Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
I feel most attractive when I'm running.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I notice when someone is wearing an interesting graphic design, cool pair of boots, or a cozy-looking scarf.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire the look of effortlessness.
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 had a moment in college when I realized that I no longer had to put on the make-up mask. I learned to like my face and my skin's natural tone.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I try to buy only the basics necessary for the upcoming season, and if I can afford it, an article of clothing or shoe that is well-constructed and will last at least a year or two.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I like to be fairly covered up but will occasionally wear sleeveless items during the hottest summer days. I learn toward body-conscious, fitted clothing.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
The transformation of my own style is an ongoing process that I can't boil down to one conversation. Certainly college is where and when I decided I would dress and present myself to the world based on my own tastes rather than the images I saw in mainstream media.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
My goal in daily life is to give my best effort, to waste little, and be present in all the moments that pass. I find more success in some areas (chores, work) than others (relationships, finances).
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Tights, because unfortunately they are mostly not built to last.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I have probably missed most fashion trends since 2005 or so, mostly because I am out of touch. I think the nude/putty-colored shoes trend is annoying because that is not the color of my skin.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
People say that I walk like my mother but my body more closely resembles my dad's. In terms of my mother's style, we probably both lean toward outdoorsy hiker.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
My older sister used to wear a lot of greens and black, which I tried to do but olive green doesn't suit me as well.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I tend to dress differently for work - I try to look a little more mainstream. Casually, I dress comfortably and not for anyone else's eyes, which I suppose could be political.
16. Please describe your body.
I am of medium height, athletic, with a large bust.
17. Please describe your mind.
My mind is usually full of thoughts buzzing around. I have a lot of creative thoughts, musical ideas, to-do lists churning around, sometimes to the point of not being able to fall asleep.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I am fairly sensitive emotionally; that is to say I can be quite empathetic and understanding, but I feel I have too short a fuse and can be somewhat reactionary.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Black leggings under a body-con black and white graphic print tank dress, with a black knit v-neck sweater as a top layer. I have long hair which is pulled back in a low ponytail. I have black glasses and some turquoise dangly earrings. I am not wearing any makeup.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It's important for me to have reached a point where I understand I don't want to dress for the male gaze or for a standard of beauty that I don't even find appealing. It's interesting for me to look back at that journey of understanding and to hear others' stories.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
I talk about clothes with my roommate and my boyfriend.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I dress differently for work (an academic environment). I aim for a more put together look.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I am not sure if I have style, which to me means some kind of individual flair. My taste is fairly simple and minimal.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
One time I bought a black leather jacket. It was the 90s.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I feel good when I can mix and match articles of clothing into new combinations, so that I am using my clothes to their fullest value.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I hope others would say I have musical style (I am a professional musician). I have been told that I write well.
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?
Hooded sweatshirts and sweaters have a very calming effect. Sweaters over button-down shirts make me feel in control and competent.
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?
My parents taught me how to sew buttons and shine my shoes.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Taking a bath always makes me feel more attractive and at ease. Being in very comfortable clothing also gives me confidence.
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?
"Comfortable" and "confident" means that I am happy with who I am, happy inside my own skin, and can just be myself.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
My most beautiful friends have been very simple in how they dressed and presented themselves. Their presence as human beings shone brightly and very strong.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Ugliness is hard to define. I find perfume repulsive and unattractive. When people are too groomed, to the point of looking fake, I also find that unattractive, but I wouldn't call it ugly. If a person were truly ugly it would be because they had a terrible personality.
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?
Most of the time I wear what I buy, except sometimes at the thrift store I will buy things impulsively, not wear them, and return them the next day.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I look at the weather, because I commute by bike most days. I dress more formally if I am teaching that day.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
My goal is to look put together and professional. I probably look fairly simple.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
I like to wear dresses, so to dress up I might put on fancier accessories.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
My uniform would probably be similar to today's outfit: a dress over leggings, with a sweater or hooded sweatshirt layered on top, with canvas shoes or boots.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me: black, green, blue, flats, covered
Not me: pink, heels, cleavage
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I am from Seattle, WA. I think the climate influenced my style a lot. I noticed a lot of people wearing interesting ensembles, very covered up, lots of black, during the summer. Now I live in the south and I see a lot more white clothing, and much more skin bared.
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?
I went through a phase where I was trying to look sexy. Mostly it was about makeup, I wore a lot of eyeliner. I think at the time I bought into mainstream culture and at some point I just started to tune all that out.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
My clothing needs to be in good condition - I check to see if the material is starting to ball up, if shoes are getting scuffed, or if I am covered in lint or cat/dog hair. These things may all be there and I might not be able to do anything about it but at the very least I try not to have any holes in my clothes or any ragged or frayed edges.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
My workplace varies and so do the expectations. I don't really rebel at all, I don't think. If anything, I probably appear overdressed in most situations.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
I have never had to wear a uniform so I am not sure.
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 get a lot of inspiration from menswear but haven't ever wished for a man's body or to be a man. I have always loved the basic t-shirt, jeans, converse (or other cool sneakers) combo. I still borrow clothes from my boyfriend.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Born May 18, 1980 in Washington State, USA
I currently live in Kentucky, USA
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
What kind of work do you do?
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?