I’m in My Tumbette Era. Here’s How I Achieve the Look & Lifestyle

My inner child deeply influences my personal style. I grew up in Sonora, a Mexican state that shares a border with Arizona, meaning contradictory cultures defined my childhood. I loved corridos and banda but also rap and hyperpop. I wanted to dress like my cholo vaquero cousins but also like the girls I saw on mid-2010s Tumblr. At the same time, I existed in a machista society while trying to understand my gender fluidity

Throughout my personal style journey, I’ve learned to challenge heteronormativity and harmonize the aspects of myself that often fall on opposite ends of the spectrum of masculinity and femininity and often transcend the conventional boundaries of gender. All of these influences led me to invent “tumbette.” 

Ironically, tumbette is a mix of things that didn’t exist when I was a kid: corridos tumbados and the modern coquette aesthetic. Yet, both derive from concepts that played a significant role in my youth. I identify as gender-fluid and use they/them pronouns, but growing up it wasn’t as easy to embrace the polarity of my masculinity and my femininity​​. I learned to believe that liking the color pink, or “girly” things, made me less intelligent. These stereotypes, which stem from machismo, led me to suppress my feminine side. 

“Tumbette is a mix of things that didn’t exist when I was a kid: corridos tumbados and the modern coquette aesthetic.”

Hot Plebe

I leaned into my masculinity, which I discovered was a vital part of my identity. My cousins taught me how to connect with and express that side of me. I adopted their interests, partly out of wanting to feel included but also because I, too, appreciated the music and fashion that inspired them. I loved listening to corrido singers, wearing snapbacks, and riding around en la razor (Razor dirt bikes), and I was also a huge fan of U.S. rap music, which helped me learn English. 

Having spent so much of my childhood embracing my masculinity, joining Tumblr as a pre-teen was an awakening to so many things. I realized I was bisexual, and I finally began to see my femininity as another side of me and a form of expression. Discovering Lana del Rey and watching her have a significant influence on Tumblr aesthetics, particularly with her Priscilla Presley-inspired looks, pushed me to deviate from the tumbada clothing I grew up with. I began wearing florals, high-waisted shorts, and skater dresses — pieces that were staples of the Tumblr era. It’s where I truly began to experiment with fashion. I upcycled my clothes by distressing them or adding studs to make them feel more like me. I began to look for a balance between that and my tumbada aesthetics. For example, I’d pair a skater dress with a snapback (an early prototype of tumbette).

“In Mexico, there’s a dessert called capirotada. It’s a blend of various ingredients, and it’s a perfect term to characterize my personal style: a mixture that reflects who I am.”

HOT PLEBE

I joined tumbado and coquette to give a name to that which, on the surface, represents opposing interests of mine. However, I now realize that these are facets of myself that have existed since childhood, and I’ve finally amalgamated them into something that symbolizes my fluidity. 

In Mexico, there’s a dessert called capirotada. It’s a blend of various ingredients, and it’s a perfect term to characterize my personal style: a mixture that reflects who I am. So whether you’re someone from the northwest of Mexico who wants to celebrate the various elements of your culture that have shaped you or if you simply appreciate expressing the coexistence of different parts of yourself through fashion, here are five ways you can embrace tumbette yourself.

Reconnect With Your Inner Child. 

I believe one develops their personal style by reconnecting with their inner child. The first clothes you chose for yourself weren’t heavily influenced by trends or societal expectations. It was a genuine expression of your preferences — a simple “I like this, and I want to wear it.” Because I reconnected with my inner child, my closet goes beyond aesthetics. Instead, I have filled my wardrobe with items that have meaning.

Integrate the Different Aspects of Yourself.  

For me, tumbette involves finding harmony between my masculinity and my femininity, a balance echoed in the interplay of my artistic influences and cherished cultures. Perhaps you, too, are searching to unite different facets of yourself. They could be interests from your childhood or a mix of inspirations. In my case, it’s an equal love for Sonora and music like corridos tumbados, girly pop music like Lana del Rey, and growing up on the Internet. They could also be parts of your identity that you’re hoping to revive, like feminine aesthetics you discarded or concealed to avoid judgment or gain male approval. 

Go Part Motocross, Part Lace. 

Start your outfit off with a jersey. Pick a motocross, basketball, or baseball jersey. People who use my audio tutorial to create a tumbette look often end up confusing it with blokette, the popular Internet aesthetic that blends blokecore trends with coquette. The differentiating factor is the kind of jersey you wear. A soccer jersey aligns more with blokette whereas tumbette is a reflection of the culture of northwest Mexico, where motocross, basketball, and baseball dominate. 

There are a few different directions you can go from here. If you choose to add a miniskirt, layer with a camo or utility clothing on top. For example, throw a utility vest over your jersey or a camo trucker hat you upcycled with pearls and lace. Complete the ensemble with white tights or knee-high socks and ballet flats. Alternatively, if you opt for oversized jeans or pieces with more of a hypebeast vibe, accessorize with a baguette bag and add ribbons in your hair or pin lace, bow, and pearl details to your outfit to enhance its coquettishness.

Work with what you have, but if you want new pieces, support Mexican tumbette brands like Marble Stones, Almmami, Superstición, Anthony Rivera, Kiko Báez, Crime Life, Fat Mike, Tony Delfino, Hermanos Koumori, Paisa Boys, Minena, Black Lotus Bazar, C4RP3T4, Anhe, Musmin, or Two Feet Under. 

Personalize the Look with Accessories That Speak to You.

All my life, I have felt alienated because of the heteronormative concepts that society normalizes. For me, music and fashion have always been a utopian escape where machismo and homophobia do not exist, and we can all dress however we want. For this reason, my most personal accessory wouldn’t be a necklace or a bag, but rather my elf ears. 

Don’t forget to insert yourself into tumbette. It’s all about how you exist among multiple worlds. This could look like upcycling garments to include other fashion subcultures you’re a part of or adding an accessory that you wear so often it’s an intrinsic part of you. 

Listen to Tumbette Music & Ride Around with Your Friends. 

At the center of tumbette is the appreciation of seemingly opposing musical genres, like corridos tumbados and pop music. I mean, the very first thing I say in my tumbette tutorial is that it’s an aesthetic “for people who like Natanael Cano and Lana del Rey.” You don’t have to listen to these specific artists, but if you’re Mexican, listen to corridos tumbados and your favorite hyperpop artists in the same playlist. Or if you’re from another part of Latin America, create a playlist that features your favorite cultural genres with your favorite Western artists. Spotify Mexico caught wind of tumbette and curated a playlist of songs you can listen to while filming your GRWM videos. If you live in Sonora, Sinaloa, or Baja California, you can also drive around en la razor with your friends and take in your cities in your best tumbette outfits. Picture Lana del Rey in the “Ride” music video racing on motorbikes, but it’s you and your friends riding around on dirt bikes.

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