The term was coined in the 1960s and was used fairly informally. Though the combining form uni- is from the Latin unus meaning one, the term seems to have been influenced by words such as united and universal where the uni- prefix takes on the sense of shared. In this sense, it can be seen as meaning shared by sexes.
Hair stylists and beauty salons that serve both men and women are often referred to as unisex. This is also typical of other services and products that had traditionally been separated by sexes, such as clothing shops or beauty products. Public toilets are commonly sex segregated but if that is not the case, they are referred to as unisex public toilets. Unisex clothing includes garments like T-shirts; versions of other garments may be tailored for the different fits depending on one's sex, such as jeans. The sharing of a pool, beach or other water or recreational facility by swimmers and others of various sexes is commonly referred to as mixed bathing. 'Mates' was the first unisex store created by Irvine Sellar in England. When a school admits students of various sexes, it may be called coeducational or a mixed-sex school.
|Look up unisex in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|