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Questions for other tomboys (or anyone else who dresses outside their gender's norm)


Question

      So, a long-winded bit of backstory before the questions - as long as I remember, I’ve preferred boyish clothes over girl clothes. I don’t really like dresses, or any sort of girly things. Sporty stuff is fine sometimes. I guess I just feel more comfortable in darker colours and baggier pants. I just feel more like me. My family doesn't mind that much, but sometimes it feels like they get annoyed that I don't wear nice looking feminine clothes if we go out somewhere, etc. You can just kind of tell, though they're good to stay quiet now.

 

    I used to end up with hand-me downs from my brother. Now that we're grown up though, if I try to go on shopping excursions with friends who are girls, or my mom, I actually literally get depressed that I don’t like anything in the girls section. There is so little appealing to tomboys and people outside gender fashion norms – at least where I live. I just feel like I should want to put on makeup and buy high heels and average style girl clothes. But instead, all I want to do is scour the boys section for size small (something I do rarely even though I want to). And then if I do dress up like a girl, people make dumb-ass jokes like “oh my gosh who are you and what have you done with xxxxxx?!”  The part that bothers me most, though, is a lot of people automatically think that because I like to wear boys clothes, I’m a lesbian, even though I’m straight. Mostly I understand the confusion and don’t have a problem with it - except I worry it confuses any guys who might be interested in me. I feel like I have to stamp “I like boys” on my forehead! :wink:

 

     So as for queries:

    1) I’d like to open to the floor to general advice/stories from anyone, particularly those who like to wear clothes outside what’s “proper” for their sex – for example, if someone could share how they explain to others why they like the clothes they do. Even just a simple “Hey, I’m like that too!” would be appreciated.

 

     2)  Second - for anyone who is straight, but dresses like the opposite sex – have you been able to find people who are also straight that think you’re attractive even if you’re dressing differently?

    > The second question I ask because nearly everyone I know has either told me flat out or just implied (and this is probably bogus, but it might be partly due to the rigid ideas where I live) that if you don’t dress up pretty and put on make-up and “take care of yourself” you won’t attract boys. They make it sound like you’ll be a lonely old spinster.  :dry:

 

      3) Also, in explanation for q3 - for some reason, people always seem to think that not dressing “nice” like a girl is sloppy and they say stuff like you need to “take care of your appearance”. It often sounds like they're trying to imply it's a hygiene thing, like I look dirty in boy clothes, even if they're clean and stylish. --->  Has anyone else encountered this?

 

      Anyway, sorry for the novel, and thanks so much for stopping to read. Hope to hear some experiences, and cheers to anyone who writes back. :happy:

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20 answers to this question

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When I was a kid I would sometimes sneak into my parents room and wear my mother's clothes for fun, and i've been tempted to buy women's exercise shorts so I can wear them myself, but I can't really justify spending money on that over say video games or movies.

Don't listen to people who tell you that you HAVE to dress "pretty" to attract guys, I personally find tomboys very attractive myself, I like it when women wear gender neutral clothes like athletic shorts over more outwardly feminine clothing like dresses and skirts, and I don't believe women need to wear tons of makeup to attract guys.  Just cause you don't feel like dressing like a stereotypical female does not automatically make you "sloppy" in the least.

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Well that was a long winded post, but I have to say your not alone obviously. I've never liked dresses, make up(blech) nail polish or anything that is obviously girly. As a child my mother said I would grow out the phase but obviously I haven't lol. Its not a phase, growing up my favorite outfit was my brothers football jersey and a pair of green cargo shorts my dad had gotten me. They randomly dissappeared when I was 15 though. I can't help what I like, but I still see my mum try to force things on me. Cousins as well, I just ignore it.

1. My family thinks I'm straight, I identified as Pansexual I have no issues with any gender whether they're trans or not. I like what I like and it translates to my clothes. Jeans and a tshirt are extremely comfortable.

2. I dated a few guys who didn't have an issue with it, they did say that the bigger shirt hides my curves and boobs, but I don't want to be looked at like a piece of meat. Don't worry not everyone is like that, european guys especially don't care how you dress as long as your happy in it lol.

3. A phrase I hear often is "How are you going to get a guy if you look like one? They don't want to date their friends." Yeah I dont like that one for obvious reason but honestly what can you do. People are set in their ways. I was born on the west coast however my family is from the south so they have deep rooted ways on how a female is supposed to act and dress. I am the black sheep in the family in so many ways.

Hoped it helped a bit, I don't feel like it did but at least you can see your not alone.

Well that was a long winded post, but I have to say your not alone obviously.

