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Jennifer Carroll

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I am wearing something I like that fits right. When my eyes aren't crazy tired looking. When my hair isn't a frizz ball. But it all starts with being in the right mood to begin with.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I notice other women on the street for a billion reasons, and often just because I'm a people-watcher. I take particular note of a women who are wearing something bold or beautiful, and who look really comfortable in it. Someone who doesn't seem to be looking around to see how they are being looked at.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

Generally, I just admire other women who look at ease in what they're wearing - whatever that may be.

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?

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.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

What’s coming to mind is a brief conversation that took place with someone a couple of months ago.
They said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about how I really want to adopt a look. My wardrobe is so inconsistent." And as the conversation progressed, it became clear that they wanted for this look to give them entry to a certain social group. Although this mentality is common enough, I found myself so frustrated (and sad for that person) by the idea of adopting this look in order to be perceived as cool. I just felt like grown-ups didn't and shouldn't do that anymore (ideally no one should, ever) because it's such a submissive response to social pressures (and so reminiscent of nasty high school dynamics). The conversation didn't transform my approach to style, but more so confirmed that I don't want to dress for anyone but myself.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I am organized. Obsessively organized by making notes of everything I could possibly have to do in life or work. And the truth is I even make notes about things I should do in some of my relationships ie. "be sure to talk about x." My notes make it seem like I have no faith in my memory.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Sandals - I know that "sandals" themselves are not a trend but that there are many subcategories of trendy sandals. I have such large, ugly feet. They are wide size 11's and they are vein-y and flat - my high school friends used to call them "slabs". I don't mind talking about them and making fun of them myself, but I hate noticing people looking at them. So I'd rather just not wear anything that shows too much foot.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mom is in her late 50s and has always worn whatever she wants (as of late, often jeans with rhinestones on them). I hope that her insistence on dressing her way (and not being concerned with being "too old" for certain patterns or styles) rubs off on me, but it's a little too early to tell.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

I’m always taking things from my best friend’s closet and secretly hoping she will tell me to just keep it. She has a tendency to pick out things that I love, but that I would never recognize myself as loving if I were in the store. And maybe there is just something fun about wearing something that someone you
love owns.

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

Does a dramatic change during childhood count?
Up until grade five, I was happy wearing most things. Especially anything decorated in cats or horses. But when I started grade 5, I met a new friend named Sarah who insisted that it was best to always match. However my wardrobe was all over the place, and matching seemed impossible. So in trying to match, I just started wearing black all of the time.

There was also a time in my early years of drinking privilege when I started wearing more bar wear for going out – heavier eye makeup, more chesty tops, generally dressing more provocatively.
Over time, it was looking at photos from those nights that inspired me to change my approach to going-out-wear. I felt so silly when I looked at those photos because I looked nothing like myself (or my idea of myself). I slowly toned it down a bit - less makeup, a little more coverage, things I considered to look more fun than sexy.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

We judge a lot about people from what they show on the outside. And even if those more superficial impressions we have are inaccurate or just not well enough informed, it's important to think about them (even for the sake of criticizing them) because they are the starting point for a lot of interactions.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

Functionality combined with some sort of representation of who I am or what I like.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

A charm bracelet that my mom owned in the 70s. I don’t actually wear it though. For one it’s heavy,
and I’d imagine the charms would snag on everything. But also, it’s not reflective of me. It’s reflective of her. She has myriad charms on there. My favourite is the rocking chair because it’s just absolutely representative of my mother – there’s no place she’d rather sit than her rocker.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

September 1984. Born in Scarborough and now I live in Toronto.

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