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People should be allowed criticise gender neutral clothing, but not on how necessary it is

There’s a long way to go before we see anything that remotely resembles gender-neutral clothing on the market.

IN A WEEK that’s seen Topshop introduce gender-neutral dressing rooms and ASOS release a gender neutral line of clothes, people still take issue with the term ‘gender neutral’.

In terms of clothing, there is a a semi-understandable argument that, technically, all clothing is already gender neutral in that it can be worn by anyone.

Fair enough. But the issue with gender-neutral clothing has, and continues to be the the marketing; not the clothes themselves.

For the most part, skirts and dresses are categorised in the ‘Women’s’ section of most stores and websites. Then, there’s issue regarding sizing and how the clothes are actually cut.

Short answer – yes, there is a need for gender neutral clothing lines. What brands are providing at the moment, however, leaves a lot to be desired.

Let’s take the recent ASOS-GLAAD collaboration, for example, which features fourteen pieces ranging from necklaces, tote bags, t-shirt and jumpers.

AsosxGlaad_02-650x819 Source: ASOS

AsosxGlaad_03-650x819 Source: ASOS

Now, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of the pieces shown above, they do little to encourage the idea often interpreted by brands that gender neutral clothing translates as “clothing items that traditionally masculine resized and in neutral colours”.

Gender, as a concept, is a restrictive enough – having a line that puts itself at the forefront of inclusivity not contain any skirts or dresses.

 

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Gender neutral clothing, and those who design it, shouldn’t get a free pass when it comes to criticism.

While it’s obviously great that brands are taking the steps to consider and acknowledge the wide variety of gender identities which exist, brands have a long way to go in understanding what the market actually desires from a gender-neutral clothing line.

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