Tell me about yourself.
ZB: Hi, I'm Zuleyma Benitez but most know me as Zully. I am 25 years old and I live in Middletown, NY. I am a full time Student and a part time Wine and Spirits Educator.
How would you describe your personal style?
ZB: Gender Neutral is the perfect way to describe it. I mean it's obvious that one day I'll be dressed in all men's clothing, the next day maybe I'll blend men and women clothing, and the following day I'll be just really girly. But my version of girly is not wearing a dress cause I'm not really a fan [laughs]. I'll wear something along the lines of jeans, a nice crop top and heels. It's easier for me to throw on a t-shirt, jeans, blazer/jacket and some nice Chelsea boots.
Would you say that you've always had an androgynous or TomboyChic sense of style? Or did your style develop over time?
ZB: I actually blame it on my mom. I vividly remember her dressing me in baggy jeans, t-shirts and sneakers or baggy overalls. I'm not sure if it was just cheaper for her to buy that kind of stuff but I didn't mind it. I know little girls would probably cry because their clothes are loose and they want to wear a dress but I was totally cool with it. I've always had a thing for it. In middle school I did it here and there but you know how judgmental young kids can get. It changed once I got to high school. You know the first day of school girls go all out and try to find the best outfit to impress all the boys. Well I did the total opposite. I wore baggy Levi jeans with a t-shirt and a vest. So I guess to answer the question I've always had it in me but my style developed over time.
List a few of your closet must haves.
ZB: Oh this is a good one. My black and red lumber jack that I got from the thrift store. I wear it allll the time. Also my black jeans, black blazer, denim jacket and over sized button ups. You have to have at least one pair of nude heels and an everyday sneaker.
Who is your favorite TomboyChic celebrity? Why?
ZB: Rihanna and Ciara for sure! No matter what they wear they still have sex appeal and that's the biggest thing for me. You don't have to be half naked to look sexy. No matter what they wear, it screams sexy.
What is your favorite fall trend?
ZB: Oh man! I have so many. I'll just tell you the one that has been on my mind lately, which is a long olive green bomber jacket. I need that! I also need the oversized sweaters in the Yeezy season 2 collection. It's out of my price point but I'm determined to create my own version. I look at all the trends every season and I don't try to duplicate it, I tweak it and make it my own.
What advice would you give to a woman that wants to try the TomboyChic style but doesn't know if she can pull it off?
ZB: If you like the style go for it. Don't over think it. If you're planning the outfit for too long then you're second guessing, don't do it. Remember, confidence is everything so if you feel confident in the outfit then there is no way you can't pull it off. Step out of your comfort zone. Finally, you can still look sexy in the tomboy chic style. You don't have to show skin and curves.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
ZB: I see myself with a degree in International Trade and Marketing for the fashion industry and hopefully in a set job within that field.
Follow Zuleyma on Instagram @LadyBoyMovement