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Shushoni Cavalcanti

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I have somewhere to go and I can dress in a way that expresses my true personality. When I can wear make up and accessories that accentuate who I am in all my colourful corners. When where I am going, I am accepted as my over the top, exotic self..

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

I notice everyone. I am a people watcher I love watching styles and influences pass me by.. I love watching how some people care a lot and struggle to see themselves as they are; I wish the confidence. I love watching the confident woman who holds her head high, but not in an arrogant way; walk down the street owning who she is and what she wears.. I seek that kind of confidence..

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

I admire wisdom to be who you are, even if it means others will stare at you from inside their boxes.. I love the woman who can break all the "rules" and not care about someone else's judgmental thoughts.. They have stretched beyond..

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 learned to dress more "me" when I stopped pleasing everyone else in their "this is the box for you thinking".. After a divorce where I was veryuch a trophy wife, I found myself struggling to find myself.
After 8 years and now at 35, I found my true identity in a culture I was denied as a child. I was raised by a single parent Irish mother. It was not until latter that I would learn I have Brazillian and Jamacian roots also. I am tall and i get a lot of "looks" everytime i step out the door. So i figured if I'm going to survive in this world, i better learn to cope somehow.

At first i think i went a little over the top, but now I tend to dress with a flare and the conscious sense of a colourful Jamacian/Brazillian. I love to be bold. And as I find my confidence, I have learned, this fits me best.

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

No impulse buys, I must try it on gage the usefulness and need.. I seek out what I came to look for (eg: long sleeve sweaters) other than that, I don't really have any rules. I will try just about everything and I have seamstress skills so I can alter just about anything..
My only "rule" no short skirts! And no trashy dressing..unless its in the bedroom..

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

Isn't this the same question as last, just reversed??

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

When I learned that I can dress very feminine even though I have a fairly athletic body shape. That I look good in high waisted skirts. It took a good new friend with a few years more wisdom into who I am to point this out. She also taught me that just because someone else says I should conform and wear brown, doesn't mean I have to.
Ps. I hate the colour brown and it looks awful on me.

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

I'm very organized when it come to chores, cleaning and finances. I'm a planner.. However; I can throw that out the window..

when it comes to relationships, I expect maturity, with fun to be had, but I will not raise you..

When it comes to work, whatever works!

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

Black and white seems to be my repetitive buy. I love black and white, monochromatic style.

I fall for 40's style dresses over and over again.

Its a comfort zone.. I feel confident, bold and classic in these items..

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

Yes, all the time. I make Jewellery, and accessories, I sew and knit.. Only once did I give a gift to an ex boyfriend only for him to look at me like I was nuts.. Turns out, he was a butt hole.. Hence the "ex" - so he doesn't count.. Lol

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

80's or 90's style clothing.. Most of it really doesn't look good on me.
Stelletos put me at 6'5".. So I tend to stay away from them.
Penny loafers.. I have big feet, they look like boats in them!
I think I've tried everything else over the years

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

My mother didn't have a style.. I'm not sure where my style sense came from.. Possibly watching women I admired growing up..

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

Any hand-me-downs I have received I look over to see how I can alter them to fit better or suit me better.. Most of my hand-me-downs come from my friends who are models. They have the best access to the bold styles I love the most.

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

When I was a teenager, I was very punk. Over the top crazy colours and miss-matched patterns. The tackier the better!

I don't dress like that anymore..

When I first got married I was forced to wear prim and proper clothing.. Thank God I'm not wearing any of those either!!

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

Only when I wear my Obey shirts, ecological, economical or political tee shirts. But those I mostly wear at home to do laundry or maybe to go grocery shopping..
Apparently I DO tend to look in charge though.. Not sure where that comes from..

16. Please describe your body.

6', long legs, long torso, high hips (although I tend to look more athletic). I have a taller, less fit Halle Berry style body. Ive never been good at describing my body.. Others see it much differently than I do..

17. Please describe your mind.

Intelligent!!! I would much rather be know for my mind than my body! I struggle with society everyday over this. People see my apparent "beauty" and assume I have no logical, intelligent thoughts running through my mind..

I didn't ask to be born with this body. "Beauty" can be a curse..

18. Please describe your emotions.

Strong, independent, kind, compassionate, friendly, welcoming, refreshing, bold (at times), logical.. Sensable..

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

I'm in my pj's, my hair is not done and I'm not wearing any make-up. I just had jaw surgery and I'm dressed for comfort.. I'm not going outside looking like this unless I'm going to the doctor..
Which at that point, I will do my best to put on cat eye, eyeliner, mascara, and at least a decent pair of fitted highwaisted jeans and a knitted sweater that makes me at least feel a bit better..

