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Emmy Jarvis

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I’ve just woken up, braless and in my underwear. I open up my windows anyway and just feel plain old good. Or when I’m wearin something that allows me to sit with one leg folded up under me—that’s my power pose.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I notice every woman on the street. I tend to admire most the ones that you can’t quite put a finger on, that you could never fit into a box. I aspire to break labels like that.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I admire the women that walk into a room and command your attention. They have a sort a presence that nobody can ignore.

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?

Just before my fifteenth birthday, I decided that I was done trying to dress like the prettiest girl in the school. I knew I wasn’t going to reach that. So I bought a big ole checkered vintage jumpsuit and a gigantic denim trucker jacket that smelled of weed off of Ebay. Since then, I’ve probably tried every type of clothing out there.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

I wait until something catches my eye. In my mind, there’s no such thing as an impulse buy. If you love it and you feel beautiful in it, why not? Sometimes I know what I’m looking for but that can be a problem because I’m very particular.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I never ever wear anything that hurts my feet. Tall heels will never receive attention from me. Platforms are a yes. Go go? Hell yes. If it hurts now then imagine it after 8 hours of standing and walking!

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

I was chatting with my mom about how some people honest to goodness just wear their hearts in their sleeves, and how others hide behind their clothes. I’m the former, and she is most definitely the latter. I came up with my clothing mantra, I suppose: dress to express.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I just jump in headfirst. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Why waste time wondering if it will instead of trying? Finances are a different matter—those have a couple more rules to follow, of course.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

I have many jumpsuits. I love the feel—it’s all of the best parts of a dress without the drawbacks. I can spread my legs as wide as I like, and ride a bike, and so many other things. I also own what feels like hundreds of jumpers or sweaters, whatever you like to call them. I’ll go through phases of which I enjoy wearing the most. I buy so many just because of how absolutely comfy they are.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

Yes!! I gave my best friend a beautiful white dress that I never wore because I was too afraid of getting it dirty, and she is a real stunner. The LWD, as we like to call it, highlights how gorgeous she is.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

I don’t think I’ve ever made a conscious decision not to do something. If I want to do it I will. If I don’t, then I won’t.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mom and I are both short, and you can see her face shape in mine. I’d say that’s about where the resemblance ends. My mother doesn’t have an hourglass figure—she’s very self-conscious of that. I have a very naturally athletic body, with big legs and shoulders.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

Oh without a doubt. My cousins are some of the most fashionable people that I’ve ever met, and I try to embody them sometimes. It’s inspired my passion for platforms and chunky shoes as an alternative to heels.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

I don’t really think so. I guess as soon as I decided to start caring, I threw out a ton of clothes, bought a new wardrobe, and that was it. After that, my style just evolved, I suppose.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I have a couple t-shirts with slogans, I guess. Feminist ones and liberal ideas.

16. Please describe your body.

I have big shoulders that are made even larger because I enjoy swimming, boxing, and lifting weights. My arms aren’t too bad either. I have strong legs, with sizeable quads and toned calves. My torso is sturdy.

17. Please describe your mind.

I have clinical depression, but I’m beating it. I think a lot about the world, and I suppose that’s enough to send anyone into a downward spiral. However, I love noticing the beauty in everything ugly.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Quite potent. When I love someone it’s a hell of a love. I have trouble hating anyone unless they wrong my friends. I can forgive them for what they do to me.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

I’m wearing an orange jumpsuit that I bought on sale at Hope Ave on top of a white shirt with these big bell sleeves. My shoes are plain black Tevas, a failsafe. My friend gave me the shirt, she said she didn’t wear it much. There’s orange shimmer eyeshadow rimming my eyes, but not even on the lid. I saw a girl wearing it that way once, and I thought it looked beautiful and feral and just amazing. I’ve never looked back. I have on mascara and a touch of eyeliner. I’ve got my pair of browline glasses on, too.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

You project a certain energy and attract a certain type of person. I like feeling like I can be whoever I like. The clothes make the man, like Mark Twain said.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Anyone that’s willing! I love talking about clothing. It’s an art.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Policies set in place will obviously change it, but I’ll also sort of adapt to the environment a little bit. Pick things up here and there.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I have Style, capital s. Taste sounds like you’re picking out what looks good, but you can’t make it. To me, style is the ability to make something even better out of a couple articles. I’ve always been able to create outfits or rooms or paintings that are so much more than the sum of their parts. For this reason, I think I have Style.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

I bought a pair of nice jeans, and upon finding they didn’t fit as well as I’d like, I forgot all about them and missed the return date. I made a mediocre skirt out of them.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

Accessories are NOT extras. A belt can be life changing. As soon as I add a jacket or a bag to my outfit I feel like I’m complete and can totally pull it off.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I’d like to think that I do. Creativity has always been my strong suit.

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?

Platforms make me power walk. When I power walk I feel like a badass. Anytime I’m scared or stressed I pull out a pair and put ‘em on. Once, as a teenager I was traveling alone and I wore these vintage go go boots. I had the time of my life.

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 know what I like. Most definitely. I suppose I just have very strong opinions, coupled with the fact that I give zero shits about what other people think. It’s clear in my mind. Somehow it doesn’t even feel like discernment.

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?

I feel like I taught them more than they taught me!! My dad is a professor and constantly asks what the ‘young kids like nowadays’. Mi madré could care less about what she wears, but she puts in more effort than she used to.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

Good bra is a must. I have to clean and moisturize my face or I feel disgusting. Otherwise, I just do something besides sweatpants and a t-shirt with a messy bun and BAM, I’m sexy as hell. With a side of anxiety.

