Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
I feel at my peak when everything comes together. When I have an idea in my head and execute it perfectly. My hair is cooperating, my skin is clear, and my clothes fit the way I imagined they should. Doesn’t matter if I’m going for full Beyoncé or Late Night Grocery Run Chic.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Fearlessness. I love women who dress unapologetically for themselves. They know they look great and they really couldn’t care less if anyone agrees with them or not. As far as something more tangible to admire? Color, big bold color, whether it’s an entire Froot Loop inspired outfit, or all black everything with a bright lip. That and anything that would look at home in a 90s teen witch girl gang. Apparently, 90s teen witches are my thing now.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
A few years back my mother and I got into it over a dress I had bought to wear to a party—this tent-like swing dress. I thought it was great, my mother thought it was matronly, and I was not having it. After a while it finally came out that she thought I was hiding my body, and it was true. So, we cried and we hugged and she helped me get past whatever quasi-dysmorphic fit I was in the middle of, and convinced me to wear this great black dress and lime green paisley tights, and I convinced her to wear this bandage dress she’d been avoiding; and we both looked great and had a great time. And that’s when I started really committing to buying things that made me feel good, versus buying things I could hide behind under the guise of being “quirky”.
16. Please describe your body.
I am bigger than some people, smaller than other. My body is soft and strong, and the only way I can kick it on this mortal coil, so I love it and am proud of it.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Mentally and emotionally, I’m a hot mess express, but I don’t like to show it. I’m way too empathetic, and easily overwhelmed, yet hard to fluster, I try to use all of this to my advantage, I try to make people happy…or at least make them laugh.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Style! Taste is more…subjective, I think. There are plenty of people whose tastes don’t match my own at all, but have a great sense of style that works for them and who they are, and I’d like to think I’m doing the same. Style always seems like it requires a certain amount of flair—you can be tasteful and still be dowdy, and I’d really rather not.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
For all of the kumbaya love I try to show toward my body, loving my tummy is still kind of a hurdle. So, on bad days, whenever I can make it fade into the background in favor of accentuating my BHB (boobs, hips, booty), I feel like I’m pulling off the greatest con ever, even though I’m almost positive no one cares as much about it as I do.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I think my style bleeds out into all aspects of my life. I’m a bright person and I think it shows. Bold colors and prints trickle down into everything I do, even the car I bought. And I definitely work within the same palate for all things.
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?
For sure. I definitely use style as both weapon and armour when need be.
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’ve absolutely contributed to my love of color. Mostly they just gave me the room to express myself through dress without judgement.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I’m always trying to express myself through fashion. Even in my most casual wear. I fancy myself a fun and creative person, and refuse to buy or wear anything I find dull. Which to me means anything too at home in a sad, barren cubicle under fluorescent lights. I’m definitely dressing for the life I want, which is slowly becoming the life I have, and I’d put part of that on me honing my sense of style in recent years.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Whether or not I feel like wearing high heels. If I commit to heels, I know it’s an occasion.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I don’t know if I can say my ethnic background has influenced how I dress, but I’d say the places I grew up have. I’m a Black American who has always lived in and around major cities, so I definitely think being a part of a diverse environment influenced my style for the better.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I love it! And find it to be an integral part in completing an outfit.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
No more turtlenecks, they do not make me look like the super spy I’ve always dreamed I’d be. No more wrap dresses, they are not the messiah for all big breasted girls. More whimsical prints, great bras, classic cuts, hot colors, and sparkle.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
No question, my first Kate Spade bag. Less because it was a designer bag, and more because it galvanized the idea of what my personal aesthetic was in one easy piece: a hot magenta leather purse with polka dot lining, gold plated accents, and a big bow on the front. It was like my soul had taken form in an accessory. If I were a 90s teen witch, that bag would be my familiar.