There’s no way around it: I just don’t look right in a dress. When I see myself in a skirt, it reminds me of how people sometimes dress their pets in ridiculous outfits. It just looks awkward and laughable, and no matter how theoretically sexy the dress is supposed to be, if it’s on me, all the sex appeal goes right out the window.
Put me in a pair of low-rise jeans and a fitted t-shirt, however, and it’s a different story. I can rock that look like no one else. I’m sure many of you out there are nodding your heads. You know you can put the frilly girls to shame when you put your mind to it.
For those of us who were never into Barbies or playing dress-up, who find high heels silly rather than sexy, looking and feeling beautiful and feminine has nothing to do with frilly skirts or glittery accessories. We keep it simple and functional, but that doesn’t mean we’re plain or frumpy. Au contraire — there’s a lot of sex appeal to be had if you’re a tomboy who likes to look good.
Marlene Dietrich was our pioneer. She’s the one who made wearing pants not just acceptable, but downright glamorous. She was the epitome of femininity, without being particularly “girly.” She was strong, and her beauty was in her strength.
In more recent years, women like Melanie Chisolm (known to most as Sporty Spice) paved the way for the modern trends of tomboy fashion. In the 1990s, her trademark tracksuit-and-trainers look made her an instant role model to a whole generation of women around the world who wanted to be alluring without being bogged down by the trappings of traditional “femininity.”
We tomboys tend to value practicality and comfort over anything else, but we also want to look appealing and feel as sexy as possible. The solution to this dilemma is simple enough, because there are some basic rules of dressing yourself well that apply across the board, no matter what kind of clothes you like to wear:
Know your strengths.
Get to grips with the shape of your body. Are you an hourglass? A pear? An apple? Are there any areas you wish to conceal or draw attention to? For example, if you are self-conscious of your upper arms (I definitely am), a cap sleeve is probably not going to do much for your confidence in that area. Cap sleeves always look so cute on the hanger, but put that shirt on me, and all of a sudden my upper arms look like a sausages with little hats on — not the best choice for me. I stick with long sleeves when the weather allows, and instead focus on more dramatic necklines, because I have the collarbone to carry it off. Obviously your body is different from mine, so a shirt that will work for me may not work for you.
Take notice of other tomboys who look good, and ask yourself why.
I’m not talking about models in fashions magazines, I’m talking about women you see in your everyday life. Try to focus on ones who have the same basic figure that you do, and ask yourself what it is about their style that makes them stand out. This can give you ideas for new directions in fashion that you can experiment with.
Don’t choose clothes you’re uncomfortable in.
It goes without saying that if a woman is not comfortable in what she’s wearing, it doesn’t matter how sexy it’s supposed to be. Sex appeal is largely about confidence rather than specific garments. If you feel more self-assured in a pair of cargo pants than in skinny jeans, then find a way to make those cargo pants work for you, maybe by pairing them with a cute sports top. Don’t let an attachment to your comfort zone keep you from trying new things, though.
There’s no reason that even the most casual clothing can’t be sexy, too. Well-cut jeans and t-shirts are the classic choice, at least in my closet, but clothing shops are filled with an endless amount of cute possibilities. Just know that you’re in good company — millions of beautiful women around the world prefer pants to skirts and trainers to pumps, so if you include yourself in that group, let your natural confidence shine through in whatever tomboy outfit you choose to wear.