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Fashion has evolved immensely over the recent years. The choice of clothing depends mostly on one’s personality as well as on the person’s social and political stand. Unisex clothing is designed for both males and females, but the perception is different. Moreover, the preferences in clothes have primarily depended on the individual’s gender. However, the idea of men wearing women’s’ clothing and vice versa has raised criticism in the society. The corresponding designers have created clothes that suit both male and female representatives (Battisti & Dahlberg, 2016). Due to the variety of clothing, the followers of fashion have increased their wardrobe buying more gender neutral attire.
The main aim of this paper is to discuss why the fashion world does not accept unisex clothing. Its purpose is to provide a brief analysis of the perception people have towards unisex clothes. Other objectives include informing people about the trending fashion, educate them on the impacts of unisex dressing, and create awareness of those who may not know about the existence of such clothes. Moreover, the paper reviews the issue of educating people how to manufacture the unisex clothes, since the sizes of male and female customers is different (Steorn, 2012).
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The world of fashion is constantly changing. Clothes that were fashionable in the 70s have become popular in the 21st century, for example, skinny jeans worn by both male and female. Both genders have defied conventional dress codes, which clearly define male and female preferences (Steorn, 2012). The clothes do not have meaning until someone wears them. However, the society perceives people according to the way they dress. Reviewing the issue of relationship between clothing and gender, it is difficult for some individuals, who do not fit the given gender conventions, to express themselves through attire in a manner that is inconspicuous. Moreover, there exists a growing awareness that male and female representatives are not the only genders and that the society views individual's gender identity from a vast spectrum. A major problem faced by the people who do not conform to a given trend is that clothes are not meant for a range of genders. Considering the fact that style is part of personal identity, it is difficult for the individuals of a non-binary gender to express themselves through clothes due to stigmatization existing in the society, which relates to attire and gender. In order to ensure further development, the fashion industry and the society need to acknowledge the increasing population of gender non-conforming individuals. In addition, it is required to reject stigmas related to sex and clothes and take into consideration market for unisex fashion.
It is worth noting that dress is a part of human beings.. Fashion construct has not always existed. There was a period when clothes were intended solely for protection against harsh weather conditions. As society has continued to evolve, people used the attire to show their social class and rank. Recently, dress has been used to demonstrate social, political and individual status. People believe that fashion originated from the western countries, when Europe was undergoing the period of modernization. The growth of fashion coincides with the introduction of the middle-class group in the society, when bourgeoisie became politically, economically and socially empowered. However, the attire did not show rank among people since the representatives of bourgeoisie were equal. Use of luxurious clothes and accessories indicated multiple social affiliations. The idea continues to exist in the fashion world. People subscribe to trends that express their social identity and cultural ideals (Kim, 2015).
Gender identity is related to the gender expression. Due to the fact that an individual may identify with a different gender from that assigned after birth, it is the way in which people associate sex with dress, hairstyles, way of speaking and their mannerisms that express their gender. There exists an opinion that it would be more sensible if an individual could wear clothes made for a person’s particular anatomy instead of sex. This relationship between clothing and societal roles is adamant, and the society should not disregard this fact. For example, the surrounding people consider that an individual wearing a polished suit, satin tie, and a cotton shirt are strong, powerful, domineering and influential person. The above characteristics are associated with the corresponding kind of attire, since this is a way, in which the society defines compelling characters in the contemporary world (Hall, 2013). Clothing plays a significant role in the perception of people by the society, since it depends on the way the respective person accepts himself as a part of the community. In other words, gender entails how people perceive themselves and how they want others to see them in a societal context.
The connection between gender and clothing is a social issue due to the fact that there is an aspect of gender responding to the social concepts. Gender identity involves people and their self-expression. Clothing is used for self-expression of an individual’s gender. Such an item of clothing can be worn by an individual of any sex and can express either male or female personality. However, the society had the need to identify people based on their gender. In the resent past, both boys and girls wore white clothes since it was easy to clean and bleach them. With the introduction of blue and pink colors in children’s fashion, pink was initially a boys’ color since it is stable in nature whereas blue was a girls’ color as it is calm and quiet. With time, the rules changed, retailers and manufacturers began to realize that most people in America preferred this way of clothing. In the society, pink is related to sentiment while blue is associated with service. It implies that a little girl’s life consists of affection while the obligation of boys is to earn for a living and ensure stability for their loved ones. Many factors led to the visual separation of children’s gender. In the early 1960s, there were advancements in prenatal health care due to which the parents knew their child’s gender before the birth. The economy stabilized, and the relatives were able to buy gender specific clothes for their children. However, the main reason was that the new parents had been raised with specific tasks and had the interest to implement them in their children from the birth. Due to the fact that the parents make all the decisions regarding their children’s clothing from the early age, it helps reinforce the roles of these children obtained from the society in future. The parents hope that their children will integrate into the communities with acceptable gender roles.
