How to Dress Like a Tomboy for Teens

A leather jacket and tennis shoes give Kristen Stewart instant tomboy style.
... Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lace, bows and lots of pink may be the traditional view of feminine fashion, but some girls prefer a more casual, relaxed look. For cool, laid-back style, it might help to take some wardrobe inspiration from the boys. The key to mastering tomboy fashion is balancing rugged, boyish pieces with fitted items that fit your curves so you wind up looking cute and not sloppy.

1 Borrow from the Guys

When you’re going for a tomboy look, clothes that borrow directly from the guys' style are ideal. Look for pieces that feature a boyfriend cut for a looser, more casual look. Boyfriend jeans have a slouchy fit that makes them ideal for cuffing -- wear them with a comfy white V-neck T-shirt, canvas tennis shoes and a baseball cap for an outfit that’s boyish but still cute. If you’re looking for an ideal tomboy layering piece, go with a boyfriend cardigan. Try a navy cardi over a fitted white tank and tan cargo pants, or layer a gray cardigan over a snug black crew neck tee and your boyfriend jeans for the ultimate in casual tomboy style.

2 Get Graphic

While solid T-shirts in shades like white, black, navy, olive and gray all work well when you’re going for a tomboy look, graphic tees can be an even better option. Try a T-shirt with your favorite sports team’s logo and pair it with boyfriend jeans. Or opt for a concert tee of your favorite band and wear it with a distressed denim miniskirt and straw fedora for a look that puts a modern spin on the usual tomboy look. Graphic tees with clever or funny sayings also work well with cargo shorts or denim cutoffs.

3 Go Atheltic

To get the tomboy look, forget heels or ballet flats. Instead, opt for athletic shoes that give you a more casual look. Try a pair of white canvas tennis shoes with a black tank top and denim shorts, or go bold with a pair of red high top sneakers when you’re wearing a basic white tee and cuffed boyfriend jeans. Printed canvas slip-on shoes with a fun checkerboard pattern are also an ideal option -- wear them with a white V-neck tee and denim skirt to give the look some tomboy style. If you’re not a fan of sneakers or tennis shoes, go for a pair of combat boots. Try them with a boyfriend sweater and skinny jeans for a comfortable tomboy look.

4 Toughen Up

Instead of a blazer or fitted pea coat, look for a jacket that adds a little toughness to your look. A leather jacket is an ideal option: Go with a motorcycle style and wear it over your favorite T-shirt and jeans. You can also go with a camouflage print canvas jacket. Pair it with a gray tank top, distressed khaki miniskirt and black combat boots for a tough tomboy look. Even a distressed denim jacket can work. Layer it over your favorite graphic tee, cargo pants and canvas tennis shoes.

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.