Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I am comfortable. So no binding or ill-fitting clothes (pretty much how I feel in any business appropriate attire), breathable and natural fabrics, fitted items that move with me and don't hamper my ability to do whatever it is that I'm doing.
Also when I'm wearing undergarments that depart from my external style persona which is pretty boring and nondescript.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes! I notice those who are dressed to the nines and those who might want to put more clothes on (due to weather, potential wardrobe malfunctions or because I feel they would be more beautiful in something that showcased or teased at their beauty rather than bared it for all to see).
I wish I could be like those women who are dressed to the nines... but I feel uncomfortable in a lot of dressier clothes, and heels or fancy shoes, makeup, bags and other eye-catching accessories just don't enter into my personal style repertoire.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire polish. Classic, understated, elegant power that hearkens to a bygone era. The ability to look like a million bucks, but to do so with ease and comfort.
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?
I think I'm still waiting. Or maybe that "click" was me realizing that I'm much too practical and lazy to ever put very much effort into being pulled together. Because of this I try to stick to buying classic pieces (that suit my body type) that I can have for 10 or 15 years and still get away with wearing despite their or my age.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Don't go shopping often - especially if you're not in the mood (which strikes about 4 times/year... max). Don't follow trends. Do buy quality (no tissue thin t-shirts, thank you very much) even if it means spending more than you're comfortable with at the time - it will be worth it in the long run. When you find something that works, buy multiples!
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Avoid VPL if at all possible. Don't pair wild patterns together. Everything goes with black - except black (finding the same shade in two or 3 pieces is next to impossible). Wear more colours - this one has been imposed by my significant other who rightly observed my tendency to blend into the background with my clothes when brighter hues look better with my skin and hair.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
This one. Even though I'm having it with a survey online, it is something that I don't get to talk about - not many people around me know about my closet love for fashion (the haute-er the better!) and fewer share it.
This is fulfilling a need I didn't know I had!
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Put work into what matters - with a very boring/traditional/WASP-y focus on work and finances. But also with a large emphasis on relationships with family, the significant other and close friends which has grown through observation and through how happy that makes me in comparison.
Fashion, and clothes by extension, is not high on this list - due, in no small part, to the idea passed on by my grandmother (and likely her mother and her mother before that) that clothes are meant to cover you decently and be clean and presentable, but not much else.
Is it any wonder my enjoyment of fashion is closeted?
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
See above comment about buying multiples of what works on my body. I've stood by this philosophy for 15+ years, and while I may not stand out on the forefront of fashion - I'm certainly happy with how I feel in these items.
It's mostly t-shirts and pants (jeans, business casual pants) that I do this with, but that's the majority of what I wear every day.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
The scarves I gave my mother for Christmas last year. I busted her out of her monochromatic rut (yes, this is where I get that from) with some gorgeously bright coloured scarves. She loves them and has worn both with her favourite leather jacket.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Most of them.
Firstly, trendy clothes are expensive and you feel dumb wearing them when they're not trendy any longer. (Or I do, at least.) This idea was borne both out of not having money to be trendy as a child and feeling a connectivity with classic style from a very young age. Growing up in the '80s was not kind those of us thinking that emulating Grace Kelly or either Hepburn would be ideal.
Second, and most of the reason for my current abstinence from trends, I'm too old for this shit. I've seen it once already and it was shit the first time around. You don't need day-glo coloured anything unless you work on a construction site, Hammer pants were really ugly when Hammer wore them, and why are you wearing flannel when you live somewhere that is too hot to comfortably wear it? Also, none of that is beautiful. I can understand the reason for some of the impractical creations that show up on the couture runways, but this is real life baby. Practical trumps trendy.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
Oh my, am I a product of my environment and genetics. My mother and I are very similar. She buys multiples of things she likes. She wears things until she can't wear them any longer - not until they're not trendy. She hates shopping. She is the small colour pallete queen. I try to divert from her lessons somewhat, but they speak very clearly and loudly in my ear when I'm shopping.
Physically things are very different. Unlike my mother, I'm tall and evenly proportioned. I have a torso, where she does not. She is mostly leg. I also have a butt, where she has more of a flat area... good hips, but no butt for my poor mom. So I am working with a few favours from whatever deity you choose to subscribe to and try to play those up - albeit in often subtle and monochromatic ways.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I like my basic wardrobe well enough... I don't feel the need pilfer to add to it. However, some of the happiest times of my life were living in a university residence with 15 girls closets to raid on a daily basis. You could experiment with items that you'd never buy in a month of Sundays. I loved the freedom that that offered me to play!
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
No. I've always dressed pretty similarly.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I try, though I don't always succeed, to buy items that were made in ways that work towards helping the planet rather than tearing them down. However, that isn't always financially possible for me. Other practicalities like food and keeping a roof over my head will often get in the way. I like to think that how long I wear my clothes (forever), how I get rid of cast-offs (donation or clothing recycling), and how infrequently I purchase them to begin with is a check mark in the win column, as I'm pretty far away from even the average North American consumer.
16. Please describe your body.
Tall, lean/thin, well proportioned. Strong legs, some butt, curvy hips and small waist, busty for how thin I am.
17. Please describe your mind.
A mess of contradictions. Goes a mile a minute in 16 different directions. Always thinking about something.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Largely happy. I emote on a bigger scale than I expect any of my WASP-y relatives ever did, and the fact that I do makes me happy. I could learn to keep my temper a little more even... but the significant other does a pretty good job of holding down that fort, so I tend to be a little bigger with my emotions because I've got him to keep me grounded and safe.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Body: Black jeans (boot cut) by Second Yoga Jeans, Merrell Vibram ballet flats, thong, white camisole, white t-shirt with empire cut and some subtle bodice detailing, barely pink "sweater" that is loose and open in the front, pink Marlies Dekkers bra - one of my more boring items from her collections.
Face: moisturizer, Vaseline on lips
Hair: Down (it's long-ish - not quite to the center of my shoulder blades), halfheartedly blow dried this morning, but my bangs are tamed (2 cowlicks - ack!) so I can overlook the flippy ends. I've got an elastic handy to pull it up into a messy bun/topknot when it inevitably gets in the way one too many times.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I suppose it's not, but clothes are the package we present to the world - is it any wonder we put so much focus on them?
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Orillia, Ontario, Canada
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I'm white, I'm middle class, but go back 2 generations and that middle disappears.
What kind of work do you do?
I'm a librarian
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Not yet married, but not single. How about engaged? No children.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I stumbled across this while eating my lunch and have dedicated far longer than I should have to it rather than do actual work. Oops! Clearly fashion, and being allowed to talk about it, wins over everything else today.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Happy! Very glad to have taken the time and done some introspection about my self and my relationship to clothes. - Even though I stopped myself with just the basic questions, it was definitely rewarding.
A closet fashion-lover who is a librarian by day, I haven't quite reconciled to the fact that I didn't grow up to be Linda Evangelista. Why is 5'8" too short for runway work?