Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
At the end of the day when I wash my face. Once the makeup is off and I wipe my face dry with a towel, I feel so refreshed and new (is that the right word?)
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I do! Most of the time I notice their outfits -- I tend to be attracted to colorful yet simple, classic outfits. Patterns! Vintage dresses. When I was visiting NYC, I noticed a lot of trench coats and I admired them because they looked so put together and classic.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Their confidence on wearing clothes I would (most likely) never wear: oversized sweaters, tunic dresses, wide leg pants, stiletto heels, shirts that hang off the shoulder, tennis skirts.
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?
The mantra "You get what you pay for."
I pay $50 for my haircut and that's because my stylist is so damn good at what she does. I always get compliments about my hair every time after I have an appointment with her.
I started buying higher quality clothes: JCrew, Fossil, Levi's, Madewell. The material of the fabrics and quality of those brands compared to say, Forever21 and H&M are so different and ~fancy~
I think this happened because I kept buying stuff because it was cheap and I felt like I needed more clothes for more variety. Fashion trends change so quickly so I decided to start over on my wardrobe and create something that's simple, classic, and timeless.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I don't think I've shopped "seriously" enough to answer this :(
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Rolling up your pants when they're too long :( I should really go to a tailor and get them hemmed.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
My cousin was texting me and she sent me a quote of a book that she was reading. I'm going to paraphrase it and it went something like this, "I dress to please myself, not to please others. I shouldn't be given a reason to dress ' fancy' or 'nice.'"
I would always dress to please others, like my mom. And then I started dressing to make people believe that I was put together even though my life was in shambles. Now, I'm actually starting to dress for myself. I'm more aware of the styles that I like and I feel a lot better about myself when I dress in a way that pleases ME.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
This is awful but I tend to sweep conflict under the rug and try not to deal with it. And then I stress about it way too much. This is why I go to therapy now.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I keep buying shirts in stripes and polka dots. And I keep buying Baggu! I love the vibrant colors and patterns of their bags.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I gave my cousin (mentioned in a previous question) a necklace that said "FUCK LOVE" engraved on two hearts. She immediately put it on and still wears it to this day.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Sheer tops and high low tops, dresses, and skirts. God, I hate that trend so much. I'm just like, you either have it short or not. Why do I want my clothes to be at different lengths? And Birkenstocks. And Crocs. And polo shirts and dresses.
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 bone structure and her hair. I should probably wear blush....
My mom likes loud gaudy jewelry while I like dainty rings and stud earrings. She also likes perfumes and I just let my gross sweat and deodorant define me.
Apparently my mom was very thin before she had me and then she struggled with weight her whole life. She wasn't obese but she had big boobs and gut. She recently lost a lot of weight and grew her hair long so she looks great! But our fashion styles don't mesh well together.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I seem to be the only one in my family that doesn't dress like I'm going to church or to the club, but I remember trying to copy styles in high school but always managed to keep my own style.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I clashed a lot of patterns and colors in high school and then I went to college and had no money to buy any clothes. Two years into college I started buy basics on Forever 21 so I looked pretty put together until I started working in a restaurant and just dressed in tshirts and shorts all the time. Sooooo my style changed a lot in the past 4-6 years.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I don't think so.
16. Please describe your body.
naturally thin, long arms, squishy stomach, thighs touch when i sit down because they're not toned, my veins pop out a little bit on my feet and hands, permanent dark circles under my eyes, but i have great hair and eyebrows.
17. Please describe your mind.
Always stressed and thinking about the worst possible things. I bottle everything up until I crack. Not cool.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I cry a lot.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Gray sweatpant shorts from Target, Gray tshirt that has JFK's face on it, no makeup, i took a shower earlier so my hair is a little damp -- airdried.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
To express yourself? :)
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My cousin who I talked about twice in this survey. We understand each other's style and tag each other on instagram posts.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Dress codes -- I had to dress a certain way when I worked in a restaurant and now I dress a bit more "normal" because I work in an office. The office job is more about presenting yourself and in the restaurant job, I wore clothes that I didn't care about getting dirty or stained.
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 style -- style is more important than taste. I love timeless clothing like the "essential staples" but I also love vintage dresses from the 60s. Everyone has different tastes but if you put all those together well then you can have great style.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Two years ago, I bought a dress online from Delia's during Black Friday. It looked so cute on the screen -- peter pan collar and polka dots! I had some issues with the shipping because they suck and were taking forever in getting orders out. I got the dress and it was made out of jersey material and it didn't fit well around my chest and I only wore the dress maybe twice. All that trouble and $30 I'll never get back.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I don't think so.
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?
Whenever I go out to social events that include people I don't know.
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 always think that the worst is going to happen and I'm super emotional so most of the time I have a lot of empathy for other people.
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?
Nope. My parents controlled what I wore and it wasn't until started working that I had control over what I wore. But it wasn't until I moved away for college that I had COMPLETE control in what I wore.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Liquid eyeliner and filling in my eyebrows!
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: not feeling constricted
Confident: Not caring what other people think.
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?
Limited wardrobe with classic, timeless pieces.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
People who are real, who have overcome obstacles in their life and have a lot of wisdom because of it.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
People who have huge egos and are very self-centered.
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?
Yes! I would find something and then either
1. buy it immediately because I love it so much
2. Tell myself to wait and if I still think about it a week later than I'll buy it.
3. I have the tab open on my browser for several days/weeks.
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?