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Crossdresser/feminine guy here. I like wearing skinny jeans and I'll wear girl's jeans almost every day. No one bats an eye or at least they're too polite to say anything about it. In my opinion they look good on me, and I genuinely feel more comfortable wearing women's jeans than men's jeans. As long as they're not super girly, like you know floral prints on the backpockets and stuff. I just wear plain black skinny jeans that are marketed for women, but that doesn't make much of a difference for me. I have a feminine figure and I am slim, so they happen to fit me perfectly and don't look awkward at all.

 

However, I feel exactly the same as you do. The opposite gender does not find me attractive and I even had someone say to me once that I was "too much of a girl" for them. Still, I firmly believe that we should dress the way we want to dress regardless of what society tells us. If someone truly truly loves you and falls for you, they will find you attractive no matter what. And that's what really matters. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn't like the real you? Who doesn't like you for what you are, but rather for what you have become by being more feminine. Just be who you are and relax, and don't worry too much about what other people think. Those who love you, love you the way you are and you don't ever need to change that :)

 

Edit: oops, accidentally clicked post twice

Edited by Straszakitty (see edit history)
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Can sort of relate, but it's less a matter of gender and more a matter of practicality. My wardrobe is brutally functional and has been since before high school - styles and trends were nothing, pockets and durability were everything. I didn't interact much with the subcultures that valued any particular style but my mom despaired of my resistance to wear anything "nice" by her aesthetic standards. I'll wear specific types of formal wear to corresponding events, but just out of social convention; soon as I get home it's back to the functional stuff. (I have started to collect various headgear outside of Team Fortress 2 but that's about it.)

 

Regarding the people who imply your appearance dictates your interpersonal and romantic prospects: Try asking them if they really think it's important to attract superficial people into your life.

 

And regarding the "take care of your appearance" thing, I don't get it either. I've never met anyone who could explain it to my satisfaction, either. (Apparently it's one of those things where they can't define it but somehow know it when they see it. wets me off.)

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Hey folks!

 

SeverusSnapeFan - hey, great to hear from you! While you may feel your post wasn't that helpful, it definitely was. Thanks a lot for sharing your point of view. It's nice to hear your experiences, and know I'm not the only one with unconventional clothing tastes. Totally agree with the piece of meat comment - too often I feel like everyone expects people to toss themselves in a display window for people to oogle at. So far, I've always felt that I wouldn't really want a guy who doesn't find me attractive when I'm comfortable. And yes, I have totally heard the idea that guys don't want a friend - they want a girl. I guess it's common even in Canada. Totally the black sheep too, haha! Again, thanks for giving your input. :) Your comments mean a lot.

 

Strazsakitty - cool to hear the perspective from the opposite direction! I'm glad you've found what kind of clothes you enjoy, and that you stick to that! I get the feeling that it's probably harder for guys to dress outside norms, because (at least where I am from) tomboys seem to get a little less flak for it, and I've seen a lot of truly awful opinions thrown at guys who dress in a feminine way - drives me crazy!  It's so nice to hear about other people in the same boat. It's great to hear your opinion on being yourself, and I totally agree. I definitely wouldn't want to go into a relationship being anyone but myself. It's hard though, being different and still trying to find that relationship where you can be you. It really helped to hear that someone else thinks along the same lines. And from a girl's perspective, guys who are a bit dressier and rather feminine can be hot too, haha! I know a few girls who think feminine jeans on guys are smashing.

 

DrBorderline - Yeah, practicality is a huge part of my wardrobe choices too! My mom too seems to be the one who quietly wishes I'd look nicer too, so I definitely feel you there, and it's nice to know others can understand that kind of pressure. Amen to the take care of your appearance part - you are so right. Never has anyone been able to properly explain why they think that - it's always just this built in sort of prejudice in some cases, for whatever reason!

 

Thanks to you three for responding - your commens really helped. Mostly I'm comfortable with who I am, but some days, as I am sure you can appreciate, it is difficult. Cheers!

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I'm a regular cis-hetero-male, but I've always been very attracted to girls that dress more like boys, or androgynous women.  However, it's definitely true that most guys probably would probably prefer a more feminine type of lady.  But you want to be with someone who loves you for who you are, so I say you should wear what makes you feel good!

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@ vexer6 - I must have missed your post first go round (I was tired, haha). Thanks a lot for replying! It's awesome to know that there are people who think tomboys are attractive! Your words are very much appreciated. Thanks so much for spending the time to reply. As for exercise shorts - I say go for it if you like them. Sometimes you have to just go ahead and buy something for a guilty pleasure - and it isn't as though those won't last! Also, speaking from experience, they're super comfy!

