Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Fresh and clean out of the shower.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes! I always notice women who are tall because I am very short. I love women with a unique sense of style, confidence and a pleasant demeanour.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I love it when a woman looks confident and pleasant. Positive energy and kindness are the best.
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 started working at an office and wearing heels. I realized that, for me, looking put together and clean and tidy for my job really reflected the level of respect and dedication I had for my job. I stopped wearing make up regularly a number of years ago (too much to take on and off for the gym) and I felt so liberated and free!
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Try it on! Especially if it's not something that is your "usual" style. Don't be scared about how you think it might might look because that is not necessarily how it WILL look.
Also, save your money to buy something really special, rather than spending tons on the generic mediocre stuff from the big box brands. Less quantity, but more value.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Unless it's gym clothing, don't wear things that are too tight! You'll look like a fucking sausage.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I don't think I have ever had a transformative conversation about fashion or style. It's all evolving!
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Edit edit edit!
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Black skirts and tee shirts: I'm always looking for the perfect fit and feel
Shoes: I'm just that kind of girl. I have too many pairs of shoes that I haven't even worn.
Yoga stuff: I go every day and always want something new and fresh.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
A vintage pin I found in a flea market in London that told me that it was perfect for one of my best friends.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Distressed jeans. I think it's ridiculous to pay money for distressed clothing.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother has taught me to think outside the box and to look well put together for work.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I wear a lot of blacks and greys because of my aunts.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
In second year of law school, I stopped wearing the same hoodies and jeans every day and started to experiment a bit more and work a bit to look more put together. In part, it was to attract my current boyfriend, but I also felt it was time to look a bit more "grown up".
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I'm not into dressing in a provocative way so that I don't seem like I'm a woman who needs that kind of attention. However, I wear a lot of sexy lingerie that's just for me and my partner.
16. Please describe your body.
It gets me where I need to go. Compact and a bit soft.
17. Please describe your mind.
Slightly neurotic and Type A, but trying to chill out and enjoy the moment.
18. Please describe your emotions.
It depends on who I'm dealing with. Usually, I'm pretty positive and level headed, but there are certain individuals that just drive me crazy!
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
No make-up today. Feeling a bit tired after a late night.
On my body, I have a dark grey sweater, black tank, tight dark blue jeans and velvet loafers.
My hair is currently in a side braid, which I've adopted since I started growing it for Locks for Love.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
How you present yourself to the world is important. Unfortunately, how you present yourself goes hand in hand with how you look and dress. I wish it wasn't the case. I wish we only looked at who each other is on the inside. But we don't.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My girlfriends, family and boyfriend! Lots of people.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I work for the government and I find that really affects the way I dress. I am much more conservative in my work wear than I think (hope?) I am in life.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I think I know what I like. I hope the people whose opinions I care about think I have both good taste and style.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
All that shit I bought to look "sexier" in my youth. What a waste. Both the mindset and goal.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I suppose they would be undressing tricks?
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
As a person who writes every day, I hope my writing style is good!
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?
When I am really stressed, I get my yoga gear on and go to a class.
When there's something important at work, I definitely take more time to make sure I look confident and well put together.
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?
Yes I do. There are things that aren't my usual "style" that I like or learn to like but overall, there are certain things that my friends and family will say are "me".
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 to take care of my clothes and clean them well. That how you dress for work shows your level of respect for your work.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
I like to put on some nice lingerie. A cat eye. Maybe I'll decide to brush my hair. Probably not.
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?
To me "comfortable" means that you feel good and at ease. Both in what you're wearing and in life. For clothes, I think it means something that feels nice and that you feel good in and good about yourself in. Not too tight, you don't have to tug at anything and it gives a nice shape to your body.
Once you're comfortable, you'll feel confident.
People who seem confident look comfortable in their own skin and are open and friendly.
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?
Classic and comfortable. Flared skirts.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
A person who moves with grace and control. That can be at yoga or in the kitchen or in dance.
34. What do you consider very 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 don't buy very much very often so I make sure I'm going to wear it. As I get older, I get more picky.
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?
No. I'm just seeing whether my clothes fit me all right and there are no unsightly bulges.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I get my clothes ready the night before. No time to have a process in the morning. I brush my teeth, wash my face, put on cream and sunscreen and what I chose last night, hop on my bike or public transit and go!
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Comfort, but a classic, clean look.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing is just throwing something on. Dressing up is when you make an effort to look a certain way.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Skinny jeans, loose fitting thin/sheer tee shirt and a cardigan. Flats or sneakers. A purse that I can sling over my shoulder. Big enough to fit a book.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me: a flared skirt, a cute dress, a nice pump, skinny dark jeans, looser tops.
Not me: anything that is "sexy"
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I'm chinese, so I think that may be why I dress more classic/conservative and enjoy the designer labels.
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?
Sweats in law school. I wanted a uniform.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I wear stockings to feel more put together and professional. Sometimes I'll put on some mascara and a bit of eyeliner. Maybe I'll brush my hair, but it's so straight, it doesn't really make a difference!
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
Yoga wear! Tight crops, sports bra and tank.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
Sometimes I'll wear a cute dress to work.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
Comforting. I don't want to have to spend too much time thinking about what to wear.
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?
Skinny jeans, loose tee and cardigan. It's comfortable.
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?
Yes yes no! I wished I was a man when I was job searching. I love menswear. I love having a woman's body.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
I like it right now. You can wear anything you want, so you can evoke whatever era or culture you want.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
I don't really think so. Sometimes!
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
I didn't think I looked like that!
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
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?
anything that is GQ "sexy"
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?
nothing different I don't think. Maybe more maxi dresses if I was taller.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Wear what you love and not what you think men would like you to wear.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Sometimes! When I think to do it.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Wash my face. Make sure the clothes are clean and ironed.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I don't usually wear it. Only for special occasions.
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?
The printed pants. I don't think they would look good on me!
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Classic, simple, a bit girly and comfy!
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
My IWC Pilot watch.
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?
Some delicate Commes des Garcons pieces that aren't easy to wash. I love them so much but don't want to ruin 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?
Investment pieces. Good shoes, good clothes.
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?
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
The dress my aunt brought me for my law school "prom" that I had my first kiss with my boyfriend in.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
Nothing really. I like what I've had and bought and how my style has evolved.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
Prada slingbacks with my first big paycheck. I still have them. Don't wear them too often because I love them too much.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
The Prada shoes. Once I got those, I knew that I'd rather buy one $700 pair of shoes rather than a bunch of $100 shoes.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
The perfect ankle boot!
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
Neat and tidy.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
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?
Good bras. I thought that it might be time to get one and was very "whatever" about it, but once I got a good bra that really fit, that was it!
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Quickly and not very often. Trying to save! I generally only really shop for clothes when I'm on vacation.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
I don't know. I guess because I look younger than I am, I try to dress professionally so people take me seriously.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I try to buy things that are well made, so money is always a constraint!
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 diamond studs and a watch.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
I don't think so!
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?
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
November 2. I was born in and still live in Toronto
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I'm Chinese, went to Catholic elementary school and high school and my parents were middle class people
What kind of work do you do?
I'm a lawyer
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I live with my boyfriend
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
It was really long, but thanks for the questions! It made me think a bit more about what I'm wearing and why