Fashion that Goes beyond Gendered Area

Fashion has been intertwined with all our cultures, across the world, since time immemorial. As Wikipedia puts is,

 “Fashion is a form of self-expression and autonomy at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body posture.” 

I spend a significant amount of time looking for apparel and accessories that suit my preference and go well with the vibe I want to create, both online and in real life.Clothes aren’t just to robe my body, but also a way in which I express myself. No matter how casual the occasion may be, I like to be prim and proper.

All the thought that goes into my OOTD makes me wonder- do clothes have some pre-assigned gender, or are we just accustomed to the assigned gender of clothing that we learnt from our elders? Standing in the middle of a mall, I once questioned, “what if I wore those shirts from the men’s section?” Since then, I’ve never seen the fashion industry in the same light again. 

People should dress in whatever makes them feel good. transcends the binary gender boxes we mostly segregate them into. However, we often fail to look past this basic etiquette of respecting others’ individuality and cross lines. Fishnets, crop tops can be worn by all genders, so can be dresses and high heels. This is completely my take on fashion, I would appreciate it if people were clad in attires that make them feel good about themselves, without having to think about the popular opinions. 

Some fine people who have broken the stereotypes of gendered clothing are Kurt Cobain (wore dresses), Harry Styles(wore dresses and other articles that are separated under the feminine category), BTS (wore fishnets, wrap skirts, meshes, heels, and other articles), to name a few.

To back my argument, I would like to take you back to the past, because, Carl Jung said most of the answers to our questions lie in our history, and inside us. 

Let’s start with skirts and dresses, some of the most ancient of all clothing, Romans, Greeks, Aztecs wore them regardless of gender because of the freedom of movement skirts provided, civilians wore them while farming, fighting (short skirts), building, and any other form of activity, except horse-riding, which required some form of trousers. Skirts have been a part of fashion wear among European men through the medieval and renaissance era for a long time until trousers were considered a better option for men. 

Footwear is just as non-gendered, toos. High heels are considered to be as feminine as apparel can be. The truth is, high heel shoes were originally meant to be worn by men. Persian soldiers initially wore heels in the 10th century to elevate their feet and be stable while they shot arrows, later Persian riders started wearing heels to signify wealth and social status. The trend was then adopted in England, so appreciated that a law was passed in 1670 saying that only nobility could wear heels, the higher and redder the heels were, the stronger the noble was in the society. Kings wore red and high-heeled shoes back then, along with his subjects in court. However, flashy men’s clothing had been given up vastly by the end of the 17th century. 

Persian heels 

As we can see, the trend of dressing up according to gender can not be set in stone because, at some point in time, men have worn what women wear now, and viz-a-viz. Perhaps as a part of society, we should try to respect others’ feelings and not be critical about what they want to do. People of every gender have the right to express themselves in whatever way they desire to, and they should not feel restricted in doing so. 

Lastly, Gianni Versace said and, I quote, “Don’t be into trends. Don’t let fashion dictate the terms, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” 

-Rasheeka Varney

FY BSc. Economics

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