Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When my skin is amazing & I'm in heels & sunnies with nails done & I'm having a good hair day!
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I tend to notice women who are really well put together or are wearing something that shows something of them, if that makes sense? And I judge most peoples shoes.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
When they look authentic & well put together.
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?
My aunt always has beautiful long natural nails.. It's just so feminine & I always remember them. Also, the day I first dress up for the 50's fair - i put on the borrowed vintage dress with the big skirt & little hat I bought & it just 'clicked'. I felt super feminine & pretty.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Always try on pants. Always buy enclosed shoes - ugly ugly toes. Don't buy it just because it's cheap. Don't buy clothes while favorite song is playing - you'll regret when you come home.
Always put glasses back on face before leaving change room.
Wait for sale time.
Don't buy any knits that aren't Merino.
Make sure the shoes are actually leather.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Never wear Platforms, they make you too tall but super high heels are fine.
Balconette bras are the only thing that works for my boobs.
Ballet flats need to be tight or else they'll stretch too much.
Check where the jean pockets hit on your butt cause no bum means you need to be careful.
Stuff that fits well around the wait is Good.
Beautifully made three quarter length sleeves are the best sleeve.
Always wear leather shoes & handbags
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Hmm, I think discovering Tavi was pretty transformative.. and I guess talking with my aunts about clothes & vintage fashion as well.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Hmm, if you're not going to wear it don't wear it.
And there is no point going all emotional over anything - either do it or don't do it. If it needs doing get on with it, if it doesn't then let it go.
(I don't know how well i succeed at these, but you try?)
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Urban Outfitter BDG Cigarette Jeans. They fit perfect, make me look like I've got a bum & they last. I'm can't seem to buy them online anymore, i'm so scared they've gone!
Vintage jewelry (gold & silver) - I just like the old stuff & it's cheaper than new & good quality - investments.
Boat neck tops - so flattering
Block high high heels - so hard to find good, not boring pairs but so so worth it. comfy, can wear them everyday without looking like a try hard. And some are so beautiful.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I gave my best friend some lovely pearl earrings that she wear still & she loved.. And I've passed on so many good pairs of shoes that didn't fit my weird feet quite right that I've enjoyed seeing on so many other people!
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
The destroyed denim shorts. I've seen too many crotches standing behind them on an up escalator. They look like nappys. Annnnd gym wear/leggings as acceptable going out & about clothes. I understand it for quick errands/grocery shopping but for anything else you just look lazy & it's a bit insulting to go out to for a day with someone & all they managed was leggings & a hoodie.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
Her love of long nails.. and really good leathergoods. And always buy on sale, or secondhand. Ebay is God.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I have 1950's sunglasses from my aunt Cj & jewelry, 19th century mourning jewelry from my other aunt Kath.. Hats & belts from Kath from when she was my age & super duper thin.
Boots that are amazing that my mum couldn't zip up her leg - she called me a 'skinny legged turd' for weeks after that!
I've stolen so many idea's of my friends Brenda - dressing vintage althrough uni, although that was both of us egging eachother on! & Sabina - cowl neck tops & maxi dresses.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
After university, I stopped dressing so 1950's & started living in jeans - full time work means getting up & pulling on the first thing you see when you are not a morning person. I just make sure I've got amazing staples & carry jewelry & lipstick around in my bag.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Nope. Expect maybe a predisposition for natural fabrics - we use wayyyy to much plastic.
16. Please describe your body.
Hourglassy. Good boobs, no bum, but hips. Longish legs, small belly if not starving myself always.
17. Please describe your mind.
jumbled. mostly happy. anxious, but now only sometimes.
18. Please describe your emotions.
mostly cheerful with bouts of anxiety /anger/unhappiness. They pass quickly.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
bed hair (curlyish, shoulder length)
face - ysl mascara, blush. benefit foundation. nars lip pencil, luxemborg.
bdg jeans, grey repetto flats, soft pink long sleeved thin tee shirt, 2 buttons undone
grandfather's silver shield on a silver chain, grandmother silver ring, ancient roman coin ring & gold bangle given to me by my cockney nan to use whenever i get into 'trouble'.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
it's all part of how you present yourself, which is a huge part of how people perceive you, comprehend you.
it's also a huge part of how you feel - it can give you confidence, protect you from others, lift your mood, bring it down.
it's very very important.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My friends & my aunts. Less so my mum. My dad & me talk shoes.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
They can impact heaps - i fully believe in dressing for the part.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I think i have taste, that sometimes make me look like i have style?
Some things are tasteful without being particularity stylish. I would say Repetto flats are tasteful but not always in style, for example.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Hmm, my mother would say my marc jacobs stam.. I disagree - as long as you use it, nothing is wasted. Perhaps the charlotte olympia flats (not the cat ones! (which are stylish but not tasteful)) i bought on super sale that stretched so much I can't wear them.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
floaty loose tops that make my small belly go!
and high block heels being comfy for day wear!
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
My interiors are amazing & filled with gorgeous old stuff! And my life, I guess? It's one filled with lovely things that I try to treasure.
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?
Job interviews.. and days when my anxiety is through the roof. Nails done & heels help immensely.
Day of my grandmother's funeral - I rebuilt a lovely black 1950's hat to wear as a way of coping in the days before. It was something else to concentrate on.
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?
I'm quite good at making decisions - I inherited it from my mother. I do deliberate over them though, but once I've made the decision its done.. So yes, i think I am good at discernment, but I have no idea why.
29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?
Hmm, my dad taught me to take care of my shoes & my Mum taught me that you can find it as good secondhand or on sale for much less. And to sew hems for myself!
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Red lip or a cat eye. Stockings & suspenders. Good underwear. And shoes that make make ankles look even thinner & pretty.
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?
comfortable means being at home with no bra, trackies & dressing gown in winter, comfy top & silk pants/shorts in summer.
confident means being comfortable with how i look. At home I'm confident, but I sure as hell don't want to go out like that! So confident comes from feeling like I'm dressed for whatever it is I'm doing? I'm happy to put up with some foot pain & a tight skirt if it means I look killer at an event or something.
32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?
Vintagey? Feminine? but casual, jeans are your friend in winter!
I got told I dress like a stylish grandmother the other day? I don't know if that was a compliment or not..
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
People looking happy, clothes well cared for. I used to catch a bus home from school every afternoon in my senior year & I'd be surrounded by all these happy chatting girls glad to be on their way home (all girls school, yo!) and I'd see how pretty they were (in a non creepy way, just noticing that the looked happy & that made them look even nicer? Even girls who weren't pretty still looked beautiful)
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Bad fitting clothing & ugly shoes.
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?
sometimes? With staples yes, but with impulse purchases no. and dirtyness.
36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?
Messy hair. I like my hair being bed hairy & a curly wavy mess, but I'm pretty sure I'd judge others so hard if i saw it on them!
And I guess my feet if - my mum once told me any man who loved me would fall out of love with me the moment he saw my feet.
And my belly. I'm not fat or anything, i just have a small belly if i'm not like on a juice diet. Alot of family is quite large, so i guess I worry it'll get bigger?
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
If I'm working, its will I be warm enough (it's winter at the mo) and what am i doing today - can I get away with heels? Also, whats close, cause you're running late from all the extra sleep you had.
If i'm not working, then it's way more leisurely..
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Looking good & feeling good in what I'm wearing
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up means I take longer on my hair & make up.. and I'll wear something way more formal than usual & wear the heels i really really can't get away with at work! It also means serious serious bling as opposed to my everyday bling.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Well, for work I'm pretty wear similar things - jeans, with flats or heels depending on what I'm doing. Somewhat interesting top/jumper? Or tee & cardie. Jewelry, lipstick.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me - retro, wait emphasising, heels, lipstick, sugar, dogs, crop tops & full skirts
not me - rick owensy, super mod, super relaxed dressing, open toe shoes, sandals, cut outs
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I'm Australian/English/dutch mix - so I guess i like being able to throw on simple things & have it all coalesce into a outfit?
My best friend is Muslim, so from her I've gotten wearing maxi skirts & dresses - you don't have to have everything on show to look good!
43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?
University - dressing vintage! I miss it. It was about individuality & feeling super feminine I guess..
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Hmm, lipstick & nails. Looking clean & neat. You can show personality through your clothes without looking like a hot mess! And having no frizz in my hair. If I've got no frizz then you know I've got to serious lengths! (no pun intended)
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
Heels. I work in the office of a factory.. And fake fur!
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
Nope. I used to rally in an old e-type jag (my dads) which meant even in the middle of winter I rocked up to this car event in a short skirt cause the foot well would overheat so much from the exhaust running underneath it that it would be too hot to have your feet on!
I had to wear a school uniform my whole schooling life too
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
School uniform wise, i was wearing black flate Pura Lopez's, you know, the super pointy ones as school shoes my final year of school. I also tucked my shirt into my navy blue skirt & made it highwaited - I hated looking like a fat rectangle when I was neither!
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
Constraining. But slightly comforting?
49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?
Hmm, pale jeans, super high zara angle boots & three quarter length sleeve. tee Super comfy, cute & very me.
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?
No really. Although I ask any woman to watch suits & not want to be Harvey Specter.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
1920's. or 1950's. or 1930's.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
NO! So bad in photos!! I'm always mid chew or blinking. No exaggeration!
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Hmm, I don't like them - I present much better in person, but I'm not going to object to them.
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Hmm, Bridget Bardot. Atlantic-pacific, the blogger? More recently, taylor swift - she dresses really nice. It's a bit sad to admit to though. And Dita von Teese! I'd steal her wardrobe in a heartbeat!
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
The minimalist look that only people with no boobs can pull off.
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?
More highwaisted tight pencil skirts
and tighter tops i guess?
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
no really, i dress mostly for myself? I am single tho, so there is an element of I hope someone thinks i look nice?
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Hmm, dress for your shape!
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Yes, I love perfume! But niche stuff. Not whatever beyonce is currently shilling.
I've got perfume that was formulated in the 1920's & in Stalinist Russia which is amazing!
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Hmm, hem pants, take in the waistband of skirts. washed & fresh smelling. doesn't have to be ironed, but I will hang up to decrease crumple!
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I can't believe I'm at 62. It fits in in that I want nice skin & lipstick is a must! As is mascara. I tend to stick to the classics, partly because I'm terrible at anything involving eye shadow.
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?
The flat birkenstocky shoes. ew. ug-ly. and gym wear as street wear. not happening over here.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
lots of dresses & cool tops. jeans. lots of coats & so so many shoes. but not yucky shoes, I'm talking miu miu, brian atwood, mochino, repetto. only like 2 good bags, including my stam. lots of vintage bags though (including a set of matching crocodile shoes & bag from the 1950's which I don't wear). silk pajamas. fair amount of antique jewelry, most of it inherited, almost no costume. collection of headbands. lots of bikini's, one 1950's swimsuit.
3 pairs of glasses, 1 prescription, 2 vintage sunglasses. over 30 pairs of undies (i often buy instead of washing)
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Hmm, my grandmother left me a lot of her jewelry, including her mother's mikomoto pearls. I LOVE them.
clothing wise, i have a silk gorman black & blue polka dot top that's sleeves & proportions are amazing & i feel elegant & princessey in.
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?
the 1950's swimsuit. It's amazing & I look like Marilyn in it. It's navy pinstripe with buttons on the hips & I'll never get rid of it. It's wearable, but actually wearing it swimming would result in it's death & it's too lovely to destroy.
67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?
Probably the stam handbag - I spent $1000 on it.. Otherwise shoes.
68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?
A big full red striped skirt. it had amazing hidden pockets that made running errands a dream. It disappeared off the washing line & was discovered in the bottom of the pool months later (it was winter) with brown leaf stains that wouldn't come out.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
Probably one of my t-shirt dresses. They go with everything , be it keds or heels with a jacket.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
Less cheap ill fitting clothing.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
A pair of ted baker heels (my first heels, full stop).
yes & yes.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
My first vintage coat.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
man, this changes every week.
block heels with a point
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
fairly organised, i have a HUGE wardrobe, but the drawers themselves less so.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
My grandma gave me her engagement present from her husband (gold chain bracelet) on my 18th & & her mothers pearls on my 21st. I wore them to her funeral with such pride & it made the day better.
Also, my aunt gave me the hat she wore on my parents wedding day, which i treasure.
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?
this happens all the time! A white lace shift dress that i wore to death. the most perfect tee ever that i bought because i'd gotten soaked to the skin in a rain storm.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
online, ebay, secondhand markets & sales.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
yup. Nice. perfume is a must!
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
not really, I'm not super ambitious at the moment, so I think I just dress to make myself happy at the moment.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I'm pretty careful with money, but i also know i'll never have this much disposable income (i live at home rent free & work almost full time) I figure my shoes are investments & better buy them while I can, but I also make sure to save 50% upwards of my paycheck every week. I'm lucky my parents drilled the value of money into me.
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 carry lipstick & jewelry around with me everywhere.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
Well, being told I dressed like a stylish grandma the other day may cause some self reflection!
Otherwise, going to vintage fairs growing up & having people complimenting me on how well the clothing fitted on me was also a boost & made me feel like a real girl.
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 going shopping with my mum when i was about 10 & desperately wanting a tee & then realizing I could have it, I just had to ask & let her know I wanted to wear it!
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Born in Sydney, Australia. Living here at the moment.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
English mum, dutch Australian family. Grew up in Sydney in very multicultural area.
What kind of work do you do?
I work in an office.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I'm impressed I managed all the questions! I love the whole idea of this survey, i think how you wear your clothing is so so much more interesting than what you're wearing!
(also, it made me think a lot about cleaning out my grandmothers closets after she went.. the clothes all went into the garbage bags & how sad is that! It deeply upset me. I can't imagine my clothes all broken up & given away..)
22 yr old girl with car, dog & full full closets.