Gender fluidity seeps into fashion


Ashley Hoang, Feature Editor

From wearing a skirt with a tuxedo top to prom to sporting a floral dress to music festival Coachella, actor and music artist Jaden Smith challenges gender stereotypes in fashion.

Just weeks into the new year, Louis Vuitton launched an ad featuring Smith going against the most prominent gendered-fashion stereotype: women being the only ones allowed to wear skirts and dresses.

In the ad, Smith is seen wearing pieces from a fashion show in Paris for the womenswear campaign. Smith posed with female models, all of whom were wearing various styles of skirts and dresses.

Smith is known for his protests on social media against social norms such as heteronormativity and gendered-clothing.

“Went to TopShop to Buy Some Girl Clothes, I Mean ‘Clothes,’” Smith captioned for one of his Instagram posts.

Because womenswear tends to be more figure-shaping and constricted, some females opt to shop at the men’s sections for their clothing.

Senior Ashley Doucette prefers cargos and tees over typically more feminine clothing.

“[Men’s clothing] is just more comfortable,” Doucette said. “Sometimes [people] would say that I look like a boy… my mom sometimes doesn’t want me to dress like that, but I brush it off since it’s what I want to wear.”

It may be more common for women to shop in the men’s sections, although menswear tends to be with limited on its unisex options.

“It is more often accepted for women to be wearing clothes that resembles that of men’s fashion,” senior Ashley Donato said. “A lot of time people find it cute when a girl wears a flannel, but if a man wears more feminine-looking clothing they’re sort of given a strange look.”

While differences between the two types of clothing are still evident, popular clothing stores such as American Eagle, Hollister, and H&M share similarities in their style and fit for men’s and women’s clothing despite having separate sections for each.

Bear Creek’s fashion club supports the diversity of all genders to work together for a fashion piece, whether it be men, women or unisex.

“There’s a huge range of fashion styles in our club,” vice president Nicole Gress said. “We have a lot of male members working together on dresses and other women’s apparel.”

On a larger spectrum, celebrities too are upholding the trend of genderless fashion.

In the late fall of 2015, television host Ellen DeGeneres launched her new fashion line ED at Bergdorf Goodman stores and online.

The clothing line features gender-neutral clothing for both men and women, putting an emphasis on comfort and versatility rather than gender.

“[In the beginning] I was not dressing for me and my own comfort,” DeGeneres said in her Harper’s Bazaar cover article on her new fashion line. “Everyone should be able to express themselves and dress the way they want to dress … so I found that I should start dressing how I feel.”

Whether it’s through male and female models sporting the same dress in an ad or a shopper simply buying a sweater without looking at the section it was sold in, genderless fashion opens a new door of opportunity and change for the fashion world.

“Fashion is a way for people to express themselves,” Gress said. “You should be able to shop where you want to and be yourself.”