Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Summer, summer, summer. When it’s humid-hot out, and my hair is curly and I have a tan, and am hardly wearing any makeup or clothes.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
To be honest, there’s a million things. I admire most of the women I pass in Toronto, fashion-wise. I think I’m most drawn to unique variations on different “looks”, like when someone is pulling off twists on an “elegant” look, or a “punk” look, but I feel like it’s just their personality coming through- like it’s not ‘put on’, it’s genuine? That’s a hard question and I’m not totally satisfied with that answer, but there you have it. Suffice it to say that I really notice and appreciate the ways in which people put themselves together.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I love most of my pieces to have “one dumb thing” about them, which is my way of referring to any extraneous design/ décor. I rarely buy anything plain- it has to have some wacky shoulder pads or sequins or something. I like the challenge of making it work. Come to think of it, I don’t know where a lot of my basics come from… gifts and hand-me-downs, I think. I’m very bad at buying ‘basics’
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I talk to my boyfriend a lot about clothes, as we live together and so he is there when I’m getting dressed, and vice versa. He has a really great, unique style, and believes that it’s important to spend money on clothes (something that I have a great deal of trouble doing). I also chat with my bestie a lot about what we wear. Her and I have almost opposite styles- she’s a lot more dark/ punky/ sexy, and I’d say I’m “grandma chic”. But we both dig the others’ style. In our conversations about clothes, we always end up really emphasizing that being sexy and feeling beautiful, is really just about illuminating who you are- and that both a sexy black dress, and what we lovingly refer to as “dumpers” ie. sweats/ housewear, can be equally sexy.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Hmm. I’d say I approach life with…responsibility, creativity, empathy, neurosis, and humor. Yeah. My clothes probably reinforce that in some way.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I’m embarrassed to say (because it’s so boooooooring), but black pants. There’s a pant from Urban Outfitters that is just so flipping practical and flattering and comfortable. I ride my bike all year round, so a good, practical, moveable pant is important to me. (I don’t know when I became so practical, but here we are).
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Yes, yes, yes. My former roommate and I shared all of our clothes and food for two years (it was a great living sitch), so our styles became almost interchangeable (although I somehow always looked more “elegant mom”, and she more “fashion model/ sartoralist”). And speaking of mom’s, I also wear a ton of my mom’s clothes from the 80s- I’d say her old pieces makeup about 30% of my wardrobe. I love hand-me-downs: combining clothes from different people who I love- from all of “them”, creating a look that’s “me”.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I found this really great pair of black pants. Because of them, and of riding my bike, I went from dressing in a lot of skirts, and dresses- very girly- to what I would call “glam androgynous”. Like, really inspired by men’s clothes, a lot of simple, straight lines, my long hair piled up on top of my head, no makeup, except really bright red lipstick!
Buuuut the shift to “glam androgynous” (?) was also accompanied by some fairly unhealthy weight loss (I’d say an eating disorder, in retrospect). The straight lines looked amazing on me, but it was because I was too skinny. Now that I’ve gained some weight back, I can’t quite pull off that look the way I could (which ashamedly makes me really sad), but I’d say my style’s found a middle ground between what I’d call traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” looks.
16. Please describe your body.
I’m tall 5’9” and thin (130 lbs), although I have a round butt and calves. Very flat chested. Very pale in the winter- freckly/ tanned in the summer.
17. Please describe your mind.
Emotional, academic and strange. Capable in some ways, yet still easily overwhelmed.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Big big big. But I’d consider myself emotionally intelligent: I have a good awareness of how I’m feeling at any given time. I’m fascinated by emotions (mine and others) and love investigating them. Therapy is actually one of my favorite times of the week, because of that.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I just finished a show, and so I have stage makeup on. My hair is in a heavy-ass top knot (which is not show hair). I was wearing a onesie, but it is sweltering in this apartment, so the top part of the onesie is sitting around my waist, with the shorts still on, and I’m just typing away in an old bra.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I’m on a real “20-something” quest right now, of coming into myself, and coming into my body. It’s very important for my to have the courage to bring my whole self to…this life, I guess- which includes the emotional, intellectual, and physical parts of me. In that way, the clothes I wear are really important- but more in terms of how they make me feel, and if they bring me “into myself” and less in terms of whether or not they’re “in” right now.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Hmmm. I see ‘taste’ as appreciating something from the outside, and ‘style’ as something that comes from within. I definitely think I have more of the latter. I like the way I look and dress, but can’t really be methodical about it, and I don’t have the vocabulary to really discuss fashion (words like “empire waist” and “epaulettes”, etc), which I would associate with having “taste”. I’m way more impulsive and instinctual with how I put myself together- and I guess I associate that with “style”.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
shopping at the Salvation Army constantly. I’m not covert about it- I tell everyone I shop there, but I love dressing myself in recycled, inexpensive stuff and feeling like a million.
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?
I have one really expensive item in my wardrobe. It was a gift, and is a really sexy blazer with these huuuuge power-pockets. If I’m going somewhere I’m scared of, or where I feel like I don’t really belong, I’ll wear that blazer for a hit of courage. I sometimes feel like I’m fooling people when I wear it- it’s very “sexy exec-y”, which is not exactly how I would ever classify myself. Like, it would be a “definitely-wear"” if I’m ever attending something in Yorkville.
Heels too, although they sometimes make me feel like I’m trying too hard to be sexy. I like when I can be a little more creative, if that makes any sense?
