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Tree Fel

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Right after a workout. Or when I've managed to keep eating well and exercising for several days in a row.

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

I notice women who I think are dressed well...women who are wearing clothes that suit them, or who are dressed in something I think I would like to wear.

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

I admire women who look unapologetic. Women who give off that "this is me, take it or leave it" attitude.

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 can't say why it happened - there wasn't any significant revelation or event - but recently (about a months ago) I walked into a make-up store and bought my first ever make-up age 30...

I'm still waiting for the fashion but to hit.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

If I see a shoe I really like and they have it my size, I see that as a sign that God wants me to buy it. (Could get quite expensive, luckily for me, I hardly ever find nice shoes in my size.)

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

I don't have any specific rules...maybe if it's clean wear it...and I don't recommend that to anyone who actually wants to look good.

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

My motto has always been "it will happen when it needs to happen". I let life come at me when it is ready to - work, relationships, everything. It will come to me when I'm ready for it - it will end when I no longer need it. In the meantime just enjoy what you have/where you are.

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

Hoodies - love them, comfortable.
Jeans - Daily uniform.
Watches - which I have very recently gotten into. I went from 0 - 5 in a week's time. Great accessory, and also useful.

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

I'm quite good at choosing jewelry pieces for people...I like trying to find a piece that suits the person's personal style, or something they wouldn't usually buy but that I think would look great on them, and people are always happy with what I give them.

Clothes wise, I think my little brother is the only person I can successfully shop for...he always loves the clothes I buy him...

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

Not really. I generally miss out on fashion trends, not because of refusal, just because I'm blind to fashion.

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

My mom is very fashionable, and if I have any fashionable items in my closet, it is her doing. Her love for high heels has definitely been passed down to me.

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

I've borrowed clothing items from my mom...her usual reaction is "wow, that looks great on you, keep it"

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

My style changed dramatically around the 8th grade. Until then, and probably because my mother bought my clothes for me, I was very fashionably, but it wasn't my chosen style, just hers.

Around the 8th grade as I started to choose my style for myself, I got kinda confused I think, and basically stayed with the basic jeans and tees, hoodies in winter. Lots of basic black items.

I have a style I like, as I've noticed from the items I post on my style pinterest board, but it's not items I actually wear in my real life.

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

No. People usually think my hair (dreads) is politically motivated, but it really was just because I'm lazy and they were easier to handle.

16. Please describe your body.

Currently coke bottle shape, but very overweight. As a kid I was "too skinny", during my middle/high school years I was very active so I was what my friends called "fit-fat", in adulthood, working a 9 - 5 in front of the PC, I've become less active so the fit-fat has just become fat, but somehow it has kept the coke bottle shape.

17. Please describe your mind.

I have been described as intelligent.
I have been told I have potential and I just don't try enough.

I think I am very creative, I would have loved to work in the creative arts, I enjoy reading/writing/etc, but I seem to be more gifted on the more logical side of the spectrum, hence that's where I find myself working.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I sometimes struggle to control my emotions. My anger flares up quite quickly, but it also dies down just as quickly. I think I'm generally happy and content, but I react very quickly to things - negatively and positively - that I am passionate about.

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

body - tennis shoes, leggings, hoodie.
face - day cream, sunscreen, lip balm
hair - nothing done to it, it is as it was when I woke up this morning.

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

If I'm going to an event I'll actually take time to make myself presentable - actually put together a decent outfit, do my hair and makeup, etc. But in my everyday life I never do...I'm like to put more effort into it, but other life matters usually take preference.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

I find myself surrounded by very fashion-conscious friends. Most of whom run a fashion blog. They are very helpful when I ask for advice.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I work in IT...very male-dominated...very nerdy-male dominated. Jeans and tees are everyone's staple. And I think the fact that I never face clients or have to talk to other people outside this office makes looking good less of a priority.

Sometimes I'll dress up when I go to church.

I try to dress up when I go out with my friends.

I always dress up (maybe even over-dress) for events - weddings, social events, etc.

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

I think taste is being able to appreciate good style when you see it.

I think style being able to put together different fashion items to suit you.

By that definition, I think I have taste, but not style.

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

No. I don't count it a waste if I like the item I bought, no matter how expensive.

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

Black matches everything. Buy all black clothes and you always look put together (oh so I like to believe).

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


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?

yes. my 9th grade English teacher taught me one lesson that I'll never forget: if you look good, you'll feel good. Also people will compliment you a lot, which will make you feel even better.

So when I'm feeling particularly down, upset, in deep waters, I dress up.

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?

Discernment on what you like and what you don't like is inherent within you, I think. You just do or you don't.

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?

There were things I saw my mother do style-wise that I picked up (ie heels) but we never had a conversation about it. My mother also doesn't wear make-up so I kinda picked that up...only at age 30 did I decide to start experimenting with make-up.

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

Wear clothing that show off my body shape and a bit of cleavage.

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?

You look like you enjoy the body you have/the clothes you have on. You look like your clothing doesn't hold you back from being...from shining.

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?

Be comfortable.

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

Attractive. Draws your attention.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Draws your attention, but you wish it hadn't.

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?

