Gropius House

Gender Construction

Shape, materials, and even colors of hats and shoes are often understood as gender specific. Those connections—high heels and femininity, for example—have changed over time. Once worn by cavalry men and nobility, high heels were gradually adopted by both genders. Perception of gender and clothing can also be intentionally misconstrued, altered, or subverted by the wearer and the observer. Around the turn of the twentieth century women adopted straw hats  previously worn by men, taking a gender-specific object and making it their own. The stylistic markers of gender have long been open to construction.