Well, casual wear has also seen its share of ups and downs and a whole lot of modifications to finally serve the tastes of us all. Let’s be a part of this journey.
Reminiscing the good old days of bell bottoms, denim jackets, floral shirts takes us into nostalgia. But if we think about it, bell bottoms are back in today’s fashion scene as well, denim jackets and shirts have been an on and off visitor and floral shirts are witnessing a revival also with both guys and girls opting for various versions of them, be it crop tops and tunics for girls or slim fit floral shirts for guys.
Now taking on the journey of some popular casual wears, we have Turtleneck sweaters. They were everywhere in the 19th century. Started with the naval officers, athletes and domestic workers initially and then found their way into the middle class by the mid of 20th century. Worn both by men and women, generally popular with students and intellectuals afterwards, it has found its way here as well. We have turtleneck t-shirts, crop tops, sweaters even now without much of a modification.
Next is the sweatshirt or the hoodie. Now a favourite of the young generation, particularly students, and adventurers, sports person etc. the hoodie dates back to the medieval ages. Monks, magicians, messengers used to wear hooded robes. By the 1970s it had its takers in the hip hop industry when Sylvester sported hoodies in Rocky. And now we have people with sweatshirts sweating it out in the gym, athletes working out in them and students and every common man sporting one.
Leggings have been used for centuries by both men and women for protecting their legs. Also known as warmers or tights. Hunters and cowboys used to wear leather leggings to protect them from animals, snake bites etc. They were adopted by the military as well. Now we have leggings, a mix of jeans and leggings, ripped leggings, with warmers and tights still continuing in their original form and serving as an extra layer of clothing. Leggings are mostly used by sports persons, people in gyms and even in everyday wear with tops and t-shirts alike.
Bomber jacket usually worn by the forces, especially by military pilots, during both the first and the second world war. Also known as the flight jacket, it has now become a part of common culture and worn for daily purpose by students and elders alike. Thermal and leather bomber jackets in winters and the one with other silhouettes in summers.
Denim jackets – with their advent in the 19th century America, they have been very popular amongst the masses. The purpose to design a denim jacket was to give miners, cowboys and railroad workers a rough and tough clothing for their everyday wear. One which can the stand the wear and tear of their workplace and this, be long lasting. Worn by men and women alike this serves the young generation really well as it can be paired with anything. Be it summer or winter, it goes with every season. This one is one multifaceted casual wear on the block. Add it to any plain casual wear and see yourself transform completely.
Dungarees – initially worn by workers, slaves and people involved in hard labour as a protective clothing. It has seen a whole lot of ups and downs. Worn by American soldiers in the first world war, then it saw itself confined to the ghettos or the poorest parts of the city. This led to women going for factory work (as men were out for war) and opting for dungarees or overalls, back then. Now they have evolved into a high fashion garment. A favourite amongst children it has takers in both men and women (generally college going students). We have so many different versions available now varying in length, material etc. with girls wearing them with crop tops and wearing them with one shoulder off buttoned and so many new variants that keeps this clothing looking fresh even today. Jumpsuits were also derived from dungarees.
We shouldn’t forget that Unisex fashion itself evolved with time. Since the beginning until the 17th and 18th century, men and female wear was divided, even in fabrics. The capitalist society in Europe led to the phenomena of gender based clothing. Girls and women were supposed to wear gowns with a soft, flowing and lacy touch. Satin ribbons, corsets etc. were worn by women. Men wore suits. With the royal, high class people wearing expensive fabrics like nylon and the poor with cheaper fabrics like cotton. The rich and the affluent wore silk robes on top of their clothing. However in the mid of the 20th century, it changed for the good and gender neutral or unisex fashion trends came on the forefront. Fashion that was not specifically for a given gender. The whole idea was to be young and restless with no particular trend or rule governing what should be worn by girls or the females and what should be worn by the male population. The hippie fashion had caught on. Then in the 1970s, a reverse of sorts was witnessed with females preferring masculine clothes and making their way into the rock and roll generation. Fashion after all is in the mind. What you feel inside should reflect on the outside. It is not gender sensitized. Continuing that thought today we have gender neutral clothing everywhere. From tees, pants, trousers, jackets everything wearable by both men and women. Nobody can be the judge as to what outfit goes better with what gender. Both men and women are fighting it out ( not literally) and excelling in their own way. This is the freedom that is needed. We have to break the boundaries of this gender divide and rise above to see the bigger picture. The ultimate reality of humanity. So, don’t be afraid of tags, go casual, go unisex!