The Rise of the Tomboy

The term ‘Tomboy’ was once only attached to adolescent girls, more at home jumping fences than jumping on the ‘pretty’ train, drawn to the exploration of nature, sport and adventure. In reality this gravitation of the young to the wild is not unique, rare or gender based – it is human instinct playing out in its purest form. Most kids, boys and girls, want to run, play, push the limits physically and exist in the moment. The ‘Tomboy’ term should have simply been ‘Tomkid’, for the active, physical and adventurous souls dancing through their young days with reckless abandon.

The term Tomboy has evolved to take on quite a new meaning. No longer only attached to the young, the Tomboy title has a firm hold in the fashion industry becoming a subculture and for many, a badge of honour. Being a Tomboy has become a well-respected, widely understood and strongly represented genre. We have seen the rise of blogs and businesses such as Tomboy Beauty and Gritty Pretty which offer style and beauty inspiration in a very natural, pared back way. This once unexplored pocket of the fashion industry is not only growing in numbers but also bankability. Tomboy style has swept in and disrupted the marriage of fashion and glamour, two terms once bound tightly together, proving there is an avenue in fashion for those with a love for style without fuss, with an appreciation of fine design without the bling.

The rise of minimalism was undoubtedly the catalyst to the birth of the Tomboy genre in fashion. With the clean, simple aesthetic of Normcore dressing taking center stage in the last few years, the normalization of androgyny, comfort and ease in dressing has slowly shifted into the collective subconscious. It is now widely accepted that dressing down and letting loose is stylish. There was a time sneakers were stashed away following the morning office commute, only emerging once safely out of corporate sight and around the corner on the journey home. The sneaker of today would be aghast at its treatment in the past, relegated to a hidden spot under the desk, hidden in shame. The sneaker is now out, loud and proud, fusing comfort with chic in all the best ways – it is not just socially acceptable now but next-level-cool, celebrated and admired. The same can said of basic t-shirts, distressed denim, messy hair, brogues and just-threw-this-on separates – once deemed sloppy or anti-fashion now celebrated and revered.


In our uncertain times and rapidly changing world, as we are faced with important, worrying and scary issues it seems offensive to be wrap up in opulence. The anti-glam movement is the way forward for fashion as we bid farewell to excess, waste, gender inequality and class. It comes down to the notion of less is more, living authentically, choosing to simplify and to surrender to the real self through the abandonment of physical manipulation and the effort to be pretty or perfect. Being a Tomboy is about loving the skin you’re in, being comfortable and feeling free to enjoy life without restriction…and isn’t that what true style is all about?


All Images sourced from Pinterest  

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