Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
It's sort of weird but I always think I look good the morning after a night out ( when I'm not so hung over). Like when my hairs got a messy chic thing going on and only the best part of my eyeliner is left on and I'm going to Starbucks with the top I slept in and some old jeans and a huge cardigans but I still have my fancy going out bag with me. I always feel like I have this cool mystery vibe going on. I look like a person who has a good time.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I'm always looking at other women's shoes and hair and trousers. I'm in awe of women who pull off smart trousers in casual outfits. I guess I mostly look at women who look like they are together, the ones who are pulling off the look I'm going for only better. I always assume they are also pulling off the life I'm going for only better.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I really admire women who have a signature style, whatever that might be. It's like they have a super cool uniform, all their clothes go together, they always look good and they always look like themselves.
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?
It was huge moment for me the first time I cut all my hair off - I'd always wanted to do it but I'd never been brave enough. I was 19 and I'd gone out for coffee with my friends when I saw this women with super short boyish hair. The moment I saw her I just wanted to be her. When I was done with coffee I went straight to the hairdressers and got all my hair cut off. I felt amazing, I was worried before hand that short hair wouldn't suit me but it totally did. It changed my whole style. Everything just got easier, if you have a haircut that really works and you feel like it's stylish it just pulls everything together. I worry less about putting together outfits now.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Never rule anything in or out until you've tried it on. I've had clothes I thought would be amazing look awful once I've put it on, and stuff I thought would be awful look brilliant.
I never go shopping with friends, other people cloud my judgment so I end up buying what they think I look good in rather than what I think I look good in.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I recently decided to only wear black trousers. I guess I always try to get clothes that go with each other so I don't have to think about what I'm going to put on day to day. Thats just because I'm rubbish of a morning tho.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I don't think I've ever had a transformative conversation on style. I did once see an advert that made me decide to only wear bold lipstick because I think it's a powerful thing for a women to do. It made me think they had it right with the power dressing they did in the 80's so that was transformative, but I only talked to myself about it.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Oh man, no. I'm basically a shambles as a person. I say that and people think I'm being down on myself but I think it's an endearing thing to be.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Loads. fair isle jumpers. Leather jackets. Doc Martens boots. Checked shirts. I pretty much buy for myself now the stuff my mum put me in as a kid. There was a while I tried different stuff, but I've gone back to that look now. I like it, it works, I know what I'm doing with those clothes. Why would I buy other stuff?
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I don't think so. I'm normally a disorganised gift shopper so I end up giving away stuff I got for myself - when I think about it I'm annoyed 'cause I wish I still had it for myself. I can always get stuff for my mum tho, we have very similar taste. (and she lets me borrow stuff, so If I do give her something I secretly wanted for myself I can still use it.)
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Leggings. I think they are evil and look good on nobody. I just don't get it, they are so unfortunate.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
From looking at photo's I'd say I look and dress almost exactly like my mum did at my age. I think I have more hats. Also maybe I have a bit more money than she did so I have more versions of the same things.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Yes. I have stuff from my mum, stuff from my granma, stuff from my aunt alice, stuff from my dad, stuff from my brothers. Most of it is given to me but I'm always nicking my older brothers scarfs. He get's so annoyed about it, but mostly he can't stop me. He has too many anyway. He can't wear them all at once.
I guess I have a lot of other people's socks too. I consistently forget to take socks with me wherever I go. You'd think the fact I always forget them would make me remember - it doesn't
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
There were a few times when I was younger when I was like 'oh I'm going to dress like this now and get rid of all my old stuff' but it never stuck. Other than when I cut my hair I guess. That was more like I reverted back to what I'd always liked and just started trusting my natural style and taste.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
In some ways, not on a day to day basis, but when I dress up. I go for big skirts and fitted jackets - very Dior New Look. For me it's about dressing in a way that takes up more space, I think that's a powerful thing to do as a woman. A lot of fashion at the moment is about making women smaller, it's about taking up less space.
I think there's a lot of subtle politics in women's dress that we over look. I know a lot of my feminist friends who swear of heels 100%, but I think it's much more complex than that. Some heels really take a woman's power away for sure, but some really add power, some heels make me feel like I could take over the world. It all depends on the shoe.
16. Please describe your body.
I like my body, I'm all hips and chest - like an old fashioned hour glass. That's why 50's style clothes suit me better. I don't think about what my body looks like that much to be honest, I'm just glad I have one and it mostly works.
