Fashion and Gender

ZARA Women Fall Winter Look (masculine  look for women)

-Does your dress follow traditional gender roles?

Gender roles are the way people act, what they do and say, to express being a girl or a boy, a woman or a man. My dress may heavily follow my gender roles that a woman is expected to look graceful, soft and elegant at some times in different situations. For example, I don’t wear high heels and sexy skirt only when I have a date. At most of my time, I tend to wear something that looks ‘neutral’ because I desire to be active, hard, and independent which are some of the masculine traits. So I may wear something like blazer which design has adapted the men’s suit but perfectly fit for women’s body form. I may also wear boyfriend style shirt. However, I still prefer to maintain some of the feminine traits or ‘balance’ my look by wearing a lovely skirt with my suit. This kind of look expresses my desire that adapting some characteristics of men. Meanwhile, it still tells my gender role.

-How does your gender influence your apparel choices?

Gender refers to society’s expectations about how we think and act as girls or boys, women or men.  Like most of the girls, I like lovely skirts, high heels, and sexy garments. But I also want to challenge the gender stereotype that females are relatively passive, weak, loving and soft. So I may pick things that look masculine sometimes. I might wear men’s perfume sometimes.(For example, Kenzo’s L’Eau Par Kenzo Eau De Toilette which with masculine scent of watery floral and vanilla is one of my favorite perfumes.) It is kind of special feeling when you smell something that is the opposite of your gender. It is playful and stylish. That is the way I express strong, power and independent in my appearance. I feel I can get power from those stuffs.

-In what ways do you dress outside of your gender?

When I want to show another side of my personality, I would dress outside of my gender. As my respond in the first question, I would wear suit. In fact, all men have some so-called feminine traits while all women have some so-called masculine traits. We just show those different traits at different times. In the fashion world, gender stereotype has less influence than other areas in the society. (ex: occupation choices, family roles. It is not acceptable to see women doing some constructions work as men but it is acceptable to see girls wearing men’s suit on the street.)

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