It is important to ensure that gender non-conforming individuals can feel comfortable in their body, living in a society that has numerous expectations based on an individual’s sexuality. Sex and gender have a different meaning in the contemporary world. An individual's sex relates to the structure and functions of one's body while gender relates to his identity and role in the society. A person’s gender identity and sexual orientation are unconnected parts of the person's overall identity. A gender fluid person is rather flexible. Their choice of the gender changes with time, and they may decide to identify with neither gender (Steorn, 2012).
It is worth noting that defiance on roles based on one's gender is associated with challenging socially acknowledged attire. In the 1920s, women empowerment was not significant as the suffrage movement fought for women’s right to vote. The response was emergence of the androgynous fashion. Glamor combined with male silhouettes became popular. Women were clad in less fitting clothes that had dropped waistlines so that they could hide their curves. Moreover, their clothes during those days had fewer collars and folds. They also kept their hair short and cropped as these hairstyles were considered fashionable. Women were expected to have long hair and styled differently. They saved time that they previously spent for cleaning, drying, braiding, and brushing their hair. Fashionable trends were simple and consumed less time, as women believed there were more productive things to do other than taking care of one’s physical appearance. They spent less effort for ironing, washing, mending, and dressing. Due to their behavior, which contradicted with the existing rules, women began to have control over their lives and image in the community.
In the current society, there exists a different discussion regarding women clad in male clothing. At the time when men took more dominating roles in the society, women preferred to wear clothes meant for male people so that they could appear robust and enduring. Moreover, women were clad in male attire since they wanted to fulfil the tasks that were meant for men (Julien, 2014). Such notion prevails in the current fashion due to the existing idea that women are sexual beings, and wearing male clothing, a female can surpass this custom (Reed, 2016). However, women have taken powerful roles in artistic fields, such as cinema, Internet, politics, entertainment, and media. Female realize that they are equal and powerful as men, and they have found strength in a feminine dress. Instead of wearing masculine clothing to avoid their perception as sexual beings, women have realized there is power in their sexuality and have used this opportunity through attire.
Whereas women dressed in men's attire has been existed for a long time, in recent years, the fashion industry has defined that male customers are highly fashioned people, buying women’s clothing and accessories. In addition, men have always participated in the creation of women’s clothing. However, an increasing number of men have started consuming clothes intended for women. Male representatives have interest in fashion like the women regarding identity and self-image (Paoletti, 2015). A study of the connection between heterosexual men and male fashion conducted in 2011 shows that men have increased their use of new and different masculine styles. With time men started to have interest in women’s fashion. In the past century, the designers did not change male clothing while womenswear evolved and progressed at high rates. The style meant for women has provided possibility for experimentation with attire that is not competitive with menswear. Due to the increasing number of gender non-conforming people and cisgender people experimenting with the dress, the fashion industry should notice the booming new market for unisex clothing (Karunaratne, 2016).
In the nearest future, there is a possibility that the trend of powerful women will subside and be replaced by the growing need of individual empowerment, with no regard to gender identity as well as expression. The industry is currently supporting many designers within the LGBT community, but there may be a need for a new perspective (Cole & Lewis, 2016). In addition, the fashion industry has already used many androgynous models for runways and in the photo sessions. There is a possibility that transgender individuals and people, who do not conform to the specific gender, are the pivots to the fashion industry as models, designers, and buyers of the corresponding products. It is necessary to comprehend differences between male and female fashion in the marketplace and construction sphere.
There are fundamental differences between fashion meant for men, and that meant for women. Considering anatomic peculiarities, a female physique is curvy as compared to male anatomy. A male body has broader shoulders and chest as compared to the female one (Luckett, 2016). It is important to take into consideration such differences when designing fitting clothes. A woman’s cloth has darts or seams around the chest and hips to allow the fabric lay smoothly. There are real differences between male and female clothing. The aim of these corresponding peculiarities is to distinguish gender roles for both male and female. For example, many feminine necklines lay low and draw attention to the bust. However, male necklines sit high and draw attention to the shoulders (Kim, 2015). Masculine clothes are meant to enlarge the physique by using bulky materials to have an emphasis on angularity. Feminine attire has an emphasis on the round contours, thus, the designers use soft material. The differences between male and female clothes are mostly due to the way, in which the society sexualizes the genders and their societal roles. Such differences also mean that it is difficult for males to try garments intended for women and vice versa. Gender and sexual roles have been obscured with the time. Female bodies do not need to be shown as motherly and fertile through dress, whereas the male body does not have to depict stability and power through clothes in a masculine manner. It is not necessary that clothes express the assigned sex of the person, since the contemporary world does not emphasize human reproduction. However, it is essential to put an emphasis on the personal expression and empowerment (Hall, 2015).
