Genderless fashion, and genderlesness in general has been in the news and in mainstream media a lot recently, well at least a lot more than I’ve ever seen it. From a BBC programme  experimenting with the idea of a “genderlessclassroom” to a Canadian baby registered with “no gender” in Canada making worldwide news, and celebs like Jaden smith, and wearing skirts and dresses and being 100% themselves with no apologies.

Now fashion has always been something that has pushed gender binaries more than a lot of other aspects, with androgynous fashion being a huge hit in the eighties and brands using catwalks time and time again to blur the lines of gender and fashion, but the mainstream and every day hasn’t been the same. And even in the world of high fashion though they blurred the lines a bit they were never on the same level they are now with hiring genderless models and having collections that are made for anyone of any gender.

Gender outside of the binary is nothing new, the ancient Egyptians had a third gender, as do native American cultures, and many people throughout history have lived without personally being constrained by a binary, whether in the way they dress, act, or how they identify. But it’s become a lot more known in the mainstream now, and has produced a ridiculous amount of debate.

John Lewis Recently came out with a gender neutral range of clothing for children and it caused a huge backlash with many people saying they were simply pandering to the super politically correct, forcing children to believe they don’t have a gender, and even helping to cause mental health issues. This is bizarre to me because John Lewis weren’t even saying that children didn’t have genders, I mean the clothing line was even called Boys & Girls, they were simply saying clothing didn’t have gender and that any child could wear a cute top covered in dinosaurs, which I think is absolutely wonderful. As a dinosaur obsessed child who didn’t give a shit about gender constraints I would have loved this collection; I mean I do now but it definitely wouldn’t fit.

And within the ethical fashion world brands are getting in on the idea of no gender fashion too, something I am more than 1000% behind (I mean mixing two things I love together, ethical fashion and saying goodbye to gender constraints), brands like Muttonhead , Study NY, Sixty nine,  Not Equal,  Xandra Jane,  and Sharpe Suiting to name a few,  both ethically made and saying nope to gendering clothing. And in kids clothing, which I feel is the place gender neutral clothing is needed the most, along with Boys & Girls  there’s Freedom KidsUni and Jack, and I’m sure a whole lot more. I could, and probably will, do a whole blog post on ethical gender neutral brands but that will have to wait.

A few people who are so stuck in the idea of gender roles that they can’t even fathom little boys and girls wearing the same clothing are going to stop the way fashion seems to be heading, at least I really hope it doesn’t. Yes it could be a trend in the long, long line of trends that come and go in fashion, but as someone who doesn’t identify with a gender within the binary  it is incredibly refreshing to see more brands “jump on the bandwagon” and come out with genderless lines, or just turn genderless all together.

A lot of people are adverse to change, and for many people part of their identity lies strongly in their gender, so I can see why they could be adverse to the idea of more gender neutrality, but no one is saying just because clothing shouldn’t have gender that they shouldn’t. I would love to live in a world where not just fashion but where everything is out of the constraints of the gender binary but for now I’m going to keep celebrating small changes, especially within ethical fashion, that make the world a little less rigid in terms of “male and female”.

If you want to read more on the subject or see more awesome stuff done on genderless fashion and people I found this great piece about genderless kei in Japan on i-D, which is about the rise of gender neutral fashion in Tokyo. I also have a couple of StyleLikeU videos which are wonderful, one with Tillett Wright, and one with model Rain Dove.

So yes I dream of a gender neutral future, and whether that’s a pipedream and today’s shift is a trend or whether society is getting more ready to accept that we don’t need to be bound by binary only time will tell but I will continue to get very excited about gender neutral fashion, especially in the ethical fashion world. And I am always open for a discussion about gender, fashion, ethics, and more so if you have something to say just leave it in the comments.