The barriers of fashion, both across personal wardrobes and the workplace, are being broken down as we see a rise in ‘unisex’ fashion designs. From airline uniforms relaxing their notoriously strict rules to celebrity icons who use fashion for self-expression, we are seeing an increase in diversity and inclusion across our clothing options.
Androgynous fashion has multiple benefits, whether you are interested in a fashion that pushes societal norms and promotes self-expression and diversity or one that fits you and your personality better. From increased sustainability to inclusion, changing the way we view fashion can help provide a more comfortable society.
We at Jermyn Street Design believe in the power of genderless fashion. Here, we will explore this change.
Society is shopping genderless
The barriers to gender identity are no longer as strict as they were, with a society moving towards a more accepting and inclusive time. As such, our fashion should follow suit. Fashion icons and performing artists like Jaden Smith and Harry Styles are proven high-profile front runners in the expansion of fashion outside of gender norms, which is all about advocating self-expression through clothing and avoiding the limitations of gendered designs.
Genderless fashion is on the rise, with more people looking up key terms on search engines. Agender terms have actually increased by
one-third in 2021. People are prioritising comfort and self-expression over traditional gender cuts, and it is showing. Versatile clothing is increasing, and the trend of gender-neutral fashion boomed across social media in 2020, with hashtags such as #genderfluidfashion appearing 5.7 million times on TikTok.
And the choice for clothing outside of assigned gender is increasing, with 56% of Gen Z actively searching for clothing unrelated to their gender, as found by the Phluid Project. As this new generation of adults reaches into the corporate and fashion world, the industries must grow with them.
Wardrobes and workplaces go without gender
Although usually dedicated to menswear collections, the second London Fashion Week of 2022 was designed with gender neutrality in mind. By encouraging gender-neutral fashion, self-identity and body inclusivity are increased.
As more people buy inclusive fashion, designers and brands are pushing their collections into this demand – focusing on gender-neutral ranges. Take, for example, respected designer Grace Wales Bonner, who in 2014 released the gender-free clothing label Wales Bonner.
Gender-less fashion brands are cropping up throughout the fashion industry, such as the London-based, family-founded, TooGood company. They believe their work should be accessible to everyone, and, while in their later collections, they released a range of both men-leaning and women-leaning clothing, they believe society is neither fully gendered nor gender-less, and that fashion should replicate this notion. Starting with an installation project during the 2013 London Design Festival, TooGood aimed to provide genderless, sustainable clothing. Their clothing avoided form-fitting cuts and designs to be more accessible.
Ann Dowdeswell, Commercial Director from Jermyn Street Design, said: “Our society is no longer based on gender, and our clothing shouldn’t be either. For us, it is about prioritising staff individuality. This can increase employee morale and comfort, giving your customers a better experience.
“And genderless fashion isn’t just important for the inclusivity of all, but it is also a sustainability measure. With the option to be worn by any number of staff, you will find less uniform waste, reducing your carbon footprint.”
And the changes in gender-neutral fashion aren’t exclusive to retail; businesses are also shifting their traditional behaviours when it comes to workplace clothing. Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic airlines recently announced that cabin crew, pilots, and ground staff would have the option to choose their airline uniforms, regardless of gender.
Whether for wearing on a day trip or to work, people are no longer interested in clothing specified to gender. Instead, self-expression and comfort take the forefront. From celebrities encouraging the breakdown of gender barriers and workplaces promoting self-identity, clothing no longer needs to be divided. And as more companies and celebrities speak out in favour of gender neutrality, we will see a more inclusive, diverse society.
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