Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I have actually had time to shower, shave my legs, and take time with my hair and picking out something to wear (maybe once a month max!).
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes, I have since I was a child. I notice someone whose is confident in their clothes, whether or not it would be something I would typically wear.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Confidence or unknowingly wearing something great without affect.
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?
I think I started to find my style in mid-high school. Basically, I stopped caring about whether other people would accept what I looked like. I cut my hair into a spiky pixie and worried less about the tag on my clothes and more about if I felt good and it was "me." I think I dressed more to be liked by my peers (boys and girls) and realized I would find like-minded people being myself.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
- If it's something you have passed on multiple times because of the price and it is finally on super-clearance, get it and don't feel guilty.
- If you've passed on something and then dream about it or it needles at you for a few days, snag it.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
- If it is just quirky enough, it can be timeless (my husband says I will dress like an art teacher with cats when I'm eighty and I am fine with that).
- layer with abandon: be it clothes or accessories. Weather changes, venues change, you'll be prepared (so have an awesome bag, too).
- Nothing is too formal to save. Anything can be dressed down with accessories and being comfortable in your choice. If you have a gorgeous "something," don't let it sit unworn in the closet.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I think when being asked where I shop and what I like makes me realize how I don't have a set style. It is too difficult for me to commit to a specific shape or cut. I also have a knack for seeing a trend and declaring "I will NEVER wear THAT," and I'll own it in multiples months later (as I said about skinny jeans to my sister who is eight years younger and can pull off anything with youth).
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
HA! Um, maybe in that I want it all to be well compartmentalized and organized, yet I am slowly realizing I am neither. Yet, I'm still functioning in those areas so I guess it doesn't matter.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
- Broken in v-neck t-shirts are versatile and flattering. I like statement jewelry and funky skirts so the t-shirts are a nice balance. They look effortless when you need to just throw something on.
- I have been on a plaid/patterned button-down kick for a while. I like to layer two of them them or mix them with like-colored but different patterned dresses or skirts.
- I like jersey dresses in a variety of cuts, colors, and patterns. They are comfortable but can be dressed up or down and do not need to be dry cleaned!
- I own a bunch of fit and flare skirts for the same reason above and they camouflage my thighs. However, I just started getting into pencil skirts for the opposite reason. It depends on my mood (or food!).
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
My mother notoriously loves everything from everyone but I realized she had little jewelry because people get her things for her hobbies: gardening and cooking. She always comments on other people's accessories so I started taking note and made a point to build up her collection to things that suited her not so "precious" mindset but still made her feel dressy. She gets giddy when she receives these things and even more so when they are personalized or have a hidden meaning.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
ROMPERS and JUMPSUITS. I like to go to the bathroom with ease. Ponchos and wide-leg jeans make me look squat and/or pregnant.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother's family is known for being long, limby, and lean. Of all of that I inherited her cankles and A-cup breasts. I managed to get a waist, too, so that has been a saving grace to being short and pear-shaped! I am a dressier dresser in my every day life but I think that is just because of the separation of what we do for work. In my off time, like her, I run around in my gym clothes because I'm usually running all over without a break to change.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Definitely. My grandmother's dress up clothes box and attic have been pilfered multiple times for Halloween clothes that eventually became vintage every day wear. My sister is more laid-back in her style and I will tiptoe into some things she has (no rompers, ever!).
16. Please describe your body.
I am 5'4", 120 lbs. I am proportionate (except for mini feet and a bit of a small head!). I am an A/small B cup, with a small waist. My hips, thighs, and calves are where I tend to hold weight but I pretty much wear the same size all over.
17. Please describe your mind.
As I mentioned above, my head seems kind of small...I try to be open and am what I call "blissfully aware of my naivete." I think it is easy to be jaded, cynical, and wanting of much so I am trying to better appreciate what I do have and impart that mindset on my students (I teach in middle school).
