Photo of Spanish bullfighter Christina Sánchez in Spain by Diego Goldberg, 1992; via Who's Who.
I've been to a bullfight and have to admit I found myself rooting for the bull. It's not a sport I would endorse, but at the same time I don't feel (as someone unfamiliar with the subtleties and traditional importance in its culture) it's my role to place judgment. All that aside, this woman is totally fearless and I'm in awe.
Photo of Katherine Ellis, of Bryn Mawr's class of 1968, boarding a sailboat by Lionel Kazan, 1965.
Nepal cashmere watch cap ($98); Anchor stud earrings ($160); Gucci Marine cropped peacoat ($1,950) or similar Majesty peacoat ($258); Alexa Chung for Madewell Aimee Fisherman sweater ($140).
Photo of Suzi Quatro in the 70s by Neal Preston.
"My look hasn't changed in years. It's a uniform of T-shirts, ripped jeans and cowboy boots. I have a black fitted suit that I wear on the odd occasion when I have to dress up, but I tend to have rocky things in my wardrobe that I pull out and recycle." —Suzi Quatro
Thanks to Julia for reminding me that Suzi Quatro should be here.
Photo of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall with Large Perch in Africa, 1951.
"On the left is an 80-pound perch caught in Lake Albert in British Yganda. In the center, proud, happy and beaming over the catch, is me. On the right is the dame who caught it." —Humphrey Bogart
Silk Cargo shirt ($110); Filson fly rod case ($220).
Photos of Jakenna by Thomas Gilbert.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you say to yourself: this person is eerily like me? I did when I met JaKenna Gilbert. Her style is something I am hugely on board with (you may have already noticed my affinity for those red J. Brand jeans), and I fully endorse her Q&A as well.
If not in New York, I would live in...South Africa. When I was an undergraduate at Duke, I traveled there for a paleoanthropology field school program and fell in love! I used to wake up every morning, step outside of my tent and brush my teeth as the sun rose over the mountains. That’s a memory that sticks with you.
My dream holiday would be to...first, adventuring around Costa Rica to ride horses, jump off of waterfalls and surf at sunset. Next, off to Argentina for Yerba Mate, a late dinner, all night dancing and eventually wandering into a breakfast spot for early morning sustenance.
My current obsessions are...eating Fage Greek Yogurt; listening to Etta James on repeat as I get ready in the morning; wearing bold-colored denim, men’s chambray shirts, five-inch back velvet wedge platforms and platinum Sperry Top Siders; shopping at TopShop, Uniqlo, and when I can afford it, Alice + Olivia and Michael Kors.
I channel my childhood self when I...read before bed. When I was eight, I read one chapter of The Secret Garden every night and the ritual stuck with me. It’s the first book I ever read alone and entirely to myself.
The fictional character I most relate to is...Lula Mae. She came from humble, country beginnings and transformed herself into the glamorously citified, yet somehow down-to-earth Holly Golightly. The high-class call girl thing isn’t really my style, but the girl knows what she wants and how to get it. Respect.
If I had to be outdoors all day I would...Walk the entirety of New York City, exploring the neighborhoods and experiencing how one culture blends into the next. Tasting the foods, smelling the aromas and definitely people-watching to the maximum. I’d start in the Financial District, head to Chinatown, then the Lower East Side/East Village, up through Gramercy, cut over to Chelsea and the Theater District, walk along Central Park and the Upper West Side and end in Harlem. Perfect, isn’t it?
My favorite quality in a man is...patience and forgiveness. I make a lot of mistakes and require a lot of patience.
My favorite quality in a woman is...support. Women need to support each other, raise each other up, be excited when one of us succeeds and saddened when one of us fails.
I’m terrified of...never realizing my full potential.
My dream car is a...1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupe. Classic. But don’t tell my boss!
My cocktail of choice is...Glenfiddich. Neat.
My celebrity crush is...Lake Bell. And Ryan Gosling. Have you seen the YouTube video of him breaking up the fight in NYC? Hot.
My friends and I like to...drink, eat, dance, and shop. Not necessarily in that order and boys are rarely allowed.
My beauty product of choice is...mascara! Give me jet-black and pump up the volume please.
If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...the 1960s. The topic of race specifically intrigues me as I’m of mixed race. My father is black, my mother Irish and I’ve grown up with a very open view regarding race. I would have fought for a couple like them to be together; otherwise, I wouldn’t be here!
As a teenager I was totally into...sports and school. And boys, boys, boys.
I tend to splurge on...clothes. Surprise!
Wearing men’s shirts, drinking single malt whiskey and using my feminine intuition and intellect to succeed in this world...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.
Photo of Philippe and Millicent Fenwick by Henry Clarke, 1951; newspaper scan via Formosa Pipa Club.
"The best writers of fiction might have struggled to make her believable but they would have failed." —former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean
Millicent Fenwick was a Vogue editor, Congresswoman, diplomat, civil rights activist, and pipe smoker. She was a rad lady.
Photos via Beauties of Bicycles, Hulton-Deutsch Collection.
Cycle Polo was invented in Ireland in 1891, and then peaked in popularity in the 1930s and 40s. Hard court bicycle polo has made a recent comeback all over the globe. It looks so difficult, but so fun. I would love to try it!
Photo of a Molyneux model by Cecil Beaton, 1936.
Illesteva Leonard sunglasses (similar to shown $165); Forest Feather Fedora ($68); Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook ($158); Pheasant Feather ($1); The Row Fessing Camel Wool Coat ($2,900) or similar French Connection single-breasted coat ($193).
I'm a purist when it comes to duck boots, I go L.L. Bean all the way. Both of my parents have Bean boots in their front hall closet that are older than I am—because that's how long they last. As fall approaches I get nostalgic for first frosts and mud puddles, especially as summer will continue here for at least another month or 12. What about you? In or out for duck boots?
8" Bean Boots ($89); Asos lace-up duck boot ($101); Lands' End duck boot ($70); L.L. Bean Signature waxed canvas Maine hunting shoe ($139); Bass Hadwin duck boot ($80); Tretorn Klipporone boots ($140).
The original, designed by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912, who famously said, "Outside of your gun, nothing is so important to your outfit as your footwear." Above photo by George Stock in 1941 (back then Bean boots fetched between $3 and $9 and the boot holders just 30 cents).
Jane Birkin, her dog, and and the eponymous Hermes Birkin Bag outside of the Hotel Esmerelda in Paris via Scorpian Disco.
Merino V-neck sweater ($60); Mertsham Trouser ($134); custom leather Chuck Taylors ($75); Birkin's Birkin.
I love this outfit, but don't think I could ever pull off something so monochromatic, what about you?
Photo of Veruschka modeling head-to-toe Gucci in 1970 by Elisabetta Catalano; Jodie Foster in Gucci loafers in 1976 by Julian Wasser.
Women rowing crew carrying their oars down to the river with gas masks in boxes slung over their shoulders in London, 1939.
There's so much about World War II that we later generations probably take for granted or never fully wrap our heads around. Can you imagine playing sports with gas masks slung around your shoulder?
Photo of Dana Dickey by John Eder.
Dana is a writer and editor who cut her teeth at the fabled Condé Nast building in Times Square and then built her career circling the globe as a travel journalist. Now she's the go-to person in L.A. for the latest and greatest. For a short period of time Dana was my boss, so I felt compelled to ask permission to call her the mother of rugged luxury, to which she replied "You can call me the mother f****r of rugged luxury as long as you spell my name right." I didn't ask permission to reveal that, however.
If not in Los Angeles, I would live...in Manhattan in the summers and spend winters in Savannah.
My dream holiday would be to...rent a house on the coast of Maui with family and friends.
My current obsessions are...Joni Mitchell, Kismet Tile, October’s city-wide retrospective of L.A. art: Pacific Standard Time, pool afternoons at the retro Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City, Garance Doré’s blog, and singing along to Bruno Mars in the car with my 5-year-old son.
My fashion obsessions are...The Row, EmersonMade, the inscrutable wealth of L.A. vintage, fall’s glittery Miu Miu trompe l'oiel boots, Ten underwear, StyleMint t-shirts, and shopping at A'maree's in Newport Beach—which is 8,200 square feet of luxury brands in a big Modernist structure right on the water. Going there is my Left Coast version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I channel my childhood self when I...stand on my hands under water.
The fictional characters I most relate to are...When I forget to take my medicine, the depressive heroine Maria of Joan Didion’s novel Play It As It Lays. Otherwise Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby.
If I had to be outdoors all day I would...buy a big straw hat and a gallon of Dr. Robin sunscreen and huge polarized sunglasses.
My favorite quality in a man is...determination. And wit. A determined wit?
