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Christina Smith

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I really don't ever feel attractive

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

Of course!
I notice women that look put together and present some kind of cohesive sense of style. Weather it's a bohemian look, or preppy or polished and sophisticated, whatever it is, when it's worn with confidence and a strong personal sense of style it attracts my attention.

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

I admire women that take care of themselves and totally committ to what ever style they prefer, and present themselves with confidence.

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?

When I was much younger and in high school I had a very bold sense of style, I would do the whole thing every day, unique outfits, hair, makeup, heels the whole thing. I loved picking out things that were different, avantguard, unusual, I liked the attention that it got me. I loved high heels, I'm already tall, and the heels would put me at or over 6' tall (depending on the heel) it was very empowering. Well when I was in high school I was also a size 2, and looked good in just about anything.
As I got older and more and more busy my "style" got pushed to weekends, or when I was going out. To the point where I am now in my mid 30's and I feel like I have no style at all. I know a huge part of it comes from my terrible self image, and my hatred of my body.

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

I don't know.
I pretty much only wear jeans and t-shirts now.
I would not recommend any woman shop the way I do. I don't like to spend money on shopping for clothes, mostly because I don't like the body I'm dressing.
I think women should invest in well made clothing that fits well and makes them feel good about their bodies.

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

Similar to the shopping, I guess dress to the occasion.
Almost every day it takes me less than 15 min to get ready in the morning, t-shirt, jeans, flip flops, hair in a bun, no make up sunglasses then out the door.
I would say take more time to put yourself together, think about what you want to present to the world.

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

I can't think of one

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

No, I'm completely scattered and disorganized. I'm sure it comes across in my appearance. I work 65 hours and 6 days a week, I mostly just try to grind it out and am exhausted on my one day off and usually don't want to do anything. My depression has really started to take over my life. It sucks.

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

Oh yeah, I buy almost everything in mutiple. Same t-shirt in different colors, same jeans, several pairs.
I guess I do it so I don't have to think about anything when I get ready in the morning, that and I don't like shopping for clothes, I don't feel like I look good in anything, so I don't really care about it anymore.
When I'm in good physical shape I like to shop and buy different things, when my weight goes up, I stop caring.

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

Yes all the time. My training is as a jeweler and gemologist, so I make jewelry for people for a living.
It also has an effect on what I wear because you don't really wear nice things to work in the studio.
I love making special pieces for my family and friends, and giving them as gifts. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment when I see them wearing and enjoying them.

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

Most of them, because I wear pretty much the same thing every day.
It's weird I have two fashion selves, I see lots of cute trendy styles that I wish I could wear, but I would never do it with this body. I'm currently a size 14, and cute trendy pieces are not cute on a size 14 body, at least not on my body, in my own mind.

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

She is pretty much the same as I am now. Never wears make up, very casual, I think I have seen her wear heels maybe 6-7 times in my entire life (I'm 34) She and my dad never really went out anywhere that required getting dressed up, or that she would choose to get dressed up for.
I guess some of her non style has rubbed off on me.

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

Sure, in the last 10 years nothing crazy, maybe a sweater or shirt or something.
When I was much younger my best friend and I had pretty much and exchangeable wardrobe, we traded back and forth all the time.

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

Yes, going to college, working 3 jobs made me so busy that I didn't take much time, plus I was always broke so I rarely bought clothes.
The most dramatic has been with my 65 lb weight gain in the last 2 years and working full time as a bench jeweler. The weight gain had only exasperated my depression and made me hate my body more and more. Especially when I see pics of me in my younger, slimmer more fashionable days. I remember how confident i was and how much fun I used to have with fashion.
Now I have literally not gone to an event because I put on several outfits and determined that I was to fat to go out and be seen.
Im not trying to be a bummer, I'm just trying to be real about what's really going on with me at this point in my life, and how my outer appearance really reflects the way I feel inside.

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

Not at all.

16. Please describe your body.

Fat, disgusting, embarrassing

17. Please describe your mind.

Stressed, uninspired, discouraged

18. Please describe your emotions.

Sad, very pessimistic, jaded

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

Blue jeans, a t-shirt from target, one 14k and aquamarine ring that I made, no make up and hair in a bun

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

I think it is really important, appearance is very powerful. You can gain respect, envy, awe, create mystery, project power, create sex appeal, stand out in a crowd or completely dissappear depending on what you wear, how you wear it, and how you present the entire package.
The fact that women are routinely objectified means that appearance and fashion choices have even more of an impact on the impression of others.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My best friend

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I don't know, I'm sure if I worked in a formal or corporate environment it would effect me much much more than it does now.