 

@ drumking - thanks! Great to hear that there are guys out there who like tomboys. :) Yeah, ilike you say, I think it's definitely better to wait for the person who likes me as I am. It is very nice to hear it from the mouths of others as well, seeing as some days it gets a bit tiresome dealing with everyone else who thinks conformity should be your first priority. So thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on the matter - they really cheered me up!

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@ vexer6 - I must have missed your post first go round (I was tired, haha). Thanks a lot for replying! It's awesome to know that there are people who think tomboys are attractive! Your words are very much appreciated. Thanks so much for spending the time to reply. As for exercise shorts - I say go for it if you like them. Sometimes you have to just go ahead and buy something for a guilty pleasure - and it isn't as though those won't last! Also, speaking from experience, they're super comfy!

 

@ drumking - thanks! Great to hear that there are guys out there who like tomboys. :) Yeah, ilike you say, I think it's definitely better to wait for the person who likes me as I am. It is very nice to hear it from the mouths of others as well, seeing as some days it gets a bit tiresome dealing with everyone else who thinks conformity should be your first priority. So thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on the matter - they really cheered me up!

Thanks, maybe I will get them one of these days. 

BTW what is your favorite type of exercise/gym shorts?  I like polyester and nylon the best.

Edited by vexer6 (see edit history)
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I can definitely affirm that there are guys who like tomboys, being one of them! It's sad how so many girls are told to dress and act more feminine for the sake of finding a boyfriend. I personally find tomboys attractive partly because they're being themselves and acting and dressing how they like instead of playing by society's arbitrary rules. But it really shouldn't matter, everyone should dress for themselves and not to attract anyone else! If it came down to personal preferences, I'd take girls in polo shirts, cargo trousers, hoodies and cabbie hats over skirts, dresses and girl-cut t-shirts any day. ^_^

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@vexer6 - I'd say lyrcra, as I do a lot of running and stretchy, close fitting is a lot more comfortable.

 

@neptune729 - Hey, fantastic to hear that there are guys out there like you! Yeah, it is amazing how many people insist that girls have to dress really feminine, or they'll never get a boyfriend. It's definitely the loudest point of view, so thanks especially for sharing your point of view, and proving that that isn't true, and that there are people out there who care more about people being themselves above all the other stuff. Cheers!

 

-> To everyone who has responded, the answers have been great! I don't think I'll be able to pick just one as a best answer. They have all been helpful! :)

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I'm definitely a tomboy - some might consider me butch in the way I dress, maybe so. But I've NEVER been comfortable wearing dresses/skirts or anything.

 

I just don't suit them either - I tend to look like a fat man in really bad drag if I try and wear anything remotely feminine!

 

Most of my shirts are uni-sex or men's, I wear ties often and it's only my jeans and work pants that are women's trousers because of they way they are tailored. I wear boxer shorts, never girly thongs or panties.

 

When I was with the am-dram theatre group I always enjoyed playing male roles rather than female because I knew I'd have to wear dodgy wigs (short hair) and horrible dresses girly things if I played female roles - was a good thing we had a lack of male members I guess. Even as a small-child I hated wearing girly clothes. My aunt and uncle wanted me to be a brides-maid at their wedding when I was about 9 and I really didn't want to. It took my Nan trying to bribe me by saying "If you be a bridesmaid I'll buy you a new Barbie" to which I replied "you've got a deal, but only if you make it an Action Man instead"

 

I used to be a tomboy .... Now I'm a fully grown lesbian! One of my favourite slogans, I'm NOT saying though every tomboy has to be or is a lesbian, but it does amaze me still how much my parents were shocked when I eventually came out!

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I call myself genderqueer or transgender but I'm not one of those people who thinks they are in the wrong body.  (I sometimes tell folks I'm a male girl and neither the male nor the girl part is wrong).  I'm attracted to female bodied people so I guess that makes me ...umm I was about to say straight but frankly I'll be damned if I know WHAT it makes me.  Some kind of gender invert, I guess.  I kind of like butchier women, I prefer to be the more feminine, bail out on traditional gender expectations and roles and stuff.

 

Anyway, I buy skirts mostly at thrift stores, have gotten some nice ones, and I wear them when I feel like it, in public, on the bus or train, in restaurants, whatever.  I'm sure folks assume I'm a gay guy, but then lots of folks always did anyway and I don't care what most people think.

 

Yeah I've been able to find female bodied people who want to be with male people like me.  It would be easier if there were a name for it.  Saying "genderqueer" is like saying "it's something else" but it doesn't specify what.

Edited by KnottyBuoy (see edit history)
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The hardest thing in life is to find someone who will love you and accept you for what you are,

but you don't need to change who you are in order to find someone if you're happy being the way you are.

