By Sarah Weingarten
This is essentially a part two to my post “One Runway” talking about how high-end fashion confronting the binary head on by having non-binary clothing and all gender runways is affecting smaller fashion
The best explanation of trickle down fashion is from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. In this clip Miranda Priestly, Meryl Steep, so gloriously and harshly explains to her newbie assistant Andy Sachs, Anne Hathaway, how fashion affects everyone.
Once the big-wig designers start showing non-binary fashion it’s only a matter of time before it’s being filtered down into the more reasonably priced stores that the masses shop at.
According to The New York Times article “In Fashion, Gender Lines Are Blurring,” the NYT thinks that non-gender clothes are gaining traction because the current young adults want labels without the logo. A uniform they can wear every day that is stylish but isn’t distracting. It’s an odd theory, but one I can agree with because I have a uniform of black jeans, black boots, a t-shirt and my leather jacket.
Going back to the NYT article, they make a strong point about how women are more comfortable buying men’s clothes than men wearing women’s clothes. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian and the author said that “[Men] have traditionally been immune to gender-neutral fashion trends.”
Chrisman-Campbell begs to differ that trickle down fashion for gender-neutral clothing is happening. She says that we aren’t necessarily in a new phase in fashion just because the higher up fashion houses are blurring gender lines, “What we’re talking about is the leading edge of fashion, not what you’re going to find at J. Crew.” But then she goes on to say, “Still every time these trends come up they push the boundaries a little bit more.”
Around the same time, the NYT published that piece Racked had a feature titled “Fashion’s Bold New Future Has No Gender.” Racked’s feature is very important to understand how non-binary fashion is reaching a mass audience because finally the rise of athleisure clothing is talked about.
Athleisure clothing is athletic clothes that you don’t have to work out in. Yes, you can work out in them, but if they’re so cool and stylish that wearing them daily outside the gym is acceptable. If you need a visual of what athleisure is a link to Beyoncé’s line Ivy Park is linked.
Athleisure is the most unisex form of clothing that has been around. Joggers, sweatpants that are cinched at the ankle, became a trendy comfortable wardrobe staple within the last year. My 13-year-old brother and I have the same pair of joggers and we jokingly wear them together with our Nike sneakers.
The rise of athleisure lines has normalized the idea of successful and trendy unisex clothing. If wearing Adidas three stripe sweatpants and a trefoil hoodie isn’t your style don’t worry. Athleisure wear was the jumping off point, but not the end game of trickle down unisex clothing.
Bustle published an article “7 Gender Non Conformist & Gender Neutral Clothing Brands To Support Right Now.” The seven lines featured are very cool and trendy.
Basically, what I’m getting at is Chrisman-Campbell’s doubts about unisex fashion rippling down to the masses are unqualified. Yes, there are some brands that will not break way from the gender binary, but non-binary lines keep popping up and non-binary clothing trends are picking up traction. I know the ripple down effect is working because I just ordered new t-shirts from my favorite t-shirt shop and had them sent to my house in Cleveland and I had to text my brother not to open my package and wear my new clothes.