How Fashion Is Changing: Challenging The Binary With Gender-Free Stores And Trends

The past few years have resulted in a gradual push to eliminate gender-driven organization of fashion both in stores and online. For one store in New York City, it’s the first of its kind.

The Phluid Project is one of the first stores to offer a non-binary shopping experience for its customers. This space allows customers to shop at their leisure among gender-free brands which are organized by aesthetic and color. They also have the opportunity to enjoy a safe community space while drinking fresh coffee as they shop.

The store’s founder, Rob Smith, was inspired by people who want to be themselves.

“There is a paradigm shift that is currently happening in our society. Today’s young people are leaving behind the traditional roles and structures that constrained generations prior. They are choosing to live a freer and more self-expressive life,” he said.

It’s a space he claims to have wanted when he was younger.

Nearly 60% of women have trouble finding something to wear each day.

This is even more difficult for non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals who feel like they don’t have a safe space to shop.

On top of the clothing options available for non-conforming individuals and allies, the store also offers Q and A sessions each Tuesday. One time, the store even featured 10-year-old drag performer, Desmond Napoles, where he talked candidly about fashion tips and misconceptions regarding the drag community.

This isn’t the only fashion trend that’s taken off, however. The push toward thrifting, especially among college students, has taken off with renewed vigor as broke students rely on second-hand clothing.

These students are also picking up on androgynous fashion as they’re able to experiment with more affordable options. Many are inspired after studying abroad.

“European fashion is completely different in that they just don’t care about exposing themselves in different ways than we do. They are way more comfortable with more androgynous looks, and I fell in love with that,” says Elijah Hart, writer for Bend.

Finding affordable fashion is also difficult for those who have to perform difficult jobs that rely on function over fashion.

There are over 15 million people in America who serve as unpaid caregivers for their loved ones. These individuals may suffer from Alzheimer’s or even dementia. As they work hard to care for their family member day in and day out, it can be difficult for fashion to meet function.

As fashion trends lead to a greater availability of clothing and accessories, hopefully more people will be able to afford styles that suit their wants and needs.

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