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

I think i do, however they do not manifest themselves in the way I dress. I do not buy anything that is remotely stylish because I don't like the way anything looks on my body, and I think i just kinda want to be invisible.
When it comes to my work I definitely use my style and taste level in the selection of my materials and design.
To me style is personal preference of aesthetics, and taste is the way those aesthetic preferences are put together with an editing eye.

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

All of the fancy gowns that I bought and wore once to the many different weddings that I went to in my younger days...that are still in my closet...that I don't want to get rid of because I spent so much money on them

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


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

Yes, in my work as a jeweler

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 guess every day I try to calm myself and not bring attention to myself

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?

I guess, I know what I like but I don't dress the way I wish I could.
Depression is a funny thing, logically I know the things I need to do, but the depression sucks almost everything I have, like a black hole and leaves me so exhausted that I just don't give a fuck. It takes everything I have to get up, get to work, do my job then go home, the little energy I have left is given to my boyfriend and my family.

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?

Not really. My dad worked for the post office for over 30 years, so he wore a uniform almost every day. And my mom had very little "style" looking back she suffered from the same weight, self esteem and depression issues that I'm having right now.

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

At this point nothing makes me feel sexy or alluring.

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 go hand in hand, confident people feel comfortable in what ever they wear, be it yoga pants and a tank, or a black tie gown. While sweat pants are physically comfortable, you may not feel confident when you wear the.
I feel like confidence is a level of self assurance, that you have a clear point of view, goals and a direction to your life, and that you are taking the steps to achieve them.

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'm not even sure how to answer this question.

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

Balanced form, line, color design in nature and in style.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Hubris, evil violence, elitism

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?

Not really, I used to buy things thinking that if I just loose a little weight I'll be able to wear it. I still have stuff with tags on it from 1.5 years ago

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?

Honestly I don't look at myself before I go out. I don't like looking at myself in the mirror. I very rarely wear make up, so I go from the shower, dry my hair, jeans shirt twist up my hair, then out the door.
I try not to think about what others might think, if I hate what I see in the mirror, the thoughts of what others might think are petrifing. Almost to the point where I don't want to leave the house. I know logically that no one judges me the way I judge me, but depression and logic don't always work in conjunction with each other.

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

Shower, dry hair, grab the jeans on top, shirt on top, put hair up, brush teeth, grab my purse and out the door. Usually takes 20 min or less, and less than 30 seconds of looking in the mirror before I leave.
Only concerned about getting to work on time.

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

Not leave the house naked.
I guess just get something on that dosent exacerbate my fatness, and show all my rolls.

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

To me Dressing up is dressing in finer attire than your normal dress, usually for an event or something special.
Dressing is the act of putting on clothes.

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

I pretty much already wear a uniforn,
T-shirt and jeans

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

I'm not sure how to answer this question.

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

I'm a boring white person from orange county California. It has influenced my way of dress because I tend to be very casual, but in my younger days I was influenced by the trendy wealthy girls around me, I guess there was an element of keeping up with the Jones's
I was in a relationship with a man for 13 years (from high school to age 30) who was of Iranian descent, and I remember how shocked I was when I first started to attend family events with him. Those ladies were dresses to the 9 ' s in top fashion brands, with perfect hair and makeup, every time! It was completely different from my bland white person experience. I tried to be as glamorous as them, but it never seemed like I could quite achieve their level of sophistication.

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?

Absolutely, when I was younger and in excellent shape I loved to experiment with fashion, and wear bright colors or unusual silhouette.
I think the more stressful and busy I got that became less and less a focus, and once I started gaining weight, then that completely killed it for me. I would try to get things I liked in larger sizes, but once I see it on my body, I feel so ashamed and completely embarrassed of my appearance, and would never wear it in the real world.

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

I don't do anything. I don't feel very professional.
I guess if I had to I would wear black pants, black long sleeve shirt, hair in a bun and minimal make up

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

I work in a studio environment, so I usually wear an apron over my crappy clothes anyways.

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?


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

A little of both, right now I would find it comforting, but if I was in great shape and not depressed I would probably find it constraining

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?

Probably skinny jeans/pants, low V neck top and a well fitted blazer or motorcycle type jacket with a platform wedge bootie or sandal, and fantastic jewelry.
I guess I like classic silhouettes with an edge, classic pant with a sculptural shoe, classic top with a edgy tailored jacket.

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?


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

I don't know

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Not at all

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

I look so fat and unattractive, why do I even try

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

Not really, I can't say that I have any fashion icons, love the supermodels from the 90's

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

I'm sure I have, I don't usually remember my dreams

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


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?

