Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When my stomach is flat and my hair is straightened and my outfit shows a lot of skin.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Pretty women and/or women in stylish clothes.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I like when their outfit is unique and carefully put together.
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?
The first time I wore bright red lipstick to school was a changing point for me. I don't remember what gave me the idea to try it out, but I'm so glad I did.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Try on clothes you think you could never pull off. Oftentimes you'll be surprised.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Make sure something matches. My biggest pet peeve is when someone's outfit is comprised entirely of different colors with no one color in common to pull it together.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
In fifth grade my best friend told me I had to start wearing bikini cut underwear or else we couldn't be friends anymore. That was the start of a long, many-year process of becoming stylish.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have a lot of tight black leggings, ripped black tights, black boots, and black long sleeve shirts. I buy them a lot because they are my wardrobe staples and go with almost everything.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I may have, but I don't remember at the moment.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
The whole "blue jeans, pastel blouse, brown riding boots" thing is appalling and I will never do it.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
I'm adopted and we look and dress nothing alike.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I have stolen a lot of big warm sweaters from my mom and fluffy white gym socks from my dad.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
10th grade. I started finding myself. I changed my style from skinny jeans and tight shirts and hoodies and sneakers to plaid miniskirts, thigh high socks, combat boots, and shirts ripped apart and held together with safety pins. I also started wearing a lot more makeup. I don't remember quite what made me start this, but it was a fun phase.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
16. Please describe your body.
I used to be very very skinny but now I'm more just slim with a few curves.
17. Please describe your mind.
My mind is creative and full.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I am a very emotional person. I laugh and cry easily. I get lonely and depressed easily. I have low self esteem.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Currently I'm in my warm comfy clothes because my dorm is freezing. I'm wearing a fuzzy pale grey sweater over a pale pink asymmetrical shirt, tight black leggings, and black socks. I have a on liquid eyeliner and a sort of brownish-purple smokey eye and nude lipstick. My hair is down and quite frizzy.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Style helps show the world who you are.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Both. Taste means you know what looks good. Style is your personal flair.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I don't spend a bunch of money on a piece of clothing unless I love it.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Bandaids when you're wearing a dress that can't be worn with a bra.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Writing style, singing style.
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?
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, yes, yes, no.
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?
No, I just picked things up.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Lots of bare skin, heels, dark eye makeup and red lips. Straightened hair.
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 at-ease and confident means you feel good about yourself.
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?
My style philosophy is to combine things that are unconventional (ex: formal evening gowns and cheap spiky jewelry from Hot Topic). Also, the number one rule of fashion is following proportions. It's hard to explain without a visual guide, but you know what I mean.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Clean lines, color matching, intricate details.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Color blocking, dull accessories.
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?
If it's comfortable, beautiful, and practical, and can be worn in many different outfits, it will be worn.
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'm not quite sure.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Check the weather, figure out if I'm seeing lots of people or very few people, which people I'm seeing. whether I have to walk a lot or a little,
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I want to look good and have others think I look good.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up is taking extra time and care. Wearing things you wouldn't wear every day. Styling your hair and
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Either black leggings, combat boots, a soft, flowy shirt with poetry on it, and gothic silver jewelry OR a black babydoll dress with a peter pan collar, thigh high socks, and platform combat boots.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
"Me" is dark and eclectic. "Not me" is bright, patterned, and unoriginal.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I am biracial and it has influenced nothing.
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?
In middle school I wore tight v-neck shirts and capri pants nearly every day. It was comfortable, school appropriate, and made me feel cute.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I dress very modestly. Long dresses and skirts, cardigans. My hair and makeup stay the same.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I don't have a workplace.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
If I had one, I would.
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?
A very short black dress. I think I would've been happy with that at any point in my life. It's simple and sexy.
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?
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Not that I can think of at the moment. Maybe London, presently.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
That I look a lot prettier than in real life.
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Z Berg has inspired my style more than almost anyone. She does the babydoll minidress + thigh high socks + platform heel thing like nobody's business!
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
I don't think so.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Something very colorful and patterned.
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?
The stuff I wore 8 months ago, when my body was perfect. Tight, high-wasited skinny jeans and half-shirts. Also lots of miniskirts and thigh-highs.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I love it. Yes, I wear it.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I'm a makeup addict.
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?
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
I own a huge amount of clothes of all kinds. Lots of long, flowy shirts, crop tops tight leggings, and minidresses. For jewelry I like leather and spikes and silver.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
I have a silver necklace with a pendant featuring Saint Clare that my boyfriend gave me for our first Valentine's Day.
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?
I have a few vintage prom dresses that I don't wear because they were very expensive and they are so fancy that I haven't had a place to wear them again. I keep them for memories.
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?
Uh, I'm not sure. I guess jewelry because it lasts?
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?
I had the most gorgeous pair of suede, open-toed wedge heels in the world that made me feet look really tiny and elegant and they somehow disappeared off the face of the earth about a year ago. I have no clue where they went and I really miss them.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
Jeez. Probably my white evening gown. It cost over 300 dollars and was made by the personal clothing designer of Jackie Kennedy.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I would buy only really comfortable, high-quality clothes that flattered my body and could be mixed and matched really easily.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
I've no idea. Maybe my 1920's black lace evening gown. Its my go-to for any fancy event I need to attend.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
Maybe my first eyeliner? I don't remember buying it, but I'm an eyeliner junkie so I'd still consider it important.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair of over-the-knee, formfitting, black high heeled boots. Preferably with some silver hardware or intricate laces.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
My closet is typically neat and color-coded. My drawers are a complete mess.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
The necklace I mentioned earlier that I got from my boyfriend for Valentine's Day.
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?
I donated some money to the kickstarter of a band I really like and they sent me a necklace made with one of the guitar picks they recorded with. At the time I just figured it'd be a cool momento but it went on to become my lucky necklace.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
As often as I can afford to. Every summer I go on a huge spree at the mall before school starts. I also shop online all the time.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
I like anything with notes of patchouli and sandalwood. So I like to smell like that.
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
It doesn't, to be honest.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I wish I had endless amounts so I could dress to my full potential.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
I carry a red lipstick in my bag almost at all times.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
I've been called tiny, intimidating, goth, and sexual. All of those have made me think a tiny bit about my clothing choices.
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?
I don't remember.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
January 8th, 1995. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin and moved to the D.C metro area when I was 5 weeks old. I still live there.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I'm biracial. Half black, half white. I'm very pale and have blonde hair and blue eyes so I like to refer to myself as Aryan African American. I was adopted as an infant by a wealthy family and for that I am ever grateful.
What kind of work do you do?
I am currently a college student, but I aspire to write novels and books of poetry, and to teach middle school English. I also sing opera, pop, folk, and jazz.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I am in a committed, loving relationship, but don't plan on marrying for at least 6 years.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I feel like I've learned a bit about myself.