Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Usually right after exercise. I feel confident and glow-y because I've just worked really hard and pushed my body and I've been able to motivate myself to do it. I feel like I've achieved something and my skin looks clear and bright and I think the gym might have magic mirrors because I always look more muscular, too!
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I don't often notice women in the street, but this is usually because I have somewhere to go and want to get there fast. If I do notice, I notice the women who have a style similar to mine (or, I suppose, similar to the style I aspire to): smart and simple but with a little bit of edge. Then I notice women on either side of that: really edgy, punky, leather jackets, big boots etc and then really feminine, circle skirts, heels, flowing hair etc.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
That they look put together in an 'outfit' as opposed to what I usually do: throw together some clothes that don't look dreadful but are the ones closest to hand/easiest. They look like they are comfortable in what they wear/their style, that they are happy dressing the way they do and don't feel the need to be all things at all times (obviously I am projecting, but I am frustrated by wanting to dress in every style at the same time).
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've never really had that moment. The closest I've come was when I was interviewing for real estate jobs and knew I'd have to look smart all the time for work and I was excited to finally be forced to look nice all the time because I usually can't be bothered to make the effort of my own volition.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I don't really have shopping rules. I try not to buy everything I see. If I am unsure, I do a "we'll come back later" and if I really like it, I'll remember and go back for it, and if not, then I won't get it. But then sometimes, I am impulsive and buy stuff straight away even if I'm not sure. If I can't see myself wearing it ever, don't buy it.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
NO BLACK. As little black as possible, if it can't be avoided (black is fine as a neutral colour in a skirt or trousers or tights, but that's pretty much it). No peplums. Nothing too baggy or shapeless. Usually no cheap dresses that are skater-shape, because the waist-line is too high (I'm tall and have a long body). Usually no two patterns together/if one thing has print or pattern, the rest should be plain. Nothing too dark (if I wear dark jeans, then I should wear a light top).
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I bought my sister a Pandora ring for her birthday last year and she wears it all the time and I am really pleased that I was able to pick out something that she really liked (because clothing and jewellery is so personal and individual that it's really difficult).
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
PEPLUM. No idea why I hate them so much but BOY DO I. I just think they're ugly and horrible and I will never wear anything with one.
Also, I have never understood the trend for pretty summer dresses with trainers/boots. They don't go together and it's ugly. If you want casual shoes, wear flats or flip-flops or something. A dress that summery and delicate and pretty and feminine is ruined by wearing hideous, big, clumpy boots/trainers.
16. Please describe your body.
5'9; ~30" waist, ~40" hips, 30DD (but I don't know which measuring system you use, so I used to wear 34B). About 12 stone. I am probably more muscular than average, but not like, noticeably so really. Pale, very sensitive skin. Dark hair. Few tattoos, few scars. Pretty solid/stocky/I'm not a waify kind of tall. I am built solidly with big bones. Big feet, big ankles.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Pyjamas, big, thick knit cardigan. My hair is down and could do with a wash. My face is bare.
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 would say I know what I like, but then I am not good at deciding what I want to buy, wear, and look like. Let's say I like 1000 things, I might only end up wearing 50 because I can't possibly have 1000 things in a wardrobe, so I have to settle for some in-between items and sensible things that already go with the things I've got. And even if I did buy 1000 things, I would hate having to choose every single day what style I was going to have and how would people know what I looked like/what sort of thing I was going to wear? Because I would constantly be changing because I have 1000 things to choose from!
I am generally shit at discernment in all other areas of my life, too. I am currently Christmas retail temping because I cannot decide what to do with my life. I could do 1000 things! Although of course I couldn't because at least 500 require qualifications and then at least another 400 require experience, and then, do I really want to do the other 100? How do I know without trying? But then I can't try everything! Because that looks terrible on a CV!
I am terrible because every time I have committed, I have fucked up/quit/failed, basically. I have never really managed to do anything and so I can't commit to anything ever again because it will just be dreadful (like everything else) and then I will quit (like everything else). I can't commit to anything because what about the 999 things I'm not doing? I'm sure they're better and they must be, because this one I'm doing right now is the worst.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
TIght clothes, usually. I like racer backs or halter type things because I like my shoulders. Got to be really feminine. Usually heels. I usually spend a long time on my eyelashes (curling, layering all the different kinds of mascara etc) and eye make-up.
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?
Usually, yes. If it's a piece of clothing like top or trousers (as in, having to be combined with other clothes in order to be worn), then I think about all the clothes I have that could be put together with it and whether or not they go and look good. If it's a dress, I just visualise (even if I'm wearing it in the changing room) myself wearing it out and about and see how that makes me feel. If I don't feel great or confident that I will wear it, I usually do a "we'll come back later".
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I usually have my outfit sort of picked out the night before. Because I am usually dressing for work, I have to consider propriety (it's supposedly smart-casual, but it's actually just fairly casual with the obvious rules like no trackies, no ripped clothes, no skin/see-through tops etc) so I usually have to put a vest under a lot of my blouses/tops. I consider comfort because I have to wear it all day (sometimes I don't wear bras; I have a pair of pretty unstylish, but very comfortable skechers that I wear no matter what). I consider how hot/cold I will be (if I wear a cute jumper, I need to make sure I'm wearing something appropriate underneath it because I will get hot and have to take it off).
Because it's work, I don't care too much what I look like so it's mainly just "is it passable? Will I be allowed to wear it?".
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?
Used to be really emo. I think it was simultaneously about standing out and fitting in. I could stand out from other people but still fit in with the sub-stream I guess.
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, when trying to think of what to wear because it is so easy for men. Shirt and trousers, any time. Million different shirts, like three pairs of trousers in the colours (black, grey, navy? Maybe dark green if you're feeling adventurous) and there's your entire life. Simple. No fuss. No problems.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Pretty into '50s Britain. I love the skirts; it was so feminine and pretty.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Really androgynous. I am pretty neurotic about femininity because I never felt pretty as a child or adolescent and I never felt like a girl/woman, or rather, felt like I was seen as one so it would make me incredibly uncomfortable to have to dress like a boy
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?
Crop tops all the time!!!! I'd be more comfortable in short dresses/skirts. I guess I'd show more of it off. And I'd wear more form-fitting stuff; I put on weight a few months ago and it's made me feel surprisingly shit (especially as it's not that much and really, is not that noticeable) so I've been tending towards baggier tops and that.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
My dog-tooth dress (that doesn't even fit me any more!!!).
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
More cohesive. Simpler. Make sure everything can go with everything. More dresses. Many more dresses.
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?
Relatively neat. Wardrobe ordered tops to cardigans to dresses to jackets, and within each from casual to smart. I have a top drawer, a dress drawer and a bottoms drawer.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
Only hand-cream and lip-balm (if I go out, it's actually usually lip stick, but I have lip-balm with me at all times around the house and that).
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
29.02.1992. Born, raised and still living in Oxford, UK.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
White British, probably lower middle class. I have never earnt more than £6.56 an hour (that's what I'm on now and it's considerably more than before).
What kind of work do you do?
Retail, minimum wage.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Single, no kids.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
Have suffered before a bit with disordered eating. Had depression, bought a lot of clothes during that time because I wanted to be something I wasn't so I bought the clothes that the person I wanted to be would wear.