"unisex?" - clothing and gender
Maybe I’ve been watching too much sex and the city, but “then I got to thinking” is making unisex clothing but in traditionally male silhouettes for both men and women, ground breaking? When my mother was pregnant my sister, she wore a maternity dress, and I as a little gay boy, wanted her to make me one so I could wear one too. Thankfully, she did. In kindergarten I remember wearing barrettes in my hair, my favorite pair of shoes were mary janes. I had little girl’s strappy sketcher platform sandals. I wanted to use the girl’s restroom, and not understanding why we were separated so much by sex. Was I being revolutionary, or were my parents not constraining me to the confines of gender.
Now as a cis gay man designing clothes for men and women, I have to say that even with a freer childhood my brain is sometimes caged by societal standards of masculine and feminine, of a binary system that is forced upon us.
Even the term unisex to me seems passé as we are now in an age of a myriad of gender identities and expression. I am leaning towards “genderfree”; clothes not constrained or attached to any gender.
Making "traditionally boy clothes" and saying that women can wear them is starting to feel obvious and lazy. Making egalitarian clothing that fits a myriad of bodies and gender identifies requires actual design and thought (women are already wearing the pants). Thinking about the end use of the clothing, the feeling of wearing it, and the perception of gender stereotypes is a lot to think about when designing, almost burdensome, but until we as society can break down these barriers and have it be perceived as mundane, there is a lot of designing and thinking to be done, especially by me, and then I’m like, “I wanna make a dress that combats this?” Maybe I should wear a dress to combat this.