Gender neutral clothing isn’t anything new, in fact was quite popular until the 1900’s when there became various shifts into which genders wore certain colours and styles.
It seems now, as people become more educated on gender (albeit still a work in progress for many!) we are seeing a resurgence in the popularity of gender-neutral clothing, not just for children, but for people of all ages.
More people are simply asking ‘why’?
Why do clothes need to be gendered (emphasis on the word need!)?
If you like an article of clothing, why can’t you just wear it without society taking note and making judgement?
The answer of course is down to the society and environment we have all grown up in.
We are constantly inundated with strict ‘societal norms’ for genders, even before birth people have gender reveal parties attributing certain colours and ideals to the new baby and these ‘ideals’ then continue and are deeply engrained into many aspects of everyday life, not just for clothing.
Take a look at these interesting facts which turn things on their head slightly:
- High heels were originally designed and worn by men, first as military riding shoes and then in Europe as a status symbol for wealthy males and aristocrats.
- Standard social convention in the 1800s in the US dictated that boys would normally wear dresses until age 6 or 7
- In 1918 the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and daintier, is prettier for the girl.”
There are many more examples of how things have changed but the main message is that nothing has ever been set in stone, society has simply made up new rules, although I am not entirely sure what these rules are based on or why.
What do we mean by ‘Gender Neutral Clothing’?
In all likelihood it probably means slightly different things to different people, but with the same core theme at heart – wear whatever you want.
In my mind, gender neutral clothing does not necessarily mean changing the clothing we have or making it plain, ill-fitting or non-descript, it means removing all labels and restrictions that say you are limited to certain choices.
It means walking into a clothing store and having everything as an option, no strict M or F labels, no pressure to conform.
Clothes can still be more typically masculine, feminine or anything in-between but we need to move away from this idea that only certain people can wear certain things – after all, what is the worst that’s going to happen if society embraced this concept?
Gender Neutral Clothing Brands
Take a look at some of these gender-neutral clothing brands to get some more inspiration, many of which also support LGBTQ+ charities with the profits they earn.
This list is a mix of brands but I wanted to mainly focus on small businesses, some of which are just starting.
Only Human do a lot of great work including cause campaigns and give back trips and to date have given over $100k back to charity.
They have a huge range of unisex clothing and we love the styles they have on offer, definitely one to take a look at!
Their mission statement is:
‘We are a community of good humans doing good things for good causes. We release a new line of apparel each month benefiting a non-profit partner. For every sale we donate 10% of gross sales to that month’s cause.’
See more over on their website.
homosapiAn is a small business based in North Wales (UK) and was set up by Katie who I (Sion) went to school with.
Their tag line is ‘let’s banish stereotypes, and respect each other.’ Which we love.
The owner is also a nurse and has been working extra hard recently but will be adding new items very soon, currently they sell on Etsy but there is also a website in the works.
Gender Free World
Recommended by homosapiAn after Katie met the very enthusiastic owner at a festival, this is another gender free clothing company based in Brighton, UK.
Their mission statement is:
‘Our shirts are designed to fit your body rather than your gender. It’s that simple. Our boxer shorts have a unique unisex design which accommodates physical differences. We care, and want you to look good and feel comfortable in a style that suits you.
Clothes for every body. Our shirts will fit. We offer 4 different body shapes to choose from. Made in London and Spain by crafts people who are paid a fair wage.’
See more over at their website.
Rebellion London Clothing
Brand new as of 2021 Rebellion London Clothing are just starting up.
There is a story behind this one. A couple of years ago I had a haircut in London and talked to the barber about our blog.
Earlier this year, the barber contact us to ask for help/advise on his own clothing range which he wants to be available for all and free from gender labels.
Of course, we agreed that this was a great idea, and seeing that he had the best intentions including giving back to charity we are more than happy to share this new brand.
Head over to their website to see their initial range.
We had to include VEXXAS since this brand is based in Manchester where we currently live!
VEXXAS describes itself as an independent gender neutral streetwear brand that produces limited runs and made to order garments.
We love that they want to produce clothes that are inclusuve and that everyone can be comfortable in. We also love that each garment is named after a key local area in Manchester – a really nice touch.
Take a look at their website for more.
Goose and Gander
Goose and Gander offer unisex collections with a huge range of apparel and accessories.
They also have a great story in their ‘About us’ section describing how Goose and Gander came to fruition.
Take a look at their latest collection.
There are many more to look out for depending on your style, however these certainly caught my eye!
Let’s hope that as time goes on, people start to calm down and simply let people wear whatever they want!
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