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4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? what? why did it happen then, do you think?

Sometime after I turned thirty, I realized that I had to dress according to what I liked, and not what the magazines and books said I should like. I stopped following trends and paid more attention to things like fit and quality. I realized that looking great has more to do with the way you carry yourself than anything else.

This is a kind of opposite click, the anti-click, but I remember very clearly the first time I realized my body didn't look the way I wanted it to look, and that that meant I couldn't wear something I wanted to wear. It was 1988, I was ten, and my best friend Eliza -- petite, blonde -- started wearing pegged jeans (she always knew the trends before anyone else did). I begged my mom for weeks, she finally relented and bought me the requisite slim-fit jeans with zippers at the bottom. I dutifully hauled them onto my body and pegged them. Looked in the mirror and...no. Definitively, without a question, no. 1988 was fifth grade, and fifth grade was the year I grew so fast I got something called Osgood-Schlatter's disease, which happens to kids who play sports during those big growth spurt years and can cause, in my case, excruciating pain in your legs. Anyway, I was tall, skinny, but still sporadically padded with baby fat. I just remember that feeling of looking in the mirror and understanding I wasn't Eliza, I probably never would be, and that there was going to be a certain amount of heartbreak in my life because of that fact. I was right.

Late in high school, I realized that I needed to be myself and not try to be "pretty" the way other girls did, I knew I needed to stop comparing myself with others. I think it happened because that's when I started to act more like myself personality wise

It was after my first year of university, when I wasted time and tears trying to look like a certain type of girl, wearing clothes I wanted to look good in. I remember putting on my grandmother's emerald green wool pencil skirt from the '50s, the first pencil skirt I'd ever worn, and having this moment of perfect clarity. This was how I was supposed to dress, to not only flatter but celebrate the body I had rather than what I wished I had. Suddenly I had a waist and hips and I felt beautiful.

in grade 12 wearing hippy shirt, tight black mini skirt , dr. marten cherry coloured boots, and blackberry lipstick. i was emulating my sister but had finally found something that i felt good in.

I used to have terrible acne. I got it very young, and it lasted well into my teens. People used to come up to me on the street and try to give me advice about how to get rid of it, and I hated them all.
I'm not sure if something "clicked" in my mind as much as I just kind of accepted that it was never going to change. Eventually instead of hating myself, I started blaming everyone around me--society I guess.
I'm not sure if it changed anything, or was a particularly healthy way to go about it, but eventually my acne went away and I stopped caring so much.

I distinctly remember the realization that my hair looked better when I didn't dye, curl or blow-dry it. Now I just bobbypin the parts that fall into my face, which is hardly "styling". I'm happier with a lack of style.

I'm still waiting for the click. I know I tend to pick more classic styles but I also like a little rebellion now and then. I like my hair short, hate how it looks long. I was actually called "sir" one time in line at the grocery store...

It took me a long time to figure out how to integrate texture. For a long time I was focused on fit and color combinations, mostly because I was a teenager and my body was changing. Now that I'm in my early twenties, free from the roller coaster of puberty, I have a tighter grasp on who I am and what fits me well. After those two factors became established, I was able to move onto more complicated, nuanced aspects of my wardrobe. One day maybe I'll finally be able to accessorize.

After years of confusion, I understand that my hair is wavy and not straight. For years and years, it was always being cut straight and styled straight. I’ve used the straightener so much of my life that I remember panicking at the idea of not being able to straighten my hair after a swim. I used it so much that it started to damage my hairline. But one day I went to this hairdresser who gave me a cute, medium length cut with the intention that the hair would wave or curl in whatever direction. She threw a little curling cream in and told me to twirl it, and voila! I now officially have one of the easiest hair regiments of anyone I know.

As a really young girl, I loved ball gowns and dresses and pink sparkly things and wasn't allowed to follow my natural fashion instinct (every day). I was also slightly ridiculed by my mom and sister for my weird fashion sense, so I think I carried that ridicule with me for awhile and assumed that I shouldn't dress the way I wanted. For a long time I mostly wore baggy hoodies and jeans. Then when I was shopping for shoes for my highschool graduation, I found a pair of gaudy, sparkly pink jelly shoes, the kind I would've lusted after when I was 4 years old. I bought those shoes, marched across the highschool auditorium at graduation, and haven't looked back since. My everyday style is actually fairly conservative, but that moment I realized that I was the one with the power to dictate my own fashion choices.

Yes. In my 20's a co-worker told me that no matter what I weighed I should always feel good about what I wear and that weight shouldn't hold me back from nice clothes (you know how you wear dumpy clothes until you lose the weight). That really stuck with me. My body is my home and the only one I will ever truly live in, so I try to take care of it. I think there are also many moments where I realized if I wanted to be professional I was going to have to get up everyday and dress like I was serious about my job. that meant, I couldn't just wash my hair and leave the house with wet un-styled hair. It also meant ironing my clothes and wearing nice things. I think those lessons happened many times, I just might not have been open to learning the lesson.

when i realised there weren't actually any rules and that i feel better imperfect and wild looking than matchy matchy, glossy, fashionable, kitteny. That no part of my spirit is sleek and tidy and uniform so i shouldn't force myself to wear things that don't represent who i actually am. i realised this when i moved to London a year ago. I'm 30 years old.

not really

Two things happened in the same year: I wore a school uniform so this observation is actually pretty scientific: I noticed that boys didn't notice me when I had my hair scraped back in a ponytail but did when it was loose (blonde curly bob - Madonna era)
I went to a party wearing a black polo-neck, black mini skirt, thick black tights and black brogues. I felt like instead of just being fashionable - which I often was - I was expressing something crucial about myself.
*Post Survey thoughts: I realised long after finishing the survey that I bitch about my hair a lot. However, I think having bad hair is like running interference. I dont want to be noticed by the kind of man who would only notice me when I'm looking a very particular way. I just want to go about my day.