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, or more like comfy, is my favorite word. I strive to be comfy in every area of my life. I think that these two go hand in hand. Confidence is the ability to feel comfy in the hardest of situations. And that’s totally a conscious choice. You’re never going to please the haters, but you can always ignore them.

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?

Wear what you fucking want. Don’t let an asshole turn your favorite dress into the dress you think is too slutty. If you feel good, you look good.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

The ornately created traditional clothing of so many peoples and cultures. I find that to be the most raw and expressive thing. I also think that mountains are gorgeous, beaches are glorious, and natural, almost animal beauty is the best kind.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

A sneer on someone’s face. Roadkill. Moldy strawberries.

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 consider myself quite good at judging if it’ll be worn. If I like it, I’ll wear it. So if I like it, I buy it.

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?

She likes dancing with no shoes on, laughing until her face hurts, and seems like she can stare straight into your soul. She’s impossibly elegant. She’s someone I could never be. If this were based on anyone, it would be based on who I think I should have become.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I check the weather to narrow down my options. Then I ask Siri what’s on my calendar and plan accordingly fashion-wise. Finally I decide that what I picked out was awful and go with something that I’ve never tried before but I’m feeling it.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

I’m trying to achieve absolute comfy. And hot as all get-out.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing is what you do every day. Dressing up is special somehow. It’s up a step from the usual, whether up into the halloween spectrum or into elegance.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

It would be a pair of pants with wide legs and big pockets, plus a tank top. Shoes are optional. Think Caribbean beach vacation outfit.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

Anything is ‘me’ except for low rise skinny jeans and neon colored plastics. Also no clothing that doesn’t have a good texture.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I’m American—that’s the closest to a cultural background I’ve got. I dress overly casual in the wrong instances, I suppose.

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?

During one summer, I picked up a ton of oversized clothing and wore it nonstop. It was all about hiding what I really looked like. I was tired of feeling like I couldn’t look like all my tall and leggy friends do. Now I’ve learned to embrace my bod and I disperse the oversized with the tight and sexy.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

I feel professional when I have a purse or a clutch. Wearing an elegant dress or nice slacks, maybe. A pair of comfy wedge heels finish it off nicely.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

I don’t have a workplace: I’m freelance. I get to wear what I want when I want.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?

I don’t currently besides my cross country uniform that I need to get back to my coach.

47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?

I like the boys shorts better than the girls. So I wear those.

48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?

Neither. I guess it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me.

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 short yellow dress underneath a big denim jacket, a pair of platform sneakers and some embroidered sheer socks. I like the mix of classy and casual, new and vintage. I like that it makes me feel like a young art student.

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?

I wish I had boobs like a man’s chest. Much more flat and manageable.

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

Seventies. Color, natural hair, bell bottoms, hippies. I own many pieces from that era.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

No. It takes the right angle for me to even look normal.

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I think my body must have been possessed by some parasitic alien because I don’t really stand like that, do I?

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

Frida Kahlo baby. Love her. Audrey Hepburn, as well. I try to embody them sometimes.

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

Yes. I dreamt that all I had was Billie Eilish’s wide shorts and I was very angry about it.

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

Goth or gangster. I think I’d just start laughing and ruin the mood.

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?

Tube dresses. Sheath dresses. Miniskirts. Crop tops. Big blazers with little skirts underneath. Sheer tops.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

Repel anyone who’s threatened by a fucking independent woman. Because that’s exactly what I am, and I will use my years of athletics including boxing against whoever tries to deny me that.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Don’t dress for others. Dress for yourself.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

I like it alright, in moderation. I wear this amazing citrusy scent all the time.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

I need to wash my face. I need to part my hair (brushing optional). I need to put on antiperspirant deodorant. My clothes need to fit.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

Makeup is optional. If I feel like it adds to the look, I’ll wear it. If not? I leave it at home.

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?

Nothing comes to mind.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

Earthy and vintage with pops of bright color and undertones of neutrals. My jewelry is either barely there or quite eye-catching.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

My Tevas. I wear them everywhere.

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 skirt that I bought for an occasion. Hate the thing but the color is beautiful. I keep it in the hopes that someday I can find a way to wear it that I love.

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?

I can’t. There’s no pattern, really.

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 remember a short sunflower dress that I wore every summer day. I loved it. To this day I don’t know what happened to it.

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

I would keep my button fly carrot pleated jeans.

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?

I would make sure to focus on spreading the love between all of my items, instead of ending up with an abundance of shoes and not enough tops.

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

A pair of yellow midform vans. 65 dollars seemed like a lot to pay for shoes at fourteen years old.

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

In a way, all of them are. I change so constantly that each item pushes me in one direction or another.

73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?

A good pair of white shoes. I may have found them though... I saw a friend with some Reeboks that may finally do the trick.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

My closet is meticulous but that may be because most of my clothing is across my chair. I suppose that’s just where I like it the best.

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

My friend gave me a cheap little mood ring that matched the one she wears every day. She said it was for when words don’t work. I love her for that.

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?

My first pair of platforms ever. I sort of have an obsession. I became more and more attached and eventually bought some more. The rest is history.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

I shop in thrift stores as well as designer stores. Sometimes it’s just a matter of walking past the store.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I like to smell like citrus. Tangy and natural with a pinch.

79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?

I’m not sure. Maybe I dress like I want my life to be. I dress a little spontaneous and funky but soft.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I have a budget and have to spend accordingly.

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

Chapstick is a must. I cannot go a day without it.

82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?

My first boyfriend told me I was the most intimidating girl he’d ever met. I put that down to my RBF, but it made me look at my presence in a different light.

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 couldn’t remember that for the life of me.

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?


How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Slightly enlightened as to my own personality.

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