Unisex clothing: hype or permanent change in the fashion world?

It seems that gender-neutral fashion is on the rise. Unisex brands like Mushroom have emerged and existing brands are also involved. shiny fashion Lovecell I saw a surprising number of clothes that both men and women wore on the catwalk last year, from suits to sweaters and bags. Research conducted by the fashion magazine showed that this trend was met with enthusiasm among readers.

There are now many brands that have their own unisex line. From adidas to G-Star: they all have their own clothing line. By the way, both terms are used gender-neutral and both genders. Unisex is nothing new (just Google unisex costumes from the 60’s and 70’s and you’ll find the cutest collections). Women in men’s clothing (Marlene Dietrich), men in women’s clothing (the famous skirts of Jean Paul Gaultier) or the feminine look (Ziggy Stardust) are not entirely new.

What it really is today: With gender-neutral clothing, according to some fashion experts, gender no longer matters and what was originally for men or women is fading away. Or, as online fashion store Zalando put it: “Don’t complain about boxes, unisex fashion is for everyone.” Is this non-sexual fashion a trend? Or is it more than that? Journalist Paula Farkamp spoke to several fashion experts about the development. “I think this trend is making our world more open.”

Bonne Reijn, founder of Bonne Suits

Bonne started his own clothing brand 7 years ago, with which he wants to make a statement against the gender divide in the fashion world.

Boone was seventeen years old when he got his first job in a clothing store. Since then, he has been in love with the fashion world. At least, on the beautiful and creative side of it. “I loved my job, but also discovered more and more things that I felt were wrong. Overproduction, for example. Or the fact that a certain piece of clothing would only be for a certain gender.”

statement – statement

It is with this philosophy that he founded his own clothing brand seven years ago. “I want to make a statement against the gender division within the clothing world. I also want to do something against it fast fashion: a big problem in our industry. The Bonne Suits collection therefore consists only of one suit, with the idea that this suit is for everyone and for every occasion, regardless of gender, size or age. “

Although the unisex trend is more present than ever these days, according to Boone, it’s not new. “Ten years ago, girls would regularly wear their boyfriend’s jackets. In principle, this is the same as what is happening now.”

Bonne finds it interesting to see that more and more major brands are joining the gender-neutral trend. “I know some big brands only do it from a commercial point of view hot he is. Well, it can’t hurt me. I think this trend is making our world more open. If the big brands also want to pay attention to that, I think that’s great.”

“Because,” says Bonne, “the more people who join, the better. If Uniqlo or Zara wants to make gender-neutral clothing, I see it as a win-win for all people who don’t want to identify with a particular gender..we should get rid of labels Men’s or women’s clothing..because who cares?

How does Boone envision the future of his brand? “I think unisex clothing is more than a trend. It’s a movement. A social change. Although our suits are originally designed for men, the majority of my customers are women. That’s because I don’t associate gender with it. You wear it because you like it, not because it’s customized.” To someone “.

Boone thinks it’s a great compliment that men and women alike love to buy his suits. “Recently, there was a girl in the store who, after trying several suits, came home with a successful purchase. A few days later she came back and brought her boyfriend, who wanted to buy the same suit as her. I see this as complete satisfaction.”

Jolle van der Mast, Unrecorded Co-Founder

Jolle doesn’t want to differentiate between men and women with his clothing label. Thus, the entire collection is genderless, both online and in the store.

Five years ago, Jolle van der Mast and partner Daniel Archutowski started the unregistered clothing brand. “We wanted to make good products with natural materials and not exclude anyone. While developing our plans, the topic of gender quickly came up. We immediately agreed that gender shouldn’t play a role in clothing, as long as everyone could. We started with a basic jacket and T-shirt and then expanded the range” .

“During the design process, we kept asking ourselves if both men and women could wear it, and if so: How? For example, we also thought about a denim dress, but eventually decided not to. In the women’s corner and perhaps unknowingly exclude your men from Your brand.