18. Please describe your emotions.
I am empathetic to a fault but am short-tempered with those I love most.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
My hair is in a messy bun, I'm wearing my cat eye Ray Ban glasses, a purple tank, sports bra, and shorts. My baby is asleep on top of me.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
If you can see, then what someone looks like is your first impression, whether you care or not.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My sister, my mom, some friends, my husband will indulge me.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
My work affects my level of conservatism, as I want to be professional and not negatively distracting. However, how I dress does come up, as I work with children and little goes unnoticed. I think there is a time and a place to discuss that sort of thing, as it defines individuality and personality, but I make that clear. Otherwise, unless I am attending a place with a dress code, I pretty much wear what I am feeling at the time.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I think taste and style are often used synonymously, but I interpret taste as choice and style as innate. I would hope to have both.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I am of the ilk that if you spent $10 and never wore something it would be a greater waste than spending $1000 on something you wore to rags. I kept visiting a pair of Airwalk sneakers with mesh silver screen in the sides and black suede. I am a sucker for fun-looking (hopefully comfortable) every day sneakers. I saved up the money ($68 when I was 11 and babysitting was a ton!) and gleefully wore them home. Blisters and the realization that my abnormally tiny feet looked two sizes smaller relegated the pair to the back of my closet in shame.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Well, I am a gym rat and only have a small slot of time between work and needing to be home. I will wear leggings and/or a sports bra under dresses or button down shirts so I do not have to spend a lot of time changing at the gym after work.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I was slated to go to undergrad for interior design and changed my mind after enrolling. I still love interiors and architecture and if I had more time and income, would focus on those areas more.
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?
Any time I have had an interview for a job. I want my first impression to be the most polished version of me. I choose something comfortable but still statement-making that conveys who I am. Also, when I had my oral exam for my graduate degree, I dressed as comfortably as possible without actually wearing sweatpants to the occasion (though my professors were great and probably wouldn't have cared if I did!).
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 think I am discerning but I do not think that my "likes" are static. What I liked ten years ago may still ring true in some aspects of my life but differ in others. I have always had art and creativity in my life and cultivated by my family, so I would say that knowing what I like stems from there.
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?
Once I wanted to buy certain clothes that were out of the usual back to school budget, I learned how to care for and make clothes last. My mother is far more fastidious in terms of ironing and whatnot, but I am very careful about washing and following instructions, as per her guidance.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
I will take my TIME. Seriously, when I am going out on a date or trying to be alluring, I will take the time to "prep." Normally, I pride myself on getting ready quickly with little effort, but when I want to be more seductive, I focus on the minutiae of getting ready. I am not much for makeup but will wear a red lipstick and curl my eyelashes. Basically, a little more "oomph" to my normal self.
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?
Ha, I said both already. Comfortable and confident can be joined. When I am comfortable in my clothes, I am not trying to hard and I am literally feeling at ease, versus wearing something painful or out of my personal realm. If you are comfortable, then I think you are likely to be confident, because you are being true to you as the wearer. Confidence can border on arrogance, however, and then I would question how "comfortable" one would be if they are projecting so much.
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?
Style is unique but also acquired from others. You may have an innate style but unless you are living in a dark, windowless room, you are influenced by your environment. You are probably even influenced by that room.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
When I started buying my own clothes once I began babysitting to earn money. I was ten and I felt I had a freedom to shop where I wanted and spend what I wanted.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
A leather jacket! I don't even know if it's practical for me but I want an asymmetrical zipped or military buttoned one.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I do an overhaul once a month because I have little space to work with.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
Anything that has history or thought was clearly put into it. Most of my jewelry has been given to me, as I find it difficult to buy jewelry for myself.
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?
Usually denim shorts or skirts. I don't love my legs but summer is sticky, busy, and messy. Those items prove to be versatile, indestructible, and washable.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Mostly online and I browse daily.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
Just not like I came from the gym!
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
I go with the mantra that being overdressed is better than not. I want to be approachable but appropriate for my job and yet still be individual.
80. How does money fit into all this?
Clothing is where I spend my "fun money," without a doubt. I am a new mother, though, so a little guilt is starting to creep in. I try to buy only what I know I will wear over and over and what will last.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
My wedding rings and my nose ring.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
I dressed as a tomboy in my preteen years and some boy made fun of a shirt I had on that was meant to be artsy. I think there were donuts and a coffee in a painterly style. It was square, baggy, I wore it with denim cutoffs. He said it looked like "boobs" on my shirt which was the furthest thing from where I wanted to be at the time!
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?
As a little girl I had a blue dress with a little white bear on the chest. It was very soft and warm and I called it my "como dress." I think it may have been the brand but I thought it was the bear's name. I just remember feeling cozy and happy in it.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I am an Eastern European mix, but mostly influenced by my Italian and Irish family. I grew up and am still middle class from the Northeast.
What kind of work do you do?
I am a Special Educator.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I am married with a baby boy and a nutty shiba inu.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I love my current job, but if I could be a stylist part time in addition to teaching, I would do it in an instant!
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
This further affirms that I will take tons of time to talk about fashion. I wish that more people took the time to look into and think about this more rather than thinking that what you choose to wear is trite and shallow.