Once I was on a camping trip with a bunch of dykes talking about our aesthetics and one of them asked what "femme" really meant. Despite our collective decades of hyper-analyzing queer culture, no one really had an answer. The closest I was able to get was pointing out people who were already doing the otherwise indescribable thing. So when I say "tomboy femme," what I mean is some amalgamation of pre-head shave Kristen Stewart, Juno-era Ellen Page, and everyone I met at A-Camp in 2013. Other people's definitions may be very different!
Athleisure has been in full swing and adopted by mainstream retailers for several years already, so there's never been more vaguely-sporty-but-probably-not-functional-for-sports underwear out in the world as there is right now. This is great news for folks who want to balance on that aesthetic edge. I tend to build tomboy femme lingerie looks out of certain elements:
1. Thick Elastic Bands
Tomboy X has a truly impressive number of cuts, colors, and sizes available. They make bikinis, briefs, boy shorts, 4.5" trunks, 6" boxer briefs, and 9" boxer briefs in classic cotton, luxury micromodal, and performance poly air. Their size range goes from XS to 4X.
Aerie is one of my go-tos for everyday underwear. I've been wearing their seamless stuff a lot recently.
It seems negligent to talk about thick elastic bands and not mention the brand that infiltrated every Instagram influencer's feed in 2015 and brought the 90s back.
2. Ribbed Cotton
Marie Yat's distinctive style and product photography blows me away.
These boxers have side pockets where you can keep your pHONE?!
4. 1970s Summer Camp Vibes
RVCA is my favorite spot for faded nostalgia about a time that I wasn't even alive in and would not particularly choose to go back to.
ASOS has a lot more than just camp counselor vibes. They carry tens of thousands of items and their selection is constantly changing.