What ever I wanted! Colorful, body con, trendy, classic, avantguard, not necessarily all at once, or in that order.

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

I guess I subconsciously try to repel everyone. I really just don't want to be seen.

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

Wear things that make you happy, and make you feel good about yourself.

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

I love perfume, however I have been in a relationship with a man for the last 2 .5 years who has very bad asthma and can't be around any smells. No scented loation, perfumes, scented candles, scented laundry detergent, or even plants or flowers. I love him, but it really sucks to give all that "girly" stuff up.

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

Well I need to loose at least 60-70 lbs before I would feel really presentable. Now I just get by with minimal stuff. I never really feel very presentable, I'm always very self conscious.

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

It dosent.
I used to wear makeup, but don't really use it anymore, putting some lipstick on is not going to make me look any better, so why bother.

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?

I have no idea

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

My jewelry is exquisite, I would much rather invest my money in jewels than clothes. Although it's kinda funny, I don't really wear it, just mostly collect it.
My clothes are just that, basic 25 pairs of jeans and a million t-shirts

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

No favorite piece of clothing, my favorite piece is a huge moonstone and champagne diamond ring in 18k that I made for myself.

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?

Beautifully fancy dresses that I can no longer fit in. I guess I keep them because they are beautiful and were expensive, and I had fun when I wore them.

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 guess we'll fitting jeans since I wear them almost every day

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?

Not really

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

My jeans I guesd

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

I don't know. I think aside from your own personal body image things, I think your job has a lot to do with the things you choose to wear. My job is the opposite of formal, so I have very little use for "professional" clothes.
I guess I would try to not be so stingy and spend a little more on things that fit well and are timeless

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

Never bought an investment piece of clothing or accessory, other than jewelry, I guess my diamond necklace, still have it, rarely wear it.
Other than a formal dress I don't think I have ever spent more than $300 on a item of clothing, shoe, or bag

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


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


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


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

Yes, my ex bought me a beautiful beaded gown to wear to a wedding one time, and I got a necklace that I remember my grandmother wearing almost every day of her life.

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?

Not really

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I get to fat that nothing fits anymore or if I have somewhere nice I have to go.
I usually go to tj maxx, target, or nordstrom rack

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I do, but because of my boyfriends asthma I can't have any thing that smells, good or bad!

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

I guess it doesn't, I don't have a lot of ambitions right now, my depression is really strong right now. I wasn't always like this.

80. How does money fit into all this?

Money is huge! I have to bust ass and work all the time just trying to make ends meet. My budget is very tight, I don't have a high paying job, or a rich husband, or a wealthy family, I work 6 days a week, usually 65 hrs or so. It's hard, I'm paycheck to paycheck, if I have extra money I don't usually buy clothes with it.

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 purse

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

I remember when I was around 12 or 13 or so, my mom and I were at the mall, and I had gotten dressed cute and did my makeup. I was wearing some bright lipstick, and I remember my mom turning to me (while at the mall) and saying "why are you trying to draw attention to your worst feature" she dosent remember making that comment at all, but it really hit me hard. To this day I won't wear lipstick, or at least not bright lipstick.
It's funny, my mom asked me a few years ago why I never wore lipstick, I told her about what she said, she apologized, but the damage has long been done.

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?

Not particularly

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

Born in Fullerton California
Current live in Huntington Beach California

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

Standard issue, female, white, middle class, from orange county

What kind of work do you do?

I'm a jeweler

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

No kids, single, living with my boyfriend

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

Oh gosh, I haven't always been such a bummer cloud, I'm just having a really hard time right now. I can remember lots of fun, exciting times in my life when I was full of joy and optimism. My outward appearance reflected that positivity, and effected the way I saw myself and the way I presented myself.
I'm in a dark crappy hole right now and struggle every day, and like when in happy, it effects my outward appearance, and fashion choices to say the least. I also filled this out on my smart phone so I shudder to think about all the auto spell mistakes this must have.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I have mixed feelings, it's kinda cathartic, let's me get stuff off my chest. In a way it reminds me how far I have to go, and how bad my depression has really got. It's easy for it to creep up on you when your just trying to grind through the days and keep those bills paid. It's hard to face how bitter and truly unhappy I have become.


Born in 1980 in orange county
An artist free spirit, and wild child from the begining
Always encourage to pursue the arts.
Found my passion in jewelry and gemstones
Got a BFA in jewelry design/metalsmithing
And became state certified gemologist
Working in the jewelry industry for last 15 years.
Searching for happiness, balance and peace in my soul

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