In the world of fashion, the only thing constant is change. New trends appear season after season, introducing consumers to a different perspective on their wardrobe. In recent years, unisex clothing lines have been popping up around the country, providing stylish, gender-neutral pieces. CivicScience asked more than 2,000 Americans aged 13 and up about their interest in gender-neutral clothing lines.
The data show a small but solid figure from those who would like to give this type of clothing a try.
Though still a minority, these numbers show that unisex clothing is a trend to watch, now and into the future.
Women are far more interested in gender-neutral pieces than men, with 25% holding some level of interest. Considering the newness of this fashion trend, a quarter of female respondents expressing interest could be encouraging for those seeking to make unisex clothing more mainstream.
Given the fact that women are still getting a terrible deal in many aspects of their lives, this interest in unisex clothing prompts many questions. Do some women believe that gender-neutral pieces could lead to less harassment, greater respect and ultimately, more equality? It is a thought to consider.
Unisex Clothing: A Youth Movement?
The largest push for unisex clothing comes from those under the age of 25 as well as those making less than $50K a year.
Historically, clothing has always been highly gendered. However, these figures suggest we could be moving into a new fashion era, where genderlessness has greater appeal.
Unisex, At What Cost?
Brand is certainly a big factor for those most interested in gender-neutral clothing. However, the appeal can only stretch as far as a wallet will allow. And considering the lower-income level of those interested, combined with a strong concern over price, gender-neutral labels should aim for accessibility on all fronts.
It is likely no surprise that those who express interest in unisex clothing also consider themselves innovators and leaders in the world of fashion. After all, since this trend is still in its infancy, their self-perception seems astute.
That said, leaders can also be followers. And those with interest in unisex fashion are more readily influenced by fashion trends on social media. Gender-neutral lines in the know will want to maximize on the captive audience they can find on these platforms.
Gender-Neutral Pieces for All
The data go further, illuminating the importance of unisex lines for some of the most marginalized. Those in the lesbian and gay communities are the most interested in clothes that leave space for greater gender fluidity.
Similarly, respondents in racial minorities such as Hispanic or Latino, Black, and Asian or Pacific Islander are also interested in unisex clothing at rates generally higher than their fellow Caucasian respondents.
If clothing is a way to express oneself, it is possible that gender-neutral clothing is finally offering a mode of expression that feels authentic for countless individuals who may experience repression and disenfranchisement–in one form or another–on a daily basis.
While unisex clothing can’t solve the social, political, and economic ills that many of the most vulnerable still face, it can at least provide some small comfort: that at the end of the day, what you put on your body is still your choice.