Skirts and dresses have been symbols of femininity for ages. However, today women don’t adhere to a strict standard of dress. Instead, many opt for unisex wear or menswear-inspired clothing.
According to China Daily, more young females prefer clothing that appears more masculine. Yao Qing, 23, a designer working in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, is one of them. In 2016 when Yao became a college sophomore, she cut her hair shorter and got rid of her floral skirts. Then she started to wear collared shirts, loose pants and sneakers or clothes with few patterns in black, white or gray.
“I felt more myself that way,” Yao said, adding that although she has maintained the image of a “sweet and well-behaved lady” for years, she has been actually fond of outdoor sports such as skateboarding and skiing since childhood.
“I don’t agree with the stereotype of women being fragile. Women have the same courage and heroic spirit as men. We are free to show our true personality,” she said, adding that high-heeled shoes and skirts are inconvenient for daily use and action.
The rising trend of choosing non gender-specific attire lies in women’s awareness of their independence and individuality as well as the changes in gender-defined roles at work and home. As modern society has become more inclusive, people have diverse tastes and accept different styles. In a video on Sina Weibo, Xuan Yanmin, 34, a public service worker in Hangzhou, opened her boyfriend’s closet and tried on his clothes. Many internet users commented she looked handsome and cool and some said they were inspired to try garments of male members in their families. On the microblogging site, she started a discussion titled “How handsome girls can be in menswear”, which has received over 70 million views and 15,000 comments.
Xuan said society is more open now. “No one will judge you by the way you dress.”
The trend for women to be more spiritually and economically independent is, without a doubt, expressed in the way they dress, but stylist Shang Tao suggested that the trend not be followed blindly. “The key is to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses and the surrounding environment and choose clothes that can help you feel more confident,” he said.
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)