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Have Zara missed the point? Zara’s ‘Ungendered’ Fashion Line

A few days ago, Zara brought out a clothing line under the category ‘ungendered’. The gender-less clothes are loungewear and comfortable, everyday pieces.

3b-plush-unisex-jogging-trousers

You’d think this was a move in the direction that some people want. But of course that’s not how it went!

Instead, outraged people have taken to Twitter to insult the mainstream brand that has made a conscious move to please potential customers. If it was me putting out the line, I’d just think ‘why bother?’. People will constantly find something wrong. The move is not bold enough, the clothes are too boring. Maybe they’re taking small steps and will launch more exciting pieces soon? Whatever you may think about this line, the fact is, its supposedly a new concept and Zara is a business. The move needs to make sense on a business level as well as a customer level.

If they brought a load of skirts in for men, I’m not sure I know many who would jump at the chance to have them. Also, this is just the loungewear collection. How exciting is the usual loungewear in stores and what am I missing out on?

My boyfriend and I wear each others lounge clothes and I’m actually wearing one of his t-shirts in work today (he doesn’t know that yet!). He also steals my t-shirts and accuses me of wearing his jeans even though they’re definitely mine. However, he doesn’t wear my dresses, they’re just not for him.

1a-flowing-unisex-t-shirt

I think we’re forgetting that there’s more to it than just who wears what. There is a reason fashion for each gender has evolved throughout the years and it’s not just misogyny or gender binary.

People have different bodies, and prefer to wear something that was created for their specific body type. That’s why plus-size women often have different clothing to petite women, and why I personally choose to buy women’s clothing over men’s (most of the time). If you are gender-less, or not sure where you fit in, it seems like it would be best to go for what you feel most comfortable in.

I don’t like wearing men’s jeans because there’s too much room in the front and I find them uncomfortable. Also, my bum is definitely bigger than my boyfriends! I’d also find it difficult wearing a man’s vest as men generally (not all, I understand that) have wider shoulders and less breast. Men often don’t feel comfortable in women’s clothing, as there’s not enough room for them.

2a-ungendered-top

I understand that a skirt could be added to the range, and I’m sure it will be soon, but again, I think personal preference for a lot of men is to keep themselves comfortable and not freely hang about in a skirt. I’m not explaining that bit any further so hope you get it!

The main thing bothering me about the people complaining is that the idea of having to have the line at all makes no sense. If you want gender-less clothing, go and buy a ‘woman’s’ skirt or any other clothing and make it so?

By having a unisex line, you are still acknowledging separate genders. I don’t blame Zara for this, but the customers. I never see a T-shirt and think ‘oh no, I can’t have that, it’s in the men’s section’. I pick it up, buy it and wear it without even having to tell people that I’m wearing men’s clothing. I don’t care where it comes from if I like it. I like and buy men’s jumpers as they’re usually a bit wider and more cosy. I don’t need to be told it has no gender. Clothing itself doesn’t have one.

I understand that dresses are possibly harder for men to wear as they are often designed with the female body in mind. But skirts, they’re free and easy and anybody can put one on. The people pushing for skirts…go and buy one!

Why is it Zara’s responsibility to help you with your shopping? They’re tackling something head on and being mocked for it.

Even though it’s great that companies are thinking about how they can change the future of fashion, I can’t help but think it’s just a re-branding of the word unisex, which is already a section in a lot of stores.

A lot of people are saying that Zara’s line consists of masculine styles and I’d agree to some extent. But if you are a person claiming that gender doesn’t matter, how come it does when it comes to clothing? The clothes are too masculine? Put them on, wear them, now they’re less masculine. Or just buy more feminine clothes elsewhere. The sales will soon show them there needs to be more of a change.

There are different body shapes and styles and that’s what you should be dressing to. Anything that you feel comfortable in. You don’t need a store to bring out a skirt especially for you because you don’t associate with a particular gender or your perceived gender; there are lots of skirts out there already that are waiting to be purchased.

No, Zara haven’t made the boldest move with their clothing, but they did make one and that should count for something. I think it’s great that people can see how things can be worn by anyone and that’s a good move forward. I think the best move would be to just pull out any labels that say ‘ladies’ or ‘mens’ on clothing. But wait…most don’t have that.

What do you think?

Please know that this blog is a place where discussion is open and respectful, and I always like to see things from another person’s perspective. 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Issy

    Totally agree with this, it doesn’t matter whether something is predominately worn by either gender – if you wanna wear it then do so. Just because it’s from a woman’s shop or in women’s sizing or vice versa, it’s not stopping you from physically wearing it. Zara produce plenty of beautiful skirts ANYONE can wear as do most shops.

    8 March 2016 at 16:30
    • Reply Tina

      Exactly 🙂 I think it’s up to the people that want change to start making it X

      8 March 2016 at 16:31
  • Reply This, tatt and the other

    I think Zara have just jumped on a “trendy” bandwagon to try and score cool points (I’m not saying it’s trendy to be gender fluid, just that there is more awareness and openness about it than in the past).

    By labelling a clothing line ungendered, they’re almost part of the problem in creating a label that people who don’t identify as male or female are trying to avoid.

    In my mind it’s an unnecessary branding exercise.

    10 March 2016 at 14:13
    • Reply Tina

      Yeah I completely agree and know what you mean. It seems to be a bit of clever marketing really. Or maybe not so clever as the reaction may suggest.

      11 March 2016 at 00:41
  • Reply Sophie Ollis

    I love that they’ve come out with an un-gendered range. Yes, female and male body shapes are different and tailored pieces won’t work. But that’s why it’s lounge-wear and people frequently borrow (or down right steal) their partner’s clothes because they’re comfy when they are a looser fit. Of course you can just shop in the opposite gendered stores, but Zara are trying to hit a market who wouldn’t think of that necessarily.

    15 March 2016 at 11:55
    • Reply Tina

      I completely agree. I think the main problem with it is that people are complaining it’s not big enough, but I think a move into ungendered clothing is big in itself, whatever the products are.

      15 March 2016 at 11:58
  • Reply PocahontasJane

    I absolutely LOVE this post! I buy men’s t-shirts all the time because I hate fitted clothes. I prefer some room for my boobs and belly without making it obvious I have either. I also steal my boyfriends tops and after a while, I don’t even acknowledge that they’re ‘mens’ clothes. They’re mine. I wear them. I feel comfortable and so they’re not gendered to me. They’re clothes. I understand Zara’s thoughts for this line, but I agree it’s just like the unisex range. Clothes that fit both women and men’s body types. Women’s clothes are too fitted for my broad shoulder liking!

    Fab post Tina. Glad I followed 👍

    RebeccaJane xo

    15 March 2016 at 17:40
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you so much! I love the way you put that! That’s exactly what I was trying to put across. Clothes to me don’t have a gender, unless they don’t fit due to body type. So while it’s great thatZara put themselves out there and went for something ‘new’, it’s gonna take a bit more to impress. However, I do think people should see it as less necessary and just go and buy what they like now 🙂

      15 March 2016 at 17:45
      • Reply PocahontasJane

        I totally agree with you. I think some people don’t have the confidence to go into a different section and buy clothes. Glad I was born without shame hahaha

        15 March 2016 at 17:48
        • Reply Tina

          Haha same here! 😂 I think there is that. So maybe take down the signs and be done with it! X

          15 March 2016 at 17:51
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