Her Guide To Life

An Unofficial Guide to Staying Sane(ish) in your 20s

Monday, 14 March 2016

Why Zara's Ungendered Range Sucks

Grey, grey, grey... OOH, BROWN! Grey...

A couple of weeks ago, high-street fashion giant ZARA launched a brand new range of clothing that they're marketing as a separate, new category of style: 'ungendered' clothing. 

'Hurrah!' yells the world. 'One step closer to breaking down these arbitrary gender limitations! No longer must we feel confined by our gender in expressing ourselves through the clothes we wear!'

Sounds pretty good, right? You're right. It does. In theory. And it completely would be... if that's what ZARA had actually achieved with this new 'cutting edge' range.

But, just in case the title of this blog post didn't give it away... they haven't. They've actually kind of done the opposite.

The range pretty much exists in shades of grey, more grey, a bit of navy, and a tiny bit of brown. The actual clothes are hoodie tops, jeans, more hoodie tops, a token pair of shorts and a couple of vest tops. White vest tops. And that's literally the extent of how you can describe these non-offensive items. Literally any kind of pattern, colour, shape, texture, and essentially anything that could be perceived as a defining feature has been completely removed from every single item of clothing.

I kind of see their logic. In making these clothes as shapeless and no-committal as possible, ZARA have tried to create clothes that are neither suited for 'boys' or 'girls' more. Except there's one problem. They've totally, totally missed the point of behind 'ungendered' clothing. The point isn't to have 'girls' clothes, 'boys' clothes, and 'ungendered' clothes as three separate fashion categories to keep everybody happy.

The point is: pink clothes are not for girls. Blue clothes are not for boys. There is no fashion law that says that boys can't wear skirts. People, and only people, have created these stupid societal constructs around gendered clothing.

Items from the ZARA 'Ungendered' range.
The point is to MAKE 'girls' clothes and 'boys' clothes ungendered, by stopping calling them 'girls' clothes and 'boys' clothes. That's really all there is to it. Then Billy from Hull can wear a dress without it being from the women's section, and Meg from Portsmouth can turn up to prom in a tuxedo.

Right now, 'ungendered clothing' seems to mean 'clothing appropriate for both girls and boys, according to outdated heteronormative views and expectations'.

What we REALLY want, when we talk about ungendered clothing, isn't to remove the patterns, colours and textures from clothes to make new, 'ungendered' clothes. Instead, it's for people to remove their outdated ideas of what's for 'boys' and what's for 'girls' from the clothes that actually already exist.

The bottom line is this - ZARA, if you want to create ranges of 'ungendered' clothing, all you have to do is take the words 'Men' and 'Women' off of your website sections.
Done. Don't you feel silly for spending all that money on marketing now?

You tried. And we do appreciate it. We really do. But unfortunately, you didn't quite get it right this time.

Hannah x



  1. I LOVE this post. I am in absolute agreement with you! Generally the best post I have read in a while, thank you.

  2. I love this post!
    I totally agree with you! I understand why they did it and in theory it's a great idea but it should of actually been filled with lots of colour and fun patterns! At the end of day if I want to wear a grey hoodie I wouldn't care if it was from the men's or women's section because it's just a bloody hoodie?!?!
    A* for effort Zara F for the actual products x

    Thrifty vintage fashion

  3. Gosh, when I saw the title of this blog post I was so nervous, but I agree with you completely. It was my first thought - it's all so bland and unremarkable - but hopefully it's the start of things to come and it'll improve with time!

  4. Agree with all of this. So close, but yet so far...

    Rachel | A Little Grey


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