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Aakrati Gupta

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I let my hair down and wear something loose and material that flows, twists and turns with my movement.

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

I admire women and notice women who wear traditional outfits really well. Living in india, I admire women who wear block prints, ikkat and emulate it in hippie ways like waist coats, scarves, pants, palazzos, etc.
I also love to see women use pieces of clothing in unusual ways. Such as a crop top for blouse under a saree.

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

I love the fact that some women can embrace and flaunt their bodies, regardless of their body types. Such women appear highly confident, and hence beautiful in true sense; as they sometimes defy beauty standards and norms.

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?

Cutting my hair myself was one of the most defining moments in my life.
People have always told me that long hair looks good and feminine, but I hated coving my thin wavy hair. It took too much time.

Out of frustration I once cut off a troublesome hair tangle and that's when I realised that my hair is my domain. Letting my boyfriend cut my hair was allowing him to enter the domain. It's almost been spiritual.

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

buying clothes that are large

Not purchasing clothes that cost more than a specific anount (Its very rare for me to shop for anything more than $25)

Faded clothes are a good buy

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

Wearing clothes that are too loose

Wearing clothes that may be torn

Wearing socks with every type of footwear

Wearing old clothes

Not dressing well in formal occasions

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

Conversations that made me realise that fashion is art. And style is self expression.

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

No. It's quite random. A unified way wouldn't allow me to adapt to, accept, enulate and incorporate other approaches.
All ways need to make sense, need to be sensitive, need to be human and not necessarily efficient and allow me sympathy and empathy for others.

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

Brassiers. I think they are beautiful and I feel really sexy in them

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

I gifted my two best friends earrings. Now the three of us have the same set.

I love gifting my sister what I would buy for myself. It is one of the ways I influence her or pass on values as a big sister.

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

The colours of every season, which I think is a capitalist way of sustaining profits.

The quirky introduction of neon and perpetuation of quotidian symbol in prints popularised by masaba gupta. I do not relate to them. It tries to be indian, but I think it makes the indian identity a spectacle that is far detached from reality.

Denims. India is extremely hot and humid. Denims dont make sense.

Skinny clothes. I feel very restricted and at times even naked.

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

I have rebeled to my mother's style, especially because she tried to contain me in her own norms of what a woman should be, albeit in a genuinely heartfelt way.

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

Yes. In ways I dont recollect, but I know I have.
It's not a conscious decision to do so, but I know it influences me and my style.

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

Yes. When I started shopping for my own clothes.

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

I dont use leather products.

Khadi is one of my most preferred materials.

I dont shop in malls, trying my best to not buy clothes that are made in sweatshops, one of the most oppressive places to work. Hence I buy clothes and jewellery from craft melas, local tailors, and boutiques.

16. Please describe your body.

I love my body, it is curvaceous, with my belly and cute love handles, perfectly sized boobs and beautiful shoulders. I have amazing calves and a very flat butt.

17. Please describe your mind.

I have no idea what my mind is.

18. Please describe your emotions.

They are really honest and they make me human.

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

I am wearing a tank top, underwear with a reusable sanitary napkin and satin boxers over my underwear. My hair is loose. My face is greasy, and I am going to wash it after I fill thia survey

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

If by stuff u mean filling the survey; it helps me know myself

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My friends, sister, mother, boyfriend and you.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

They do govern my body. I also dress as a form of dissent. I like to be obscene by fressing in translucent clothes when institutions dont allow cleavage, or prescribe lengths and measures for allowed clothes.

I also try to dress casually in formal occasions.

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

Taste is your predeliction in choice.
Style is the choices you eventually make. I am not very clear about the distinction.

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

Buying a piece of gold jewellery

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

Wearing a guy's shirt or t shirt.

Wearing a bandana and not conbing hair.

Turning a worn out belt around so it looks brand new.

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

My books and notes

My home and furniture

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?

I was judged by peers in school for the way I dressed and brands I wore.

Wearing non-branded traditional indian clothes made me work around those judgments.

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?

I learnt how to iron and wash clothes.

How the collar and arm pits get really dirty.

I also learnt how to treat clothes that leak colour when washed.

I learnt how to keep clothes, hang, fold them, and how to arrange them so they dont get lost in a pile.

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

Wear kohl. Using bb creams. Making messy french braids.
I dont do them too often which adds to the rare occasions when I want to feel sexy

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?

They mean that these people like to see people who love their bodies and the way they look.

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?

I would say that its about how you love yoyrself and your bodies. That it is an extension of the self and its expression.

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

Honest smiles

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Ugly is too extreme. But may be scars of torture and abuse are ugly, because they represent an experience too ugly.

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 am a great judge of that.

I buy something only when it blows me away. Which means that I dont buy often .

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 try to look like what I aspire to be. And if that image in the mirror is close to that.

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

Comfort, weather, my schedule, places I have to visit, people I have to meet, etc.

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

Look good

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

Dressing may be something I do for myself and dressing up may be something I do for others.

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

Palazzos and tucked in droopy blouses that fall over shoulders.

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

If its about clothes and jewellery, something that is rough, undone and messy is me.

Something tight, too bright, too flashy and shiny is not me.

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

Being an indian, I love wearing traditional prints and styles. I love the handloom as well as silver jewellery.

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?

When I wore frocks as a kid with neatly plaited hair.

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

I wear a shirt, trouser and tie my hair in a bun.

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

By wearing my boyfriend's shirts.

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

Shorts and t shirt when I play badminton.
A tankini when I swim

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

No. They are very comfortable.

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

I sometimes tend to jump in pools while wearing normal shorts and t shirts without a swimming cap.

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?

A ghagra(long skirt) and t shirt with a koti (Indian waist coat)

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?

Not really. I wear men'sclothes and shoes many times.

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

The 70s

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

How I look. If my nose is too big

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

Monica dogra, ellen page, sienna miller

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?

A latex dress

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?

Crop tops and low waist pants

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

I try to attract everyone and repel people who try to tell me how to dress

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

Wear whatever that would make you love yourself

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

It masks sweat. Occasionally

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

Colour sync them.

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

I don't put make up. If i have to I use a bb cream, lip gloss and kohl

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?

Looking feminine. I don't always feel feminine and gentle.

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

I own pants skirts blouses shirts and t shirts

I also have some shrugs and kotis.

I have silver earrings and necklaces. Beads, glasses, some hats.

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

A big straw hat.
A pistacchio linen shirt

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?

A denim jeans. Its too hot and humid to wear it. But I have worn it when it gets really cold

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 looked simple but are still very elegant

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 cotton blouse that went well with everu skirt. My mother discarded it because it faded. I wish she hadn't.

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

My linen shirt.

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


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

A silver neck piece. I don't wear it.

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

Not really.

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

A sequin shorts

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

Not too neat

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

A cloth bag

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?

A white shrug that works well with everything

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I am blown away by something I see.
When I am in dire need of clothes.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?


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

It's am aspiration and identity

80. How does money fit into all this?

It had to be within $25

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 swimming watch that can go ticking until 5 atm pressure. I haven't taken it off for months

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

When my boyfriend called me beautiful and I knew he meant 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?

I can't pin point it.
But I do get conscious when everyone is dressed up really well.

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

5th may.1990
Born and live in india

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

I am a middle class girl studying in college

What kind of work do you do?

I study culture

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

In love with my best friend

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

I love my body

How do you feel after filling out this survey?


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