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14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

Not really, I have always dressed in vintage. I have found myself dressing less feminine. I feel best in long dresses and shapeless pants, rather than clothes that feature my waist or bust.

I totally got into grunge in 8th grade until this boy, Alec, called me a poser in front of everyone and tried to ruin my life. I think Alec's in a Christian rock band now.

Not that I'm aware of. All changes in my sense of style seem very gradual. Obviously the way I dress now is very different from how I dressed when I was 12, for example, but that seems to be the result of my aesthetic preferences constantly changing in small ways over the years.

I wore all black almost every day during my last year of college. Two years earlier, I was known for never wearing the same outfit twice. I think I was tired of colours and patterns and combinations and wanted to look good with very little effort.

In the 1980s I wore oversized clothes: baggy pants, long men's shirts. I was deeply uncomfortable in my body and in society, struggling to gain control. But as I took up dance I started wearing clothes that exposed the curves of my body. I don't think either my body shape or my style has changed very much because of dance. Whatever change now expressed is due to my internal systems' reorganization. As I've become more cognizant of socializing forces, and as I've aged, taking on spiritual practices, I've significantly lessened efforts to gain control of my body, working instead toward listening to somatic messages, to how I actually feel rather than to messages of how I ought to be.

No dramatic changes, no. I’ve always tried to experiment, so my style has consistently been a bit here and there. I have noticed that as I age I am revealing less and less skin. Perhaps this is because my body is evolving away from the twiggy, sixteen-year-old Western ideal. The feminist in me is disdainful of this new inhibition.

My style has evolved – there hasn’t been a drastic change, but more of an evolution and a refinement. My style did change when I went from working in book and music stores in my 20’s and early 30’s to working in an office where I was required to dress more professionally, and then again when I reached my late 40's and felt inspired to add more colour, and experiment with different shapes to see what best suited my older body.

No, it was quite gradual. It's still happening. Every day I gain a bit more confidence and every day I try new things.

When i was 14, velvet tracksuits, short tops and Nike TN requin.....and all because of basketball !

Yes. I was waiting for this question. When I was a teenager I thought I was the height of fashion. Always getting my hair done to the latest style, wearing all the new trends, etc. Then, in university I took risks with my clothes – bought red shoes with metal plates on the heels in Germany, flowing strange dresses, etc – and was later told that people remembered me for my choices. Then I had kids. And I stopped caring about what I was wearing. I stopped wearing jewelry because they would pull my earrings/necklaces off when I was holding them. Usually I had spit up on everything I wore. I wasn't sleeping, so there was nothing I could wear that would hide the exhaustion. A mask, maybe. I also started to realize then that what you wear does not define who you are. I met women in business suits who were terrific mothers. I met women in ripped jeans who hadn't brushed their hair in weeks who were also wonderful mothers. I was also home full-time at this point, writing, taking care of the kids, hiring a nanny part time, balancing everything. So buying clothing was not an option, there just wasn't time/energy or money. I guess I've stayed in that lazy-habit now. I'd rather buy a new couch or have better kitchen counters than buy clothes at this point. But every time I'm invited to do a reading or give a speech or teach a class, I panic. Because that closet full of comfortable clothes is suddenly not adequate. Or I don't have the right shoes for the outfit. Or I have to wear something that is now too big because I've lost weight. So my style changed dramatically in the fact that I stopped caring too much about style. Instead of hair that took me 45 minutes to “do” in the morning, I now have hair that just is.

I got a big fashion job when I was 27, and bought clothes like crazy. I mean, I had a new outfit every day of the week, really professional-looking, expensive clothes, even suits!—that I hoped would make me look older than I was. I can't even imagine investing that much money and energy on such things now. Or wearing any of those clothes.

It was probably when I became a teenager, I wore a lot of black t-shirts and jeans. It was partly due to teenage angst and also it was the 1990s and grunge was in.

when i was 14 i entered puberty i gained weight i stopped swimming and i was really trying to wear something new that i was ending up with black jeans white top a fuschia button down shirt and a checked foulard. it was tragic i still feel really embarassed :(

I have had moments when my clothes get really specific; I would get on a kick about something. Looking back now, these are usually periods of intense personal growth, times when I was individuating, discovering and redefining a new part of myself, times that were about growing up.

