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Garrison Taylor

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When the light is nice and my face is clean and I've slept well and my hair is more curly than it is large.

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

I notice women who look comfortable and confident and like they could kick my ass. I see the girls with strong bike legs and too-short dresses and I want to be them. I also notice really put-together chic minimal women, but I know that's not how I am. I saw a girl at the grocery store a few weeks ago wearing a high waisted midi skirt (the kind ever thrift store has tons of) in the perfect tiny dot pattern with a too-small old looking t-shirt and little flats. She looked so effortless and like she didn't care about being in style. I've been thinking about her ever since, and I'm still looking for a good skirt.

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

I like women who are really smart and act like it. Not in an obnoxious way, just that they don't act any less intelligent than they are. I also like when women very obviously don't care if what they're wearing looks fashionable or appeals to others. I like risks.

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 you can wear literally anything if you act like you love it and don't care what it looks like.

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

Shop secondhand. if it's handmade, buy it. if it's completely insane, buy it.

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

Wear what makes you feel good, and bright lipstick with drab clothes.

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

I think reading stylelikeu and especially their closet features made me see my interest in clothes and style as more creative and worthwhile. I saw how other women had just ridiculous piles of clothes and thought maybe it would be ok if I let that happen to myself too. Embrace the clothes!

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

Put on music first.
Don't let things pile up-- do small work all the time to avoid big work later.

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

I have so many dark-colored bag dresses. They're comfortable and you can wear them anywhere. I like the way I feel in them. I stayed with my cousin and his girlfriend in New York right after graduating high school and she wore almost the same black dress every day I was there. It's the perfect city-stylish-but-easy look! And it's kind of addicting to find the perfect one, so I keep trying.

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

My mom dressed like a boy when I was small, so I did too. I never once saw her put makeup on, so I never felt quite the same pressure to wear it that a lot of my friends did growing up. I'm taller than her but we're both curvy and big-haired. She's coming into her own style more now-- at the same time as I am! We're having fun going to thrift stores together and figuring out what we like. She gave me her old earrings-- they're mismatched and one has a tiny man dangling by his ankle. I haven't bought any earrings since.

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

I have a lot of my mom's clothes from the early 90's. She was so stylish. One is a red and gold dress that she altered and I get compliments literally every time I wear it.

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

At one point I realized most of my clothes had been given to me by family and I hadn't picked them out. I started selling my old clothes and buying fewer clothes, but ones that I actually wanted to wear.

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

I wear what I want and I wear it for me.

16. Please describe your body.

Mostly tan-olive colored, ballpoint pen drawings on my thighs and hands, strong but tired, a purple scar across my hips from an ovarectomy, my right hand is stronger than my left.

17. Please describe your mind.

Very creative, emotional, quick, full of images.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Less predictable than I would like, mostly positive.

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

I am wearing a dark green t-shirt, Will's old cutoff corduroys, and a watch. I am wearing no makeup except a little mascara under my eyes from last night that I can't get off. My hair is in a crown braid from yesterday because it takes a while to braid and it stayed in while I slept, so why not?

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

If we have to be alive and do the boring work of living, we kind of have to make it fun and make it important. Life gets too pointless and long and it becomes a drag otherwise.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My friends who are also interested, my mom, girls in class, boyfriends, my roommates. Really anyone who will listen.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I like having rules to break.

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

I think I have style. It's definitely influenced by my grandmother's impeccable taste, but nothing I do could be described as impeccable or tasteful. I like style more, but taste always comes into it somehow.

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

I bought some shoes online for $100, and I have worn them three times. That's not even the worst one, probably, but it's the first one I thought of. I still feel guilty about those shoes.

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

Most people don't notice if you're not wearing a bra.

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

I'm an artist and musician, so I hope so!

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?

Every day.

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'm drawn to things that make me feel good. My aesthetic is kind of like "breakfast waitress meets children's book illustration," so basically that.

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?

If it says dry clean only, it really means hand wash.

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

Big hair, clothes that feel good, short swingy skirts, red lipstick.

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?

I think when a lot of people say "comfortable" they mean clothes like t-shirts and gym shorts, but I don't feel comfortable in that. Comfortable means feeling at ease with yourself and what you're wearing-- which becomes confidence.

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?