Just because you're not a girly girl doesn't mean there's no boy that'll be interested in you.

Wearing boy clothes doesn't make you a lesbian, either.

Just be yourself. Don't worry about what other people think.

The world is changing, but some folks have a lot of catching up to do.

You're ahead of the curve. :smile:  

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I am a wildcard. I wear whatever the hell I feel like wearing. One day I may dress overly feminine wearing a miniskirt, thighighs, and long false eyelashes with heavy makeup and the other I may wear baggy cargo pants, a long, loose shirt with a button-up shirt on top and boots. I also may crossdress when I cosplay for conventions. In everyday situations, I tend to prefer practicality, and I dislike tight clothing / things that accentuate my butt too much. I like my pockets, so you will never see me wearing just leggings outdoors. My everyday wardrobe usually consists of a pair of ordinary jeans or a knee-length skirt, a button-up shirt, and short boots as I prefer them to sneakers/shoes. Very simple, and sometimes I'll just put foundation on before leaving in the morning.

 

I don't believe that the way one dresses necessarily dictates their sexual orientation or identity. I live in a world where it seems like the predominant idea is that if you're a man and dress like a woman, then you're most certainly gay and consider yourself to be female. I don't buy that bullshit and neither should anyone, but traditional ideas are insurmountably difficult to remove and sometimes I feel it is better to concede than to fight against them when you are challenged. (Example: Parents.)

 

I tend to not get shit from people. The only thing I was told once from a friend was that I "overdressed" for an ocassion and "was trying too hard." I have since ended my toxic friendship with that person. Otherwise, I feel that whatever you happen to wear, if you can rock it, people will leave you alone.

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Up til 1st grade, i liked wearing dresses because i liked the "princess" feel. But I couldn't run around and do the stuff i wanted to do, so i started wearing more boyish clothing like hoodies, shorts, t-shirts. In fact, I don't even own any skirts. I think those people who would say "WHo are you and what have you done with -------" aren't very nice.

 

But i'm not a tomboy cause i like some stuff girls like, mostly cute stuff and smiley faces.

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I'm so the same way clothes-wise...it doesn't even cross my mind to check my face in the mirror XD. I hate dressing up in feminine clothes, they don't feel right. I think guys' t-shirts have way cooler designs too!

I'll tell you from experience that there are definitely guys out there who like tomboys, or even prefer them. You just have to find them. Anyone who tells you that you should change yourself to look attractive to guys is probably either jealous or they don't know how to prioritize. Women are not put on the earth to please men. Better to be true to yourself.

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Mostly the things people say about that is absolute bullshit. Clothes do not define your sexuality or gender. Unfortunately, society begs to differ. I've had gender issues myself, and I've never had a true interest in traditional women's fashion and makeup. I do like some girly things, but I just can't get into langerie from victoria's secret, long pretty hair, thin shirts that bras show through, etc. 

 

I consider myself to be genderless, since I don't feel one way or the other at all, and feel more like a spectator towards gender. I wear very neutral clothing, usually fandom shirts and jeans from either sex, paired with converse or whatever. I'm also pansexual, which means I don't have a gender preference when it comes to dating.

 

But I'd like to remind you, even in my most masculine days, I have dated guys who accepted every part of me. They can be hard to find, but they'll come around.

 

However, I'm assuming you live in a more conservative area than I, where men see women dressed masculine and think "ah, she's a lesbian. guess i don't have a chance", even if they're actually attracted to you. Which is a loss for them. 

 

If you're worried about men liking you, I'd maybe try dating apps? It sounds stupid, and I've never tried them myself, but if there's a will there's a way. And at least on a dating app, you can outright say "hey, i wear boy's clothing and such, but I'm straight and I like boys".

 

Idk if I helped at all, just giving my two cents. Wishing you the best of luck

 

(and I haven't read any other replies btw, so you might have heard some of this already)

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I know I personally am a man, but I grew up with a perfect tomboy called Jessica.

She would play with us boys and nobody seemed to mind much as she was just so nice to people (even someone with Asperger's syndrome like myself).

 

I don't see any issue with tomboys at all, in fact if the aforementioned girl hadn't moved country and found a boyfriend, I definitely would have asked her to marry me by now!

Possibly the two main reasons nobody picked fault with her were because a) we live in the English countryside, so even a few "girly" girls have to dress up like boys on farms and b) she would join in with whatever was fun, with boys or girls, in relevant activities.

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I'm a female, and I like to wear men's clothes. I just don't feel comfortable wearing stuff from the women's section. I was a huge tomboy during childhood (I still am) and refused to wear skirts, dresses, or even anything mildy girly.

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