Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I am unclothed altogether.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I notice women who dress with a sense of drama and risk, and in unexpected color combinations.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire women who smolder, and who wear outrageous make-up.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I don't wear black on the upper half of my body.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Extreme Virgo tendencies.
16. Please describe your body.
Lush. Creamy. Hourglassed. Paddle-footed.
17. Please describe your mind.
18. Please describe your emotions.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am dressed for work, in a black cotton pencil skirt with double back slits, black suede ballet flats, an acid green cotton tank top and a sky blue cardigan.
I'm wearing a ring made of Dalmatian jasper, tiny gold hoop earrings, and my hair will probably need to be washed tomorrow.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Clothing is important because it interacts with your body, which is connected to your sexuality and identity, and it acts as a liaison between that inner landscape and the rest of the world.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
If I have wasted money on anything, it is on spectacular shoes that are too narrow and uncomfortable for my wide, square feet. Will I ever learn?
27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?
Getting just a little bit overdressed for a party or event is an effective way to calm any mounting social anxiety.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up is a ritual that cannot be rushed, and is often more enjoyable than the event it precedes.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
I don't wear florals.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Professional to me just means clean and not too sexed up.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
My workplace has few dress expectations. I dress as I would normally, but as the most modest version of myself (no sheer tops, cleavage or short shorts).
I think my workplace conservatism has made me a sexier dresser in my free time, as this is 'my chance' to wear those provocative garments.
50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
About half the time.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
That I am either exceptionally, unprecedentedly beautiful or a tragic potato.
57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?
I am very comfortable with my body, but if I woke up and it was totally different - if I had a boyish, small-chested build - I would get a lot of exotic pleasure out of wearing the things that really flatter those women. Structured jackets, strapless bandeau swimsuits, dance leotards and complicated dresses that forbid a bra.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
No; much like George Costanza, I am just trying to get my outfit to match my mood.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Please yourself. Synthetics are sweaty. A good bra can make all the difference. Constrictive clothes can be a lot of fun, but never wear anything that really hurts.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I enjoy Comme des Garcons perfumes from time to time. Not every day.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
I must exit the house in a bra. Everything else is negotiable.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I love make-up but I use it in small doses. Usually just concealer and cream blush, sometimes also mascara.
My idea of a party look is golden eyelids or bright fuschia lipstick, but never at the same time.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
I have a vintage '60s orange dress with a scrunchy, shimmery texture that I have worn to many dance parties. It's very special.
66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?
A pretty grey wool dress with a very flattering, waist-defining shape and a cutout on the lower back. I never wear it because it is too formal for anything except a wedding or a special party, and who wants to wear grey to a party?
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I arrange my closet by clothing type and then by color within each category. My drawers are more jumbled. I keep sequined, flashy, costume-y and otherwise 'party clothes' in a separate closet.
76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?
I bought a bright pink cotton jumpsuit at a yard sale for three dollars, thinking it was cheap and too interesting to leave behind - and then I wore it all summer, feeling breezy and beautiful, and got compliments up and down the street.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
At yard sales, secondhand shops and eBay, interspersed with episodes at American Apparel.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
I like to always have a ring on.
83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?
I remember feeling a deep sense of satisfaction as a child when my outfit alternated in two colors: purple shoes, yellow socks, purple pants, yellow shirt, purple hat.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in 1985. I live in Portland, OR.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I'm white and West Coast.
What kind of work do you do?
I work as a copywriter.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Lily Hudson is a writer in Portland, OR.