17. Please describe your mind.
Sometimes my mind feels huge, I go to the beach and I can feel it skirting along the horizon, like it expands up and outside my head. Other times I feel like my mind is the same size but the whole huge expanse of it is crammed up inside my forehead behind my eyes. I don't know what that's about but it's usually when I'm stressed.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I'm pretty straight forwards emotionally. I once described myself as "a cheerful little soul, drunk on her own brilliance." and I think that's pretty accurate. I only get stressed or sad if something is causing it, then it's like I have this background hum of stress or whatever but I can normally distract myself by reading or watching kids TV so it's not all consuming.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I'm just at home, so I have 0 make up on and I haven't done anything to my hair. I have some black jeans, a fair isle jumper, my slippers and my reading glasses on. I'm going out in a bit so I'll probably brush my hair and put on a necklace then.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I think how you present yourself matters, it effects how people see you and how you feel about yourself. It can be a fun way to express yourself. We live our lives in clothes, Imagine how boring it would be if we all just had black jumpsuits or whatever?
It is easy to get to caught up in what we look like tho. I know people who, in my opinion, waste far to much time and energy worrying about what they are wearing when they could be thinking about what they are doing.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
I talk about other peoples clothes all the time. To anybody. I'm always stoping people to tell them I love their shoes or whatever. Or I point people's clothes out to friends (mostly stuff I like.). But I don't really talk about what I'm wearing, I only really talk to my mum or granma about my own clothes and then it's mostly "can you make me this?".
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I don't know, I never really been part of one. Only Art School and I don't think that counts.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Thats a hard one, it's difficult to have one with out the other. I think style is more about the way you put things together and taste is the things you choose. You can have taste with out having style, but I don't think you can have style with out taste.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
No, I don't really buy stuff I don't like. I'm more likely to buy a book and never read it or a super expensive bit of equipment and never use it. I do buy a lot of coats, but I love coats!
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
When I was younger I was convinced I found the secret to life when I started wearing pajama tops in the day time thinking no one could tell. I couldn't understand why everyone wasn't doing it. As it turns out it's because everyone can tell you are wearing pajama's as clothes and most people are worried about you as a result.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I'm an artist and a writer so I've spent a lot of my time trying to find a distinct personal style in my work.
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 do that all the time. If I'm stressed I always put expensive perfume on. It makes me feel like I'm less of a disaster zone.
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 do know what I like when I'm shopping for clothes, but more than that I know what I'm going to wear. I used to be always buying things and thinking I'd become the sort of person who wore those sort of clothes. I always ended up back in a selection of jeans and jumpers.
I don't know if I'm discerning in other areas of my life, but I think I'm getting to know myself better as I get older. I think that's what being discerning is about, working out who you are and what you like and then sticking to those things.
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 Mum always said the most important thing is to be neat and tidy, and that it's better to buy one expensive thing than five cheap things.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I don't really have a morning process. I'm mostly just going "Christ I'm so late! Is this clean?". If it's anything important I get my clothes out the night before.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Mostly I'm trying to look good and feel good. I normally think when you put on clothes you should a. think you look good b. feel comfortable physically and c. feel comfortable emotionally. 2 out of 3 will do tho.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Oh hey, that's me.
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
I guess in a way my style is really influenced by the snatches I remember of how both my great grandmother's dressed and had their houses when I was a little girl.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Once I had a dream that I got these brilliant gold velvet boots. I was so sad when I woke up and they weren't real. I never been able to find any like it in real life.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I love perfume. I think in makes you feel classy even when you look like a mess.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
A few years ago I got a really expensive coat, it was the most expensive coat I ever bought. I still wear it all the time, it was 100% worth it.
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?
When I was 4 or 5 my granma took me shopping to choose a birthday gift and I got this yellow plastic heart shaped necklace. On my birthday I put it on with a pink summer dress, and a sun hat. I can still remember what it felt like to be inside that outfit. I'd still wear it to be honest.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
17.08.91 I was born in Yorkshire and I still live here now.
What kind of work do you do?
I'm an Artist mostly, but I do some other stuff too.
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.
I'm 23 and a post-grad student. I might feel differently about this stuff if I had to dress formally more often, but most of the time I can just put on whatever I feel like.