World 88

When British troops defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 in World 88, Elizabeth I chose to address them wearing an adapted version of her father’s armour. The positive public response to this ‘cross-dressing’ prompted a reconsideration of the royal wardrobe and, by extension, that of the court. To commemorate this significant victory a Royal Proclamation was issued, declaring the clothing would not designate gender – merely rank.

Over time clothing choices have become personal to the wearer: a means of communicating political allegiance, cultural background and status. Fashions for specific garments still arise, but clothes are designed to suit a range of different physiques.

What if …

fashion were genderless?

Issue targeted:

My world doesn’t address this directly, but I hope that if fashion were genderless it would be easier to pass on clothes, re-wear clothes and adapt clothes for different bodies.


My interactions with friends, colleagues and students who do not identify as a binary gender, creative practice of the students I teach, changing ideas about gendered garments, fabrics and colours, across the course of fashion history and within different cultures.

This World was contributed by a Fashion Fictions contributor (located in the UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions