The Tomboy: not feminine till it’s time to be.
Kate King | On 19, May 2018
Tomboys have existed for years, only now are they able to hold their feminine power in their fashion. Tomboys have long been mistaken as lesbians but for many, it is simply a way to be able to wear clothes less feminine than others and be comfortable. Their levels of femininity are chosen day to day, whether it’s a skirt and t-shirt, a dress or pants and sneakers.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman succinctly described tomboys in one simple quote, “A healthy young creature, who is human through and through; not feminine till it is time to be”. Being a tomboy is about being able to wear pants all week with a pair of converse and then on a weekend when you go out wear six-inch heels and a stylish black dress.
The empowerment that tomboy fashion brings to some has significant effects on the way they perceive their femininity and how they have power over it, for some it is simply comfort and your own choice in what’s ‘fashionable’:
“To me, it’s not about the latest trend, it’s about wearing something you feel great in- I’m talking comfort here too!
“Wear what you love. I love sneakers and skirts. I don’t care what colour or cut is on trend… I’ll wear pastel in winter and deep colours in summer if I want!”- Liv, 20
Tomboy fashion isn’t just for people of a certain age, women from a very young age almost unintentionally take on this tomboy lifestyle. For some parents watching their daughter grow up refusing to wear skirts and running around with the boys paved the way for their adolescence.
“I wasn’t disappointed. How she wanted to dress was a reflection of her personality and what activities she wanted to do. I had to go with the flow, or what her flow was.”- Helene, 45
Some view the tomboy style as a way to explore androgyny and have more of a choice in the way they are feeling, whether it is uber-feminine or more masculine:
“Fashion is fluid, just like gender. It allows me to dress how I feel on any given day… it makes me feel empowered and in control of my own body and how others perceive me. I don’t feel the obligation to conform to norms or society telling me I must be feminine to be attractive.”- Alexis, 20
“Wearing what I want to wear and not being judged feels amazing… I can do anything and nothing is in the way to stop me. I won’t be told what I can and can’t wear, I just do as I want and wear it.”- Lucy, 14
Tomboy fashion I something that will continue to become popular as more young women take control of their femininity. Although tomboys have been around for years there’s a long way to go for tomboy fashion and the androgynous style.