"You know a guy can look at me and he’ll know straight away whether or not I’m his type or not... it kinda culls out the ones that want basic bitches."
Tina wears the DYSTOPIA TEE from AW19
How would you describe your style?

My style is I guess heading towards a little bit punk, a little bit 80s. I’m not really “punk”, like old-school punk but I really appreciate the aesthetic and I guess you could call my contemporary way of dressing “punk” in spirit. I like deconstruction and I love the idea of “clothes with attitude”. I’m not into feminine dresses and patterns; I’m not a floral girly-girl.

You work in retail for fun. How does your out-there style work in retail?

I think it’s good having my more edgy point-of-view in store. I used to work at Carpenter’s Daughter which is a great mix of more edgy styles but also more femine styles. Like some patterns that came in I’d be like “gross!” and then when it’s sold out I’d be like “Thank God that print is gone! But hey it must’ve been popular.” My style is not for everyone, but then there are customers that love my styling and my point of view.

A lot of people don’t “get” what I wear, but then there are also a lot of people that love it!

Like who doesn’t like it?

Hmmm, ummm, I dunno… well, I have this flatmate who says that when he goes out clubbing and stuff he notices all the basic bitches in their tight cocktail dresses and thinks they all look the same and I look NOTHING like them. And I mean I understand what men like –not all men, but most– in terms of tight and sexy. I think it’s interesting as to whether you are motivated by sex or not in terms of what you wear.

So then how is dating for you with your loud style and personality?!

Well it’s kinda good I guess ‘cause it kind of culls them out, you know ya get rid of the ones that want the basic bitches! You know a guy can look at me and he’ll know straight away whether or not I’m his type or not. And that’s good; I don’t want to be kinda half way. I’m 51-years-old and I’m not gonna change, this is me. I’m intense so they can just accept that or fuck off.

I’m seeing this guy at the moment and I was wearing this really oversized out-there P.A.M t-shirt and he was like “Why the hell are you wearing that?” and I just said “Because I want to!” and that was the end of that conversation. In my head I was thinking “haha, you should see that other shit I have if you don’t like this.” –I really don’t care. I’m not gonna change.

Tina wears the DYSTOPIA TEE from AW19
So, you’re a High School relief teacher; how do you reconcile teaching with your out-there style?

Well, I’m at Epsom Girls Grammar a lot and yeah, I can get away with dressing like this. The girls often tell me they really like certain things I’m wearing… it’s all positive… but I’m sure behind my back they say heaps of other crap! Kids are mean, haha. But yeah I haven’t had anything negative from the kids… or other staff… in fact I’ve had other teachers come up to me and ask for fashion advice and tell me how they want to be braver with what they wear, and I’m like just go for it! What are you waiting for?!

Photos: Sacha Stejko

Model: Tina Butler – @t___bone_