Earlier this year I realized that aesthetically I would say 'alternative' style is what I feel most comfortable in, and that I should stop compromising my vision of myself with other peoples expectations. I finally have a hairstyle and colour I really like, and have overhauled my wardrobe a little. I cemented my realization that I should stop pandering to other peoples opinions of attractiveness by getting a tattoo, which I had wanted to do for a long time but put off because people kept trying to stop me.

It all clicked when I realized that the 1990s were ushering out the 80s spiderweb bangs and big hair. I could never tease my naturally stick-straight hair into anything other than a mess so I was relieved to realize that without doing anything my hair was suddenly in vogue. I've been waiting anxiously for the tide to change but sleek has been in for over 20 years now so I think, I'm good.

When I was younger, I didn't realize that more makeup was MORE makeup. I came to realize that less IS more, & that my natural beauty would show more with less makeup. I came to realize this because I was getting more mature, & I noticed more and more women just looked like they had paste on their face.

Getting glasses had a lot to do with my own evolution of personal style. All of a sudden I had a focal piece to play with. Also, cat-eye eyeliner! it was the first dramatic move I made make-up wise and, I felt, totally defined my look for a while. Ooh, I never felt quite as stylish as when I had a pixie cut. I was also never talked to as much (mostly by women!) as when I had short hair. Every body was always saying nice things!

When I was in 8th grade I was really insecure about what clothes I wore, so I played it safe and only wore jeans and solid color teeshirts. Until my friend told me "everyone is so worried about what they look like that they don't care about your outfit." Which sounds mean looking back, but when I felt like nobody was looking I started to open up more.

I wouldn't say there was a definitive moment, more of an unconscious change throughout the last year. I always used to wear baggy black clothing as a teenager, and the same leggings every single day. That was up until I left school and took a gap year, and I started wearing bold colours, makeup, and clothing that fit me rather than covered me up, and made me resemble a bin bag. There were many reasons for this I guess. Youtube videos was a big one of them, especially in terms of makeup and styling. I also started earning a wage for the first time, and spent too much money in charity shops and H&M. I had never really bought clothes for myself before then, at least not regularly. And I mean regularly haha. But I guess the biggest reason was body confidence. I wouldn't say I am completely happy with how I look, but I do know that covering up my body shape isn't going to make me feel any better. I didn't really plan on changing my fashion sense, and interest in it, it just happened through time, but I'm glad I did change.

Not really. I always liked fashion as a means of expression, and when I was right out of high school I got really into make up, but it was very natural and just the result of looking at other women in my family.

High school, and specifically 10th grade, was a big moment for me as far as dressing for myself and not everyone else. I've gone to the same school since 4th grade and some part of me was really scared that if I wore something somewhat edgy or a lot of makeup, someone would call me out on it because that's so different then how I dressed in 4th grade. But during 10th grade I kind of started to let that go.

When I was three, there was a blizzard. My mother tried to put me in my snowsuit. I screamed and screamed until she let me wear my white lace slip and my black leather boots. Not much has changed. I have a definite style, and I don't worry about it. I wear boy's clothes and crop tops and very elegant blazers and dress shirts that my grandmother gives to me from her collection. I have always known what I like. There's no other reason to it.

I've always worn whatever I want (dog shirts, ties as belts, skirts over pants, etc.) In middle-high school, some of the kids were gossiping about my sex life, and for whatever reason I decided to dress to scare them off. So I started doing exaggerated eye makeup, wearing lots of black skirts and brightly coloured tights, and dying my hair purple. It sort of set me free to not only dress to express myself, but to put thought into what I wore.

a medida que voy creciendo voy adquiriendo confianza y tengo menos miedo en poner me cosas que siento que no son para mi..o que me voy a sentir muy expuesta

When I was eleven, I looked in the mirror and looked at every part of my face. My hair, the shape of my eyes, my eyelashes, my nose, my lips—and I liked how they all came together to make my face. I decided I was going to let these things come together to make what they doing and not cover it up with makeup and hairspray or clothes that took away from that. I think it happened because it was around the age where you start to notice yourself because you are changing in so many ways, and I wanted to hold on to what wouldn’t change: that I liked myself.

I've always been interested in fashion.

When I went to Reed College I realized that being sexy and popular wasn't about dressing to fit in some style it was about being yourself and being happy, at least within that small community. I think that happened because most of the students there do not care about buying things and do not feed into a lot of the aspects of consumer culture.

I just turned thirty and at this stage in my wardrobe, I will say that my clothes aren't chic. I realized about a couple years ago that I should be dressing for myself, rather than what I expect people want to see. People don't notice others anyway, if so, it's just for a second or two then on to the next thought.

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