Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I'm wearing clothes that I feel are stylish, but probably aren't attractive by other people's standards (mainly men's clothing).
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I mainly notice women who wear clothing that suits their bodies. I love seeing a larger woman wearing something that shows off her favorite features without shying away from what some people would consider unattractive (big bellies under flowing dresses!). Body language is huge, too, though - anyone wearing something funky with a bunch of confidence is going to catch my attention.
I admit I'm often floored by women who are especially lean and showing it off, but it's in more of a "how is she that physically fit at her age?" way. :)
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I love it when women find a style that's all their own and suits both their bodies and their personalities, without being too loud or flashy about it.
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 realized that my body and personality are both much better suited for little boy's shirts and tops (though I'll embellish them with a blazer or cardigan and a pair of skinny jeans). Luckily my favorite vintage shops carry a lot of old boy's clothes!
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Shop alone. I'm a lot better about buying what *I* like to wear over what my shopping partner would like me to wear, but I still think it's easier to purchase what you really want when you're not getting feedback from another person.
I'd recommend to others (since so many people enjoy shopping with a partner) to shop with someone who likes YOUR style and is likely to encourage you to buy things that suit you, rather than items that they would like to see you in,
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Comfort first. How can you possibly enjoy what you're wearing if you're spending all your time wishing for your wedgie to un-wedgie, or desperately diverting your attention from your blistered feet because those shoes were SO CUTE and aww shit you forgot that you'd be standing up at this wedding for, like, HOURS.
Screw it, I'd recommend this rule to everyone.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I'm pretty sure I've never had a transformative conversation about fashion or style, but boy was I happy when I started dating dudes who notice little things like "wow, those earrings are perfect for that shirt" or "I like that you dress in boy's clothes," instead of "your tits look great in that" or "those pants make me wanna grab your ass."
Man, date a guy who verbally applauds your sense of fashion; you'll feel super attractive around him all the time, without sacrificing the way you feel in your favorite clothes.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Do what's right for you. Every bit of advice you read online, hear from your dad, or are told by your friends is only advice for the average person. When someone tells you that you HAVE to live your life "in this way in order for things to work," they're just trying to convince themselves. Let them think they're right - give them that - and then ask yourself if you really agree, and be honest about your answer. If you think their advice doesn't suit you, don't take it. Create your own path.
That's not to say that you'll never fall into the "average" category on some things - like, y'know, maybe you like to sleep 6-8 hours a day and eat eggs for breakfast - but don't force yourself into every tip and routine that you hear is "the right way to do it."
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Underwear. If I find a pair that don't go straight up my ass, I buy as many pairs as I can, because you never know how long they'll be in production, or how long they'll be made THAT way (sometimes "the same" piece of clothing will be made slightly differently over time!).
My favorite pair of jeans is a SUPER stretchy dark grey pair of skinnies by Bebe. I bought two pairs when I found them, and I regret not buying more. They're perfect, but not terribly durable, so I treat the one remaining non-holey pair I have like they're diamond earrings. I rarely wear them, but they're the most comfortable and stylish thing in the world on the rare occasion that I do!
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Not yet! I'm dating a pretty stylish (and downright handsome) fellow, so I'm looking forward to finding the perfect unique piece for him someday.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Anything uncomfortable. I love the way high heels look, but my rule is, if I can't run at high-speed in them, I'm not wearing them.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mom has a similar body, but taller and therefore larger (she's lean and I think she's beautiful, but I'm small and skinny, so I'm just a little too small to wear most of her clothes).
I don't dress the way she does now, but I have several AMAZING pieces from her teenage years in the 70's that I treasure! Her tiny green-and-white striped short-sleeved button-down sweater is by far my favorite.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I used to steal my engineer father's V-neck sweaters when I was in high school, and I still wear the short-sleeved button-down plaid shirt my brother wore in his 7th grade yearbook photo. I consider it nerdy chic. :B
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
My high school BFF introduced me to vintage stores in the downtown area of our hometown (which I didn't even know existed - I'd only ever worn clothes from the mall, or hand-me-downs), and it was all over. Once I realized I could buy my own clothes instead of JUST the things my mom wore for me, I never touched another turtleneck shirt or dorky pair of colored jeans. Half my lifetime later, I still shop at the same vintage stores.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I guess so. I've never been terribly feminine, but I'm not exactly a tomboy, and I'm very cis-gendered, by which I mean that I'm comfortable having a woman's body (I even like my body, for that matter).
After I cut my long hair boy-short and started dressing in a way that shows off my body while still being boyish and playful, I realized that people treat me with more respect. I hate to say it, because I realize it's not terribly fair, but once I ditched my attempts to look more feminine, I stopped being hit on by dudes I would NEVER date (typical, very masculine guys) and started attracting men who like a strong-willed lady who's got her shit together.
Then again, maybe a bit of that is because I started carrying myself with more pride and confidence, because I knew I was representing myself accurately through my clothing.
16. Please describe your body.
Small, skinny. 5'3" and around 110 pounds. Very short punky hair, shaved on the sides.
17. Please describe your mind.
Um... open? Improving.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Wait, like now? A bit stressed, because I should be working instead of filling out questions about fashion. ;)
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Bed head, post-yoga. Bright red hoodie over grey stretch pants and a grey tank top. Comfy underwear, the last clean pair in my drawers. No makeup. It's noon-thirty and I haven't had my post-yoga shower yet, because I haven't had my post-tea bowel movement yet.
