Gender-bending fashion rewrites the rules of who wears what

THE MESSAGE IS telegraphed from birth. Infant girls are swaddled in pink. Boys in blue. Girls wear skirts. Boys pants. The clichés fall easily from our lips. “Clothes make the man,” we say; “who wears the pants,” signals dominance. “A basic purpose of costume is to distinguish men from women,” Alison Lurie writes in “The Language of Clothes.” Dress, traditionally, is the membership card of gender.