It’s the fashion WOKE-walk! How Gen Z trendsetters are wearing oversized and shapeless clothes in a bid to look ‘genderless’ and are turning away from brands made specifically for one sex.
From Birkenstocks with tube socks to chunky trainers and baggy cargo pants, Gen Z trend-setters are opting for ‘deliberately genderless’ clothing to signpost their ‘woke’ ideals through fashion.
The latest A-list trend has seen celebs like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid embracing the world of baggy Hawaiian shirts, sleeveless knits, beanies and anoraks, to create a more relaxed, gender-fluid aesthetic.
The rise in oversized and shapeless garments is partially attributable to the younger generation not wanting to be associated with brands who make clothes specifically for ‘men or women’, voting with their wallets in the direction of non-binary fashion.
Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall was seen embracing the aesthetic, strolling through London wearing a blue knitted sweater vest and blue baggy shirt in September. Right: Presenter Stacey Dooley’s favoured aesthetic is baggy jeans and oversized shirts or jumpers
We are seeing far more gender-fluid clothing in the stores, with many designers and brands producing collections that are deliberately genderless. This has filtered down onto the high street. We have seen the “Fugly Trainer”, oversized shirts and tailoring, sleeveless knits (or tank tops as we used to call them), beanies, raincoats and similar dad-inspired pieces worn by the savviest of fashionistas.
Kendall Jenner has proved a fan of the sweater vest, donning a monochrome sleeveless knit (left) and striped vintage inspired jumper (right) while strolling through New York in recent months
Following intermittent lockdowns throughout the past two years, during which loungewear or lycra was the order of the day and every day felt like Groundhog Day, fashion is enjoying a new lease of life. Micro trends are popping up all over the high street and gathering unparalleled momentum thanks to social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.
The younger generation in particular, are keen to have their clothing cake and eat it. There’s a sense of ‘rules schmules’ in the air as consumers express their newfound freedom by wearing whatever they please. While similar fashion trends emerged in the 90s, this time around there feels to be more ‘substance’ and philosophy behind the aesthetic, with young shoppers keen to make a point with their look.
I’m loving it.