Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I'm having a good hair day and my clothes fit. I've gained a lot of weight recently, and wearing old clothes that are too small doesn't feel as good as wearing larger clothes that suit my body.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I feel like I notice people all the time. I couldn't say what always draws me to them. Usually just that they're people, being themselves in the world, probably. I guess I wonder who everybody is.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I like when women are honest about who they are and about who other people are. That's not to say I dislike "posers" or "fakes." I also don't really like "calling people out." Sometimes we have to pretend to be who we want to be before we can become it. But people who are candid and even-minded are quite nice to be around.
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?
Near the end of my senior year of high school, when I was eighteen, I asked my friend if she thought I dressed frumpy and she said, "Yes." It was good time to reinvent myself anyway, so I asked my mom to take me to the mall, and I mixed up my wardrobe a bit. I can't say it was anything too exciting, it was just better than hoodies and khaki pants that were too big and graphic tees.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
You should probably have more than two pairs of shoes and more than one pair of jeans. And maybe more than two bras too. Also, it's okay to spend money on something you really like, especially if the quality is good and it'll last you a long time.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
No one will notice if you wear the same pair of pants five days in a row.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Probably the aforementioned one with my friend in high school. Maybe some with my twin sister as well, but nothing specific really comes to mind. Once she told me I looked like a garden gnome in my doofy shoes, but I laughed and still wore them, so not much came from that. Also I got a free wallet with those shoes, so they were like pretty lucky.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I pray for the day I can answer "yes" to all of the above.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have ten pairs of underwear, and I think we should all be jolly grateful that I do.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Once I bought my friend a ring and I could immediately tell she hated it, so I never risked buying anyone apparel again, except for maybe a t-shirt or something.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
All of them really, because I'm just not interested. Aside from the very popular trend of not being naked.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
She tended to put comfort over style, though I would certainly say she's more fashionable than me. She isn't eccentric with colors or patterns, though, and neither am I. She does wear jewelry and some makeup, though. I'm about half a foot shorter than she is, as well, yet probably heavier than her, so we are quite different in body type.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Not that I can recall, though my sister would definitely take my clothes, especially after I turned eighteen and had my fashion update.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I hated shopping for clothes until I was twelve, and basically just wore graphic tees and whatever pants were comfiest or most practical. Then I discovered a store with fashion sense I can only describe as "grandma on vacation." I fell in love and dressed that way all through middle school.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
On the Fourth of July, I can get away with wearing red, white, and blue at the same time.
16. Please describe your body.
"Rubinesque" is my new favorite way to describe the brand of chubby I am. It's just hilarious. Thank you, Ready Player One. Thank you.
17. Please describe your mind.
An anxious place that wants to be calm but can't quite manage it yet. Lots of sophomoric jokes and questions I should never ask out loud. Indecisive about literally everything. Please don't visit.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Complicated, and unnecessarily so. Frequently anxious, and frequently trying to hide it from the universe. Despite my natural stress, there is nothing I love more than to laugh and be happy, and to share that with others.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I'm wearing black dress pants (yes, I'm at work) with long johns underneath, even though it is nearly May; I am just a big cold baby. I'm wearing a new shirt my sister bought me for Christmas with a sort of gray/black/white striped pattern across it - I wish I knew how to describe it better. I'm wearing a pair of black leather dress shoes that are on their last legs (though you can't tell if you aren't wearing them). My hair is back in a ponytail. As usual, my face is free of any makeup whatsoever. I would love to be good at makeup, but at this point, I feel too nervous and old to look like anything but a clown if I started now. (I'm only twenty-six, but yes, I sure do feel old.)
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It's important to whomever it brings joy and purpose to. Fashion is only mildly important to me. To my twin sister, it's a huge part of her life. Making outfits is something she gets passionate about, and it brings her confidence. So it depends on the person.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
Anyone, but it''s not a subject I often bring up. I guess my sister would be the main contender. And any friends who have interest in fashion.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Taste is the only way I experience ice cream. As a child, I was also told I wore it, though.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Graduation dresses. I never went to prom, but at my high school and middle school, we wore dresses instead of a cap and gown. What a waste! I'm sure I even thought so at the time.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Wear black underwear on your period.
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'm afraid most of the time. If only every situation I was in allowed for sweat pants and a big sweater and no bra.
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 parents taught me pretty little, now that you mention it. As long as it wasn't inappropriate for a situation, I was mostly allowed to wear what I wanted. Hence why that "grandma on vacation" phase even happened. (Thanks, Mom.)
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?
"Is this real life?"
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
A pond full of frogs.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
No pond, no frogs.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Is this clean? Does it smell okay? Does it cover my tummy? Is it soft and cozy? Great, I'm good.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
With luck, I will not be stared at.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
I chose the outfit vs. someone else chose the outfit.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
I'm hoping no camouflage.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I was a white girl in a rich white neighborhood. Clearly it had no influence. Interpret as you will.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I wear a lot more black than I prefer.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
You know, somehow I feel like I am not capable of either of those things, now that you mention it.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
Pajamas, for sleeping, an activity I enjoy more than I should.
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 big jacket and jeans. All too standard.
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?
All you need to have a man's body is to identify as a man. I identify as a woman and always have, so no, I haven't.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
"There I am! I was right there."
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Usually if it has to do with clothes, I'm missing them, and I'm trying to find them.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Bikini... too much skin.
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?
More dresses and skirts I guess. I have no problem with my legs, other than I think they look best shaven and I'm too lazy to do that.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
No. But it's not the worst.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
If I don't wear a camisole, I feel like my belly button is on display for the entire world.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
I had a necklace with a bunch of black pentagons framed in gold. My sister took that too!
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?
A gray wool sweater with a cute cross-stitch of a hound dog barking. I got too fat for it. :(
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?
Maybe just generally more clothes, lol.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
I bought a very expensive pinstripe suit. I never wore it, it was such a waste of money.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
Not at all.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?