My favorite quality in a woman is...intelligence. And wit. Yes, an intelligent wit.
I'm terrified of...nothing actually. To quote a loathsome Cali cliché, it’s all good. (It may just take a while to see it.)
My dream car is a...1970s Deux Chevaux.
My cocktail of choice is...fresh basil, Perrier, lime juice and simple syrup.
My celebrity crush is...Justin Theroux.
My friends and I like to...go for run/hikes in Griffith Park while they try to convince me I’d make a good ultra-marathoner.
My beauty product of choice is...Joeur tinted moisturizer and smeared eyeliner.
If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...the 1970s!
As a teenager I was totally into...my great escape to the Big City.
I tend to splurge on...hair products (so into Phyto washes and serums) and also hair oils.
Just after college I moved from Florida to Manhattan because I thought there I wouldn’t have to listen to anyone telling me I had to sit like a lady. And guess what? It worked...and that is what makes me have Tomboy Style.
Photo via DanaDickey.net.
Photo woman fishing on horseback in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by Alfred Eisenstaedt via the LIFE Archives.
Who needs waders when you've got a horse?
French singer France Gall's tomboy style spans over four decades of album covers—talk about holding up over time.
Photo of Sofia Coppola and Kim Gordon via The Vinyl Club.
Recently I've been so intrigued with X-Girl, the 1990s indie fashion label started by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and stylist Daisy Von Furth (Remember this video? Von Furth styled it). There's not much on offer about the now-defuct brand online (although it is still going strong in Japan), but luckily I was able to convince Haydee Sentianin of the style blog Happenstance to give a first-person account of the trend.
I honestly don't think there has ever been a brand since X-Girl that has been surrounded and endorsed by such a major cast of cool kids. We're talking about designers Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Daisy Von Furth, and active endorsements by Sofia Coppola, Chloe Sevigny, Ione Skye and Kathleen Hanna of the band Bikini Kill—all stylish talented tomboys in their own right. The idea behind X-Girl was to feminize designs for the skater girl/riot grrrl while maintaining a tomboy edge. My friends and I could not get enough of this line, it truly became our identity. Whenever we had the chance, we would head up from Long Beach to the X-Large store (of which X-Girl was an offshoot) on Vermont Avenue where they sold the line exclusively in Los Angeles. Our favorite pieces were the Dickies-inspired pants, A-line dresses, and of course the quintessential X-Girl item: the ringer tee. Anything with the X-Girl logo made me feel as if I was part of an underground, ultra-hip movement. The feeling of exclusivity X-Girl bestowed on us is something I have yet to experience again. It was an incredible time. Luckily there is video footage of the very first X-Girl fashion show (organized by Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze) which took place on the streets of Soho in 1994—not sure if it gets any more tomboy than that. —Haydee Sentianin
Do you have any X-Girl memories?
Some rarer photos of Coco Chanel: Left: Coco Chanel in 1912, before she cut her hair, dressed up for a ball in the costume of a page boy at a village wedding. Her close-fitting jacket, black bow and round hat are pure Chanel. Right: Chanel in her English period, photographed with her friend Vera Bates in 1928. Both had borrowed tweeds and sweaters belonging to Chanel's wealthy lover, the Duke of Westminster. Both photos are scanned from the 1996 book Chanel, which I borrowed from the library of Heather John.
In the Tomboy Style universe, Coco Chanel was the big bang.
Photo via One Facade.
In the mid 1990s, everyone in my school had a pair of Docs. Boys, girls, nerds, jocks, everyone. Looking back, I think most of my preppy-suburban cohort would agree that the iconic work boot-made-stylish by London punks looked about as natural on us as Napalm (but we totally felt hardcore at the time).
In 2007, I wrote this piece for the L.A. Times observing the (now 51-year-old) shoe resurfacing on runways. Four years later, I'm seeing Dr. Martens retailing at Madewell, Asos and Nordstom. Have you ever worn Doc Martens? Would you wear them again?
Photo of riveters constructing a helicopter fuselage in Morton, PA. by Robert Sisson, 1952.
"It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things." —Theodore Roosevelt
Taking off a little early this week. Have a restful summer weekend!
p.s. Tomboy Style in the news this week:
Barneys New York
Girls will be Boys: A Q+A with Barneys' Simon Doonan.
The New Tomboy: Part I and Part II.
Tomboy Style nominated for a Lucky Magazine FABB award!