Fashion is often seen as a way for people to express themselves, whether they want to communicate a certain message or they want to convey a certain attitude. From the moment we are born we are pushed towards the idea of girls wearing pink or boys wearing blue, but now in 2022 we are seeing more gender fluidity with the pieces that people wear, and also more people wearing what makes them comfortable - at the end of the day, fashion is subjective.
This new era of fashion breaks boundaries that have been widely accepted for centuries through the depiction of gendered fashion roles in the imagery we see around us every day. From adverts on television to ones at bus stops, we mostly observe classic gendered outfits, not daring to be more inclusive of the styles and movements of the last few years. Saying this there are still many people breaking gendered fashion and opting for a more fluid response to fashion, wearing what they want whenever they want. I have gathered five people who are paving the way in breaking gendered fashion ‘rules’.
Five people breaking fashion 'rules'
Widely seen as a fashion icon with his bold and outgoing clothing, in recent years he has not been afraid to ‘break the rules'. He wears a range of different clothing; some conform to said gender roles, yet some strive to challenge them. For example, he is often seen wearing dresses, blouses, high waisted trousers paired with either boots or high heels, and with manicured nails.
Known for their eye-catching and striking fashion, Billy’s outfits don't shy away from publicity when he walks on the red carpet. From elegant gowns, feather tails or bright pink capes, Billy sure does stray from gender fashion rules and expresses his personality through the way he dresses.
The non-binary singer expresses their personality through their clothes in which they wear what they want to, with pieces such as glittered suits, bold eye makeup, lace tops, skirts and much more. Some of their stand out outfits come from the Attitude awards in which he wore a lace green trouser set with a matching kimono, a progressive statement to all around them.
Prince and David Bowie
Both fashion icons of their time, they paved the way for what we perceive as gender-neutral fashion in the modern world. Throughout the 70s they wore statement fashion pieces that previously had not been worn before by man, which created shockwaves amongst people. Some praised their bold clothing, but as is often the case some people were also rather opposed to change. Despite this, it can definitely be said that their influence has been passed on to the next generations and has shaped the way people dress to this day.
In 2019 at the Met Gala, Michael wowed the carpet with his outfit, with one half being a dress and the other half being a suit. The outfits were paired with contrasting makeup and facial hair in which on the dress side he had a beard and on the suit side, he had a face full of makeup.
Brands opting for gender neutrality
With recent changes in public sentiments and viewpoints, some brands have now joined in the efforts of paving the way for the future. Examples of high fashion brands which are doing this include the likes of Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace and Gucci. However, some more budget-friendly options are Asos, which offers unisex clothing which provides a range of different inclusive clothing in all sizes for all genders, as well as Zara, which launched an ungendered collection back in 2016. However, this handful of brands is just the beginning. There are not many other well known global brands that are engaging with this movement, so it is definitely hoped that more will follow suit in opting for a more neutral palette of clothing for any consumer.
I think fashion is a way for people to enjoy what they want, and express what they want on a more personal level, so who’s stopping you? You wear that crop top. You paint your nails. You wear that dress. Whether you want to wear a suit to work rather than a dress, go for it! Let's break those gendered stereotypes, and embrace the people we really want to be.