After Daisy Edmonds, aged eight and fabulous, casually destroyed gendered clothing in September, and Jaden Smith launched his gender-neutral clothing line for teens, called MSFTS, in August, we bring you a list of facts that prove the parts you were born with have no bearing on what you choose to cover them with.
Leg show for the limber
It’s only recently in human history that women have started to wear pants, but it’s also just that recently that skirts have been relegated to the feminine sphere. Even today, if not regularly, Scottish men wear kilts, men from Greece wear a fustanella and, Indian men wear dhotis and lungis. Logically, these sarongs are more comfortable in tropical climates and allow, for the lack of a better word, ventilation, to the nethers.
Pink, blue, pink, blue, pastels!
Smithsonian.com ran an in-depth piece on the arbitrary nature of gendered clothing. The piece discovers that the history of infants wearing anything but white is as recent as World War I. Even later, most parents preferred pastel hues, as constant washing of the clothes would wear out the dark colours. In fact, a 1918 article in trade publication, Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, recommends blue for girls as it ‘is a daintier colour,’ and pink for boys because of its strong and bold nature. Some stories suggest that because Hitler chose to represent homosexual men in concentration camps with a pink triangle, it triggered an immediate response from the allied half to switch from pink to blue for boys.
Corsets and the cosmos
‘One step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.’—As often as that iconic sentence is misquoted, that’s how many men (compared to women) have been in space. Both, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin staked a claim for men, on the moon, but their spacesuits made claims for the women who knew breathing under difficult circumstances wasn’t a man’s job. International Latex Corporation, now Playtex, were the forerunners of space style. The reason they received the contract is speculated upon the fact that any company that could successfully make obstructive girdles, which didn’t cut-off the oxygen supply of the wearer, would surely find ways to enable astronauts to breathe easy in space.
High heels for horse-riding royals
While there are some hieroglyphs (ancient Egyptian writing system) that point toward high-heels being used for ceremonial purposes in ancient Egypt, the oldest depicted proof comes from 9th century AD Persian Bowl. Many historians believe that male warriors in the Middle East functionally wore them to make sure that their feet didn’t slip out of stirrups while riding a horse.
Louis XIV famously decreed only royals could wear high heels. The reason being that only those who had no business doing manual labour could pull off such impractical shoes. He even had a shoemaker, Nicholas Lestage, who designed footwear depicting battle scenes on the heels. After the French Revolution, and the fall of monarchy, they went out fashion, only to be resurrected in our times as female-only, at complete random.
Matchy-matchy for him and her
A trend that has been popular since the late 1980’s, in east Asia (South Korea, Japan, and China) is popularly known as Keo-Peul-Look (‘couples clothing’ in Korean), which encourages couples to dress alike. Even, if it’s not the same article of clothing, the designs and patterns match exactly. Many couples do it to proclaim love for one another and flaunt the look on everyday streets.A similar trend is observed in Japan (Osoroi code), though it is not couple-related and involves all members of a group dressing in the same or similar manner. This style is frequently replicated on red carpets in an abbreviated version, where men match their ties or pocket squares with their partner’s dresses.