When deciding on unisex clothing, it is important that one considers customers’ anatomy and needs (Arvanitidou & Gasouka, 2013). If the designed unisex clothing is intended for the clients with female physique, it is wise that the designer considers techniques used in making women clothing. If the clothes are meant for people with male anatomy, they should properly fit the body without additional fullness in the male body (Schmidt, 2013). However, it is possibile that the unisex clothing is designed for both male and female. It is more sensible to make less fitting attires and use fabrics that are easy to handle in order the clothes take the shape of the different bodies. In addition, unisex clothing may incorporate trends found in menswear and womenswear as well as use elements existing in both markets. The clothes meant for gender non-binary individuals can disregard fashion elements in any attire for cisgender individuals and push the limits of fashion. Fashion is constantly evolving, but it always uses and updates the popular trends. The essence of unisex clothing is to drive fashion into the future.
Human beings adapt quickly to the occurred changes, but considering the issue of fashion, they tend to be very rigid. Most people prefer to wear conventional attires. Moreover, it if difficult for them to follow the trends of the changing fashion world. There are separate reservations related to the men wearing women clothing, as this is perceived as emasculating men (Chen, et al., 2013). In the world, where men are authoritative beings, the society destroyed quickly the idea of males wearing female clothes. Moreover, men have always been less fashionable, and they prefer sticking to already defined means of dressing. However, it is difficult to find evidence of fashion meeting the needs of both sexes, whereas mostly unisex clothing responds to the needs of men.
Another reason, for which unisex clothing is not trending, is that most of the fashion designers are expensive. The major part of low income people finds it difficult to try new designs, as they cannot afford the designer outfits. Therefore, these cloths are intended for celebrities and wealthy population (canella, 2016). Comparing the clothes of some artists, such as Kanye West, whose fashion is meant for both male and female, the prices of his attire are high, and only rich people can afford it. People who are gender neutral and would try these designs miss this opportunity if they cannot buy them due to their financial status. Such limitations have made unisex clothing less famous in the fashion world.
Another major reason is that consumerism is slowly reaching the younger population. The children aged between three and four years have become more gender conscious and realize its permanence until they reach the age of six to seven. Evidently, advertising has a great effect on their choice, and they tend to think that the feature defining a man is his masculinity, from the muscles to broad chest and shoulders. The distinguishing features of a woman are long hair and a curvy body. According to Paoletti, such identifications, when enforced at the young age, are not useful for the children. Loss of unisex clothing is a fact that people need to consider more carefully.
If fashion requires a forward motion, its industry should make a sound decision in order to satisfy the needs of the changing society and the given group of people. It is necessary to acknowledge the increasing number of individuals, who do not conform to any gender by incorporating unisex clothing and providing equal chances for non-binary gendered people in the market. The society causes pressure on self-expression of the certain individuals, which has led to the evolved modes of identity (Luckett, 2016). There is need to find a balance between feminine and masculine attire and ensure that people are more expressive regarding the issues of clothing. People need to be more fashion literate and accept the ever-changing world of fashion. With the increased importance for self-expression in the society, there is the need for new modes of identity. Males and females are not the only existing genders as there are many people born with sex chromosome abnormalities annually. Due to the current relationship between clothing and expression, sex and clothing, it will be creative if fashion trends consider these genders. The dress can also help translate the person’s identity into the societal role, which relates to the members of the corresponding community. The society is adapting to the various tasks fulfilled by the individual, and it is necessary to develop fashion in this direction.
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Style is aimed at reflecting individual’s social platforms and any cultural changes. Gender roles are changing, and it is important that fashion allows different individuals to express these recent roles. The need for balance between male and female fashion will enable people to express themselves better due to their clothing. If unisex clothes become popular, the dress may eventually surpass gender norms, creating possibility for dissolution of societal gender expectations. Appearance plays a significant role in people’s perception of others. If fashion rises above gender constructs, people will not create separate groups in the society, depending on their gender. Addressing the increasing population of gender non-conforming people will be a huge step in the fashion world. It will push the community to the new era of sex equality and impartiality. Finally, unisex clothing will become a real trend in the fashion world.?