Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I've just gotten ready for a night out and have somehow managed to ace my make-up.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Definitely. I really admire women who are wearing something unconventional and pulling it off. Or who have very little make-up on and seem completely at ease with themselves in that state.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
The way that some women can combine items of clothes to create a well coordinated outfit that looks chic - sometimes with pieces that I would never have thought of putting 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?
When I reached my early twenties I realised that I should stop bemoaning my naturally thin hair, and actually try to work with it. I found styles that made it easier to volumise and play around with and started to appreciate the positives - doesn't take long to wash or brush it! I think it happened then because I was going through a period of semi-acceptance of the way I looked.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
If you're shopping online and you know that you straddle two sizes, buy the item you like in both sizes and then send one back. But I'm trying to stop doing this since it's a real hassle arranging for returns. It would be much better to wait and go into the shop to try it on when I have free time. Plus, that way there's less reckless spending, and I'll know if I actually really want that item of clothing if I've had to wait.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
For me personally, I like to cover my chest and expose my legs. My legs are long and in good shape, but my chest is on the small side.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
When a friend told me about dressing for your season. I had always loved pastel coloured clothing but it never sat quite right on me. Then, when I realised I was an Autumn, it made a lot more sense.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have multiple long-sleeved slightly ribbed jersey tops from River Island. They are incredibly soft and fantastic for layering. I wear them so much throughout the year that they get worn through fairly quickly, which is why I have back-ups. They're also pretty affordable and come in some nice basic colours.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Only items of jewellery which family members have specifically asked for.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I would never wear real fur.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Definitely, and I'm not proud of it. I used to 'liberate' items from my sister's wardrobe when she wasn't there. Sometimes, if I liked the item enough, I would buy my own version - which would always lead to confusion when doing laundry... Otherwise I would eventually put it back. She definitely knew, and would frequently comment on it.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I wouldn't say dramatically. When I was in my late teens/early twenties I used to dress quite preppy. Then, reaching my mid-twenties I shifted towards what I'd call 'business attire' even on my own time. Classic shirts, well-cut trousers, wool coats etc.
16. Please describe your body.
170cm tall. Small bust and waist with comparatively wide hips and sizeable rear. Long legs. Size 6 feet. Several small scars as I am prone to keloid scarring. Freckles on arms, collar bone and face.
17. Please describe your mind.
Imaginative, curious, impulsive, empathetic, prone to pessimism.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Sheer black blouse with star-print pattern. Black racer tank vest underneath. Black bra and pants. Black skinny jeans. Bare feet. Hair down, cut into just above shoulder bob with feathered fringe. Gold ring on first finger, left hand.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
No one really. For me clothes are really personal. Sometimes I'll compliment a friend or family member on their outfit and vice versa. But I never really discuss clothes in the sense of liking them and buying them. I prefer shopping for clothes alone. Make-up on the other hand...
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Embarrassingly there are quite a few. Probably not the worst one, but I remember buying a pair of luxury silk matching pyjamas from a high-end high street brand. They were ridiculously expensive, and I hate wearing pyjamas. No idea what I was thinking there.
Actually, another time I bought a wool suit from the same high-end high street brand. It was beautiful and looked fantastic on - but I'm highly sensitive to wool fibres and they make me itch like mad. Really no idea why I thought that would be a good idea.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
If I want to feel sexy outside the house, I generally go for a medium-coverage foundation that is well-matched to my skin, high-coverage concealer under my eyes and on red areas and any spots, thick fluffy brows, made-up eyes with liquid liner and some smoky shadow, and a neutral lipstick. Plus some contour or bronzer. I'll wear a tight-fighting dress which is quite short but not low cut, and a leather jacket. Plus some small heels or ankle boots.
If I want to feel sexy inside the house I basically do the opposite. I'll put on some tinted moisturiser and light concealer, some mascara, a pop of blush, and a really bold lip - brick red or bright coral. Then an oversized shirt and not much else. Sometimes I'll do that just to do the hoovering - makes me feel good.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Arrogance, or a sense of superiority.
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'm awful at this. I'm trying to get better, but I quite often buy things that I love the look of and then never wear again. Mostly it's things that I've seen on other people that look really cool - that I then can't really pull off. Crazy things recently have been a silver bomber jacket and bright red socks...
