Agender fashion ten years ago seemed a question of the distant future, but today collections with an expanded size grid, which are offered simultaneously to both men and women, are even trying to produce in the mass market. We spoke to couples who borrow from each other and how they come up with a shared wardrobe.
Text: Anya Krotikova
I used to often buy clothes in big second-hand shops like Megastil or Zigzag of Fortune. More than once, on the way to the fitting room or at the checkout, I heard: "Girl, this is a man's!" In moments like this, you usually get lost. It would be cool if no one had any questions when they see me in men's clothes or a guy in a dress. On the other hand, I have never singled out unisex brands for myself. I like those stores where I can go to both the men's and women's department.
I often buy clothes from the men's department. I like that these are, as a rule, things without darts at the waist, calmer colors and with a high collar. I also wear many of Yegor's things. We also have a lot of wardrobe items - takes in different sizes. For example, the same model of boots for the winter and almost identical raincoats.
I usually buy clothes in about the same stores as Lyuba, or second-hand shops. It is quite difficult for me to imagine myself in something typically feminine, but in general I am not at all against feminine things. Anyone and I share hoodies, sweaters, some pants and almost all T-shirts. Well, at least my shoes are two sizes larger! But in general it is convenient. I remember, it was a couple of times, some of us doubted whether to take a shirt or a sweater - then we decided that we would buy it in half and wear it together.
Marketing and Recruitment Manager
I have a positive attitude towards agender fashion. The more options we can use in our routine, the more interesting and individual the image will be. The division of things into "M" and "F" is quite relative and changes greatly over time. Now the pendulum has swung towards androgynous things - and that's okay.
Two hundred years ago, hussar dolman and leggings, brightly embroidered with gold, did not raise any questions - on the contrary, they were an object of pride and admiration. Today, unfortunately, both elements in public perception are little associated with the masculine image.
We mainly split T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies in two. A pair of my dark hoodies, which Masha wears as oversized sweatshirts, I also periodically wear when they are at hand. A separate story with Masha's pink sweatshirt, which I can comfortably wear at home, but once put on "on the way out", I sweated in it - and not only from the heat, but from increased attention. This was three years ago, when bright sweatshirts were rarely produced in a men's format.
editor of The Blueprint, makeup artist
and the author of the book "It's okay about cosmetics"
I have a great attitude to everything that helps a person to explore their individuality and reveal it - including agender fashion. In my opinion, this is one of the components of happiness. On the other hand, we must remember how clothes are made: fashion is a rather “dirty” industry that encourages overconsumption. The mass market will soon be using (if not already using) a gender-neutral vector to sell more cheap things that are not always made of quality materials and people with normal working conditions. Although this problem is typical for the production of any garment, not just gender-neutral.
The division of things into men and women seems to me convenient in the context of the size and characteristics of the figure. We have no other system that will allow us to quickly estimate the size. When you read that this is a “men's sweatshirt in size L”, you immediately understand what silhouette it is. And about the trousers from the men's suit, you understand that they are most likely not fitted.On the other hand, when men's things will be made more diverse, you will no longer use this. How are we going to find clothes by size then? Difficult topic - I have no answer how to rethink society.
I often buy clothes in the men's department, but at the same time I started looking more at typically feminine things. Sometimes I want to dress comfortably, then I choose a sweatshirt and jeans. And when I want to be luxurious, I put on a velvet floor-length dress and pearl earrings. I am very glad that I stopped worrying about a holistic image and allowed myself contrasts.
I wear Cyril's clothes often, I like oversize. I selected one longsleeve "YOUR" - a very thin, pleasant fabric. Kirill, in turn, wears my down jacket, it fits perfectly in size. It's cool because you don't have to buy more stuff.
It seems to me that in 2019, fashion is already stupid to divide into male and female. And I'm glad to live in a world where everyone wears what they want. For example, I'm a fan of H&M's agender collaboration with the Swedish brand Eytys. I lend a vinyl jacket to the guy and wear it myself, the boots would have expected the same fate, if not for the difference in size. Of the Russian designers working in this direction, I love Outlaw Moscow for their oversized bombers and kimonos.
