Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I am in a small group, at a party or something, talking to people and making them laugh.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I admire women who seemingly take 'risks' to stand out. Women who wear oversized clothing and pull it off. I feel that if I wear anything larger than my size, I look huge. I am drawn to women who pull off streetwear.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I can't walk in heels, they are out of the question for me. I admire women who can pull them off when they have to.
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?
I went on Accutane my senior year of highschool which was huge for my confidence. It gave me clear skin and, that summer before college, I stopped wearing makeup entirely. It went from a daily necessity of wearing cover-up and foundation to nothing. This is around the time I also really upped my water intake. Now I drink around 100 ounces a day and feel awful without it.
Around 2 years ago, I got more into skincare through involvement in the subreddit /r/skincareaddiction.
This opened up a whole new world of experimenting with other people's holy grail products to find a regime that worked for me. I now wear sunscreen every day and feel really healthy about my skin.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I feel like I'm all over the place in terms of style categorization. I go from streetwear to j. crew, masculine to feminine. I buy things that I am drawn to and like. This has perhaps led to my current all-over-the-place closet. I crave cohesive fashion.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I value comfort over everything else. Even style. I would rather be underdressed and comfortable.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Something that sticks with me is my mum wearing an inside-out crewneck sweater a lot when I was growing up. It seems like a small thing, but I think that was the first time I really thought about wearing things in different ways than they might have been intended to.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I value communication and appreciate an equal split of responsibility when warranted.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have multiples of the same aerie bra, which is kind of crazy. They have this 'real me' unlined bra that I have probably 8 of. It's my favorite bra and I wear it every day. It's so comfortable, and it gives me natural shape. I have become really anti-padding in my bras over the past decade. I'm terrified that they are discontinuing it and I might order a bunch more right now.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I understand the current dad shoe trend. I like a good chunky shoe on the right person. However, some of these shoes are just straight up whack. The giant white FILAs are unforgivable and make me cringe.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mum was overweight for most of my life as I am now. Not crazy overweight, but definitely carrying around a bit of excess.
In her 50s, she started running regularly and lost a fair bit of weight, which has inspired me. I'm still on my own fitness journey but seeing her be happy in her own skin now and look amazing in clothes is motivating for me.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
My aunt has a crazy eclectic style - colorful and whimsical yet pulled together. As I grow up I have gravitated more towards her look. She just gets it.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I like to blur lines of androgeny a bit and think that everyone should be able to dress however they feel.
16. Please describe your body.
I am tall, almost 5'10 and my weight is well distributed. I'd love to lose 15 pounds. I have long, muscular legs that I don't shave in the winter. My least favorite part of my body is my midsection, where I have always carried weight. I feel like I'm always trying to hide or shrink my tummy when I dress. My breasts are a good size, and so is my bum, so that's nice.
17. Please describe your mind.
I think I have ADD, but I use it to my advantage. I have a quick wit and am able to multi-task effectively. I am curious. I love researching things. If I have a question I like to seek out the answer ASAP, if possible. It eats at me if I don't know something that could be easily answered with a quick search.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I am highly optimistic and generally always in a good mood. I am empathetic, so if a relationship around me is in turmoil, I really carry that with me. I try to keep everything in check and I live drama-free almost constantly. I am sensitive and love to cry watching sad movies or content on the computer. I also love laughing; it's the most important thing to me in life. To laugh and make people laugh.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am at work. My brown hair is in a blunt bob around chin length. I have no makeup on, just lotion, sunscreen, and some Aquaphor on my lips.
I'm wearing a pair of charcoal j.crew vintage straight jeans which I am OBSESSED with and have worn for weeks on end. Black Blundstone boots. Also a black tee shirt with the logo of a local Toronto print shop, Secret Planet. Over that, I am wearing this LL Bean zip-up hooded plaid flannel that I bought this weekend. I like it.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
The tee makes me feel like I'm supporting local business and also repping the east end of Toronto, where I live. I guess there's a sense of community there.
The flannel and jeans make me feel comfortable.