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Dark denim jeans, knee-high black boots, a white blouse and a wool coat. These are the four things I feel the most myself in, although I only really get to wear them together for one/two seasons a year.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
I would say that dark denim jeans, boots (ankle or long), white shirts, plaid shirts, snuggly jumpers, a leather jacket and wool coats were definitely me.
I would say that white denim, low-cut dresses, bright coloured clothes and anything that is 'lingerie on the outside' is not me. Also, high heels.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I like to have a really neutral make-up look for work. Generally a CC cream or light foundation which is a good match for my skin. Some concealer, mascara and tinted lip balm. Perhaps a bit of blush since I'm ridiculously pale and don't want to look like a corpse.
I'll pull my hair back into a ponytail so that I'm not worrying about it going flat.
I don't usually wear a two-piece suit as I think it looks too formal. But I'll often wear a blazer jacket with some chinos in a different colour, or a nice skirt and blouse. I love wearing black tights as I think they look super professional. Small-heeled loafers or pumps.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
I don't now. But when I was at school the uniform was a green kilt, white short-sleeved blouse and itchy green jumper.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
Again, not now, but when we did have the school uniform we would roll the skirts up to make them shorter. I very much doubt we were the only school girls who did that.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
It definitely made getting dressed in the morning a lot quicker. Things became harder when I entered sixth form and had to make my own choices.
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?
Yes. When I don't wear make-up, since I have quite a slim body and small chest, and quite a masculine face, I can look androgynous. But I'm always a bit too scared to really embrace it which I think is a shame, so I'll make a point of emphasising a female feature or dressing quite feminine.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
No. Absolutely not. I don't think I look awful in real life, but in some photos....
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Generally if I've taken it and found the right angle, I think 'okay." If someone else has taken it and found any other angle, I think 'please delete that right away."
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Really high heels and a neon bandage dress.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I love perfume but I find it really hard to get one which lasts on my skin, and which I like the smell of on my skin. I can generally find perfume which falls into one or other of the categories but not both.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I love make-up, and probably spend more on it than I do on clothes. That's not saying much though. I really like emphasised natural make-up.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Lots of coats and jackets - they are my addiction.
Same goes for ankle boots and long boots, although I have culled them a bit.
Basic vests and tees in white, black and grey.
Lots of pairs of jeans which are basically identical and I should probably get rid of some.
Blouses in solid and print patters.
Lots of jumpers.
Some dresses in a mixture of short and midi lengths. Some in patterns, some plain.
Some cardigans - I struggle to find cardigans which look good on my shape. Which is a shame, because I think they're great for layering.
Not much in the way of jewellery - I like really simple and delicate styles.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Favourite item of jewellery is my grandmother's wedding ring. I wear it every day.
Favourite item of clothing changes, but I do have a nostalgic love for a blue pea coat which I bought when I was a teenager. It's been through a lot with me and still fits, and I'd never part with it.
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 Jack Wills green and white gilet. When I was a teenager JW was the rage, and I always envied the girls who could afford to dress themselves from head to foot in it. So when, as a birthday treat, I got the gilet I was over the moon.
Now it's hard to style because my other clothes really don't go with it, but I could never sell/get rid of it.
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?
Coats - they are the one thing that I have spent more money on and not regretted it, and have kept them.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
My leather jacket. It's from All Saints and it makes me feel like I can do anything.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I'd pay much more attention to good-quality basics, and much less attention to snazzy pieces which are harder to work with.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
My Jaeger coat. I bought it quite a few years ago. It's a long black wool coat with a belt tie, and it's the warmest yet chicest looking thing. It gets so many compliments and it goes with everything. It's gotten me through many winters and I love it. If I had the money, and it got damaged, I wouldn't hesitate to replace it.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
A cardigan which looks good on me.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
A mess. I try and keep them organised and that lasts for about a week.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
My grandmother's wedding ring. She gave it to me when she was still alive as it no longer fit on her finger. Now that she has passed I wear it every day.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Usually online when I'm bored - which is a very bad habit.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
My favourite scent on me is a deep amber scent. But I find it hard to locate such a scent which lasts.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I spend more than I can justify on clothes and make-up. I'm starting to make a real effort to work to a budget, especially since I'm going back to university in September and won't be working full-time anymore.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Cohabiting with partner.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
Mid-twenties female, cohabiting with partner, no children or pets.