Gender in Fashion


These are some examples of gender neutral clothing that people have been talking about.

Lancy Shi, Photojournalist

Recently, Target announced that they will be releasing gender neutral clothing instead of gendering all of their products. Essentially, there will be a male, female, and a separate section for non-gender specific clothing. This has sparked a lot of discussions within the fashion community about how gender influences fashion choices. Mainly because, for a long time, the LGBT community has been spreading the idea that gender is a spectrum and that no one should judge people’s fashion choices based on what gender they identify as. Throughout the years, more and more people have been gender neutralizing everything including fashion, while others frown upon it saying that there should be a clear line between male and female.

Actually, the whole topic of gender is a debate in itself. There are many people in this world who believe there are only two genders, and nothing can change that fact. The traditional belief is that men and women should act according to their gender stereotypes and roles. For example, women should stay home, do womanly chores, and dress up. The phrases “like a lady” and “like a man” have been used by so many parents to discipline their kids about their behaviors. On the other hand, people argue that everyone is free to do whatever they want without their gender dictating that. Additionally, they believe that there are infinite genders, meaning anyone in between male and female can act however they want without thinking about gender stereotypes. 

As for the topic of fashion, some people believe traditional clothing beliefs. For example, a man should only wear “manly” clothes and a woman should only wear feminine clothes. To our generation, though, this idea is old fashioned (no pun intended), and people are becoming more and more carefree with what they wear. Even if someone is cisgender, meaning they identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, they still don’t pay much attention to the traditional rules of “dressing as your gender” anymore. For example last year, Harry Styles wore a dress on the cover of Vogue, and many people called that a step in the right direction as Styles was very clearly breaking the traditional fashion rules for men. Candace Owens, an American author and activist, however, disagreed and trended the hashtag “bring back manly men.” This shows that even though there are still a lot of debates and disagreements about this specific topic within fashion, there is no denying that times are quickly changing. To quote a Harry Styles lyric, “it’s the sign of the times”. If you look around, there is a noticeable trend amongst the Gen Zs wearing baggy clothing that doesn’t show the clear features of their bodies. Some may consider this “gender neutral”, although there are many other examples of gender neutral clothing that we may potentially see in more and more clothing stores. Selah Kim (11) states her opinion that “your gender should not determine your clothing choices.” Essentially, she agrees with this idea that people should be free to wear whatever they want no matter what gender they identify as.

Ultimately, no matter what opinions people might have, there is no doubt that fashion is becoming less and less gender focused. Among YLHS students, many are making their own statements about fashion and gender based on what they wear to school everyday. Whether or not you think this change is a step in the right direction, most people probably agree that at the end of the day, fashion is not the most important thing in the world. What is more important is that we respect everyone’s fashion choices and opinions without using hate speech or judging them. Hopefully, we will see more and more friendly discussions about fashion throughout the school, and maybe we can even do a fashion related dress up spirit week.