Until the mid 19th century in the west, clothes were distinctly gendered and items such as trousers were to be worn only by men. Victorian dress reformers in Britain protesting restrictive corsets and female suffragettes in the US campaigning for the right to vote began to were trousers, and later suits, as a means of co-opting and resisting the patriarchy, challenging gender norms and ultimately enacting progressive social change. The rise of unisex fashion today can be directly linked to these historical social movements and highlight the important role that fashion and clothing can play in advancing society.
At U.Mi-1, we believe in uniting different cultures and people across the world through fashion and the introduction of unisex clothing into our collection reflects our desire to make the world a more inclusive place.
Global culture is changing and slowly becoming more inclusive. This shift has resulted in the rise of unisex fashion brands and gender-neutral clothes. Fashion brands are now designing clothes for people regardless of sex, gender. We explore unisex fashion in this blog post and how U.Mi-1 is designing towards this future.
- Unisex fashion is an important part of society’s growth and progress.
- Brands, celebrities, and fashion institutions are welcoming this change.
- Unisex fashion allows customers a new way of expressing their identity.
Consumers’ desire for unisex fashion has urged stores to re-evaluate their shopping experiences. John Lewis removed ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ tags in their children’s section to accommodate a single space where shopping is determined by fit. In 2015, Selfridges launched an ‘Agender’ concept which took up three floors in its stores. Other retailers are rethinking their online and physical store layouts in order to be in touch with modern consumers. From luxury brands like Gucci to fast-fashion brands like Asos, department stores to independent boutiques, the fashion industry is embracing this wave of change towards gender norms.
Celebrities are also helping to push the envelope, English pop singer Sam Smith, ‘Flash’ actor Ezra Miller and “Orange Is The New Black’ star Ruby Rose all identify as genderfluid or non-binary, challenging popular ideas of masculinity today. Popular youtubers such as Jeffree Star and James Charles also challenge conventional standards of masculinity and beauty through the use of makeup, an item commonly seen as feminine.
In a world where more people believe in equality and identify across an array of spectrums, unisex clothing can be an important tool in representing your identity. The production of clothes that conform only to male or female, fails to include people who may identify outside of these norms. The ability to dress in a manner that best expresses yourself is ultimately a freedom and liberty that U.Mi-1 clothes and unisex fashion allow.
U.Mi-1 views unisex fashion as a way to innovate in design, allowing us to communicate the collection’s vision through a single customer without conforming to conventional standards of masculinity or femininity. At U.Mi-1, this also means that we can spend more time and attention on designing one perfect shirt rather than designing 10 different shirts – See our range of unisex shirts here.
People might view unisex fashion as just another fad: The viral Romphim trend is an instance of men testing the waters in rompers, clothing that was traditionally associated with feminity. Unisex clothing has also not found much of its footing in more socially conservative countries like Nigeria where people who identify outside the accepted norms of binary genders such as non-binary or gender fluid are not recognised in society. Pushing these boundaries through unisex clothing creates pushback from society at large, however, younger, more socially aware fashion brands are championing such causes. At U.Mi-1 we believe gender equality is an important part of the overarching cultural world change happening now and we are committed to creating fashion that can help better society.
The current trend veers towards utilitarian clothing, and either men in women’s clothes or women in men’s clothes. We believe the future of unisex fashion will see designers creating looks based on a non-binary aesthetically pleasing ideal. The consistency of designers creating unisex outfits will be the biggest influence in fostering acceptance and room for brilliant innovation. As the styles develop in intricacy and diversity, unisex clothing will not only cement its status in fashion but also make the world inclusive of different lifestyles