary research on genderless ...

  21. Essay On Genderless Fashion

    FOR MEN AND WOMEN A couple walked into a quaint fashion boutique, and immediately browsed through the collection available. Yet, instead of looking at separate selection, both man and woman were looking at the same item before they each took said clothing in the fitting rooms.

  22. Met Gala 2019 Served The Best Of Non-Binary Fashion

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Jordan Roth attends The 2019 Met Gala. Getty. 'Camp is the metaphor of life as theatre.'. Susan Sontag's words, unknowingly dedicated to ...

  23. (PDF) Analyzing genderless fashion trends of consumers' perceptions on

    Examining the genderless fashion trend development among consumers from 2018 to 2020, "perfume and scent" was revealed as the hot topic, whereas "bags," "all-in-one skin care," and ...

  24. 50 Iconic Fashion Trends From the 1950s All Genders Can Copy

    This genderless shoe was popular among men and women, while loafers weren't part of women's fashion earlier in the century. Photo Credit: Shareability. Plain White T-Shirts