1. There is NO “right” way to be masculine, androgynous, tomboy, etc.
When we shared this amazing image of three tomboy flower girls, the post went viral. But, not all of the responses were positive. One commenter noted, “… no self-respecting tomboy would wear their hair like these girls. Where are the little girls with crew-cuts?” As we fight to expand our definition of gender beyond the binary, it is important to recognize that there is no one way – no “right” way – to be masculine, androgynous, tomboy, stud, AG, boi, etc. Long hair does not belong to feminine presenting people only. Neither do florals, the color pink, makeup, or glitter. Nothing is off limits. In fact, some of the most fashionable masculine folks we know look down right dapper wearing pink flowers, like Anthony Urbano of Closet Freaks. And, let’s not forget our “long hair, don’t care” dapperQs who wrote to us seeking inspiration for masculine long hair styles, like the ones rocked by Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.
2. There exists a middle ground between formal attire and sweatpants!
You can be casual AND stylish; The two need not be mutually exclusive, as Moziah Bridges, the 11-year-old fashion entrepreneur behind Mo’s Bows, demonstrates above. It may take a bit more thought and creativity then, let’s say, throwing on a black suit or your favorite hoodie. For example, some seersucker shorts, a madras bow-tie, and a plain ole’ white button-down shirt may seem simple enough. But, many of us are stuck on solids.
3. Play with colors, patterns, and textures.
While we’re on the subject of seersucker meets madras, let’s talk a bit about mixing and matching patterns, colors, and textures. You know, like how you did when you were a kid. Have you ever watched a kid get dressed – how they aren’t afraid to be creative, be themselves, and pull out the most random collection of items from their drawers to coordinate an ensemble. Then we go and tell them, “You can’t wear that!,” smashing their hopes of sporting a cape and a tutu to school because it’s “unacceptable.” Channel your inner child and break a few rules. Wear polka dots and stripes. Strut around in black shoes and a blue blazer. Go on and power clash!
4. Travel in style.
It is so tempting to reach for flip flops and sweatpants for a flight, especially nowadays with the TSA making you strip down to your bare feet. However, more often than not, the first people I meet up with after arriving at my destination are people who I kinda want to impress: my partner’s parents; my family; friends that I haven’t seen in years; my work colleagues; etc. No, you don’t have to wear a tux. But, rock an ensemble similar to what Cory Nieves, 10-year-old CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, is wearing above. It’s “travel smart,” complete with comfy jeans, a soft chambray shirt, and a thick sweater for layering when the plane reaches subzero temperatures. If Mr. Cory’s look goes above and beyond what you’re willing to wear while traveling, check out our advice on how to make sweatpants stylish here and here.
5. Dress down your suit(s).
If you’re like my partner, you cringe at the idea of spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a suit that you will only wear to a handful of events (job interview and perhaps a wedding or two). But, suits can be dressed down and worn multiple ways to get the best mileage for your buck.
6. Run errands in style.
via Hollywood Life
Ok, so you probably are not going to throw on a bow-tie and a blazer to walk the dog. Yet, you never know who you might run into/meet while your pooch is taking care of business. Here, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (daughter of Brad and Angelina) wears a simple outfit that is hip and a bit more pulled together than a stained t-shirt and worn-out sweatpants. However, like we mentioned above, sweatpants can be fashionable if styled right.
7. It’s all about that top button swag.
Resistance is futile. Buttoning your shirt all the way up to the very top is back in style, and for good reason. This kid knows what’s up.
8. Denim on denim is more than OK.
via Dapper Child
90s pop stars really ruined it for the denim on denim look. But, this lil’ dapper has mastered the revived trend by wearing denim pieces that are a different weight and wash. This ensemble is light and effortless.
9. Shine on!
via Getty Images
Yes, you can wear metallics and bling without looking like Liberace. It’s all about keeping it tailored, simple, and modern, like Willow Smith (daughter of Jada and Will) above. Her outfit looks very rich and complex without being too gaudy.
10. Vests are EVERYTHING!
via POP Street Kidz
For some of us, the idea of vests conjures up the image of Ellen DeGeneres circa 1993 wearing an over-sized vest that resembled a TGI Fridays uniform. Vests need not look like part of a clown’s costume. A vest that fits well, like the one shown above, can make your outfit more structured and dapper. And, some of our readers like vests because they can help minimize parts of your body that you want to make less visible.