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uni.

December 5, 2010

As in unisex. There’s this store that’s attempting to have a unisex collection of kids clothing. They haven’t completely gotten rid of the separate boys and girls sections, but they have made a separate “uni” section as well. Can they get some applause for recognizing that little boys and girls aren’t all that different? And babies – let’s be honest, it’s hard to tell if they’re not dressed in the stereotypical boy/girl color.

But if you look really closely, do you notice that all the unisex clothes are actually stereotypically boy clothes? Looking at any single item in the unisex collection, I would automatically think I was looking at the little boys section. Not that I would expect to see pink and ruffles and bows somehow integrated into male clothing. But unisex seems to mean solid primary colors or stripes. Except it’s still pretty masculine. Even this top, that’s described as paisley. Good try – that’s not paisley because no boy would wear paisley. Why is there a lack of polka dots? Why is there a lack of pastels or really anything other than “bright”? Why is there a lack of any sort of print of stars or dogs? It seems that girls can wear boys’ clothes, but boys cannot wear anything remotely feminine.

And yet weirdly, as of recently, it kind of flips when you hit the teenage years. Let’s take a look at hipster fashion – which I guess is almost too common to be called out specifically anymore. Females wearing flannel and thermal. Males wearing skinny jeans and fitted everything. Even the androgynous ironic/vintage/indie band T-shirts tend to look slightly more feminine than masculine. Even accessories – ties, shoes, sunglasses – who can tell if it’s made for girls or boys? But this gender neutral fashion sense is completely in line with the main point of hipsters – to “rebel” against the mainstream. It doesn’t make the clothes any less gendered. It makes you look at the person and think “they’re trying to break boundaries but they just look like they shopped in the wrong section”.

What do you think – can clothing ever be gender neutral?

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13 comments

  1. […] could convey things in one line, I wouldn’t need a blog. « death with dignity. uni. » pixar girls. December 5, […]


  2. Short answer: no.

    Long answer: If what was masculine became something women wore all the time, it would become what is feminine.

    Better answer: Whenever we start dressing like we were in Star Trek.

    My answer: Why would you want gender neutral clothes?


    • Star Trek outfits are perfect: primary colors = masculine, catsuit = feminine. It’s all about the balance.

      I think the reasoning behind gender neutral clothes (especially for children) is the same reason parents don’t want to buy their little girls only dolls instead of toy cars or select only pink and purple colored items. They don’t want to push their children into society’s stereotypes.


      • Oh, right. I forgot we were talking about gender neutral clothing for kids. I was thinking about how much I liked women’s clothing on women when I asked “Why…?”


  3. Getting gender-neutral clothes is like buying fat-free yogurt: it takes flavor out of life.

    Expanding on the same note: those “PLUS” sizes *are* gender neutral.


    • As far as fat-free things go, fat-free yogurt is actually still pretty good.

      But really, gender neutral clothes doesn’t mean they look terrible. You can totally have cute t-shirts to add flavor. It’s just weird that they wouldn’t throw in anything even remotely feminine.


  4. I think so! http://shirt.woot.com/reckoning/


    • What girl buys shirts off Woot? Despite having cutesy designs, I think Woot falls directly into the masculine side of things. And strictly design-wise, they fall into the hipster category, where the feminine is becoming hip for males.


      • Hey, I have a Woot shirt! It is the most feminine one in the list, to be fair (it is Fresh Cake, which I would laugh if I saw a dude wearing it) and the cut of the shirt is for girls too


      • So doesn’t the cut automatically make it not unisex? Males can’t wear female cut shirts.


  5. justin timberlake has been working very hard for years to make pastels not only masculine, but also damn sexy. this reminds me of the point that mom brought up when people had a problem with her son dressing up as daphne for halloween – girls can dress up as boys and it’s fine, but when boys cross that line into femininity, something is seriously wrong. Maybe they have to grow up, prove that they’re not gay, and then they can dress like girls, but if they start too young, it could corrupt them.


    • OH, I like the connection to that article. But yes, it’s a weird double standard. Everyone comments on girls needing to be so concerned about their looks and yet, it would seem that men are actually judged more if they try to step out of the “normal” boundary.


  6. […] Inky Eagle If I could convey things in one line, I wouldn’t need a blog. « uni. pixar girls. December 8, […]



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