Benefits of Gender-Neutral Clothes

Benefits of Gender-Neutral Clothes

Each LGBT awareness month, issues and discussions are raised to, not only remember the history of LGBT icons and trailblazers, but to ensure that the community feels respected and heard. As we move into a more accepting society where young people, in particular, are being encouraged to be whoever they want to be, regardless of what others may say or think. However, one area that doesn't seem too accepting is the fashion industry. By introducing gender-neutral clothing, we can enable the community to experiment at a pace that they feel comfortable with.

Men and women's clothing is still predominantly seen in high street stores. This can leave transgender and non-binary individuals feeling outcasted and pressured into choosing a gender. According to a study performed by the Phluid Project, 56% of Gen Z consumers tend to look for clothing out of their assigned gender. No one should have to choose their clothing based upon what gender they were assigned, especially if their current gender doesn't match that.

After all, fashion has no gender, and gender neutral clothing is incredibly important in conveying this message...


Transgender Fashion; The Importance of Freedom of Expression

The discourse surrounding the transgender community sees fashion as achieving three key factors; activism, expression and accessibility. American actress Hari Nef has been praised for her approach to fashion, as she bases her choices upon reinventing herself constantly. She is signed to renowned agency IMG Worldwide, and sets a precedence for the transgender community, inspiring and invigorating the scene and allowing young people within the community to base their fashion choices on their own personal expression.

Popular culture has a great influence on how we see ourselves and dress. Take 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' for example. Many queens came out as transgender after the show ended, and now, post-transition queens have entered the competition. Kade Gottlieb, known by his stage name 'Gottmik' became the first trans man in the thirteenth season. He said that he often felt his story was "not represented well," as a femme trans man. He learnt to embrace his feminine side despite being a transgender man, and used fashion and drag to convey this important message.

Another trailblazer changing the landscape of gender neutral fashion is another Drag Race graduate, Bimini Bon Boulash. Bimini's non-conforming style and unapologetic attitude to life has opened up the conversation surrounding the non-binary identity. They even recently appeared in British Vogue. "Just throw yourself out there try not to care what people think." Bimini's words transcend throughout fashion, and gender neutral clothing allows everyone to dress however they want, free of judgement.


Choosing your Own Fashion Statement

We mentioned previously the various different ways in which you can make a memorable fashion statement. From mixing different styles to displaying a message, fashion and clothing is the perfect way to really showcase who you are. By normalising the use of gender neutral clothing, we can encourage anyone struggling with their gender identity to dress however they want, in as comfortable a way as possible. However, we first need to start taking gender away from clothing pieces that already have a reputation for being 'masculine' or 'feminine.'

We associate dresses and skirts with women and shirts and ties with men, but who's to say that we should conform to what our birth gender dictates? More famous men and non-binary people who were assigned male at birth are wearing dresses and skirts; take Jonathan Van Ness, Harry Styles and Billy Porter, for example. As it becomes more normalised, more masculine men who feel comfortable in dresses and skirts can take the initiative and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Trendy streetwear pieces such as hoodies and sweaters are great gender neutral pieces to get started, especially if you aren't ready to step out into the street just yet. You can find our extensive collection here.


Helping Everyone Feel Comfortable in Their Skin

Gender neutral clothing is a great way for more people to understand the ‘inclusivity’ movement; the belief that everyone, regardless of gender, age or race, should be able to dress however they choose, free of discrimination. Here at Kontroversial, we work closely with Rainbow Mind to support LGBT+ mental health across the UK. We believe that clothing plays an important part in helping individuals accept themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. Half of LGBT+ people experience symptoms of depression, a damning statistic that needs to be addressed. LGBT individuals should be able to feel safe, and feeling accepted in their clothing choices could make all the difference.

A project led by Mind in Salford and Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, Rainbow Mind has one clear mission; to tackle the various mental health issues affecting LGBT people across London and Greater Manchester. It is led by an expert group of LGBT people with a history of mental health issues, so anyone who gets in contact will be in safe hands. Their LGBT+ specific mindfulness programme and support groups provide a supportive, non-judgmental helping hand to those suffering from mental health conditions. You can find out more about their upcoming projects here.

Here at Kontroversial, we place heavy emphasis on gender neutrality in all of our clothing pieces. To find out more, please visit us on our website here.
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