Changing Gender Norms In Fashion

Changing Gender Norms In Fashion

By Rhianydd Sword


Arguably, fashion is a culture that has always been pretty gender-specific. Skirts for girls, trousers for boys, we accept it and move on.  However, recently more and more people are starting to show that fashion is gender-fluid and that there should be no rules. Instead, when it comes to picking out clothes to wear we’re being shown that we should simply choose what we feel the most confident and the most ourselves in. This change in the fashion industry is a change that is still occurring and one that sparks a lot of debate. Whilst some people see fashion as fixed in its approach, others see it as an artistic culture where you should be able to express yourself in any way, shape or form. 

One person who, arguably, is a massive reactor into helping this change is pop artist Harry Styles. Harry Styles has constantly shown that fashion has no bounds, from small actions such as painting his nails to bigger ones such as his recent Vogue cover. This Vogue cover is shown to be a monumental one, not only is Harry Styles the first solo male to appear on the cover in history but he made the cover even more iconic by wearing a dress. This decision was one that marked the fashion history books as well as creating an ongoing response. Whilst many praised him for his decisions, others argued that his wearing a dress should not be allowed for it wasn’t ‘masculine enough’. Styleses mum later made comments on his fashion decision by stating that she loved playing dress up with her children when they were little and that that might have played a part in the way Styles dresses. Either way Harry Styleses move was an influential one that showed how fashion has no limits. 

It could perhaps be argued that gender rules in fashion have already changed significantly. An example would be women and trousers. For much of history women weren’t allowed to wear trousers, and there were even legislations in some parts of the US in the 19th and 20th century banning women from wearing a pair. Over time, this fashion rule changed and now in 2020 women wearing trousers are a fashion normality. Let’s keep this change coming.

In regard to fashion being gender specific, I would like to say something if that’s okay. When I’m writing about something that may have sparked controversy, I always do my best to keep my writing neutral and my own personal opinion hidden. People may guess as to my feelings but it’s never something I’d outwardly say. However, gender norms in fashion is a topic where I think my thoughts should be shared. Personally, I’ve always seen fashion as a form of expression and a way for people to be able to see a little part of you without having met you. It’s a creative outlet and I don’t think that we should be restricted in how we choose to dress, because creativity has no bounds. If a man wants to wear a skirt or a woman wants to wear something that is normally seen as masculine, then let them for that’s their personal decision. Fashion is making the moves to become more gender-fluid so let’s dress how we want and feel beautiful. 

To sum this up, to look at fashion is to see many different trends that have come and gone. Some items that were once seen as high fashion a few years ago are now stuck in the past never to be seen again, whilst other popular fashion choices have made a comeback. The 1960s had flared sleeves and beehives whilst the 1980s had neon and leg warmers (not that these were the only trends). Certain decades have become known for different styles. So, I’d like to make a proposal. Whatever happens this year or indeed this decade, let’s make our trend be the one where people could dress freely and the time that gender-normalities in fashion were forgotten.



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