Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
I feel at my most attractive when I am in jeans, a t-shirt, and a blazer or cardigan. I have always loved jeans. I feel indestructible in them; like I can accomplish anything. I am very laid back, so I find that a basic colored V-neck t-shirt just suits my style, and compliments my round face shape. I always finish the look with a blazer or cardigan to add more polish and pull the look together.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I am not one of those women who refuse to compliment other women. In fact, there are many things that I admire about other women and the way they present themselves. Some women just have a knack for putting outfits together. You see these women walking on the streets and you know it would take you hours to come up with an outfit even half as fabulous, those are the women I admire most. I also admire women who have that air of confidence and je ne sais quoi about them. These are women that just look like they know something the rest of us don’t. These women have a smile that attracts people for miles and style that is no less attractive.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
As awful as it sounds, I always start shopping at the sale and clearance rack. I try to spend within my means, but refuse to walk away with low quality pieces. I rarely pay full price for an item and am always exhilarated when I find a deal. One major rule I do have is a test for whether or not I absolutely need to buy something. If I find something I love but am on the fence about buying, I will walk away and make a mental note to come back when I’m done shopping and buy it. If I remember the item when I’m all done shopping, it means I couldn’t get it off my mind and it needs to come home with me, but if I don’t remember it until a few days later, it just wasn’t something I had to have.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I don’t have many rules for dressing.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Sadly, I don’t have many conversations about fashion. I am the only person who loves fashion as much as I do and would actually want to talk about it. Most people I talk with don’t give fashion much thought.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I do. I try to approach everything as it comes and take life one day at a time. I always try to be kind to others and work as hard as I possibly can. The older I get the more I have tried to make the ones I love more of a priority. I understand that tomorrow is not a guarantee and that I cannot take anything for granted. At the end of each day I try to reflect on the person I was and if I am proud and pleased with everything I did and how I acted.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have so many V-neck t-shirts. I have always gravitated towards t-shirts, be they black, white, dark grey, light grey, striped, etc. Over the years, I have also accumulated an enormous amount of cardigans. I even started a blog for a while called Cardigan Couture. There is nothing I love more than a cardigan. They keep you warm when it’s chilly, they make a fantastic layering tool, they look polished but not too stuffy, and you can always find them in a zillion colors. I’m pretty sure I will be wearing one on my wedding day.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
My mother was a great trend-setter. She wore fake eyelashes every day when they weren’t popular. She loved long pointy fingernails (very Lady Gaga) so much that she even had a 14K gold set made. She was always trying new things and I try to bring that same inspiration to what I wear.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
When I was in my early teens (13 or 14) I always dressed in big baggy t-shirts and hugely oversized t-shirts. I lived in Florida at the time and my appearance was one of the last things I cared about. I was very insecure and going through a lot of changes. The following year I moved to Ohio, where I live now, and I wanted to reinvent myself. I was in a new school and I knew that I wanted to be a better person than I had been. I wanted a new identity; so I began by changing my style. I began to dress more preppy, including sweater vests and tucked-in plaid shirts (Yay for the late 90’s!). I felt like my style had evolved and so had my outlook on life.
17. Please describe your mind.
For the most part, my mind is very calm. I try to keep my mind as relaxed and organized as possible, but anxiety and worry does sometimes creep in. I’m a graduate student, so I am always making mental lists and imaginary post-its (and real post-its as well).
18. Please describe your emotions.
My emotions are usually pretty regulated. I’m going to school for counseling, so I am usually very in-tune with what I am feeling and try to tap into what others are feeling as well. I try to remain calm and relaxed, but emotions are a part of life and I don’t try to ignore something when I feel it.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
At this moment, my hair is down and the ends are somewhat curled; very laid back. I am wearing skinny black jeggings, grey booties, and a grey V-neck sweater with tan elbow patches. My makeup is very minimal, as always. I have concealer on under my eyes; I have on brown-black mascara and have curled my eyelashes. The only other makeup I have on is Bare Minerals powder foundation. I hate anything heavy on my face, but I am 27 and feel like I need some coverage.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I believe that I do have taste and style, but I believe that my taste and style is still a work in progress. I may not exactly have the style I would like to have at this point in my life, but every day I strive to be the woman I want to become, and that includes my style and taste. To me, both style and taste are very subjective. What I may find stylish or tasteful and what a woman sitting next to me considers stylish could be worlds apart. Style and taste are not like a math problem; there is never one correct answer. I’m glad there are women and men out there who disagree with what I think is stylish. If everyone agreed then everyone would dress the same, and what a boring and uninteresting world we would live in.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I love to style my home. I like to keep the interior continually evolving. I don’t feel like I will ever be done decorating, and I have lived in my small home for over 4 years. I also like my house to be a welcoming place for others. I want my friends to feel like they can come over, kick up their feet and have a beer. I don’t want anyone to ever be worried about making a mess or not using a coaster. For me, a home is an extension of you. Many of my friends have said my home is cozy, and I couldn’t be happier when I hear that.
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?
