I’m one of those people who just makes up new words off the top of my head. Mostly, they’re nonsensical and used in place of words that already exist. Once, I asked Edie if she knew where the gumbolihopper was, and I was actually referring to a teaspoon, which is ridiculous. Sometimes, though, I make up words that actually form beings of their own, words that I start to think of as real, words that have definitions and a whole concept behind them.
Tomqueen is one such word. Anyone who’s followed me on Twitter for a while has probably seen that word pop up from time to time. I used to post photos of my outfits on Twitter and hashtag them #tomqueen. Basically, for the woefully uneducated, tomqueen is a term I coined by smashing the words tomboy and queen together to describe a style in which super-feminine accessories (high heels, jewelry, extravagant manicures, loads of glitter, etcetera) are paired with masculine clothing (button-up shirts, blazers, suits, vests, ties, etcetera). It can also refer to a person who dresses in such a way, i.e. I am a proud tomqueen.
I’m going to be honest with you: I really want to make tomqueen style a thing. It would be super-exciting if there was an army of tomqueens out there clomping around in their glitter heels and suit jackets. So I thought I’d make an inspiration post. What is tomqueen style all about? You’re going to find out right now.
First of all, it’s about a powerful show of mismatched androgyny centering around two main pieces. For me, the two fashion items that carry the biggest connotations of power and confidence are a suit and a pair of sky-high heels. Think of it this way: what’s the one thing that most girls would choose as the most attractive thing for a guy to wear? That’s right, a suit. And what’s often a boy’s favourite thing to see on a girl? Correct, a pair of sexy heels. Put them together and you have the best of both worlds. Fierce woman, sharp-dressed man, all in one. By the way, did you know heels weren’t always a solely feminine item? They used to be for both men and women. In society’s view, gender had no bearing on who should and shouldn’t be wearing heels – it was only weird to see someone in heels if they were poor. There was actually a law in colonial times that poor people couldn’t have heels on their shoes, because it would be above their position in society. Now, of course, there’s no such silly law.
Being a tomqueen is about being in love with both your feminine and masculine sides. We all have them. Some parts of us are more “girly”, and some parts are more “boyish”. This look is about combining the two in a way that says gender doesn’t really have a bearing on what fashion you choose to rock, or how you live your life. You’re an empowered human being. It’s not about keeping up with the boys or finding your way in a man’s world, and it’s not about trying to show that “girls can do anything a boy can!” This is just pure human fierceness, baby. It’s a statement that transcends fashion and says something about how you look at life. In my opinion, this is the look for someone with big ambitions and an even bigger sense of determination.
What do you need if you aspire to be a tomqueen? Clothing-wise, a boatload of button-up shirts, vests, ties, suit jackets, trousers, and any wild accessories you want. Go mad with the heels, with giant rings, with chandelier earrings, with hats. Experiment with colours. Switch everything up, mismatch it, make it unexpected. This isn’t so much a style as a state of mind that I really like existing in. The word queen is part of it all. This is about world conquest, people! Hold your head high.
I’m a proud tomqueen. What are you?