By: K Me & Aaron Warga
Photos by: Christine Zhang
With the introduction of Zara’s new genderless clothing line and Jaden Smith’s history of bending gender norms (having recently modeled Louis Vuitton’s “womenswear”), it seems the fashion industry is warming up to the notion that gender, and how it relates to clothing, is more of a fluid spectrum rather than a strict binary.
And we couldn’t be more excited! Not only do we the co-authors agree 1000%, we’ve found fellow Hoyas who do too. We refuse to subscribe to the way clothing has been traditionally gendered as either strictly for women or for men. Fashion should be about self-expression and one’s own interests!
Why is this important? Gender fluidity allows individuals to expand the way they choose to express their identities. Even though some of the folks in this article are cisgender (that is, their gender identity aligns with what they were assigned at birth), gender fluidity simply means there is no one way to perform masculinity or femininity (which is not defined by maleness or femaleness).
Take a look at how Hoyas, both AFAB (assigned female at birth) and AMAB (assigned male at birth) are transforming our conceptualization of gendered clothing by wearing some of the same articles of clothing (with their own personal touches to the outfits).
Cristina M. Ibarra
Pronouns: she/her and they/them
Cristina’s outfit, a Zara velvet top and slit maxi skirt, delicately reveals her simple one-line tattoo on the right arm. The outfit is complemented with a faux leather-accented Zara cap and a pair of low platform Aldo shoes, leaving an equally delicate silhouette.
Daaaaaamn! The exact same velvet top and slit maxi skirt suit Aaron equally as well. He decided to add a punk element by pairing them with some black Doc Martens, and his blue hair lends a nice contrast to the monochromatic outfit. Sort of looks like he was struck by gender fluid lightning right? Is the look feminine? Masculine? Who knows, and quite frankly, who cares?
The velvet top makes ANOTHER appearance, but this time over a yellow turtleneck, black shorts, and tights (and peep the adorable matching fish purse). Leave it to Samu to revive some medieval fashion with the tights. Not only does this outfit shatter traditional expectations of gender and clothing, it is also seamlessly pulled together by hints of yellow throughout (even in the hair). The genderfluid gods approve.
Pronouns: she/her and they/them
Did someone say STUD? Pam knows she is most comfortable in a collared button down and snap back, and her confidence shines through in that contagious smile, or should we say smolder? The red pants bring a much-appreciated element of color to the look, and the same Doc Martens that Aaron had on earlier add some edginess to the overall laid-back feel.
Your gender does not have to be defined by the clothing you wear; although people often use clothing as a way to express their gender(s), the same articles of clothing can express a variety of identities depending on who is wearing it. While our society may project restrictive notions of gender onto clothing by dividing store sections into “men’s” and “women’s” and perpetuating social expectations of what is acceptable to wear, clothing itself isn’t gendered. But gender is a social construct, so it doesn’t apply to clothing. What matters is how you use clothing to express your own identity. And of course, have fun with it!