Okay, that's more than you asked, but I figured it ties in with the emotion/mind questions.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I'd like to brush it off as not important, but I think finding your own style and presenting your true self through your clothes makes a pretty big impression on people you meet who - you never know - may become a big part of your life later on. It doesn't do much good to give them the impression that you're one kind of person through your clothing and hair and body language, only to confuse them with a completely different person when their eyes are closed and they can't see what you're wearing.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My boyfriend, aforementioned BFF from high school, and my fashionable younger brother.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Like, organizations, or culture? I suppose I still try to wear a few things that people can quickly associate with something they're familiar with. Maybe I'll confuse people with a weird 70's shirt and a skinny tie, but they'll see that I'm wearing skinny jeans and boots and they'll think "Oh, she knows what's 'in' right now. I guess the rest of her outfit is fashionable, because I can acknowledge that those other things are 'in' right now." (I'm not sure that answers the question!) (Also I live in the country, so I generally only know what's 'in' from like, three years ago. We catch the trends a little late out here!)
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I'm pretty sure taste and style are about the same - preference and action. So... just yes.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I just bought a $50 pair of lace underwear that has a hole cut out in the center of the buttocks, because I'm sick of every pair of underwear going straight up my ass. And lo and behold, it doesn't go up my ass, because there's no fabric there to go up, so hooray! But the pantyline is RIDICULOUS-looking, and they cost $50. So I feel a little foolish. I should just buy cheap panties and cut holes in them, I guess.
I wish they made jock straps for women.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Warm woolen socks.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I'm a cartoonist and illustrator.
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?
Definitely! I like to dress in this "boy nerd chic" style when I visit family or other "normal" folks, because while I ADORE my family, I've always been a bit of a black sheep, and it feels like I've already won an argument by wearing what I feel most comfortable in and not giving in to the temptation of dressing "like a girl" to put others at ease.
Know what's kind of ridiculous about doing this? My family loves me the way I am. I don't need to prove myself to them, just as they don't need to prove themselves to me. But it's nice to feel like there's no question about what kind of person I am, regardless.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Mascara, and sexy black lace under all that boyish clothing. Wwwwwink.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing: having pants ready and nipples covered up in case the UPS man stops by.
Dressing up: leaving the house in not-sweatpants.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Knee socks, low-cut underwear, tank top. When no one else is in my house, this is generally my "uniform." (I work from home.)
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'm skipping questions, but this one could reveal a caveat: I love dressing in men's clothing, but I think I enjoy the juxtaposition of men's clothes on a female body (showing off my features, in fact) more than I would enjoy dressing in men's clothes if I were a man.
Makes me wonder if I'd have been a cross-dresser had I been born male.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
Gah, no, I look pretty awful in most pictures! I think I feel safer backing up my face and body with personality and quirky hand gestures.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
"Sweet Jesus that's a lot of gums."
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Anything feminine. I failed to mention this earlier; I don't wear makeup and prefer men's clothes, in part, because I have a less-than-feminine face. I look like my dad, minus the mustache and glasses.
I think if I had a feminine little cherub face, my style would be a bit different. At the very least, I'd have a lot more fun with makeup. As it stands, anything more than mascara makes me look like a drag queen.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
Attract: people who enjoy a quirky/unusual fashion sense.
Repel: people who want all women to have long hair and dress according to the current mainstream fashion.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Blow dry my hair. Cowlicks cause it to spring upwards like a poorly-groomed peacock tail if I don't blow it down.
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?
Anything stereotypically "cute." I am not interested in "cute."
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Simple. Muted colors. Unique.
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 brown leather vest. I haven't found the right piece to pair it with.
Amusingly, the vintage red sequined tube top comes out at least once a year.
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?
My mom's old track jacket. It was AMAZING. She decided it was too small for me, and gave it to Goodwill when I was in high school.
I hope some trendy-as-fuck kid picked it up and is still wearing it, 16 years later.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
Is this a trick question? My black down winter jacket, because survival?
But for fashion, those grey stretchy Bebe skinny jeans are it. They'll make anything look good.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
My old pair of classic black Doc Marten boots. They are 15 years old and still kickin' it.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Another pair of dark grey stretchy comfortable long skinny jeans. And a pair of underwear that won't go straight up my ass.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Every time there's a building with the word "VINTAGE" on it nearby.
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 default earrings: a pair of handmade metal flat discs on studs. I love them so much I finally bought a backup pair (Etsy!).
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
3/23/81. I'm 33 and was born in San Jose, CA, grew up in Frederick, MD, and now live in Shepherdstown, WV. Big city to tiny country town.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
My folks were middle class/upper middle class, but very frugal, and very eco-friendly. I think we were the only kids in the neighborhood who wore hand-me-downs all the time, because we were always growing, so there wasn't much use in buying new clothes for us all the time. I've grown to really appreciate my parents' consideration of the environment growing up.
What kind of work do you do?
Cartoonist. I work for myself and have a dream life.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Unmarried, not intending to have kids. Marriage isn't terribly important to me, either. I'm skeptical of it and always have been.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I write and draw for a living and I work for myself. Which is why I filled so much of it out. My inner boss is looking at her imaginary watch and tapping her toes at me.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Like I should have showered and started working by now. I'm trying to justify the time I'm taking on this by thinking of it as a writing exercise.
More in line with what you're probably looking for, though: I like that filling this out has given me more assurance that I chose the right path when I started wearing the clothes I feel most comfortable and "myself" in.
Im also really hoping that I don't get a 503 error after I hit "submit" because this is at least an hour's worth of work by now.
Cartoonist. Lifetime Girl Scout. Lush.