As designers continue to bridge the gap between menswear and womenswear with unisex clothing, it is still considered closer to the former than the latter

In 2015, the search interest for "unisex fashion" was relatively modest, with a score of around 20 out of 100 on Google Trends. However, by 2021, this number skyrocketed to 85. While there is no doubt that the interest in the trend has wildly peaked over the years, the silhouettes, texture, design, and size continue to compliment the typical ‘male’ segment than female. Take the oversized suit trend, for instance. It's a seemingly unisex statement piece, but women picked up suits long back when femininity was considered a weakness in the male dominant corporate world. 

As one of the firsts donning genderless clothing, yesteryear icons like David Bowie and Annie Lennox seamlessly blended masculine and feminine into their styles with ease. However the current bridge to genderless fashion strays more towards the men’s section. Why does an oversized t-shirt or a so called ‘boyfriend t-shirt’ look like a hand-me-down from a male acquaintance? Why can’t genderless clothes hug all body types, and not just the broad shouldered ones? 

The pieces we choose to wear, consciously or not, say something about who we are, and unisex fashion at times is a one-size-fits-none situation. The true essence behind unisex fashion is about liberation from gender norms. Forms, fabrics and shapes never had a gender associated with them.

On a larger scale, unisex fashion has shifted towards a more masculine design language, overshadowing the feminine aesthetic. This shift has become the preferred choice for many individuals seeking comfort. Lace, sheer fabrics, and pleated skirts are still majorly found in the womenswear department. Fashion embraces diversity, and the term "unisex" can maybe do a better job at reflecting that. Clothes as a form of self expression is a luxury some of us are fortunate enough to afford. It represents more than just functionality. Unisex clothing, when you really think about it, lacks a reference point. It is just as fabricated as the concepts of menswear and womenswear have become over the years.

Written by Surmai Jain

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