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

It isn't really important.. But I've always had this sense of "looking" put together before walking out the door.
I have always struggled somewhat with perfectionism when it comes to how I put myself together.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My good, wise friends

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Depending on where I am going, may depend on how I dress..
Depending on who I am with or what "function" I am attending, I dress appropriately..

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

I have both.. I have my own taste and style. I prefer style, not everything is my taste, but it doesn't have to be. I love individuality!

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

My wedding dress.. It was what he and his family wanted, not what I would have chosen.. It did look good, but it fit a mould of trophy.. Not individuality.. How young I was then..

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

Altering your clothes to fit your curves perfectly. People don't realize that the reason most celebrities look so good in all of their clothes; is because they have them perfectly altered for their body.
I can tame down a pair of over the knee boots, add extra bands to the bottom of a dress..
I'm always pushing some limit!

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

Home decor, car detailing, paintings.. You name it!

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, I wore a bold black and white stripped fitted flared blazer to a corporate "rat race" where I needed to "feel bold" in order to be bold.
I got the job, everyone thought I was already in charge..

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?

When it comes to style, i tend to know exactly what i want, even if i have ro invent it in order to fill my stlye dreams..
I do tend to know more about what I don't want when it comes to my life and won't settle. I've done too much settling in my life only to find myself very unhappy. I now live for my dreams and do not let others convince me to go their way (unless the advice is wise of course!)

I have had to learn discernment the hard way in life; although, when looking back I have always had a very strong sense of discernment, I just didn't always trust it.
The world can be a cruel place when your thoughts are outside of the box of the world and you are young and don't fit in.

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 learned myself. I learned very young to take care of my belongings and worked hard to buy the clothes I loved the most. I predominantly raised myself..

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

More dramatic makeup, pinup style clothes and heals..sleek hair with pin curls..

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?

Cofindent means comfort with yourself and your choices regardless of what others may think or feel about you or your clothes.

Comfortable... This is something I am working on.. I find it hard to be comfortable in my own skin..

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 define what I wear by how I feel each day, where I am going and how I feel best. No one else dictates who I am but me..

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

Humanity, society, community, nature, love, freedom, sense of belonging, acceptance, acceptance of self and of others, choice, sharing, caring, individuality, peace, taking care of one another, less bad judgement... You get the picture.. :)

34. What do you consider very ugly?

War, hate, judgmental attitudes of "better than", injustice, murder, not accepting someone because of what they are wearing, not providing someone with basic needs if you see the need and can fulfill the need, anger, opinionated bias, arrogance, ignorance, etc..

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 have become pretty good about ahopping with a pourpose. Sometimes I make mistakes with choices I buy.. If I do, I find a good friend that it would look awesome on and share!

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?

Apparently - I am beautiful and look self assured and confident.. This does come from women I have loved and admired over my years.. However; I struggle to see myself this way.. I have always struggles with self image..

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

I pick my outfit out the night before based on weather, event, how much myself I can be, who will be there, is it social, work or fun, what am I doing and how do I feel.. Bold, do I want to blend in a little more today? So I want to stand out?

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

To be myself and to be comfortable with people seeing "me"

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

Dressing is everyday.. Dressing up is a special event that required extra time, thought, prep, cost, planning..

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

Uh.. I hate uniforms and disagree with them..

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

Bold, colourful, expressive, loud, captivating, different is me..

Boring, plain, normal, simple, blending in, is NOT me..

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

My mother is Irish.. My father is Brazillian/Jamacian and Dutch..

I tend to lean towards the Jamacian and Brazillian polished loud stlyes but with the innovation of Dutch design.

I guess the Irish comes in as part of my attitude is you make me angry.. Lol

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?

There was a time where I needed to rebel in order to find myself.. I was leaving my marriage and was struggling to find myself. I went back to an alternative punk style rocker chick, in order to assert my independence.. It didn't last long thank God!

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

I bend and blur the lines.. But just slightly in my;
- make-up (I might do a slight cat tail eyeliner, a light smoky eye and modest lipstick)
- clothes ( tailored, but pushing the lines, like blood red tailored blazors or my favorite black and white blazor, form fitted, high waited skirts with bright blouses or fitted knit sweaters with patterns)
- Hair (no matter what I do with my hair, it has its own mind. It is curly and wild. I use 4 products to tame it- heaven forbid it rains!)

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

I'm always pushing the limits, but I have never been told I am inappropriate.. I don't do well at conforming..

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


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

I REALLY dislike uniforms and I have never had to wear one. I'm not sure I could cope. I worked for Elections and that has been the most conformed I will allow myself to be. We could not wear party or political colours. That was hard enough..

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

Constraining doesn't begin to describe the state of uniforms..

