Star couples sharing clothes? No wonder genderless fashion is hot

PHOTO: Unsplash

Quite possibly one of the best things to come out of 2021 has been the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Who knew we all needed Bennifer 2.0?

The couple ended their engagement in 2004 but have since been spotted on loved-up holidays, sparking a sense of nostalgia and hopefulness that love and redemption can be found no matter how long it’s been.

JLo, the ultimate glamour icon, has been snapped wearing an oversized plaid shirt that appears to actually belong to her new/old flame. From what internet style detectives can gather, actor Affleck , not a glamour icon, wore the very same shirt in May.

The idea of Lopez, a true and glorious diva, wearing her boyfriend’s plaid shirt – well, it just tickles, doesn’t it? She’s still just Jenny from the Block.

JLo isn’t the only celebrity into sharing her wardrobe with her guy. The delicious gossip Instagram account Deuxmoi recently shared a series of examples of celebrities borrowing from their partner.

On the list? Actress and model Lily-Rose Depp and actor Timothée Chalamet sharing a T-shirt, singer Harry Styles and actress Olivia Wilde in the same plaid shirt (shout-out to the low-key romance of the plaid shirt) and Mad Men actor Jon Hamm and his rumoured girlfriend, actress Anna Osceola, wearing the same shirt on two different occasions.

Meanwhile, on a slightly tangential note, Megan Fox revealed on US late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! that she intentionally matches outfits with her beau, rapper Machine Gun Kelly. “We do [match], yeah,” the actress said on the show in July. That’s something I started with him because he’s such a flamboyant dresser.

“I can’t really pull off just the sweatpants and the yoga gear. I have to, like, elevate myself to his level.”

The shared couple wardrobe (share-drobe?) also plays into that ultimate fashion catnip – “borrowing from the boys”. The idea of wearing a paramour’s oversized shirt, blazer, tie, waistcoat or, hell, boxer briefs, has long held allure.

Hommegirls, available at Net-a-Porter, takes its cues from menswear.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

Think Diane Keaton in 1977 film Annie Hall, or Julia Roberts in her ’90s baggy suits and any of the Instagram fashion set currently wearing oversized blazers, super loose, low-rise jeans or boxer briefs. All of which are major trends this year.

Indeed, Danish fashion it-girl Pernille Teisbaek recently posted a snap of herself wearing a pair of boxer shorts with a blazer in a look she captioned “summer suit” and which is certain to be emulated by many a fashion follower.

Teisbaek’s boxer shorts are from fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul’s new-ish label, HommeGirls (a recent addition to Net-a-Porter among other retailers). The effortlessly cool brand takes its cues from menswear with a tight collection that includes crisp shirting, boxer shorts and socks. Another brand, Les Girls Les Boys, told Vogue UK this month it has seen a 300 per cent rise in women buying the brand’s classic boxer briefs.

While the “borrowed from the boys” aesthetic has eternal appeal, the concept of gendered clothes is becoming increasingly redundant.

Consider, for example, style icons Harry Styles and actor Billy Porter looking gorgeous in skirts (according to global fashion search platform Lyst, searches for US fashion designer Thom Browne’s skirts for men were up 152 per cent since January this year). Not to mention the rise of gender neutral or genderless fashion , something that Vogue Business notes is increasingly what Gen Z expects and demands.

In a 2020 survey, Vice Media noted that 56 per cent of Gen Z consumers already shop outside their gender. “Brands and retailers need to understand that Gen Z don’t think of themselves in terms of boxes or binaries. And they don’t want brands to either,” Emily Safian-Demers, an editor at trend forecaster Wunderman Thompson told Vogue Business .

The concept of gendered clothes is becoming increasingly redundant – consider Harry Styles in a skirt for Vogue.
PHOTO: Tyler Mitchell

Deborah Sams, creative director at Australian label Bassike, which is available in more than 60 retailers around the world and has a particular focus on beautiful basics that suit everyone, says while the concept of genderless fashion is not groundbreaking, it’s definitely gaining momentum.

“The concept of genderless fashion is by no means new, but it’s certainly gained a lot more mainstream attention in recent years with the rise of oversized tailoring and the ease of slouchier fits for both women and men,” she says. The brand has experienced particular success with the universal appeal of its low-slung denim styles, cotton-jersey shirts and sneakers.

“I think the boundaries and concept of what we consider ‘genderless fashion’ will only continue to expand, as the industry looks to become more inclusive and diverse in the future,” she adds.

Pray tell JLo and co are taking note.

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.