Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
at church, when I take time to choose my outfit + I always wear a dress or a skirt.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
The ones who are, well, dressed nicely. Put together, classy.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
The gracious air that so few women seem to have, yet all (to a certain degree) seek to have. The Grace Kelly/Audrey Hepburn "so charmed to meet you." gracefulness.
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 always been interested in fashion. but once I started earning money (babysitting) at fifteen and started following fashion blogs (the clothes horse, not dressed as lamb, un-fancy, among other favorites,) I started seeing fashion in a new light. I think things first clicked when I came back from a visit to the bay area in september of 2014 (about six months before I started babysitting) and I decided to never wear something in my closet again simply for the fact that I hadn't worn it in a while and wanted to look like I had a large wardrobe. I decided that I would only wear clothing I liked and felt attractive and confident in, and that's what I mark as the first turning point.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
the only ones I can think of would be relating to my particular body type.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I had a conversation with my sister on dressing and what we consider basics for a wardrobe/classic pieces and finding our personal style. It resulted in finding un-fancy and making lists of clothing items I loved/wanted/"needed."
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Mmm... Well, I'm a christian, which definitely affects my outlook on life in general. It has definitely affected how I live my life more than anything else has... The way that has touch my clothing/fashion outlook would be the fact of my modesty standards. I think it's essential to look nice/presentable, without drawing an abundance of attention/wearing revealing or pretentious clothing. The other thing that has affect my life is that my mom is slightly hippie -- I "grew up" in santa cruz & my outlook tends to be a little more on the free spirit side.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
hmm, black skirts. I have three (knee-length pleated, pencil, and yoga) because they're extremely classic. also, I have two black dresses, & they are definitely favorites in my wardrobe.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Oh, yes, a couple times. Sisters multiple times, but also a few friends... the two instances with friends that come to mind were both necklaces.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
ugh, Toms & high-lows. They are just so not attractive to me.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
Ha. Well, my mom was always super skinny -- didn't hit 100 Ibs before 19 -- partly due to the fact that she was vegetarian, but mostly due to just her body type. & I've taken after her in (my dad's not super burly himself haha,) as have, I'd say, all of my siblings... (I have eight.)
She's always been slightly hipster, slightly hippie in her clothing... she was the one wearing men's shirts belted from goodwill, and white jeans & baggy sweaters on her honeymoon (in 1992,) so she's always been way ahead of her times.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Definitely. For years now I've shared clothes with my two older sisters (four & two years older) and even my mom... While we've always had our own wardrobes, we rarely go out of the house without a sister's scarf or shirt or jacket.
My mom, two younger sisters (two and four years younger,) and I all wear the same shoe size so we're always sharing shoes.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Like I mentioned earlier, when I came back from visiting Santa Cruz a year ago was certainly the most dramatic change, but it was still pretty gradual.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Mmm, I think I'd call it on the liberal side of conservative.
16. Please describe your body.
Um, I'm about 5'5/6, not super curvy, but it's there, slim, nice waist... I'm pale (faint freckles,) but I have dirty blonde hair and dark eyelashes, so that's a win. (:
17. Please describe your mind.
Well, I'm not super academic. I do okay in school - As and Bs, but I'm definitely more on the artistic side. I'm kind of an introverted extrovert and I do a lot of thinking and observing of other people.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I'm pretty quiet & I don't share a lot... overall, I'd say I'm pretty stable, but I've definitely hit some rough spots here and there.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
black jeans, b&w striped t, long gray jacket, mix-matched socks.
As for my face, well, I just took off my glasses (today was not a contacts day,) I'm not wearing makeup.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I definitely think tasteful over fashionable. We do bear a lot of weight in how men think of us (though not, by any means, all!) and I think it's our duty to be wary and respectful of that.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My mom, my older sisters, sometimes a younger sister, sometimes with friends.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, I'm a christian, so on Sunday all the ladies dress up (skirts/dresses) for church. Also, at scouts I have a (rather horrible) uniform. Other than that, I can't really think of anything.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I've tried to answer this a couple times, but I don't really think I can.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Yes, a couple times when I first had money in my hot little hands (besides monthly allowance.)
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
yeah, I think in interaction (e.g., body language, facial expressions, language...)
