“Gender Free World Clothing isn’t a trend; inclusive clothing is at the very core of our work, values and ethics”
WORDS AND IMAGES BY GENDER FREE WORLD
In the last few years Gucci, Guess and Zara all announced gender-neutral clothing ranges – jumping on the bandwagon? Possibly… as you don’t hear those lines being talked about much now.
Thing is, gender-free ranges shouldn’t be a mere fashion statement but instead should work in harmony with our own individual lifestyles. At Gender Free World Clothing, making sure clothing is inclusive for everyone is at the very core of our work, values and ethics – not a gimmick to gain media attention.
Just because a woman is buying clothing in the men’s section, it doesn’t always mean she’s buying for her male partner or relative. You’d be surprised at how many women shop in that section for themselves simply because they like the styles, patterns or both. However, the fit isn’t designed for those of us with hips or bigger busts – which is why we think it’s so important gender-free clothing is available for everyone.
How many times have you worn a “men’s shirt”, only to have the chest almost burst at the buttons because your bust was too big? Or, how many times has the shirt been the perfect fit for your bust, only to not fasten at the bottom because your hips are apparently too wide?
Gender-free clothing isn’t a disposable trend like skinny jeans or Ugg boots, it’s an answer for people who don’t want to wear overly feminine patterns and cuts because they just don’t express the wearer’s view of themselves. It’s more of a question of “fit” than “fashion.”
The most important aspect of our clothing range is that they fit men and women from all backgrounds. Call it “inclusive clothing”, if you like – gender-free clothes are a way for us to express ourselves without fear of not fitting in, whether physically and mentally.
You see, if people don’t feel empowered and they’re not represented in the world then it can be so damaging. It’s vital that the fashion industry produces role models for people who prefer gender-free clothing. People need to express themselves so they can be their true selves.
GFW Clothing director, Lisa says: “I wouldn’t feel like my true self in a pretty floral dress. This is nothing to do with sexuality, it’s to do with self-expression. I feel at my most confident wearing a well-fitting, ‘non-feminine cut’ shirt. I feel like me.”
People who shop for gender-free clothing tend to hold certain values. This includes demonstrating their individuality, breaking society’s stereotypes and loving their own body. People from all over the LGBTQI spectrum, as well as heterosexual people, don’t want to conform to gender stereotypes any longer – and they shouldn’t have to.
Although gender neutral wear has often been criticised for having a more masculine aesthetic, this we feel this is irrelevant. The point of GFW (which goes a step further from gender neutral to gender free) is to choose what you want to wear because you like it, not because it’s what your gender expects you to wear. Clothing doesn’t have a gender.
So, how does gender free clothing encompass the physical aspect? People can’t (and shouldn’t) be pigeon-holed into S, M and L. One size definitely doesn’t fit all. It’s vital that clothing complements the body shape as well as size. That’s why at GFW we have our own numbering system with a range of equivalent to 8-24 UK and XS through to XXXL, with each size available in a choice of four body types: Alex, Billie, Charlie and Drew.
We want people to wear clothing that actually fits so they can feel like the best version of themselves. We want to rid people of feeling insecure and down about their bodies all because the clothes are designed to fit a tiny section of the population.
Having “body templates” readily available to people allows them to choose the right size and shape while keeping their individuality. Your body should never change to fit your clothes, you should change your clothes to fit your body type.
Genetics and lifestyle choices such as our career, diet and so on, means we need clothing that adapts to our everyday lives. For example, our Billie shirts don’t have breast pockets because, for practical reasons, they just don’t work. Imagine trying to put your wallet in the pocket, only to discover it keeps falling out because of your bigger bust? Annoying, I know. So we thought, “Why not just take it out?” That way, we can say gender free clothing is practical, high quality and takes into consideration the needs of the wearer.
As the famous saying goes, “Wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you.”
Shop now at genderfreeworld.com
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