What is Gender-Neutral Clothing?
Gender-neutral clothing is a type of apparel designed to be worn by all genders regardless of traditional binary gender roles. It is typically designed with no reference to any particular gender, making it suitable for both boys and girls. Gender-neutral kids clothes often feature bright colors, unisex prints, and comfortable fabrics that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. The goal of gender-neutral clothing is to make sure everyone feels included and represented in the fashion industry no matter what their gender identity or expression. By offering unisex clothing, we can create a more inclusive world for children everywhere.
The History of Gendered Clothing
When did girls start wearing pink?
Traditionally, pink is for girls and blue is for boys. But where did these stereotypes come from and why do we follow them?
Before the mid-19th century, parents traditionally dressed young children in white (Shocking! Who can keep white clothing for kids clean? Not me!) But, the white fabric could be easily cleaned with bleach, and white dresses made diaper changes easy. Children were dressed in white dresses until age 6 or 7.
Pastel colors for boys and girls were introduced in the mid-19th century. In 1918 Earnshaw's Infant's Department suggested that pink was generally accepted for boys and blue for girls. Additionally, Time suggested in 1927 that many department stores in large cities pushed pink for boys and blue for girls.
In the 1940s baby boomers started to dress their children in the well-known gender stereotypes that are in existence today. Pink became the color for girls and blue for boys.
During the women's liberation movement, the affinity for gender-stereotyped clothing dipped. Parents were concerned that putting their girls in specific clothing would limit their potential.
In the 1980s, gender stereotyped clothing made a comeback. It is hypothesized that the invention of prenatal testing that allowed parents to find out their child's gender prior to birth brought back the popularity of pink and blue.
Gender Neutral Clothing is Growing in Popularity
Today, there is a growing demand for gender neutral-clothing. Parents are looking for new options that will meet the changing values of the next generation.
The Benefits of Gender-Neutral Clothing
Allows for Self Expression
Say "goodbye" to gender stereotypes and "hello" to the true you! Gender-neutral styles allow children and adults to escape the restrictions of gendered style and express their true selves.
Many unisex styles cater to a simpler aesthetic that fits well into a minimalist lifestyle. Many styles are basic in nature and can be easily mixed and matched to create a great capsule wardrobe.
Better for Hand Me Downs
Gender-neutral styles make the best hand-me-downs because they are unisex. You can share garments your child has outgrown with younger siblings, family members, neighbors, and friends without restriction.
Because gender-neutral clothing can be worn by children of all sexes, parents generally get more use out of the garments they purchase. This means less turnover and greater utilization of a child's wardrobe, and ultimately less money spent on clothing over time. For example, when you have a high-quality t-shirt that can be worn by boys and girls the number of wears is exponentially higher than a special occasion dress.
More wears per garment also means less waste created. Old discarded clothing is a major source of environmental pollution. However, timeless and functional gender-neutral styles are a great way to create a sustainable wardrobe of clothing that can be worn and loved for years without adversely impacting our environment.