I don't shop a lot...I have a very limited wardrobe, so if I buy something it will be worn. I generally buy things I need in the moment...

Excerpt for shoes...I buy shoes for the love of them, and I have several unworn pairs.

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?

I look at myself from my point of view. So it is very "do I like what I see? Am I comfortable?" If yes, then that's what I'm wearing...there is no outer eye...or my outer eye is me.

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

Is this item clean?

if yes -> Have I already worn it this week?

if no -> that's what I'm wearing.

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

cover myself enough to be appropriate for the weather/office/public

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

dressing is putting clothes on. dressing up is dressing for a specific purpose.

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

Jeans. Tee-shirt or cute top. Hoodie in winter.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

most stuff I see on the runway are not me.

relaxed/comfortable wear is me.

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

I grew up with a very strict father, and was never allowed to leave the house with anything maybe that's where my idea that clothes are for covering up comes from.

And as a black South African, I grew up in a socially conservative community, so my style became very conservative, understated, calm and collected.

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?

My freshman year in college, as I was trying to find my feet, I dressed quite differently...I actually made an effort in what I wore. My style then can only be described as "eclectic."

I was often asked if I was studying design, and when I replied that I studied IT people would say they where surprised because I didn't seem like the IT type...and it often sounded like they were suddenly impressed, not by how I dressed, but because they suddenly became "smart" or "intelligent" in their my style was a reflection of my IQ.

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

I dress differently when I'm going out for drinks with my friends, than I do when I'm going to work...but that's more about the effort - I put more effort into how I look when I'm going out than I do when I'm going to work.

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

I conform by not putting in effort...because others in my department do not put in effort.

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


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?

converse shoes. jeans. printed tee.

it's comfortable, and in my life it fits into a lot of places.

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 love the androgynous dress style, and I feel if I had a more masculine body I could pull it off, but with my current body shape I can' yea, there are times when I've wished by body shape was more male-like or could pull off male clothing.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

i could have posed differently, i should have smiled, i need to find a signature pose...

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

I love the Audrey Hepburn/Golightly. Black and Pink are my go to dress colors...

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?

The care-free black girl vibe...I always feel like a poser when I try it out.

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?

The new bum shorts and crop top trend...I quite like it, but I feel uncomfortable

I don't wear short at all at the moment - even in the middle of Summer, so I would wear that.

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

I try to repel street harassment.

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

Be comfortable. Dress for you.

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

I only own one bottle of perfume and I never wear it cos it never occurs to me to...

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

lose weight.

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

I'm in the beginning stage of make-up experimentation phase of my life, so I still need to figure out what's good on me, how to make it look good, which colors work on me, etc...

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

Lots of dresses that I hardly wear - mostly formal.
Lots of heels that I hardly wear.
Lots of bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings that I hardly wear.

A few jeans, tees that I wear often.
A few flats - sneakers, pumps, brogues that I wear oftern
A few watches that I've recently started wearing maybe a couple of days a week.

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

My one pair of Aldo coral heels.

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?

I suppose I have more disposal income now than I did 5 - 15 years ago, but recently the price of the shoes and dresses I'm willing to buy has gone up.

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?

A sentimental jacket that my mom threw out because I wore too much. like it was VERY worn out...threads barely hanging on...

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

All my heels I have yet to have worn...

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

Buy what I love instead of what is necessary.

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

A white summer dress, last year. Have yet to wear it.

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

My first "expensive" pair of completely changed what I thought of as expensive.

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

the piece of clothing that's gonna make me forever change the way I view fashion...

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

no...very messy

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

my mom bought me a $1 bracelet when i was like 12. i wore that thing every single day of my life until it finally broke off my wrist when i was 28 years old. 2 years later my wrist still feels naked without it.

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 prom dress. i couldn't find the dress i actually wanted, so i ended up buying another dress i thought was just ok...turned out to be a hit with everyone else...and it looked really good in pictures...the fit was everything!

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

when i need to.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

i love the smell of my lotion, but i mostly buy it because it has little sparkles in it and my skin literally shines in the sunlight.

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

i guess my style - comfortable - fits in with my "it will all work out when it needs to" life motto...

80. How does money fit into all this?

it doesn't

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 wear sunsceen everyday 24/7/365 - it's not make up but...

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

when i was 10 or 11, a classmate said that I should stop wearing shorts because they don't look good on short didn't stop me from wearing them, but i still think about it...

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?

group pictures, 7th grade. i forgot it was picture day, and i was not dressed for pictures...and that was the first time i regretted wearing what i had on.

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

Birthdate: april 4, 1984
Birthplace: Thaba Nchu, Free State, South Africa
Currently live in Cape Town, South Africa

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

As a kid we kinda moved around a lot, so I was exposed to styles from varied cultures, which gave lots of choice during my experimental years.

What kind of work do you do?

Software Developer

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

single. no kids

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

While I listen to outside people, I'm very intentional about staying true to myself...I daily strive to be true to who I am.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel like I've discovered a lot about myself...and noticed some things I never noticed before with regards to why I wear what I wear and how, even though I try to stay true to who I am, my surrounding really do affect my style choices.

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