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Kristine Golden

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I feel most beautiful when I wake up with clear skin and enough sleep.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I often find myself admiring women who choose not to wear makeup and carry themselves confidently.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

My heart smiles when I see other women who dress to please themselves and it shows through their confidence and self-respect.

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?

At the end of my junior year of high school I realized that I don't enjoy dressing up or making up my face or doing my hair for the attention of others; I enjoy it because I like it. The compliments that I received following that realization were only meaningful and appreciated when they were respectful instead of objectifying.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Don't wear button up shirts. Since you're in ROTC, people will assume you're lesbian based on stereotypes and make fun of you for being a dike.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

My best friend and I had a lengthy conversation not long ago in which I attempted to persuade her that she should not be ashamed of her fashion choices because her mother cruelly insults them. In the process of convincing her of the value of her own originality and style, I convinced myself of my own.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I will not do anything in the view of others that I'm not confident I can do perfectly or at least impressively. Every visible aspect of my life must be impressive so that I can prove myself to be worthy of promotions and leadership roles and higher education and respect.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

I have quite a few pairs of boat shoes. Initially I bought a pair because they were in style but I found that they're extremely comfortable and still stylish. They provide a great alternative to sneakers for days spent on my feet. Now my family has a boat so I wear them to avoid slipping.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

When I was very young I gave my single mother a pair of pink pajama pants that have little graphics of boys kicking rocks, each with text below them that reads, "Boys are stupid. They can kick rocks." She still wears them despite having a boyfriend for 8 years now.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

I won't wear crop tops because I feel self conscious about my belly.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

I got my mom's great boobs! I feel that I dress much more fashionably instead of conservatively, though.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

My hair style is inspired by my best friend's fabulous and envy-worthy mane. I continue to try for her look but my attempts are futile.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

About halfway through high school I put my foot down and refused to wear any more of my cousin's boring and overly conservative hand-me-downs. I started shopping for myself and buying only what I love. When I wear clothes I love, I feel more confident and it makes me step out of my shell a little more each day. I'll never go back to wearing things that I don't love.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

Despite my conservative mannerisms, I am unafraid of bold styles and showing skin. It hopefully breaks apart some aspects of a stereotype. Just because I'm the shy and quiet girl, doesn't mean I have to dress that way.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm naturally very thin, almost gangly, but I still manage to get a little bit of a belly when I don't eat healthy. I have the classic hourglass shape and I'm proud of it. I'm unashamed of my hairier-than-average arms and pale skin. I have beautiful hair and I'm in love with my nail shape.

17. Please describe your mind.

I think very logically about most things but I am proud of my ability to philosophise. I think of my intelligence as above average.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Although I outwardly lack emotions,I feel deeply and I'm very sensitive. I will not, however, voice my feelings for fear of vulnerability.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

I'm wearing a baggy t shirt that I didn't buy with no bra, sleeping shorts that I've had for years, no makeup, and my hair is left down and messy from doing it last night in a beachy style.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

I'm important, so my voice is too.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

I love to shop and talk clothes with a few of my girl friends.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

School dress codes have always heavily restricted what I've been allowed to wear. When I shop for clothes, the first question I ask is not whether I like the item, but whether I could wear it to school without facing disciplinary action. It's very frustrating to be unable to fully express yourself or be comfortable. My personal wardrobe lacks items that I would adore because they're not practical items to own as I cannot wear them 5/7 days a week.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I would say that I have my own taste but not necessarily my own style. I tend to follow whatever styles are popular at the time but I put my own twist on them and I won't buy things that I don't like just because they're in style. I see style as a category and taste as a personal preference.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

I once bought this really stupid $40 white denim skirt that I have never worn and most likely never will because I don't like the way the pockets are on the back.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

When I feel bloated I wear high waisted jeans and a lose t-shirt untucked on top to hide my belly.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

My baking really shows my style in the ways that I present my desserts as does the way I decorate.

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?

My first formal dance was my freshman year of high school and I was very nervous about the way people would look at me in a formal dress so I went all out and wore this very beautiful but very heavy ball gown to make sure nobody would think that I was not dressed appropriately.

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 am very particular about the way I dress and the way I choose other items that I buy, especially makeup and home decor. I would say that I learned to be so discerning from judging at an early age what I like and don't like because my mom would always ask and value my opinion.

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?

My mother has always taught me to dress appropriately for the situation, however that may be. I feel that it that has helped me to put forward a professional face when necessary and it makes a person look more put together and respectable. Aside from that I learned that clothes are not just expendable items but things that you must live in an thus must take care of. For me that means I will not put very many of my clothes through the electric dryer. Instead I hang them to dry on a drying rack the old fashioned way.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

When I want to feel sexy, I wear clothes that accentuate my proudest features and I wear my hair down. A touch of eyeshadow, which I usually skip, helps as well.

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 and confident go hand in hand. Comfort is the first step to confidence but confidence takes it a bit farther by being comfortable AND proud.

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?

My style philosophy is that if you like it and you feel confident wearing it, it's perfect.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

To me the most beautiful thing is genuine and unassuming love.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

To me ugliness is falseness and cruelty.

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?

