Monday, May 13, 2013

The Perks of being a Tomboy

Dearest Third Cousin,

The spirit of the Tomboy is godamm irresistible. A girl, who climbs trees and beats the boys at their own game, what’s not to love? But what happens when this girl grows up? Who does she become and what does she wear? Tomboy culture is vibrant and varied. I imagine there are as many perks to being a Tomboy as there are women who identify as Tomboys, with this in mind, I have put together a rather incomplete list of some personal Tomboy highlights.

I feel pretty at home in the tomboy category but I also do not feel defined by it. For me, much of the allure of Tomboy is the essence of it. The Tomboy spirit is uninhibited and rebellious but with a good dose of self awareness, this woman knows who she is, what she likes and how she likes it. At 22 I'm still figuring it out, but I'm definitely beginning to understand what I really like, particularly in terms of clothing. I tend to gravitate towards masculine tailoring, tough fabrics, shirts/t-shirts and flat-ish shoes. That said, I still love some typically feminine clothing, I have yet to meet any kind of sequined/embellished separate I haven't taken a fancy to. On the whole though, my wardrobe has become more basic and my personal style has become more menswear orientated. These masculine styles have contributed to my growing allegiance to all things Tomboy, it's an identity I increasingly feel more comfortable inhibiting.

One of the perks of being a Tomboy is the lifestyle and fashion brand, Wildfang. Wildfang is a German word that literally means Tomboy but also means 'wild child', 'rascal' and 'animal caught in the wind', kinda brilliant, right? This online space celebrates everything about the Tomboy spirit while offering a top class selection of menswear inspired clothing. The brand was founded by two friends, Irish and Fox, otherwise known as Emma McIllroy and Julia Parsley, who enjoy blazers and stilettos as well as, button downs and sneakers. They are 'liberating menswear one bow tie at a time'. If I'm being completely honest,Wildfang's clothing is expensive and there are many cheaper options out there, but the spirit of the brand should be applauded and if I had the money I'd probably buy into it. The video below, was made by Wildfang and it illustrates everything the brand is about, if you have the time take a minute and enjoy it, it features a cast of Tomboys all wearing Wildfang while exuding the spirit of the brand.

Nadia Sarwar is one of the women depicted above, she is the force behind the blog froufrouu. Nadia's style is an effortless take on menswear, she is a brilliant representation of modern femininity. Nadia sources most of her clothing from vintage and thrift shops, the menswear sections in vintage and thrift shops are often the least picked over and usually offer some of the best quality pieces, this is another perk of being a Tomboy. I have found some beautiful menswear jackets in charity shops, ranging from a genuine vintage tweed to an as good as new burgundy Topman beauty, both of which were under ten euro. Another easy charity shop/vintage find are men's jeans. I love wearing them rolled up at the ends with a thick leather belt, much cheaper and better quality than many high-street 'Boyfriend Jeans'. These two elements, worn together or separately, with wide brimmed hats, beanies, stacked jewellery, various t-shirts/shirts and my trusty black leather boots have become a kind of uniform. This uniform, offers me the chance to project my personal take on Tomboy style and hopefully the Tomboy spirit too.

A woman who definitely projects the spirit and fashion sensibilities of a Tomboy is Alison Mosshart. While her personal style is perfect for the demands of her day job, as the commanding front-woman of the Kills, she is also a fierce (in the non Tyra Banks sense of the word) representation of femininity in the 21st century. She is unabashedly dominating and sexual on stage, her dueling with Jack White while performing 'Will there be Enough Water?' is flooded with tension. On stage she presents a genuine and un-contrived force, her presence is simply powerful. While Alison's onstage persona is captivating, her personal style is just as magnificent, it's simple masculine overtones are shaded by stunning jewellery and the odd sequin. Her hair deserves a post of its own. She is a perk of being a Tomboy, which is a strange way of saying that Alison is a woman who has succeeded in an area of music that is mostly populated by men, just like Suzi Quatro and arguably the queen of Tomboy style and culture, Patti Smith. These women offer a version of femininity that is modern and vibrant. They should be celebrated. Quatro and Smith are, like Alison, perks of being a Tomboy but perhaps best left for another day, or part two of this post.

Tomboy's are multifaceted and more nuanced than this blog post could hint at but I hope you get a sense of a few perks of being a Tomboy. Menswear is a great addition to any wardrobe but the real appeal of the Toyboy is the self assured and confident nature of a women who is in control of her appearance and her identity.

Images via: Froufrouu.com



  1. I love your blog - great post :)

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  2. Interesting idea of tomboyism as a concept. I don't like girly stuff, but I don't know if I'm a tomboy either. In the end, we're all women first and foremost.

  3. @charlottelewis @writerlyderv thanks for your comments!


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