May 12, 2021

How Much Has Men’s Clothing Impacted Female Fashion?

In May this year, a Kickstarter page was created for a product called the RompHim — a playsuit (or ‘romper’ as they are otherwise known) for men.

The description posted on the page reads: “Concerts? Beach days? Rooftops? Pool parties? Leisurely strolls? Bar patios? This super-garment is designed to take them all on in style, keeping you cool as the days and nights heat up.”

Sure, the RompHim might not be the ideal outfit for every man, but its first run of designs sold out in less than a week, proving that there is a clear demand for items that blur the line between male and female fashion — providing they are still stylish and functional, of course.

It’s not just the playsuit that men are turning to; those that are partial to a supremely skinny-fitting pair of jeans often walk straight past the men’s denim section in a shop and head to the women’s options instead. In fact, high street brands saw sales of women’s jeans rise by a third in 2015 thanks to men purchasing what has been dubbed as the ‘ex-girlfriend jean’, no doubt inspired by the likes of Harry Styles.

Over the last couple of years we have also seen a notable trend for men wearing trench coats, an item which was popularised by designer label Burberry and intended for women. There are of course plenty of brands designing and manufacturing trench coats nowadays, and the differences between the men’s and women’s versions are indiscernible.

The influence of female fashion on men’s clothes is obvious, but what about the other way around? What male items have we seen come to form part of the typical female wardrobe?

The answer lies in what is known as ‘boyfriend’ fashion. Designed to look like items that have been borrowed from your boyfriend, it encompasses everything from slouchy shirts and distressed jeans to baggy cardigans and blazers. Everything is designed to look like it’s slightly too big for the wearer, which gives each item a laid-back, casual feel. It’s proved itself to be extremely popular — just a quick search for the word ‘boyfriend’ on the Topshop website will return well over 100 results.

Then there was the much-talked-about cover of Vogue’s August 2017 issue, which features Gigi Hadid (alongside her boyfriend Zayn Malik) flawlessly pulling off a men’s tweed blazer with a loud yet smart shirt underneath. In the article, Hadid says: “It’s not about gender. It’s about, like, shapes. And what feels good to you on that day. And anyway, it’s fun to experiment…”

All of this is proof that fashion is well on its way to becoming truly androgynous. This is exactly why we released a collection of genderless items earlier this year, and why we feel so passionately about breaking down the gender barriers that have constricted us for so long. Many men feel just as comfortable wearing women’s clothes as women do wearing men’s, and the line will become increasingly blurred as time goes on.

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