Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: This spring, androgyny is reborn

BY KYLA CLARKE

Items from Selfridge’s “Agender” line

For years, androgynous fashion has been all over the runways. Recently, more and more androgynous pieces have been making their way to the streets, which means the closets of couples are starting to look a lot alike. In fact, the British department store Selfridges has recently revamped some of their stores and replaced their men’s and women’s departments with all unisex clothing, as part of their new “Agender” project. This bold move could look towards a trend for the future, not just in the world of fashion, but in our culture as a whole.

“Androgyny” is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, or a lack of gender. Rather, a sexual ambiguity. There has always been a relationship between fashion and gender: dressing yourself is a way of expressing yourself and how you’d like the world to perceive you, and your gender identity plays a large role in deciding what to wear. With the latest – and possibly boldest – wave of feminism upon us, as well as the growing discussion of LGBT activism, asexuality is becoming more than just a fashion statement.

Jared Leto wears a skirt to the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards.

It’s always been a bit more socially acceptable for women to wear men’s clothing, but with the inspiration of celebrities like Johnny Depp and Jared Leto, men are doing it too. Some men these days are risky enough to wear traditionally feminine colours like pink and purple, floral pocket squares, or paisley-patterned dress shirts. We’ve also seen men in skinny jeans, adorned like Depp in jewelry, or with long, ombré hair à la Leto.

But women have been wearing accents of men’s clothing for years. Starting with women in the workplace donning male-inspired blazers, dress pants, and collared shirts, the trend has spread even further to baggy “boyfriend” jeans, loafers, and flannel and denim work shirts, leaving the men in our lives wondering where their clothes have disappeared to. If all of our closets begin to meld together, eventually, we might actually stop borrowing our boyfriends’ sweatshirts altogether.

This spring, androgyny’s in Ottawa. You can find genderless trends at Vincent, a women’s boutique on Preston Street. The shop carries high-end brands like Bailey 44 and Ganni. Both brands embody primarily feminine tastes, but they suggest subtle touches of masculinity, making them an excellent introduction into androgynous dressing for those who aren’t so sure.

Looks for spring include collared shirts, tailored dress pants, sporty sneakers, and the continued trend of one-piece jumpers. Colours for spring are subdued: gender-neutral shades of blues, whites, and greys are ubiquitous, and patterns are dainty and subtle. Ganni offers a line of skirts and dresses in a delicate yet distinctive floral pattern that provides a feminine edge to the masculine hues.

A navy blue collared dress from Bailey 44 A fun navy patterned jumper from Bailey 44 A feminine collared dress from Ganni

 

Soon enough, we won’t need to keep stealing our boyfriends’ clothes, but what will we do when they start stealing ours?

 

PLUS: Vincent, and Ottawa-based boutique run by two sisters, will host a charity event for Dress for Success next month on Saturday, April 18. From 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., you can donate your used work-wear for women in need. For donating, you’ll receive a discount on a purchase that day, as well as be entered to win a $250 closet makeover.