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
It’s really easy. I usually wear the first thing I put on, unless it feels downright gross. I’m considering both the things I have to do in the day and how I feel in my “first attempt” outfit (which is usually the one I stick with). My wardrobe is paired down enough that I know what pieces fit nicely together, and don’t stray a ton from that, unless I have a lot of time and am feeling particularly adventurous and creative.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I’m trying to strike a balance between being practical, and looking good. I usually let how I am feeling lead me in choosing my clothes. Ie. feeling chill and beautiful- maybe simple slacks and a button up, OR feeling exceptional/ ballsy/ wanting attention- a shoulder-padded parrot dress.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Black pants and a vintage blouse.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I’m Caucasian, middle class, from the prairies. I was raised by my mom and am an only child. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up (she used to say we were so low below that poverty line we couldn’t see it…but I don’t know if that’s hyperbole?). She is incredible at budgeting- I never felt like we were lacking for anything. But I think I’ve retained her frugality when it comes to clothes/ shopping in general.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
Ooooh. Great question. No I don’t, actually. I think I am really beautiful, but I don’t think that necessarily comes through in pictures. I always end up looking midly psychotic, or like a sleepy cat. I don’t know. I’m an actress so I think I’m hyper-critical and can get stressed about my face (like “OMG MY MONEYMAKER” kind of nonsense). I think that others would say I’m photogenic, but I genuinely don’t feel that way.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
“Club-wear” (ie. shiny, tight, short). I just don’t “get” how to put it together, nor do I necessarily appreciate it, aesthetically. And I’m sure wearing it would feel the opposite of sexy or beautiful or myself.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Naw. I’m wary of rules, like the white-post-labor day one, and no socks with sandals. I think almost anything can work. Just do you.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Oof. I have been wearing a ton of makeup lately and it worries me. I take it off at the end of the day and don’t really recognize or necessarily like my face and skin- I’m so used to seeing it with makeup on. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to have one makeup-less day/ week, but it’s weird: I actually feel more like myself with makeup on. And again- I don’t feel great about that. (Especially because I’m so young! I feel like this feeling must only get more imbedded as I get older, if I don’t nip it in the bud!!)
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Yes. One rack full of nice tops/ blouses/ blazers/ things that need to be hung. One rack for fancy-schmancy dresses and coats (I have SO MANY COATS OH, CANADA!) One casual shirt drawer, one pant drawer, one sweatpants drawer, one sock/ tights drawer, one underwear drawer.
There’s a lot of color (especially dusky pinks), a lot of patterns (especially Aztec, and floral). Some things need to be gotten rid of, but for the most part, I’ve paired things down enough that I honestly love almost every item in my closet. Jewelry-wise, I have a mason jar full of earrings (which is kind of a nightmare, in terms of organization), most of which I got a church sales. I don’t wear a lot of other jewelry. I’m kind of spazzy and find that bangles/ necklaces can highlight my extraneous movement, or get in my spazzy way.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Two pieces of my mom’s. One is a burgundy Jones New York patterned sweater from the 80s, and the other is a floral top that she sewed when she was 18, and that I hemmed and altered when I was 18. (I don’t wear that one a lot…but I love that I have it. Just holding it makes me emotional. It feels so charged with love, and history. And is so soft.)
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
It’s all very neat and I take great pride in hanging everything up at the end of the day. I’ve lived out of a suitcase quite a bit, and that trained me well to keep my things in their “proper” places.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Mayyyyybe once every 3/ 4 months? If I’m in a small town, I make a priority to get to their Salvation Army.
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
I have a hard time spending money on clothes. For pants, I cap at $90 (and I only own 3 pairs of pants that I bought new), and for tops, I will rarely spend over $30. Pricing the outfit I am wearing now…it actually cost nothing…all hand-me-downs.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I’m an actor and “creative type” (what a weird phrase), and occasionally I find getting dressed a way to exercise (or maybe exorcise?) any bunged-up creativity. Like, if I’m between contracts and looking for an artistic outlet, I might find I am taking more time to put together my look- really experimenting, trying new things, being creative in that way. But I think I rarely “dress for success”. I guess at Openings, I try to wear something different, just to set me apart. Like I wore pleated trousers and a tank to a bit of a “gala/ ball thing” last year, and felt like a million bucks.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
This wool scarf from Turkey that my aunt brought back in the 80s. I’m rarely without it. It’s so big too, it’s almost literally a grown-up security blanket. And then I’m always equipped if I get cold (which I often do), as I can take my giant scarf off, unfold it, and voila! Victorian Grandma-style Lap-blanket (only missing a little lap dog)! It also doubles as a pillow on buses, and a picnic blanket in parks. I thought I lost it this past winter, and think I actually went through a few of those ‘Stages of Grief’.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Sept, 1987. Born in Regina, now reside in Toronto.
What kind of work do you do?
Actor, improvisor, occasional writer.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I have a partner (male). We live together. No kids- someday?
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I know a lot of my answers are long winded- I just wanted to write as naturally and impulsively as possible, and I didn’t really edit my responses. I hope it’s helpful. I think the book is on a wonderful topic. I also didn’t include a picture of my mother because her privacy is really important to her. Thanks for understanding! But when I see pictures of her, all I can think of is how absolutely beautiful she is…and she looks so whole and feminine- natural and graceful- a capital-W-“Woman”.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
It was really nice to reflect on this stuff and make some subconscious stuff, conscious. So thank you very much for the opportunity.