We usually wear hoodies, T-shirts and glasses for two. I love music festivals and try to bring merch of my favorite artists from each of them, knowing in advance that we will wear it together.
I think everyone can wear whatever they want. Yes, there are certain technical issues like designing clothes taking into account the characteristics of a typically male or female figure, but in the end it often all comes down to playing on gender stereotypes. In our pair, due to the difference in size, only Ksenia can wear my things. Which she does.
In general, any brand is a unisex brand, if you are brave enough. But many unisex brands are not really that: if you can buy trousers, but cannot find a dress, this is deception and unfair advertising. On the other hand, it is foolish to deny that it is easier for companies to sell things to different groups. Plus, not in all markets in the world, agender things will be welcomed positively.
It seems to me that the idea of agender fashion is not new, although now I notice a special interest in it. Clothing is primarily a cultural code, and reflections on gender identity have already become a part of modern culture. It seems to me that gender-neutral clothing is the future, although this has its drawbacks.
Of the good examples of agender fashion, I can recall Lot2046. I myself often buy outerwear in men's stores, because I like the cut of men's clothing more. I never take women's T-shirts, sweatshirts and shirts as they are more fitted. And my favorite Martins or regular New Balance seem to be out of gender.
We have a lot of things for two, mainly accessories and outerwear: what is oversized for me, Vasya just fits. We wear the Enthusiast merchandise bar, Acne Studios caps and scarves, Temporary Mark sweatshirts and trousers, we have a lot of common T-shirts and sweatshirts from the men's Uniqlo U - we even have a raincoat.
The less conventions, the better. If something allowed people to buy and produce even a little less material things, it would be foolish to oppose it. And this is just one of the advantages of agender fashion.
It seems to me that many things of conventionally male brands are no less suitable for women than for men. For example, the same black down jacket The North Face Nuptse. On the other hand, the concept of separating things by gender will remain relevant until humanity evolves into a form of life that will have significantly fewer physiological differences. It is clear that people within the same gender can have completely different proportions, but statistics show that it is more convenient to form a dimensional grid, keeping in mind the average measurements of men and women.Sometimes the convenience and appearance of clothing directly depends on this.
I have a good attitude towards agender fashion, but I am rather close to brands that do not produce unisex products, but adapt the cut of the same things to male and female figures. Still, at the level of mass-market sizes, there are significant differences between the sexes. That is, real boyfriend jeans and boyfriend fit jeans from the women's section can fit completely differently. Often, the latter look much better, because they are sewn for female height and volume.
If I explain it on the fingers and break away from the prices, then the brands Eytys and ASOS Collusion, I always prefer Carhartt WIP. At Carhartt, I generally love everything except fabrics for the women's collection. They make perfect work clothes, simple and straightforward. True, it is for girls that they often choose thinner and less wearable fabrics - I hope that they will soon leave this.
In general, I like things that are not gender-specific - both my son and I wear Blundstone boots. Both me and Anton wear Dr. Martens. In the same piggy bank, sneakers, paramilitary things like sheepskin coats and overalls fall. At the same time, I like some of the women's brands, for example "Form".
We rarely wear things for two, but from time to time something from Anton's wardrobe passes into mine. True, he is jealous of his things and does not like to share too much.
I have been working in retail for a long time, so I can clearly see the difference between men's and women's products. Today's cut for men and women is very different, right down to the location of the buttons. And if a girl in clothes from the men's department does not bother me, then a man in women's clothes, in my opinion, often looks ridiculous. Not because they are conditionally female, but because they are short in sleeves, legs, narrow in the shoulders and generally do not take into account the peculiarities of the male figure.
I am not familiar with full-fledged unisex brands. But my girlfriend Angelina and I often buy the same things in the men's department, just in different sizes. It's more about the basic wardrobe - T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks - and shoes. I also like how our friend Sveta fits men's clothes into her wardrobe. If Angelina's wardrobe is sometimes neutral, then Sveta can combine “louboutins” and huge men's sweatshirts or jackets in one outfit - and it looks organic.
COVER: Instagram / supergelik