There’s lots of conversation about gender these days and the fashion industry is no exception. Today, looks that work for him, often work for her.
While the movement may seem new to many, Footwear News has previously noted, the idea of unisex looks — particularly when it comes to shoes — is one that dates back decades. Just think about the iconic G.H. Bass penny moc, a popular look worn by coeds in the ’50s. And, Birkenstock’s hippie chic footbed sandals adopted by both sexes in the ’60s.
Women have always embraced menswear styles from trousers popularized by Katherine Hepburn in the ’30s to today’s boyfriend jeans. In the ’80s the movement was termed androgynous, with lots of he-she styles sent down the runways.
For men and women who want to step into one another’s shoes, there are plenty of choices, especially from iconic brands that offer their signature looks in women’s and men’s specific sizes.
British brand Dr. Martens takes top billing with its 8-eyelet 1460 boot in black leather. Originally embraced by a punk crowd of the ’60s, continues to resonate with a young consumer as well as those who remember the look the first time around.
Sister British brand Clarks, is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its unisex Desert Boot this year. A preppy favorite, it’s endured due to its timeless styling as well as comfort factor.
Classic Americana looks have also endured for both men and women. There’s the L.L. Bean outdoor boot, that experienced a revival last fall and Frye’s Belted Harness style.
For a more sophisticated way to embrace the genderless trend, there’s Tod’s Gommino driving moc. The super-chic look, introduced in the late ’70s, continues as a wardrobe staple.