Menswear has made women feel confident for centuries, but will the gendered separation ever cease to exist?

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Stay ahead of the fashion trends and more with our free weekly Lifestyle Edit newsletter. I still remember the moment I discovered my true style – a long-sleeve ironed shirt with just the collar buttoned. At first, I wore it for practical reasons, as my workplace was always chilly. But something about the look made me feel confident and powerful. Now, I have a whole collection of these shirts, and I wear them with almost every outfit. More and more women are embracing men’s clothing to express their authentic selves and bridge the gap between gendered fashion.

The trend of women embracing menswear has a long history. In the early 19th century, women working in coal mines and riding horses adopted the male dress code for practical reasons. They needed freedom of movement that feminine clothing couldn’t provide. During the Second World War, women took on traditionally male jobs and embraced the pantsuit to be respected in the workplace. This was the beginning of women wearing masculine codes outside of work as well.

In recent times, the acceptance of baggy clothing for men has paved the way for women to explore new fashion choices. Baggy clothes challenge the idea that women’s bodies should always be on display for the male gaze. As society becomes more accepting of gender fluidity, designers have created non-gendered collections, breaking away from traditional labels of “men’s” and “women’s” clothing. Fashion can now be a way for individuals to experiment with their identity and express themselves.

Designers like Jonathan Anderson have embraced the power of fashion to break norms and empower individuals. Anderson believes that clothing can have a protective role on an emotional level and allow people to express their individuality. Celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid have also embraced the blending of feminine and masculine codes in their personal style, influencing the fashion trends.

Marissa Petteruti, a senior menswear designer, feels more comfortable in men’s clothing and has always gravitated towards it. She appreciates the simplicity and timelessness of menswear, which contrasts with the more cyclical nature of womenswear trends. Petteruti’s journey in fashion has been about going against expectations and finding her own sense of style.

In conclusion, the trend of women embracing menswear is not just about fashion but also about embracing individuality and breaking away from outdated norms. It is a way for women to feel confident and powerful in their own skin. As society becomes more accepting of gender fluidity, the boundaries between traditional menswear and womenswear are slowly dissolving, allowing for more freedom and creative expression.

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