My dad's a linguistics major & is hands down the most socially clued-in (there's gotta be a better word) person I know. He has the ability to make everyone feel comfortable and like he's relating on their level (whether high or lower status,) -- plus everyone comments on his rich speaking voice... So, yeah, I think I've picked up a ton of stuff from him.
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?
oh, definitely. Scarves always make me feel better dressed & I've used them a couple times to reassure 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 don't have amazing discernment, but I have definitely seen a lot of growth & right now, I'm not too bad. I do think I know what I like as far as fashion, when I get outside that zone, it starts to waver a little.
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?
They definitely have. My parents were always concerned with dressing us tastefully growing up that have affect my whole fashion outlook.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Just wearing make-up makes me feel sexy.
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 means more relaxed & confident and less yoga pants. My sister once said something along the lines of being classy is being able to relate to people below and above your social status, and I've really applied that to how I dress, too.
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?
Find what makes you look good + makes you feel confident. Draw attention to your assets without going overboard. A slutty tank top is never a "must have."
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Really, I think being an outward looking person... Seeing the beauty in others & helping that to shine through even if it puts you in a corner... is a sure sign of beauty to me is "lowliness of mind"/being humble/seeing good in others.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
putting down others. sluttyness.
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?
I've gotten a ton better over the past year, but it's still a work in progress.
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 definitely think about, "Is this glorify to God?" "What would a average guy think?" and "What would a lady 60+ years old think?" If I'm tasteful, not slutty, attractive, but not over-attention seeking with my clothing/makeup, I call it a win.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
What kind of attention am I drawing from this outfit? Is it good attention ("You look nice today.") or bad attention (cat calls.) obviously, there will always be losers who cat call even if you're wearing a very conservative outfit, but the fact is, I don't want to be wearing an outfit that could (almost) guarantee a "negative" reaction.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
To look tasteful, smart, classy, and in a lot of ways, the girl next door.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
dressing is jeans and hoodie/flip-flops and skirt... dressing up is a dress/skirt and flats. a blouse maybe.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
hippie, white, upper-middle class, christian. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, moved to KY a few years ago... all and all, it's made me be aware of how I dress, how I look to others, while still be "true to myself," you might say.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
In scouts, yes.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
I wear a scarf & jacket over it whenever possible. a belt & necklace are always present, too.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
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?
they do have some pretty sweet duds, but all in all, no.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Oooh, I love the 20s & the 50s. Maybe the 40s in an Ingrid Bergman movie.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
actually, yes. because I was always the one behind the camera, I feel like I've mastered the art of being okay with how I look in front. I'm not sure I've taken a picture of anyone without them telling me how un-photogenic they are... which has helped to make me confident.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
I critique my pose.
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly.
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?
I honestly can't think of anything I would change.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
repel bad boys? no, haha, not really.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Wear what you love... But be aware of the fact that men will look at you the more you show. and dress accordingly.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I like it, but believe in only wearing enough to smell when you get close enough to kiss me. or something to that effect.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
brush my hair & maybe put it up, put on a "presentable" outfit, glasses...
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I wear it to nice parties.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
I love target, h&m. I'm pretty classic with some fun stuff thrown in (life is good Ts, linen shirts, etc.)
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Right now I love bomber I have... also any warm, fuzzy scarf I can find in my house.
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?
really, my black clothing items. they've stayed pretty timeless.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I would start with a plan instead of just random shopping.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
my black boots. they a little bit over worked now, but yes.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
classic black ballet flats with ankle strap.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
pretty neat. each has category, but things get unfolded quite easily.
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?
oh, definitely my LBD (one of two.) at the time I just liked it, now it's become one of the most import things in my wardrobe.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
hmm, a few times a month. sometimes I browse eshakti, but I've gotten good at not buying every other item I see.
80. How does money fit into all this?
My dad's a software engineer and I don't think I even really gave money a second thought until I started working. My mom just always bought anything I needed.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
12-22-1999. Santa Cruz, CA. now in Louisville, KY.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
upper-middle class. white. christian. lean toward hippie.
What kind of work do you do?
I'm still in school.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Actually, pretty inspired.
I'm a teenager (15, going on 16) raised in CA, moved to VA for a year, back to CA, and then to KY. I'm a crazy combination of a lot of different places and people, but all and all, I'm pretty happy with the life God has give me. (: