Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
newish, ironed, understated clothes (dress or skirt); air dried hair; my preferred shoes at the moment; no jewellery; make-up
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
women who wear clothes that fit their proportion (height/weight); not too revealing - if some body part is showing - e.g., legs, the upper body should be covered); who appear comfortable; not dressed in a fashion-victim kind of way; some unique item that catches my eye; age-approppriate
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
demure, understated sex-appeal, creativity, out-of-the-box looks but not trying too hard, references (designer, artistic, historical, ethnic)
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?
Didn't have a lot of clothes growing up (still don't) and with my body type it is difficult for me to find clothes that fit me out of the rack, i've grown accustomed to search for great fit above style/fashion
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
browse a bit, buy if you like the item, try later at home with other pieces that you own, sit on it, it not 100%happy return it (unused, of course)
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
jeans with 2%elastane max; no midriff exposed; longer sleeves in t-shirts; materials: silk, cotton, kashmir, leather
bags in leather or canvas, no poli leather
shoes in leather or sneakers/canvas - no synthetic faux leather stuff
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
yes, don't worry too much about it, go with the flow
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
yes! if I could i would have more stuff (my favourite 524 levi's jeans which no longer exist)
tshirts (100% soft cotton and the fit is right), panties, bras, skirts, cardigans - if I find some staple that I really like I always buy in two or more colours
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
to some girl friends and to my boyfriend
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
yes, mostly things that are a copy of stuff I wore when I was 9'12 years old (early 90's stuff - acid wash denim, horrible polyester bright coloured wind breakers, 90's inspired crop tops...)
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
not at all
my mother has no fashion sense at all (maybe i have some of her nonchalant attitude towards clothes) and her body type is very different (she's much taller, broader, bigger than me)
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
(echarpes come to mind)
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
when i was 9/10 (hey i'm not in primary school anymore - less of a girly girl) and when i was 14/15 (less tomboyish)
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
flat shoes as a political statement (there is a great guardian article about that, i agree) Im only 5' tall so it is kind of a big deal to be comfortable with your height wearing only flat shoes
practicality in clothes, not being a fashion victim
16. Please describe your body.
petite, thin, good proportion for my height (1,52m)
17. Please describe your mind.
curious, inquisitive, observer, thinker
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?
bare faced, air dried hair, pajama pants, sandals (changed when I got home), same top that i wore outside (indian inspired with embroidery)
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
its a individual characteristic as there are other (kind of food you like, kind of music you like, etc)
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
if by institutions i think about work, the affect in the sense that you have do blend in
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
More taste (what you like vs. what you don't like) than style (how you do dress and how you carry yourself)
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
yes, a pair of boots
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
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?
of course (job interviews, meetings come to mind)
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 know what I like but I don't have the money to buy what I like so I have to adopt a utilitarian approach to the way I dress (does it fit? can i wear it to work? it can be washed with water? will the item be useable for more than a month?)
it comes from being curious, learn about the history of fashion, about art, and learning to know what you like the most and what provokes a reaction from you
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?
care for your clothing yes, not much style
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
wear cool and sexy stockings, short shorts/dresses/skirt, sharp make up, red lips
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 is not wearing shoes that make it impossible for you to walk or a dress that's so tight that you cannot eat in it, etc etc
confident is to feel good about yourself and what you're wearing, and you stand tall and look at people in the eye
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?
clothes look better if they kind of float around you, good tailoring, natural and quality fabrics, a pop of colour, choose a good accessory (one or two), less is more, no one wants to look like a x.mas tree
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
natural, fresh from the shower, 3 pieces look with great shoes
34. What do you consider very ugly?
extremely tight clothes, bandage dresses, jeans with too much lycra/elastane/man made material, extreme washes in jeans
shoes that have a convex heel, mules
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?
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?
if im in doubt about my look, somethings off. if i feel good about my look, i don't think to much about it
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
what clothes are clean and ironed, how's the weather, how my day will be in terms of schedule, if i'm going somewhere after work
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
pulled together and fitting my body/proportions
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
when dressing up I want to stand out a bit (i choose based where i'm going and what kind of people i'm going to meet there or that are going to be there)
when just dressing i don't think about the "audience"
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
great shoes, loose fitting top/tshirt/shirt; skirt and tights or pants
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
me: skirts, flat shoes, dresses, vintage feel
not me: hooch mama clothes, high heels, high maintenance look, pastel clothes, white jeans, shirts tucked into ordinary trousers with a belt
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
i'm a native in my country, so i will say that hasn't had much of an influence when i think about my style in comparison to other people who are not native in the country they currently live in
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?
teenager years (hiding beneath the clothes and accessories, trying to identify with a tribe etc...)
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
ironed clothes, suits, black and white and gray, nude makeup, blow-dried hair
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I conform in not wearing what i would normally wear (jeans, more casual clothes)
I tend to gravitate towards black trousers, shirts and button down shirts in soft colours.
I rebel in wearing flat shoes
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
when i was a girl scout, it felt comforting but i would "rebel" by wearing my shirt untucked in the skirt
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?
my blue dress (it's simple, colour suits me, girly but not too cute, with an edge but the colour softens its edge, short but not so short, can be worn up or down, very good structured fabric, it has embellishments (origami effect, not rhinestones or beads) at the neckline so doesn't need a necklace; was tailored (to reduce the arm-hole and to fit better in the chest area); fabric doesn't stain if you sweat
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?
yes (not a man's body per se but to be born a man or dress like a man and be less high maintenance as a man).
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Flapper era, but as a rich person
Paris, late XIX century
London during Victorian times
San Francisco during the 60s
NYC during late 70's early 80's
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
not at all (look better in person)
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
"i'm not photogenic at all."
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
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?
II think I could achieve any look (with unlimited means, i mean) even if i looked horrible in it - it could be only for a costume party or something like that
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'm fairly comfortable with my body.
(the questions don't seem to acknowledge the fact that clothes cost money...)
If I had the money to buy more clothes (I spend no more than 5% of my yearly revenue because i can't, that sums up to 700 USD, its not very much specially because clothes/shoes when cheap get ruined/old/unusable fairly quickly) I would like to wear more diverse types of shoes, more layering, more colour.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
No super tight clothes, no "stripper" shoes if you're not a performer, find your own style, you can follow trends but not dress as a fashion victim
No bizarre jeans, please.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I think it can be a real statement. yes, I do.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
body: wax, moisturise
hands and feet: manicure and pedicure
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
It can add to your natural beauty and be used as a statement
I don't like when it becomes a mask or makes women insecure about leaving their house barefaced
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?
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
statement necklaces, rings, almost no earrings
jeans, dresses, a drawer full of different tights, patterned, but all in black, skirts, tshirts, shirts, knit, blazers
gray, blue, red, white, black, anthracite, burgundy, plum, bottle green, aqua, orange
great winter coats
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
big golden ring, blazer with a flower print, blue dress
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?
cobalt blue dress nº2: too short, fabric too summery to be worn with black tights, one shouldered so you have to wear it with a strapless bra, detail at one shoulder that doesn't allow for a cardigan or something on top
I keep it because I like it but I'm not sure if I'm ever going to wear it
there is more 2 or three items i think
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?
great jeans, great fitting black trousers, ballerina shoes, flat boots, black blazer
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 tweed blazer, i left it at a restaurant by accident and wasn't able to retrieve it
jacket, left it at a friend's house and he lost it during the process of moving out
light cardigan, lost it a at a club
tweed winter coat: stolen from club :'( my most expensive winter coat yet, it had a great fit
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
my aforementioned blue dress
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
incorporate more colour
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
leather pencil skirt, yes
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
statement summer tea-lenght skirt
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
i keep 2 drawers and one side of the closet organised, the other half not so much
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
yes, i nice necklace (it broke and the pieces got lost)
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?
yes chambray shirt, some 6 years ago. I went to a shop to return an item and they would not refund the money and i had to pick something, i didn't had a lot of time so i chose the shirt because it fit me right
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
in shop or online, mostly week ends
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
not much, unfortunately (budget constraints)
80. How does money fit into all this?
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
not really, maybe they once did but i forgot
I only remember being said things that i thought matched my views about myself
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?
yes, 1st day at school
I was wearing a blue skirt, and a vichy print blue button down shirt with a petter pan collar that had 2 cherries embroidered at each side of the collar)
mary janes and white socks
and an aqua back pack.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
23/02/1984, born in Lisbon and currently living in Lisbon (have lived in other countries thought)
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
middle class in the upper-ish end (both parents have degrees, spent holidays abroad, etc)
both parents are native, they are still married
What kind of work do you do?
Economist doing not so technical work at a Bank.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I live with my partner.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I'm a citizen of the world but have a mistress called Lisbon. Sometimes I love her but sometimes she brings me down - see answer to nº80.
Sorry if my grammar is not perfect!
Despite some laconic answers, I do really feel my best and feel more like myself if I'm in the right clothes. It brings something more from the inside. I think my self image and my day to day happiness would improve if I had a job where I could express myself through my clothes creatively, which is not the current situation.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Born in Lisbon, lived in Spain and in Paris, speaks 4 languages, travelled a bit, has a BA in Economics, a Master's Degree in European Affairs and a post-grad in Marketing. Currently works in a somewhat shitty job - long story. Hopes to change the things about her life - job is number one priority but crisis! - she doesn't like in the near future. Tries to learn about things everyday (do you know that the pink lady apple is trademarked? just read a paper about it) and to enjoy life and others.