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Genderless fashion for children: A closer look

By Press Club


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Image: Yvette LIBBY N'guyen, courtesy of the brand

For a very long time, genderless fashion has been praised for its elegance and significance in the fashion industry. These neutral designs illustrate the idea that regardless of gender or age, everyone should be able to express their originality and that beauty should not be confined or prejudiced.

The fashion world wants everyone to be able to express themselves. In recent years, genderless fashion has become more common for adults; but there are still very few options for kids. In this article, Yvette LIBBY N'guyen takes a look at gender-neutral clothing for boys and girls.

What is genderless fashion?

Genderless fashion is clothing without design elements that are typically attached to a specific gender.

Society has long dictated in what ways men and women are supposed to dress, but unisex fashion is gradually erasing the boundaries between women’s and men’s fashion. Genderless fashion is spreading more and more, from street fashion, sports fashion, up to haute couture. We are seeing more gender-fluid collections, designed to be comfortable for the wearer and reflect their personality rather than being based on gender binaries.

Genderless fashion is not a new concept

Looking at the history of fashion, it becomes obvious that women's and men's attire has not always been differentiated as starkly as it is nowadays. For example, during the ancient Roman empire, both men and women wore tunics and stoles. The idea of "separate domains" first came into existence in the 1800s, designating the distinct roles and spheres of activity that men and women performed within the social structure. For instance, women were kept in fields like cooking and child care, while men pursued areas such as engineering or construction. It is no coincidence that the word “unisex” was born in the 60s, when women began to enter the workforce. They needed clothing that represented their new status in society while still being both aesthetically pleasing and functionally focused.

Is it a good idea for kids to wear gender-neutral clothing?

As we all know, genderless fashion is not a new concept in the fashion world. We distinguish children’s clothing by gender more today than we did 150 years ago – back then, babies were usually dressed in gender neutral clothing. It also seems arbitrary to assign colors to specific genders - such as the well-established idea that pink is for girls and blue for boys.

Image: Yvette LIBBY N'guyen, courtesy of the brand

Dismissing stereotypes, genderless fashion creates clothes that every child can love, no matter their gender. Additionally, there are a number of reasons for gender-neutral children's wardrobes:

Allow children to express themselves

Children have their own personal preferences and fashion sense. Clothing breaks down preconceptions, allowing kids to express their individual personalities rather than only wearing clothes that match their gender. Kids should be allowed to wear whatever they choose, so they can select clothes and colors that match their personality. Children's confidence and creativity will grow if they are given the freedom to be themselves. Children have the need to express themselves just as much as grown ups feel the need to break with social expectations.

Free children from gender-based social expectations

We can see gender distinction in every aspect of childhood. Gender stereotypes, such as "trucks for boys," "dolls for girls," and other enforced prejudices, can have an impact on a child's development. Additionally, it is absurd to teach boys that showing emotions is weak and that they should hide them. These misconceptions may limit a child's possibilities and choices.

Genderless clothing without outdated gender stereotypes.

Boys don’t have to be strong and tough all the time, and girls are no longer expected to always be pretty and elegant. With gender-neutral fashion, children freely express their individuality.

Allow children to move freely

In contrast to some traditional clothing that can limit comfortable play, genderless clothing often shows practical, wide-cut styles that are appropriate for children's activity levels, giving freedom of movement. It's worth noting that unisex clothing for kids is frequently produced in small batches from eco-friendly fabrics by independent brands. This means that the clothes will not irritate your child's sensitive skin. This is also the benefit for our earth because of the production progress.

Image: Yvette LIBBY N'guyen, courtesy of the brand

Genderless clothing has economic and sustainable benefits

Gender-neutral clothing is popular among environmentally conscious brands. The neutral appearance also makes it easier to share clothing. Yvette LIBBY offers timeless unisex designs that can be easily shared with siblings and friends of any gender. This reduces the waste of having to throw away clothes that are still good when your child grows up, not only saving money, but also allowing us to live more sustainably by producing less waste in the environment.

Image: Yvette LIBBY N'guyen, courtesy of the brand

Choosing gender-neutral clothing, on the other hand, does not have to be a rigid decision, nor does it mean that they should completely replace traditionally masculine or feminine clothing. Gender-neutral clothing should coexist with these options.

When a child asks for clothes specific to his or her gender, that is fine, as noted by Dr. Christella Antoni: “It’s equally important for a child to experiment with gender stereotypes and extremes as they experiment with their sense of self.”

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