When I got married (at 18), I went from having a free-spirited 70s child style to shopping exclusively at the mall at places like American Eagle and Hollister (the low-cut jeans and super-tight tank tops and hoods). I was super depressed. I bleached my hair blonde and grew it out long. I didn't know who I was. I was embarrassed to shop at thrift stores and wear the "crazy" or "over the top" things I used to because my (now ex)-husband thought it all "too loud" and embarrassing. I started making art - I cut off all my hair and started making my own dresses and shopping for vintage pieces. I left that husband and now see that the way I dress is a direct reflection of how I feel about myself.

I used to wear more colors – not many and also change from winter to summer colors. I noticed it was too much work and so I turned to almost black all the time.

I was quite a bit heavier when I was in my later years of high school and through university. I think I was very distant from my body and lived mostly in my head. I was also very depressed. When I turned 24, I started to get treated for my depression and ended up losing 60 lbs that I’ve mostly (give or take) kept off for just under a decade. I’ve stopped weighing myself, so I don’t really know how much I weigh. As long as my pants fit, I feel like I’m on track. As a result of this weight loss, it’s less of a struggle to find clothes that fit me and shopping is more fun. Of course, I can’t afford a lot of shopping, but the clothes are actually available. I tend to pay more attention to fashion magazines and blogs now that I can actually wear some of it. I also used to dress like a homeless person when I was a teenager. Not “cool” hipster homeless like kids now, but actual homeless. I don’t know why, but clearly I was going for something. I don’t dress like that anymore.

Mmmm I’m not sure. When I was in high school, I dressed kind of punk/emo (studded belts, little denim minis, band tshirts, Chuck Taylors signed in Sharpie by musicians in the bands I was wearing the tshirts of), but I always had an eye on what was happening in regular fashion. I still like to think I dress somewhat “alternative”-ly. I guess my look itself is slightly alternative…I don’t have lots of tattoos or anything, but I have big old you-can’t-miss-it curly hair and I’ve worn a nose ring since I was 16, so I have a look that’s at least somewhat bohemian. Not coincendentally, I guess, people ALWAYS think I’m a vegetarian, even though I’m not. I wonder if they’d think that if I had stick straight hair and wore white button downs and pencil skirts rather than really long curls and cutoff jean shorts.

I wouldn’t say that my style has changed since having kids, but I would say that the effort I put into dressing and grooming has decreased by 85%.

I used to dress in a way that I though of as bohemian - then someone said that I looked like a newsreader. I worked on getting more 'punk'

I can think of two. One was the year I spent living in a commune in Portugal, I shared a dormitory with other 20 women and a bathroom with about 40, and a washing machine with about 100 people – and had a single square shelf where I could keep all my clothes. Also there was no mirror in our dorm. What happened was that I became increasingly detached from my appearance, and for a while I completely gave it away to circumstances. During the summer I took a lot of satisfaction from going for a swim in the lake after lunch with my clothes on and just letting them dry on my body as I walked about the place running errands, and from deliberately not combing my hair and noticing, excited, several times throughout the day how I was not worrying about it one bit! I stopped shaving my legs and armpits and my everyday fashion decisions were almost entirely weather based, which felt great. Having so little personal space and being in such close contact with other women's personal routines made all the appearance-related little rituals and ticks and embarrassments feel almost theatrical, in others and in myself. I couldn't keep one going for long enough to grow attached to it.

Another key turning point was when I moved to England and in with my husband, two years ago. He's 10 years older than me and for the first time I felt the genuine desire to impress the people we met, to look proper, mature, adjusted. Since my life up to that point had been being in high school, then living in a commune, then moving to England, my first few months here were really my initiation into the adult world. I probably spent more money on clothes than I had in the rest of my life put together.

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