Balance is important! I never wear an entire outfit of one "style." If I wear a very pink dress, I wear big black boots. Contrasting moods and styles keep you from seeming like you're trying to be one thing, and it opens you up for more experimenting in general!

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

Flowers and contentment, sunlight in the morning, rainbows.

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?

Almost. Of the clothes I already own, I pay attention to what I wear the most and what I don't ever wear, and try to buy based on that. But sometimes a piece calls to you from a totally foreign style and it becomes part of what you wear!

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?

I just try not to look like an asshole. I want to seem approachable, even if I do look odd.

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

If I have time in the morning, I put on music and consider what I'm doing that day-- am I biking, working in the studio, grocery shopping. I try to keep myself interested while also being practical.

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

I'm trying to make myself happy. I dress to make my day better! I've been painting my nails bright colors and wearing pink lately because I'm feeling down and it cheers me up to be covered in lovely colors.

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

Dressing is what you do every day (or on the days when you want to think about it) and dressing up usually involves adopting a persona or character for the duration of the outfit.

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

Cotton bag dress, floral print socks, cute tennis shoes. With bike shorts underneath.

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

Me= glitter/ rainbow
not me= wood paneling, linoleum

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

My grandma was a history teacher and really loves history, so I think I inherited that from her. I like clothes from the past and using that as inspiration. I'm also from Atlanta so there's that dirty south part of me that never goes away.

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

Oh god, professional. I'll wear a blazer and fitted pants if I have to, and try to contain my hair. But if it's art-related thing I'll just wear all black.

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

We aren't allowed to paint our nails, so of course I still do. Very subtle like clear with glitter, so no one notices. But I do!

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

I wear a uniform at work, and I hate it. It's a smock and a hairnet and we can't paint nails or wear jewelry.

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

Not really. I glued some things to my name tag, and I cuff my pants even though it's not allowed.

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

It would be comforting if I liked it, but I currently find this uniform constraining. We aren't allowed to paint our nails, and I like to look like myself.

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?

Stripes. They're cheerful and somehow timeless. Also shapeless knee-length dresses.

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?

Oh yes. I love the way boys look in button down shirts. Men I feel like also look better with lots of tattoos than women do. I like the idea of being covered in them, but I always see a man's arms when I think about it.

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 think I know enough to answer this! I really like saris and I wore one to prom (I'm not Indian). Maybe somewhere like morocco.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

I'm trying to imagine what I must be like to someone else. But of course I can't. I think everyone wants to know how they come off to strangers.

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

Frida Kahlo is a big one. Devendra Banhart, Alexa Chung, Tavi Gevinson, and people I see on the street are some others.

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

I've dreamed about lipstick. My friend once dreamed about some perfect light blue socks with white stars and we've been searching for some ever since.

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?

Probably what I wear now. Maybe more boyish looks.

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

I live in very much a college town, so I kind of dress to filter out the fratty guys I don't have anything in common with. I don't want them approaching me, which they still do anyway, especially if I have my worst bitch face on.

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

Perfume gives me a headache, always. I like White Musk sometimes but mostly I want to smell like nothing. My ex-boyfriend used to wash his hair with baking soda and he never smelled like anything. I loved it.

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

I like to be mostly clean, mostly covered, and happy.

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

I don't wear it. Mascara gets in my eyes and makes me feel tired. I like very dark or bright or strange colored lipstick if I go out though. I just bought blue!

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?

Being very thin. I like being strong and capable, and I absolutely would feel helpless if I were any thinner.

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

I mostly own things that were gifts or found in thrift stores. I like to come upon things as a surprise.

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

My grandmother gave me a ring with my birthstone in it. It's a strange almost square cut and has a celtic-ish pattern around it. I wear it always.

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

The black t-shirt dress.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I like to smell like nothing, or very lightly of my shampoo.

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

I was born August 2, 1995 in Atlanta Ga. I'm nineteen now and I live in Athens, Ga.

What kind of work do you do?

I'm a student, working in food service.

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

Single, just ending the longest relationship I've ever had.

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

Right now is when I feel like I'm coming into my own in a lot of ways. I wanted to have a snapshot of my brain right now and this survey seemed like a good way.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel very good about it! It took me about a month, I was taking my time. It was nice to have a thing just for myself, where I can think and not be graded.


If I could exist in any form, I would be a pink iridescent vapor. And I dress for that feeling.

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