Diverse visitors

Everything in their physical store is also unisex. “We don’t have a men’s or women’s section,” says Jules, noting that visitors to the store are very diverse. “Come gentlemen who buy a particular jacket, and then that same jacket is bought by a young creative woman, but then she buys it oversized. This confirms that our clothing is not for a single target group.”

According to Jolle, it is not new for women to wear men’s clothes and vice versa. “Just look at the 1930s. Back then, women were already wearing masculine clothes, but they dressed in their own way. Clothes are an extension of who you are and who you are. A way to express yourself. We’ve been playing with this for years, although this has grown in trend In the last years “.

“I know guys who regularly go to the women’s department while shopping. Then they buy a women’s T-shirt or T-shirt or jacket a size up. I also sometimes buy women’s pants because the fit was better.”

Focus on trends

According to Jolle, it can be a business move to name your brand “gender neutral.” “It’s just a trend. Big brands in particular are benefiting from this. Take Zalando as an example: He simply looks at what is happening in the world and responds intelligently to it. Fortunately, many brands are still original, and brands who make their collections based on their philosophy own, rather than just following directions.”

Despite the fact that Urecorded’s claims are unisex, the titles “Men” and “Women” are on the site. “It seems like we discriminate with this, but we’re not. Depending on which category you click on, you’ll find the same products. The reason we do this is because we provide more visibility to our site visitors.”

“Previously, we’ve overlooked those mugs and taken pictures of our products with male and female models, but soon discovered that this means that women only buy products with a woman in the picture and men only buy clothes with male models. Not the intention.”

For this reason, Jules and Daniel chose to shoot all the products for both men and women, thus including these two cups as well. “In the end, the products are exactly the same, but designed in a different way and with a different model. Somehow, if people see a certain item of clothing of a different gender, they are less likely to buy it.”

What does the expert say?

Akke Marije van der Werf is a fashion designer and personal shopper. She has been studying the latest developments in clothing and fashion for the past seventeen years. You also see that the trend of gender-neutral clothing is increasing. “From my point of view, non-gender is the same for unisex. So, I am increasingly asking if I can help someone with a gender-neutral or gender-neutral solution. Think of a mother looking for something for her daughter — who is looking for what she wants to shine and who she is — or An adult feels man and woman.”

“Some people just don’t want to dress up because they were born as a woman, or wear a suit because they’re men. They want something gender-neutral and that’s their right. I always look at someone’s life, age, and body shape. What does someone need and what is that person’s standing for?” Sex has nothing to do with it.

Next spring trends

The designer notes that people have recently dared to be more vulnerable when it comes to clothing choices. “There’s more interest in ‘being able to be yourself’. In magazines and newspapers, but also on TV. And that’s also increasing the demand for gender-neutral groups, I think. The same goes for sustainable wardrobe. People are becoming more and more conscious. everything and thinking more about what they want and why.”

Next spring, Akke Marije predicts that there are five gender-neutral clothing items that we’ll definitely see. “A midi skirt, an oversized cardigan, a knitted cardigan, a tie blouse, and a tank top are items that are becoming more and more popular in fashion for both men and women. The tank top has always been gender-neutral, but the knit sweater, for example, is in The original is a masculine piece. It’s nice to see women wearing this more and more.”

The beginning of something much bigger

Akke Marije especially likes to see that brands are paying more and more attention to making their collections unisex. “I think it’s just the beginning of something that’s going to get bigger. The offer is growing and it’s going to continue for a while. Next year we might be talking about ten gender-neutral outfits instead of five and I’m willing to bet there are a lot of Dutch unisex brands out there.”

“I especially like that this trend allows everyone to be what they want. When I look back at the time when I was young, some girls and boys didn’t want to stand out that much. The fear of being left out was great. That has changed. Is a man now wearing a dress? Feminine or vice versa? Then he is unlikely to be surprised. As long as it suits you – and it suits you, it does not matter at all whether it was originally intended for men or women. ”

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