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It’s unfair, but it’s true: if you’re female, being a “badass” is usually synonymous with being “sexy.” We see it every day in movies and TV: females are usually shoved into this stereotype that being a badass woman entails running around in denim cutoff shorts and low-cut wifebeaters yielding guns. If she’s “modest” and more tactical, she’s probably going to be covered up in a skin-tight bodysuit with a zipper conveniently unzipped to reveal a massive amount of cleavage.
While I’m guilty of being a huge fan of action movies, I don’t think that you have to show skin or put your sexuality out there in order to look like a badass. There’s an outfit formula for it! Keep reading to check out my best tips for dressing like a badass without being too sexy.
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Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong with all-black. It’s sleek, chic, and gives off a total “don’t mess with me” vibe. To avoid looking goth and appear more fashion-forward, play with textures – grab a biker jacket, wear pleather jeggings, or wear distressed jeans.
#2: Bomber Jackets
Bomber jackets are the epitome of masculine athleticism. Perfect for casual outfits, a bomber jacket looks great when paired with a T-shirt or tank top and figure-flattering distressed jeans. Get it oversized for an “I-stole-this-from-a-man” look. My go-to brand has always been Members Only – my Iconic Racer jacket is a men’s medium, although it’s the same jacket in a women’s large too!
#3: Baggy Pants
Throw yourself back to the 90’s with baggy parachute pants like my favorite chained baggy pants from GoJane. Colors like tan or olive are perfect for spring and summer outfits, but if you want to be a complete badass, go with black.
Ps. These gorgeous pants are dupes for I Am Gia’s $85 Cobain pants!
#4: Long Coats
We have iconic movie badasses like Neo from the Matrix and Selene from Underworld donning the long black coats, but you don’t have to look so serious if all-black isn’t your thing. Play it up with other dark colors or bold ones like red or blue. You can also add a versatile staple like a long plaid coat if you don’t always want to look like a badass.
Coat ($49.99) | Beret ($8.90) | Similar Sunglasses 1 2 3 | Men’s Button-Up Collared Shirt ($18.00) (Shop Similar 1 2 3) | Red Over-the-Knee Boots (Shop Similar 1 2 3 4 5) | Off-White Belt (Shop Similar Graphic Belts 1 2 3 4) | Quilted Spiked Top Handle Bag ($109) (Dupe for $2,795 Valentino Quilted Spiked Handbag)
#5: Moto Jackets
This has been a badass staple for many, many years now! If you don’t already have a moto jacket in your closet, get one now. A black moto jacket is such a versatile closet staple that can be used for a variety of outfits.
If you’re looking for brand names, Shopbop currently has a ton of leather moto jackets on sale. There are a few faux suede/leather options like BB Dakota from $130 to $78 and genuine leather/suede options that are 50% off like Scotch & Soda from $598 to $299. Even better: use coupon code “GOBIG18” to save an extra 15% off $200+, 20% off $500+, 25% off $800+. Sale items are included too!
#6: Chunky Boots
Take a break from your sexy stiletto booties and stomp around in some chunky platform boots. You can pair them with joggers like I did, or mix it up with distressed denim or even leggings and an oversized sweater for a casual look.
#7: Distressed Denim
How could I forget the distressed denim? When in doubt, you can play up a boring outfit by adding some texture with ripped jeans. You can take it an extra step and get an extreme acid wash or huge cutouts at the thighs.
My honest take on jeans: You can get a cute pair of distressed jeans for cheap, but the fibers may lead the jeans to stretch or pill very easily. I personally prefer to invest in a great pair of quality jeans and distress them myself using my DIY distressed denim tutorial. You can also check out more of Shopbop’s sales – they have a great selection of quality denim on sale from brands like Levi’s or Siwy denim.
If you’re not picky about materials or fit, check out some of my favorite affordable distressed denim picks below.
Which one is your favorite tip for dressing like a badass? Chat with me in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter below for my styling tips and outfit ideas.
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