These Clothing Brands Say ‘Boy, Bye’ To The Gender Binary
Androgynous collections for kids and adults are on the rise.
For too long, fashion has been all about stereotypes. Girls wear pink; boys wear blue. Women wear dresses; men wear pants. The industry reflected the narrow definitions of gender that society has upheld for thousands of years.
But fashion lives within us; it can’t be confined to outdated categories in a world where very few of us identify as exclusively masculine or feminine. As the legendary French designer Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. [It] has to do with ideas [and] the way we live.”
Here are eight gender-neutral clothing brands to keep an eye on.
1. Guess – His & Hers
The US clothing brand Guess, which is perhaps best known for its denim-wear, recently released its first-ever unisex line, which is somewhat oddly called “His & Hers.” As Nylon points out, the line combines traditionally feminine elements (like luxe fabrics) with things that are more traditionally masculine (like biker jackets and overcoats). Prices start as low as $59.
2. Madison Paige and Photo/Genics Media – Co-Op Collection
Gender-neutral model, musician and Instagram star Madison Paige worked with with Los Angeles fashion agency Photo/Genics Media to create a unisex clothing line. The collection, which is partly inspired by Paige’s tattoos, includes oversized tees, a old-school “snapback” hat and a handy lighter necklace.
“A lot of people think that being gender fluid means that you’re trying… to label yourself as another category, but the whole point is to try and rid yourself of labels,” Paige told Nylon in June. “Coming to terms with and getting more comfortable with myself has been a huge part of the whole collaboration.”
3. Gardner and the Gang ? Jaime King Collection
Gender-neutral clothing for kids is obviously a great idea. Why not teach kids early on that they aren’t expected to conform to restrictive gender binaries? Gardner and the Gang, a children’s clothing retailer, partnered with the actress, model and activist Jaime King to make it a reality.
The duo called their resulting clothing line “Gardner and the Gang ? Jaime King Collection.” The line is full of fun prints (with lots of adorable animal patterns) and creative colors, including liberal combinations of pink and blue that help bust up those inflexible gender norms.
You can see the line here.
The Los Angeles clothing brand 69 has some of the hippest gender-fluid clothing out there. The brand’s gender philosophy is so legit that the anonymous designer told Racked in March that he or she (or “ze”?) didn’t want to be named publicly order to “embody the idea of a genderless non-demographic brand.”
69’s politically-progressive look is getting some exposure lately?—?the brand has been worn by Rihanna and Kylie Jenner. It’s a great place to start if you’re tired of wearing the same-old, same-old stuff all the time.
5. Muttonhead – Li’l Mutts
The Toronto, Canada retailer Muttonhead has been making unisex clothing for adults since 2009 and recently released a unisex line for kids, too. The androgynous children’s line is called Li’l Mutts, and every single piece in the collection is gender neutral, company designer Meg Sinclair told Bustle in June. The line includes beanies, sweatshirts and cute little onesies in organic colors that even the most gender-enlightened person would feel comfortable wrapping their kid in.
6. Selfridges – Agender
The UK department store Selfridges made news last year when it announced it was planning to merge its men’s and women’s departments to create an “agender” shopping experience. The jackets, sneakers, jumpsuits and more that the store now offers as part of its Agender collection aren’t all completely gender-neutral, but a glance through its catalog reveals a number of delightfully unisex get-ups.
7. FLAVNT Streetwear
The Austin, Texas-based company FLAVNT describes itself as “a clothing brand for men, women and everybody in between.” The company says its mission is to promote confidence, especially in the LGBTQ community.
But FLAVNT threads aren’t just politically-correct?—?they’re also stylish. The company offers a range of sweatshirts, T-shirts, tank tops and accessories on its website that are affordable and sophisticated. Of course, having a philanthropic mission is important: 15% of company sales go towards funding gender-confirming surgeries.
8. Butchbaby & Co.
This past fall, one of America’s only?—?if not the only?—?gender-fluid maternity lines was launched by a new company called Butchbaby & Co. The company’s goal is to create maternity (or “alternity”) clothing for gender-queer parents.
The new line features neutral colors and simple designs that gender-benders will find a welcome break from those baggy old muumuus everyone wears these days.
You can read more about them here.