An Open Letter In Defense Of The Tomboy Style

Why does an amazing #OOTD post or a stream of endless compliments seem to be limited to those days when your outfit is on the super feminine side? It seems that while something like a form-fitting dress is greeted with enthusiastic approval from others, a shapeless shift is brushed off simply as a lack of effort or as not caring at all about your appearance. It’s hard to think otherwise, especially given that most of the recent trends (off-the-shoulder tops, high-waisted suede skirts) are camped squarely under the definition of “girly.”


But I keep asking myself, why should just one interpretation of personal style contribute to a broader perception of what it means to have “good style”? I think that for so long, gender stereotypes dictated the way women should appear and carry themselves such that even today there’s an inherent bias against anti-femme or “boyish” style. I remember growing up and going shopping was always a battle between what I thought was cool and what would appease my mother (who would ultimately be the one paying). I always knew that I liked oversized, dark clothes but wouldn’t learn until much later that there really can be power in this tomboy instinct. Just look at the latest collections from the Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons runways, two labels whose silhouettes and badass attitude speak directly to my soul.


In the timeless words of Mr. Yamamoto, “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy—but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.'” These are certainly words to live by. Black is my color because it embodies my personality in all of its nuances. Yes, I love to follow trends and write about fashion on the daily. No, I don’t think a tomboy-ish wardrobe makes me any more or less qualified to discuss what’s “cool” or new or fresh in fashion. And according to all of those Tumblr quotes, “every cool girl is half boy” anyway, right?


Whether or not you have the same guiding style principles as I do, there’s one important take away from all of this, and that is the irrefutable truth that whatever you wear, if you feel good in it you will look amazing. I don’t care if you are wearing a prom dress or a paper bag, confidence is at the heart of having great style.

What’s your take on tomboy style? Sound off on social media by tagging CollegeFashionista.