The Birth Of Unisex Clothing
Today we hear of terms like gender fluidity and some celebrities such as Jaden Smith (Will Smith and Jada Pinkett’s son) is known to raise eyebrows with his choice of unisex clothing. The question remains, where and when did unisex clothing stem from?
Why did people see the need to create clothing that can be worn both by the male and female? We take a trip memory lane to know exactly where this phenomenon claims its roots.
The Roles Given To The Men and Women Of World War Two
During the Second World War, gender roles were introduced for infiltrating the enemy by the military.
The Allied forces were able to trick German soldiers into capturing them by dressing up as English and Polish night workers looking to make a buck during the war. They would lure the lust-stricken soldiers into alleyways where Allied forces would waylay them.
Back home, mothers who were left to tend to the children would often wear their husbands’ clothing to show the kids who the boss is when they stepped out of line because their fathers were fighting the war.
During the war and after the war, many designers started creating clothing that would pass for both men and women.
Enter the Second-Wave Feminism and Sexual Revolution of the 1960s
The 1960s hippie era led to the revolution of social, political and sexual mores. Women came out to demand more rights toppling over the traditional gender roles.
More women started wearing pants to rallies, parties, church and even work as a protest that they needed equal rights.
The 1960s saw designers introduce new clothing for the youth of the day bringing universality in their dressing.
Unisex was a word coined to represent multifaceted freedom. Unisex’s role in dismantling old-fashioned ways and traditional hierarchies made it a huge fashion driving force.
The Highs and Lows of Unisex Clothing
Unisex clothing contributes towards clarity about gender. It helped both men and women wear the style they wanted without worrying about how the society would perceive them.
The initial concept of unisex clothing was to blur differences between male and female, but it’s rise made gender differences more prudent. Clothes such as tight turtlenecks ended up highlighting the wearer’s sex and didn’t make women lose their femininity.
Again homosexuality which was still perceived as sin saw many men shun away from unisex clothing because they didn’t want to be labeled as gay.
Within a decade unisex clothing faded off, and slowly men and women started wearing clothing made for their gender.
Unisex Clothing in The 21st Century
As many countries in the western world have embraced LGBT and people have a right to wear what they feel, unisex clothing has come back although trendier.
Women’s Flannel shirts are trending, and more men are wearing unisex clothing matching colours and styles fitting the modern society.
With society constantly marrying the old and the new to create a unique look, many men and women match different gender clothing attire today because society doesn’t judge but rather appreciates different looks.
Unisex clothing fashion is here to stay for the next couple of decades it seems.
Image from https://www.parlourx.com/