I feel subconscious about my boots because they always look dirty and awful from walking around the city all winter.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My numero uno is my best friend Hanna. She has amazing style and taste and a knack for what's cool. I love her. She's probably the only person I feel comfortable talking to fashion about outside of my partner.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I work in the arts sector in a casual workplace so we can wear whatever we want. Outside of that, I continue to wear what makes me comfortable/feel good.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I feel I have both - taste feels more like 'this or that' whereas style speaks to a collection and aura that radiates from that bigger picture of self-expression.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I feel like my entire childhood was my mum spending money on new clothing for me, which I feel kind of guilty about. Now that I'm older I feel myself wanting to give back and treat her to things to make up for all of that giving.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I have a bunch of shoes, maybe 30 pairs, that I never wear. Which isn't a trick, it's an issue. I'm working on it.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
My desk at work is a space of self-expression and style for me. For a while, my Instagram feed might have been as well, but now I've pulled back from social media and post very rarely.
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 shaved my head last year and rocked a buzz cut for a few months. I went to my partner's sister's wedding with a #2 and got a lot of compliments about that.
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, I like quality and sustainability. Timelessness is also a plus if a design, silhouette or color can stand up years later. That's important to me.
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, my dad doesn't care for clothing and my mum seems to be just coming into her personal style in her 50s. I feel that I kind of went it alone, navigating trends until I decided to step outside of that and do my own thing.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Using glossier makeup has been nice for me because if you have clear skin, it really enhances it. Less makes me feel sexy. Shaving my head and bleaching my buzzcut also made me feel empowered.
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' to me translates to feeling good about my body, feeling like I am carrying myself in a way that I wouldn't be ashamed about from the outside.
I was confident as hell when I was younger and have lost some of it as I've aged. Anxieties set in my early 20's so I am trying to overcome those and get some of my game back.
Being confident to me means that you do what you want, get what you want and don't give a damn.
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?
I make do with limited funds, stay optimistic and be kind and gentle to myself. I am still young and have a lifetime to continue a stylistic journey. I try to remember that.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Meanness, negativity, violence.
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 ask myself 'do I really like this?' 'will I wear it' and try to answer that honestly.
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?
It mostly relates to my weight/body image. I imagine myself walking on the street and think about how I would feel with people looking at me. This probably came from societal standards around the female body and its portrayal in modern media.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I brush teeth, take an 8 minute shower, dry off, put on lotion, get dressed in 5 mins or so. I consider whether I have important meetings/events that day or if I am planning on doing anything after work.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Comfort, expression, looking cool. Simplicity and functionality.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up = time-consuming and discomfort, happens on occasion
Dressing = everyday practice
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
something sporty, streetwear. solid color shirt /sweatshirt on top and maybe some nike joggers. cool sneakers. I wear a lot of black.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
me = weird prints, well made, unusual curios, one of a kind.
not me = little black dress, push up bras, pumps, any heels in general.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I am Indigenous x Lithuanian. I don't wear any traditional Indigenous or Lithuanian clothing but I am proud of my heritage.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
Constraining. Would rather choose what to wear.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I try to keep it Marie Kondo but it always gets messy at a point. I try to keep on top of it and re-fold/organize.
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?
Underarmour and Nike pro compression shorts are my go-to layer to wear over tights/under a dress or skirt. I bought them in high school for athletics and still have the same pairs today..... yikes.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
A lot of thrifting, I love a good deal, sale racks, clearance. Sometimes online but I always prefer trying things on.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
I like to smell clean. Sometimes I wear perfume if I am going out and meeting new people.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I wish I had more money. I often feel like lack of funds holds me back from justifying spending money on clothes that would make my style feel more complete and cohesive. I wish I had unlimited funds for money and could just buy whatever I wanted and figure it out.
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 used to wear a gold necklace of a coin that my grandfather gave to my mum every day, but I am not wearing it now. I can't live without face lotion, sunscreen and Aquaphor for my lips.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
People have complimented my style which makes me feel like I am doing something right although I feel lost sometimes.
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 had short hair when I was little and people would always mistake me for a boy. Even happened sometimes if I was wearing a dress, which is odd. It made me want to grow out my hair when I got older.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Oct 1st 1994. I was born in Toronto, then I grew up in the states for 18 years, and then I moved back to Toronto for university.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I am eeking away my existence in Toronto as a young professional. I am Indigenous and Lithuanian.
What kind of work do you do?
I am a graphic designer and communications manager of a Toronto Arts Non-Profit
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I am in a monogamous heterosexual relationship with my partner.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
It was a lot. But I'm happy I did it.
A 25-year-old graphic designer and arts worker living in Toronto.