This person is quiet but lets their clothes and hair (my hair is long and half purple) speak for itself. Very observant and dislikes rambunctious crowds.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet for 20 minutes. Get makeup done in 10 minutes. I determine what I wear based on weather and where I will be during the day or if I have an event or get together later on.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up is wearing heels and putting on lipstick and wearing a lot of jewelry. Oh, and getting your hair done real nice too.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
jeans, cotton or polyester blouses that are either sleeveless or 3/4 sleeve and solid color or striped. oxford shoes or black flats. solid color cardigan.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me: Colorful, fitted clothing, minimal jewelry, simple makeup.
Not me: wearing all black, clothes that are oversized or have crazy cut outs, loud lipstick and eye shadow, giant wedges or high heels.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I'm Mexican and Guatemalan and to be honest, neither of those cultures influenced the way I dressed. As a Hispanic girl, I grew up in a very white suburban community so that was the culture that influenced the way I dressed in my adolescent years.
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?
Childhood and adolescent years. My parents controlled what I wore and everything that was in my closet had to be approved by them and also it had to be church appropriate. I would wear maxi denim skirts, spaghetti strips with tshirts underneath it. My hair was always long because my mom never let me cut it. (Recently she threw a huge fit because I got bangs. Like, really?)
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I usually do styles that pull my hair back, like a bun at the nape of my neck, french twist.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I can really wear whatever I want?
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?
Both. Comforting because I don't have to think about what to wear.
Constraining because some times I just want to wear something different.
When I worked at the restaurant I couldn't wear flats, sandals, my hair always had to be pulled back, my shorts and skirts had to be a certain length, and wear a tshirt with the restaurant logo on it.
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?
I can't think of anything specifically but I would have to say jeans, cardigan, blouse or tshirt with either flats or converse.
I like it because it's my go-to outfit. I have several cardigans and I get cold easily too. To me, that's the most comfortable outfit that I have.
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 can't say that I have. I *do* enjoy men's fashion and slowly trying to get my boyfriend to revamp his wardrobe as well. He recently got into button ups, vests, and bowties.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Basically everything that Audrey Hepburn wore.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
Yes, I even know my "good side"
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
"The top half of my face looks like my dad and the bottom half is my mom."
"uhhhh, i probably shouldn't wear this again."
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Solange Knowles
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?
Wearing all black. Wearing wide leg pants. Those are the only two that I can think of.
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 crop tops and bodycon dresses!
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
Hmm, corporate people? I walk around downtown a lot and that's where Target headquarters are at. I want to fool people that I work a big girl job and have my life together (I do for the most part)
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Make sure the pieces you buy can be used in multiple outfits.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I like it and I would like to wear it but the thought of trying to find a scent I like is daunting.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Make sure my clothes are fitted and that my eyeliner looks great. Oh, and that my hair doesn't look greasy (dry shampoo or shower).
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
lolololol I just eyeliner in the last question. I got into liquid eyeliner about 3-4 months ago and it changed my life. eyeliner it's really important to me and curling my eyelashes. I'd also like to wear more lipstick.
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 can't think of any right now? :(
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Cardigans, simple dresses and blouses, lots of polka dots and stripes, not enough black and lots of color, dainty jewelry, watches.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
There's this one ring -- sterling silver with a green stone. My cousin got it for me from NYC and the thought of losing it makes me cry.
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?
Beige dress from H&M (it was actually pretty expensive). I bought it specifically for graduations -- it had a lovely lace neckline that made me fall in love with it in the first place. It just stays in my closet because I can't seem to find a good occasion to wear it. I think it's too nice to wear it for everyday use.
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?
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?
There's a couple of boat neck tops that I wish I could get back. I only remember them when I look at pictures from the past.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
The H&M dress that I bought for graduation that I talked about earlier.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
That's exactly what I'm doing now..... Buy higher quality brands, figure out what colors look best on me, what silhouettes look best on me, limited pieces that are versatile.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
This sounds lame but I bought a down coat from Land's End that was like, $120. I never spend that much for ONE item but it was necessary. It's an awesome coat.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
When I bought a top from Madewell. 100% viscose (which I later ruined because I was an idiot and didn't read the cleaning tag). The quality was sooooooooooo nice. It was like, $35 but man that top is nice.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Trench coat, black trousers.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I keep things neat -- I tend to keep the button ups together, tshirts together, dresses together, etc.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
The ring that I mentioned earlier that my cousin gifted me. Also, my boyfriend gifted me a nice teal necklace for our anniversary one year.
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?
Black dresses -- I have several and they come in handy for several occasions!
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
I mainly shop online now. Right now I'm in constant shopping mode -- I'm not usually like this -- since I'm starting over on my wardrobe. Right now I'm looking for sweaters and jackets for fall. I tend to shop when I'm looking for something specific.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
Like clean laundry and my shampoo?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
I just want people to take me seriously.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I'm spending more money on clothes because I'm buying more higher quality stuff. I tend to put it on my credit card or I wait until it goes on sale to save money too.
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 my watch and eyeliner.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
Someone once told me that I always look so put together.
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?
This is me all the time, every day. I always wonder what people think of my clothes.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
December 21, 1989
Born: Dallas, Texas
Residing now: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
What kind of work do you do?
I work as a leasing agent for two apartment properties. I went to school for photography but only do that part time. I hope to be a studio manager one day because I'm organized and I have good memory.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Domestic relationship for almost 5 years. No kids.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I've already said it before but I'll say it again: I'm a Hispanic woman in her mid-20s that grew up in a white community. I feel like I never knew my identity and I have too many feelings. I always feel left out in my family and most friends. I'm very quiet. I tend to let my appearance try to attract people to me or fool them.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I feel like I repeated myself too much :( Also, it took me about 3 days to fill this out. I had to leave and come back to this.
Originally from Dallas, Texas I moved to Minneapolis, MN in 2010 to get away from a controlled life and find the person that I truly am.