Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Hm, I'm not sure that ever feel that attractive in general. Mostly I try to prioritize comfort and fit above all else.
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 hold themselves a certain way - with confidence or with a air of peace. Ultimately, many different kinds of women spark my attention but, often, yes they are conventionally attractive women.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire women who commit to a look from head to toe and love to express themselves, whether it is a casual thrown-together ensemble or glittery cyborg feminism xtreme makeup and space boots.
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?
Reading Seventeen magazine when I was little definitely influenced my interest in fashion - suddenly there was this whole other world I didn't know existed. Clothes represent so much more to me than just sheltering my body for public presentation.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Ugh - I hate that I do this, but when I shop at thrift or resale shops, I always check the tag to see what brand it is. There are certain companies that make clothes with better fabrics, seams, etc., and I try to maintain a certain level of quality in my wardrobe instead of chasing after fast-fashion.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
!!! I will get stuck on a pattern or silhouette or hue that I like - not even necessarily on my body - and keep going back to that, without even realizing sometimes. I guess there are just elements
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Nope, I try not to give gifts like that. Also, I'm terrible at giving gifts in general.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
YES, plenty. Sometimes it's because I genuinely think they look bad (kitten heel flip-flops? SMH!) or other times it's because I can't afford the ideal piece and won't settle for a cheaper (and crappier-quality) imitation. Often, I notice trends too late and by then I'm sick of seeing the same thing everywhere.
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 taller than myself but otherwise, we have a very similar body. Her style hasn't been adopted by me as much, but I was lucky enough to grow up being able to wear just about whatever I wanted. She didn't force me to adhere to gender roles. When I suddenly stopped wanting everything to be bright pink at 6 years old, she was surprised and confused that I made the switch to all black outfits, but tried to encourage me.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I have definitely tailored my style to imitate more of my friends and what I like about their taste. It has helped me figure out what I like, being able to dress up in some other idea for the day to see if I like it on me or not.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
This has happened a few times. A few times it was definitely due to age and a phase either ending or beginning. After almost three decades, I finally feel like I have my style and aesthetic figured out and like what I like. It took awhile to get there and that's because I tried to be weird and different when I was a teen, and then tried to be artsy and thrifty in my early 20s. Now, I just want to be comfortable and chic.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Hm, interesting. Not consciously, but I do wear more risque or revealing clothes now than I used to - I'm sure that's because I'm more comfortable with my body now and I live in a city where street harassment is basically nonexistent. To me, this is a bit political as women's bodies are never really neutral.
16. Please describe your body.
I'm 5'3", white, very curly brown hair that is often flatironed into a bob. Small bust and waist, big hips and butt, toned legs, lucky enough to have all my appendages and they're fully functional. The profile of my body is shaped like an S, so my stomach sticks out and often makes it hard for me to wear anything without looking 3 months pregnant.
17. Please describe your mind.
Frenetic and chaotic at times, sometimes completely zoned out, always ready to daydream.
18. Please describe your emotions.
They change quickly but linger. Very easy to get depressed, anxious, nervous, sad, but often trying to make everyone laugh to distract myself. Very easily grateful for all the good in my life, also, so, yeah haha - I have all the feels all the time!
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
High-waisted skinny BDG jeans, long sleeve black scoopneck top under a fuzzy pink angora croptop. Hair is kinda doing a 50s housewife throwback thing with my curls sculpting themselves around my face.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It is and it isn't - it's important in the ways in which we make it, and it isn't in the way that we trivialize clothing and fashion by deeming them still illegitimate interests. Interest in clothing, fashion, etc., is seen exclusively as a feminine interest, even though men have been designing clothes for women for decades, and therefore it is a taboo or frivolous interest.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
A few friends, but not many people. I try to hide my interest in clothes as much as possible, otherwise I would be talking about what I like and don't like constantly.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Great question! I definitely try to dress for occasion and location - don't want to feel out of place or inappropriate. I hate feeling like people notice me or stare at me. However, despite these limitations, I try to present the myself wholly wherever I am.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I like to think that I have both. Style is the arrangement of different elements together to create a harmonious, cohesive idea. Taste is the boundaries of what is curated to be included in that idea.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I try to have fun with the way I decorate my living space and definitely appreciate design in most aspects of life. It's nice having shit to look at that I like!!
28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?
Yes, I would say that I have very discerning taste. It comes from passion.
31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?
To me, they mean a quiet dignity - there is just an aura, an air, a vibe from people who accept themselves. I dig it.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Oy! Colors that are too much like paint swatches, ill-fitting and outdated clothes. I can't even remember how many times I've been shopping and wondered aloud who the hell greenlit a horrible polyester-cotton-blend tracksuit for grandmas who have given up on life.
35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?
This is an approach I have tried to hone when shopping. I don't always go looking for something specific (rarely, actually), so I always think about what else it could be worn with that I already have and if it will seem dated in a few years or if it will fit my body in a few years. Basically, I don't want to look back and think, "oh god, why did I wear that?"
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
When I dress myself, I am trying to accomplish a lot of things. One of which is definitely about establishing control of my body and my personal space. Something I feel about how I dress is a juxtaposition about how I might be perceived: I don't want to look like I don't care about myself but also don't want to seem unnatural.
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?
I enjoy wearing clothing that is inspired by menswear, and I for sure have some shirts from my bf that I wear to bed, but mostly I think women's clothing has gotten expansive enough that it's pretty easy to find neutral/masculine pieces. Sometimes I have wished to be born a man because I would probably think 99.9999999% less about my body, what I wear and how it will affect my day and those around me.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
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 would wear a lot more long, flowing, draped fabrics - stuff that lanky women wear.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
STOP WEARING PANTS THAT DON'T FIT. Seriously! It's so hard to see women all day long wearing pants that are obviously too small for them and are probably damaging their hips and back. Comfort is sexier than yeast-infection-inducing pants that cause muffin top and cameltoe. Come on now.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Perfume fascinates me, but most of it is crap. The history and production of it is more complex than most people realize. I love Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather (and most of his other scents), but mostly I use a lot of essential/perfume oils.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
If I haven't showered (even if I didn't need to), I don't feel presentable. Something about day-old skin, even skin that's only been sitting in an office chair and then to sleep at night, makes me feel like I'm not as put together as those around me. My hair is easily crazy-looking, so that's another thing I prefer to make time to make presentable.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Makeup is tricky. When I was single and not interested in dating, I played around with makeup a lot more. I didn't have to worry about it (literally) rubbing off on someone or trying to please someone else with my appearance. Now, since I'm with someone I've known for a long time, I'll occasionally throw on mascara or lipstick, but the days of every day heavy black wingtip on my eyelids are gone. I feel too self-conscious with makeup on being around someone with whom I'm so intimate I don't care about being 'pretty' at work, so everything I've amassed the past couple years is collecting dust.
63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?
Another interesting question; I suppose since I do enjoy a lot of feminine clothing (dresses, skirts, cute shoes, etc.) that I am expected to wear high heels a lot. I have very few pairs of shoes that are not flat heeled. It's been remarked upon by friends before, since I'm short - "I'd wear nothing but heels if I was your height!"
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
That's not a thought I care to entertain.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
When I found pants that not only fit exactly the way I wanted them to but also were available in multiple colors and fabrics, it was pretty much a revelation to me. FINALLY!
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
A little ubiquitous black dress, a denim jacket, and a leather jacket are currently at the top of my clothing priority list, as well as some fucking bras that actually fit.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I like to keep my clothes organized as much as possible. I have all my items hung in my closet by warmth of fabric, sleeve length, color, and purpose. I keep my knits and other wrinkle-free fabrics folded in stacks on shelves and in my dresser. I prefer to keep things as separate as possible, categorically, to keep everything quickly accessible.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
I prefer smelling on the side of pleasant, but there are a few specific fragrances I choose when scenting my skin with intention.
80. How does money fit into all this?
If I had an unlimited amount of money, I would definitely have a different wardrobe. I would go crazy with power! But, in all seriousness, I would be able to support more independent and smaller designers and then, in turn, support local economies and essentially 'buycott' slave labor and environmental atrocities.
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 don't go anywhere without a cardigan and lip balm.
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?
Ah - I remember being in preschool and feeling lame in my handmedowns compared to the cool girls with newer clothes!
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
born St. Louis, MO
live in Seattle, WA currently
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
lower middle-class background, daughter of a interracial lesbian couple (together for 20+ years) and youngest of 4
What kind of work do you do?
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
In a committed LTR (so, technically single)
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I'm delighted it exists. CLOTHES CLOTHES CLOTHES!
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I wish I had the endurance and stamina to answer more questions - I'm into this survey.