If I buy something I will wear it because I will not buy anything that I don't absolutely love and see a fit for in my closet based on other things that I already have that I could wear with it

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?

She is shy but confident and sometimes sloppy. She is very careful about the way she presents herself.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

During the summer the first thing to consider is whether I shaved my legs recently enough that I can get away with wearing shorts without scratching up my legs on each other. If I have and its a school day I have about two choices in my closet that allow my legs to be free and still meet dress code. If both of those things are dirty I will wear jeans and look for some blouse or shirt that I feel represents the way I feel that day. If I wake up late it's a jeans and a t-shirt day. If it's winter I choose a pair of jeans from my pile and a sweater from my other pile.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

For the most part, the way I dress is a combination of my own physical comfort and confidence.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing is simply the way you choose to wear clothes whereas dressing up involves putting in a good amount of effort to make yourself look presentable to someone else.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

My uniform would be a pair of unadorned jeans, a leather belt, a t-shirt from some activity that I've been to, and some gladiator sandals.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I am white from a mid-lower middle class household with a single mom who works at a Catholic church. As I was growing up, that influenced me to accept my older cousins' hand-me-down clothes and a conservative manner of dress with no personal style. As I became more of an individual, however, I broke away from that and I now find myself as a feminist atheist with a bold and stylish (when I put in the effort) style.

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?

Until high school I dressed plainly. I did so because I did not choose my own clothes. I was content to accept my cousin's old clothes because I knew that my own wardrobe was out of the question with my mom's somewhat modest budget. I was not necessarily happy with it but it was tolerable at the time.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

To feel professional I keep makeup very conservative and my hair neat with nonrevealing clothing that is traditionally professional but still represents my taste.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

As one of very few girls, I am one of even fewer who wears dresses and skirts.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?

I wear a JROTC uniform once a week.

47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?

Out of respect for the uniform, I feel that it's of utmost importance to comply strictly to the uniform regulations.

48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?

The uniform comes with a confidence boost but it is physically very uncomfortable.

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?

Jeans and a t-shirt has always been my go-to outfit. It can be dressed up or down and is comfortable in almost any setting.

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 have always been proud to be a woman.

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

I adore American 1950s women's fashion.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

I am incapable of taking good photos intentionally but my candid photos come out beautifully.

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I see myself as beautiful and regal in photos.

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

I love the way Ariana Grande dresses. She looks adorable and so stylish.

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

I once had a dream about a boy that I liked and his sweater. I don't recall the topic.

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

I have trouble wearing very short or revealing strapless dresses. I can't get comfortable for fear of a wardrobe malfunction.

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?

Exactly what I wear now

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

The way I dress is mostly to please myself.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Dress however YOU like and encourage other women to do the same.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

I love perfume. I love to catch a whiff of it at an unexpected time and be reminded that I smell better than a flower.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

For the most part, to feel presentable I just need to brush my hair and wear clothes that fit the occasion and are clean and neat.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

I don't wear a lot of makeup but I do wear it daily to cover skin imperfections. I feel more confident with clear-looking skin and a touch of blush.

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?

I cannot get on the winged eyeliner bandwagon. I personally prefer a very natural makeup look.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

I tend to own things that are easily matched with many things like neutral colors. As for jewelry,I own quite a variety.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

I have one thin gold necklace with no chain that I almost never take off. It matches everything!

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?

I have this stupidly short club dress that I keep in case I ever want to go clubbing, which I won't. It's useless but I try it on sometimes when I feel like I look especially good.

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?

Things that I have bought for the first time just to try have been most valuable as they helped me to figure out what I like and step out of my comfort zone.

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?

My favorite pair of jeans are no longer. I broke the zipper and I have not since found a pair as flattering or comfortable.

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

I would keep this easy blue t-shirt style dress. It's comfortable and cute and it's a full outfit. Tough choice over my overalls.

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?

I would buy things for me not my school dress code.

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

I bought a pair of dress pants from the GAP that I outgrew but still have for some reason.

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

My overalls were the first thing I bought that drew attention to me and it was a struggle to wear them to school for the first time because of the attention they drew. Taking that step allowed me to take more.

73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?

High waisted shorts!!!

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

Everything has a place and it stays there unless it's being washed or worn.

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

My grandma bought me a shirt once that I still adore because she noticed that I like that style of shirt.

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?

My first pair of good underwear. I feel so much cuter wearing nice underwear and it has led me to make more adult clothing choices.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

I shop with no purpose at random intervals.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I like to smell clean and somewhat sweet.

79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?

The way I dress reflects my motivation and confidence.

80. How does money fit into all this?

It's hard to dress for how you feel on a budget. You can't always buy the things you adore. If I had more money I would like my wardrobe better.

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 always wear a ring my mom bought me in place of a class ring.

82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?

When describing the difficulty of finding a uniform piece that would fit me, I was described as having an hourglass shape. It was confirmation that made me feel more confident.

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?

In middle school one day I wore a white shirt with a white bra underneath and I was told that the bra was visible through the shirt. I felt very uncomfortable knowing that and since then I have been very careful to prevent that.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama in October of 1996. I now live in central Florida.

What kind of work do you do?

I am a student.

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

I am single.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel introspective and happy with the person I am.

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