There’s a paradigm shift happening in fashion — millennials are making a move toward gender-neutral clothing. Blurring the lines between the concepts of men’s and women’s clothing, today’s youth are instead embracing a worldview that is more open to ideas of sexuality, identity and gender.
Leading the pack when it comes to breaking down ideas of gender is Sara Geffrard, editor-in-chief of A Dapper Chick, a style and fashion blog dedicated to women wearing menswear. With topics ranging from a timeline of women in menswear, to how to tie a tie (don’t pretend like you know how), to highlighting the fashion world’s move toward genderless clothing lines, Geffrard’s blog is testament to the power of style.
“Yes, I like wearing men’s clothing and I present myself in a rather masculine way, but I also love being a woman.” (A Dapper Chick/Submitted)
Geffrard describes her style as “svelte, classic, progressive, modernistic, and engaging,” with an emphasis on good fit and comfort. She started her blog as means of sharing her personal style, and has since gone on to found The Dapper Chicks, a group of women dedicated to using style to help empower others, “standing in style” for causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness and women’s equality.
While Geffrard now has a love of suits, vests and coats, her style evolved from a desire to be comfortable and be a reflection of who she is. A self described introvert, Geffrard uses her style to help give her a voice.
“I embrace both masculinity and femininity,” she says. “Yes, I like wearing men’s clothing and I present myself in a rather masculine way, but I also love being a woman. I like doing girly things, sometimes I let my nails grow long, and I cover my eyes when people kiss in movies. I don’t feel as if I have to be a specific way, and that’s comforting.”
Geffrard says she would like to see gender removed from style, and she’s not alone — the fashion community has been blurring the lines for some time. Models like Rain Dove, Elliott Sailors and Casey Legler — all born female — are well known for modelling menswear. And it’s not just women breaking down fashion’s idea of gender. After Will Smith’s son Jaden made headlines when he was pictured wearing a dress to a friend’s prom, he has since gone on to become the face of Louis Vuitton’s SS16 Womenswear campaign. Even Zara has entered the game, debuting a gender-neutral line for the 2016 season.
“Style should be about fit and expression, not gender-specific.” (A Dapper Chick/Submitted)
For Geffrard though, it’s all about comfort and what makes her feel good, as she sees her sexuality and style as completely autonomous concepts. “Style should be about fit and expression, not gender-specific. I know men who shop in the women’s section because they’re too small to fit the male sizes provided. In addition to shopping in the men’s section, I also browse the women’s and the kids’ section. If it fits, the rest is history,” she says.
However, she’s well aware of how her style is helping to break down ideas of heteronormativity.
“The idea of heteronormativity is absurd, and thankfully more and more people are coming to that conclusion and becoming more accepting. I’m grateful that I can help, even in the smallest amounts, change these views.”