When I know that I am going to have a stressful day, I always to try dress comfortably. My reasoning is that even if I don’t feel secure in what I am doing, at least I won’t have to fill my mind with worries about my outfit. If something externally is making me anxious or stressed, I at least need to feel at peace on the inside, and dressing comfortably helps me to feel at ease. I will most likely revert back to the outfit I feel most beautiful in; a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a blazer or cardigan. If I feel out of control with what I am doing, at least I was in control of what I put on my body.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I used to pick my clothes out at night, but as I have gotten older and require more sleep, that has fallen by the waist side. Now I wake up in the morning and usually rely on what I know my day holds to dictate what I’ll be wearing. If I’m going to be in a more professional setting then I make sure my look is more polished. I’ll include a button-up shirt or a blazer and usually a nice pair of low-heels or dressier flats. If I’m going to be at graduate school that day then my go-to outfit consists of skinny jeans, a roomier top, and either casual flats or booties. I am on my feet a lot during my days at school, so I don’t want my feet to be killing me by 1 o’clock.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
I do not consider myself photogenic in any way, shape or form. I look much better in person than I have in any picture.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
When I see myself in photographs I think that I look bigger than I think I am, and I don’t look like how I perceive myself.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
I had a dream that I won a shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was so happy that I began to cry. Just as I got all of my purchases to the register, I woke up. I’m still kind of pissed about it.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
For me, a difficult look to achieve would be punk or rocker. I’m a happy bubbly person and I don’t think that look would fit with my personality. I even have a hard time pulling off a leather jacket; I always look like I’m wearing a costume. The ironic part is that I used to LOVE punk music and dress somewhat punk, (a lot of trips to Hot Topic), but now I could never pull off that look.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I do like perfume and I do wear it. I prefer Daisy by Marc Jacobs. I like a scent that is happy and light. For days when I know I am going to be in close contact with clients or teachers, I go for something not as strong, like Victoria’s Secret Vanilla body mist. It reminds me of cookies.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I am not as interested in makeup as I am clothing. My makeup is very minimal and rarely changes from day to day. The only time I put more effort into my makeup is when I have a special occasion. If I go out with my boyfriend I will wear lipstick instead of gloss or more eye makeup. I love the natural look, so putting on more is always a struggle for me.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
My favorite piece is a gold necklace my boyfriend bought me several Christmases ago. It was actually an accidental present. It was around 12:00a.m. on Black Friday and we didn’t want to wait in the long line, so we went to the jewelry counter to check-out, but had to buy a piece of jewelry to do so. It’s a small wishbone charm on a plain gold chain. I love how simple it is. My late mother and I used to do a wishbone every Thanksgiving and it reminds me of her every time I wear it. It’s my favorite piece because it reminds me of the two most important people in the world to me; my boyfriend, and my mother who passed away. I don’t even think my boyfriend knows how much that gift meant to me.
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 an old sweater of my mother’s that has two clinking martini glasses on it. My mother passed away 3 years ago this November. Although I will never wear that itchy sweater, I love what it represents. My mother was the life of the party and that sweater makes me remember her in such a wonderful way. That sweater reminds me to be happy and to enjoy my life, like she did. My mother was always laughing and making other people laugh, and that sweater just sums up her personality in a nut shell. Every year I think I’ll bust it out for New Year’s Eve, but I never do. I just like to know that I have it. Hopefully, I can pass it down to my daughter one day.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
I actually purchased my first “investment” piece this year. It was a black leather Madewell tote bag with caramel leather straps. I love the clean lines and knew I would have it in my closet forever. I knew the leather would wear beautifully over time and I thought the color combination of black and caramel was striking. I still get compliments on it.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
I always prefer to shop for clothes alone. I find that I make the best decisions about what looks best on my body when I am not surrounded by other people’s opinions. I even prefer to go shopping during the afternoon hours of the week when most people are at work so that I have more time to myself and less retail salespeople to avoid. I also think that stores have better prices during the off-hours of the week.
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
When I put more thought into how I dress, I expect more for myself. For example, if I dress up in a more professional look I expect to be treated professionally, I feel confident and able to take on more.
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 am never without a Chapstick in my backpack or purse. I have several stashes placed in many different places, like a squirrel with nuts. I always keep Carmex in my nightstand drawer and keep Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers in my backpack. I read an article about Brittany Murphy before she passed away that said she loved Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers because of the slight red tint it left on your lips. I have loved it ever since.
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 a moment I remember well, because my family still talks about it to this day. I was still very young, maybe in kindergarten or first grade. I refused to wear a frilly dress to school and began to cry. When my aunt and mother asked why I wouldn’t wear it, I told them that I had promised my friends at school I would never wear anything like it ever again. I can remember hating that dress. What I really wanted to wear was an XXL t-shirt of my mother’s that said, ‘Welcome to Alaska’ on it with two moose kissing. I wish I still had that shirt!
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, but I now live in Youngstown, Ohio.
What kind of work do you do?
I am currently in graduate school to be a counselor. I work for Youngstown State University as a graduate assistant.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I am currently in a long-term relationship with my boyfriend of 7 years. We live together and have no children, but we do have 2 charming cats.