Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
In the summer, on a weekend evening, with a fresh manicure, in a casual dress (these days knee or midi length), with a v-neck, red lipstick, sitting on a curb or stoop, laughing, after just getting off my bike, wearing heels.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Women who are quirky and confident in themselves I always notice, but it isn't an every day thing. I am drawn to women who seem very appealing, but who seem dressed to be appealing to themselves first or foremost. It could be structural business wear, or a leather jacket and worn jeans. I like a little bit of sexiness, and a lot of confidence. And I always notice a well worm red lip.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
When their clothes feel intentional and that they are comfortable in them. That they are telling a story about themselves that is authentic but also aspirational of who they want to be as women.
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?
Once I was getting my make up done professionally as a gift from some friends before going out, and it was the only time I've had a make up artist do my make up as an adult, and she told me her idea of neutral eyes and lash extensions and neutral lips, and I said 'sure'. But when she was done I just said "Let's do a red lip" and she did it and said, "That's much better, you know what works for you." I picked my wedding dress out of my final options based on which would look better with red lips and nails (something very simple).
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I make good impulse purchases when slightly tipsy. Buy things because they are practical/on sale, not just that you like them.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
There are "professional" clothes and in professional contexts it is best to wear them.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
When I was 20 I believed passionately in social and environmental change, and that fashion was a frivolous waste of time/energy. I was talking to my most fashionable friend, a woman who from the age of 14 always knew exactly how she wanted to look and asked her in earnest "But what would you do with all your time if fashion just didn't exist?" and while she had no answer she asked me back "But what would you do if there was global equity and sustainability?" And I saw her point they were really both personal interests.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
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 pairs of black skinny jeans/pants. I buy them as I like wearing them and have decided they are office appropriate, which is less relevant during COVID.
I often joke that I have the wardrobe for the life I wish I had, someone permanently on vacation in a warm climate in need of countless sundresses, rather than an office worker in Toronto Canada.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I had matching simple copper bracelets made for my best friend and I, with the Isak Dinesen quote, "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea" engraved inside after we went on vacation together to the Florida Keys.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother never suggested to me that I should care that much about how my body looked. My body was a thing to use and enjoy, to climb trees, or do chores, or go on long walks. In my teens I resented that she never talk me how to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows, but in adulthood I am so grateful that she never even opened the possibility that how I looked determined my value.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I swing back and forth about how important buying ethically produced clothes feels. Sometimes it feels essential, other times I feel that there are expectations put on my professionally that I can't afford to meet with quality clothing, and that the emphasis on individual consumer choice to solve systemic problems is foolish. I sometimes feel political that I don't wear makeup or blow dry my hair for work, but I think mostly I'm just lazy.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am wearing a black mock neck sweater, grey sweat pants with a grey leopard print, my wedding ring, and gold plate croissant pattern hoop earrings. I have done my eyebrows and put on blush my day to day 'face'. I cut my hair last night myself and I am please with how it looks. More wavey after a fresh cut. No one has seen me today as it is lock down and I am at home.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Fashion is creativity that can be just for me. It's a way to play and communicate, and also make each day sparkle a little.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
A couple of my friends, they aren't necessarily my closest friends, but talking about clothes brings us closer. Overall i don't talk about clothes very much.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Working in an office has destroyed my sense of style to myself. I always feel like I am in corporate drag.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I always make a point of wearing excellent lingerie any day I have a big meeting or presentation.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I think I have intellectual style. If there was a tape of me, and then someone else repeated the words I'd used, I think people who know me might think, that's how Linda would express and idea. The way people have high-low style in clothes, I have high-low style with ideas.
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 both job interviews and funerals I spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for and/or selecting an outfit. On one hand I don't think it really matters in either instances, but in both situations little feels fully in my control other than my clothes so I focus on them.
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?
As a child when I was still growing and therefore needed new clothes every year, my Mum would ask me to pick a colour and we would then build my seasonal items around that to maximize the number of possible combinations and outfits. I wore a unifrorm to school in England so it was all pretty reactional until we moved back to Canada and I needed clothes seven rather than two days a week.
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?
I said this about confidence lol. To me it means that the person look distinct in someway, but also that once they decided on their outfit they stopped thinking about it. They aren't worried or wondering about their hemline, or if their shirt is too clingy, or regretting wearing sequins to a daytime event. They picked an outfit, that is in someway unique, without necessarily being attention grabbing, and they are now wearing it without second guessing themselves or it.
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?
Enjoy your clothes. Most of the time what you wear should never stop you from doing something, but you can occasionally make an exception for a truly exceptional outfit.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Pettiness in style, mindlessness.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
I wore a uniform as a child from when I started school to grade 5. At the time I didn't love it, but also didn't hate it. And when I moved to Canada in grade 5 I really missed it.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I love essential oils as scents. Things that smell grassy, floral, and citrusy are my favourite. Wearing perfume feels like putting on a shield.
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?
When I was just 4, I woke up first one morning before my parents, and wanted to go out and play on the swing set so I chose the clothes I knew I could put on with no zips, or buttons or clasps, green terry cloths shorts and t-shirt and put them on and went out to swing in the dew.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born September 1981, I've lived mostly in Toronto and the southern UK.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?