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?

Leather pants. They are bold!

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 have dressed very masculine at various times in my life. I have an athletic type body and can do this well.. I still find some men's tuxedo pants fit better and love a classic cardigan (altered to fit a little more snug). In lounge wear, I love men's jeans. And often find men's running shoes fit my big feet better. I look good in a ball cap if I want to blend in a little more. I love the simplicity and not having to wear makeup all the time.. Perfect for piping out for a morning coffee unnoticed..

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

The 1940's in England. I love to tailored, wool dresses! I love a lot of 40's style..

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Not really although I used to model once upon a time.. I don't like people taking pictures of me..

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

Is that really what I look like? Is that really what people consider beautiful? Everyone is nuts, I'm just me..

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

Jakie O, Nicole Kidman ( in the others or Australia) Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Alexander McQueen - that man is genius! So many others, but I'm drawing a blank right now.. :(

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

Always.. I had dreams of becoming a designer as a teenager.. I do design the occasional gala dress or costume..

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

1980's I seriously dislike the style. I think I would look very odd. It was bad enough the first time, let's leave it there..

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?

A bikini!

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

Nope.. Unless I could find a way to rebel disgusting men who seem to think it is ok to say "hey baby, what you doin'..

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

Break the rules! Be yourself.. Just please wear clothes that fit and save the trashy looks for Halloween and the bedroom!

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

I love a scent that fits your personality well and is subtle. I can't stand bold, in your face, abnoctious, cheap, dumped on toilet crap..

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

Taiored clothes!! Wear appropriate undergarments!!

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

It accentuates your features, plays them up or down. Canake a bold statement or just make you appear healthy..

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?

Brown, boring, frumpy, I'll fitted clothes.. Not me..

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

No.. That would take an entire book. I have many different styles and colours in my wardrobe. I have 3 large closets and 2 large dressers.. And baskets and storage totes under my bed..

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

- Jewelry.. My great grandmothers wedding ring.. Its sentimental..
- Clothes. A faux fur black vest with leather trim and gold zippers. My grey leather wedge sandals. My black and white blazor..

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?

My wedding dress.. I was hoping to turn the bottom part of the dress and train into a bassinet if I had babies.. Even though I am no longer married, I struggle to get rid of it.. It cost a fortune..

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?

Proper fitting undergarments!!

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 grey wool skirt that had many pleats.. Sort of like a kilt, but more 40's structured.. I got rid of it because I lost weight due to illness. Although it wouldn't fit and would require taking the whole thing apart to make it fit now.. I loved that skirt..

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

My hHelly Hansen long johns! I need warmth!

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

Learn to accept my body and buy things that fit it, not hide it..

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

A pair of Manolo Blohnik heals.. Expensive, but so worth every last dollar..

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

The high waisted skirt. Didn't think they would ever look good on me..

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

The perfect pair of jeans for tall skinny girls..

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

Very neat and organized, by colour, length and weight

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

My great grandmother's wedding ring. My grandfather handed it to me after my grandmother had died. I have 5 cousins and 2 aunts who are much older than me. I was 12 at the time and was very honoured..

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?

I Bench athletic waterproof hoodie. I live in it is light weight and warm and perfect for Canadian tempramental weather!!

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I'm in the mood, when I need something, want something or with friends for fun..

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

One word.. Must contain -Bergamot!

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

I dress for success!

80. How does money fit into all this?

I wish I had more.. Don't we all. I love thrift shopping!!! So many deals under one roof! I can find many designer brands as I know my brands well..

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 favourite Mac viva glam II lipstick.. It goes everywhere with me..

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

That I look self assured and confident.. Blew my mind, cause at that exact moment I was struggling to find somewhere to fit in, in a high end social setting and was feeling kind of panicked because everyone was staring at me..

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?

Some not-so-nice person didn't like my bold neon stripped leggings.. I don't wear them anymore.. I was a kid.. It was the 80's.. I hate the 80's.. Lol

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

October 21,1978 born in Canada, still live in Canada..

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

Raised by a single mother on social assistance. My mother never let me go out dress like a bum with a dirty face. Everyone always thought I was the rich kid. I worked hard as a teenager to buy clothes that I wanted and took very good care of them. Since then I have followed fashion and found my own brand of self. I can't be duplicated.. Lol

What kind of work do you do?

High end corporate.. Relaxed in dress code though, thank God!

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

Divorced, no kids, just 8 beautiful nieces and nephews!!

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

Take from it what you will, anything I have said doesn't even begin to convey the marid complexity of who I am, how I constantly change and go through metamorphosis.. I am who I am..

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Empowered, thank you! :)


Another time perhaps.. That would take a lifetime..

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