Going beyond gender differences...

Going beyond gender differences...

Going beyond gender differences...

However, designer Roopa Pemmaraju, who will soon be showcasing her Spring – Summer 2011 line of unisex collection at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, explains that she was attracted towards these garments due to their versatility and comfort level.  Be it jackets, jeans, or even shirts, most unisex clothes tend to favour men’s styling more than women’s. It seems women are more open to wearing men-inspired clothing than men are to women-inspired clothing. Disagrees Roopa, “In most European countries, the men are slim and dress in clothes inspired by women’s clothing. Of late, even in India, most men prefer to wear Jodhpuri pants which look fashionable on women as well.”

An interesting thing about Roopa’s collection is that one can wear it anytime, anywhere. “There are certain garments one can carry off at any time of the day. Clothes like summer jackets, kaftans, shorts, and smart tees fit the bill for both the day and night. Women can always create a balance by teaming up a smart, well-fitting top with shorts or a guy can wear a short kaftan top with jeans,” she suggests. For an ideal night out, Roopa says that there is nothing like a shirt dress. “This is simply a long formal shirt that can be worn by itself with a stylish belt by women and men can wear them with pants or jeans,” says Roopa, who adds that khakis are also very much in fashion. Layering is very important, and that is what adds a personal touch to the garment says Roopa. So be it a summer jacket over a dress for a girl or a good stole over a t-shirt or a kurti for a guy, a lot can be done using one’s imagination and fashion sense. 

Colours are everything in unisex clothes. Roopa says when one understands the colour coding, nothing can go wrong while donning these garments. “When it comes to unisex clothing, you cannot go in for the bright colours. Instead, stick to neutrals like grey, black and white. When it comes to khakis, colours like military green are the safest. However, one can also experiment with rusty colours. But keep it in mind that rusty colours don’t necessarily mean shades of red. Light pinks and off whites are also fine to an extent,” she adds.

And when accessories are concerned, Roopa says bling is back in vogue internationally. “It’s all about old coins, antiques, jewellery and flashy gold and silver chains. Those who like to experiment can go in for cycle chains, funky bangles and gold heels. With unisex fashion, it’s about the personality one brings in to the garment. The clothes go beyond genders and the person wearing them lend them a personality of their own ,” she signs off.

Maintaining a balance
Gloria, a second year student, says that while unisex clothing is not all that prominent in the market, it is very noticeable on the streets. “Knowingly or unknowingly, we tend to wear clothes that both men and women wear — be it the Converse shoes, jumpers or huge sweat shirts. We may not call it ‘unisex’ but many of us still wear it,” she adds.

Gloria also adds that it is the girls who end up dressing in men’s clothes than the other way around. But personally, Gloria likes to strike a balance.

“I know many girls who dress exactly like men and even end up looking like them. I like to mix and match things while I wear over-sized sweat shirts which are unisex. I team them up with skinny jeans or leggings, which are very feminine. The comfort one gets in unisex clothes is amazing but I always twist my look a bit and give it a feminine touch,” she adds.