Unisex – what’s all that about?
(especially of clothing or hairstyles) designed to be suitable for both sexes.
a style in which men and women look and dress in a similar way.
We’ve all seen it and we’ve all done it. Whether consciously or not, it’s pretty much impossible to stray away from dressing ‘unisex’. Whether it’s as simple as a girl wearing trousers, or a suit jacket, or a guy in a tight tee and tiny skinnies, fashions which in the past have been associated with specific genders are being increasingly donned by the ‘opposite‘.
As ever fashion keeps up with the cultural zeitgeist and designers across the board are pulling inspiration from the happenings around us where it’s become not merely the norm, but damn cool to go unisex.
Let’s take a little look at its history.
Often termed ‘androgyny’, people the world over have hailed David Bowie as the man who brought this phenomenon from the underground to the mainstream, with the creation of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust alongside his 1972 album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars’.
But these boundaries were in fact blurred way earlier, with women in the 1930s bringing the skirt-pant to the red carpet. In the 50s, Liberace gained a reputation for playing his sets dressed as the queen of France. And looking ahead to the 60s, it became the rage for women to dress like fresh faced boys, and for men to embrace bright colours and more extreme cuts. In terms of style, unsex has been around for decades, with each step often reflecting the feel of the time.
Leaping even further forward, to the here and now, we have brilliant retired boxers embracing their trans identities, fantastic bearded ladies winning Eurovision, and pop-icons standing up for feminism. There has never been a better, more exciting time, culturally, to blur these gender boundaries – and naturally fashion follows suit.