Is Clothing Genderless?

Living in 2020 is unlike living during any other time in human history. One of the most distinct byproducts of this year is the fashion that has emerged in response to people not going out as much. Traditionally, fashion has often stereotyped gender. There are usually “men’s clothing” and “women’s clothing,” however, this dichotomy has recently become less divided. In this article, we break down the belief that clothing is associated with gender and try to understand if 2020 has made clothes more genderless.

For most of us, clothing has always been allocated a gender. Men wear the clothing they find in the men’s section of the store, and women wear clothes from the women’s section. However, as society continues to evolve and be influenced by communities such as the LGBQT, our understanding of gender has shifted. During the midst of the Stay-at-Home order, Instagram was flooded with pictures of quarantine outfits. These outfits consisted mainly of sweatpants, hoodies, t-shirts, and other comfortable clothing. As we transitioned into summer, the outfits shifted from loungewear to summer wear. Summer outfits come in several different forms and flavors, but a majority consist of shorts, t-shirts, and accessories such as hats and bags. When we think about some of these clothing items, most of them have become genderless.

Take a moment to think about an individual wearing a hoodie. What gender are they? Does the hoodie have a gender-neutral style? What about something like a t-shirt? What do you picture? We would argue that clothing, particularly streetwear, is almost always genderless. Whether it is mesh shorts or vintage t-shirts, these articles of clothing are moving further away from the idea that men and women dress differently.

The reason why this has taken place, in our eyes, is because clothing has become more about comfort and functionality. We are living in an era where both men and women want to not only live their lives as professionals of their said profession, but also want to feel comfortable from a lifestyle standpoint and a style standpoint. Long gone are the days of non-self expression in the workplace or anywhere else. Most people living today use clothing as a way to express something about themselves while maintaining comfort. The answer to the question “Is clothing genderless?” is not a definite yes, but it has proven to be in many ways, and we believe that gender-neutral clothing is the future of fashion.

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