Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Realistically, I probably feel at my most attractive when I am on drugs or have only eaten a small amount of healthy food that day or both. I also feel significantly more attractive when my hair is clean.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I think I tend to notice women (strangers, of course) who I envy, for one reason or another. Women who embody something that I want but don't have. Perhaps they are wearing an item of clothing that looks particularly flattering on their figure but wouldn't look good on mine. Or maybe they are thinner than I am or their hair is less frizzy than mine. Or sometimes I will notice women who have facial features that I find aesthetically pleasing. Like wide-set eyes or nicely shaped lips or an over-bite.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire any woman who uses her physical body as a way to present her aesthetic preferences and to express herself artistically, even if the way she presents herself is vastly different from the way I choose to present myself. I think just the willingness to express yourself creatively on your body, which is something you can't hide the way you can hide other forms of artistic expression, is worthy of admiration. Whether she presents her personal image using clothes, makeup, tattoos or piercings (the list goes on), the admirable quality, for me, is when she is willing to express something that is pleasing to her specifically, without taking into account what may be pleasing to others. There is nothing more impressive to me than when a person, but specifically when a woman, is so certain of their own aesthetic preferences that they are able to not take fashion trends into account.
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 don't think anything has ever 'clicked' for me about fashion or dressing or makeup. Or, if it has it was only temporary. I know when I see an item of clothing that I like, and I know when I feel good wearing something, but that changes so often. Sometimes I will enjoy wearing a dress for years and then one day I just don't like it anymore. Same goes for how I wear my makeup. I will probably always be inconsistent that way.
The only thing that has stayed consistent about my sense of style is my hair. I guess you could say this hairstyle 'clicked' for me. I got the haircut I have now when I was 12 years old and I never changed it. At this point I feel like I will probably never change it.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Always buy clothes at least two sizes too big because you have an incredibly skewed perception of the size of your own body. Have a panic attack any time an employee at a store tries to talk to you for any reason. Buy clothes without trying them on.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Wear enormous men's shirts as dresses. Wear sandals with socks. Wear leggings as pants. Wear plastic shoes. Wear your hair in insane unflattering braids just to keep it out of your face. Convince yourself that anything that feels comfortable is also stylish.
Wear sandals when it's raining. Wear shorts when it's windy. Wear coats in August. Only wear pants one day per year and be sure to choose the hottest day of the year. That way, you can feel unattractive AND uncomfortable.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
My grandma is a retired costume designer and probably the most stylish person I know. Her existence in the world is probably 99% of the reason I think about fashion at all. Every conversation I've had with her about fashion and style has been transformative for me, in some way.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
No. I mostly just sit back and allow my life, work, relationships, finances and chores to become a massive uncontrollable nightmare.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have two pairs of black leggings because they are extremely comfortable and I wear them almost every day. I have three of the same enormous black men's shirt for the same reason. I have countless pairs of tights. I have way too many enormous knit sweaters and black leather boots because, again, I like things that are comfortable.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Generally speaking, I try to never get people jewelry or clothing as gifts because I know that my taste is so specific that anybody would be hard pressed to buy me clothes or jewelry that I like, so I assume other people are the same way.
That being said, my boyfriend never wears anything besides black and white shirts. Recently, for his birthday, I bought him more black and white shirts. Thats the only time I've ever felt good about buying someone clothing for a gift.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
High-waisted pants/shorts and wayfarer sunglasses because they both look terrible on me.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
With time, our sense of styles have diverged a bit, as in, I have begun wearing things that she probably wouldn't wear, but I think that is mostly due to us having slightly different body types or being from different generations. That said, we are basically the same size in clothes and shoes and we share both constantly. My mom's sense of style is more similar to mine than any other person I can think of. I developed my own aesthetic by observing and imitating her aesthetic while I was growing up.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Yes, countless times.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Not that I'm aware of. All changes in my sense of style seem very gradual. Obviously the way I dress now is very different from how I dressed when I was 12, for example, but that seems to be the result of my aesthetic preferences constantly changing in small ways over the years.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I don't know if I would necessarily consider this 'political', but I try to not wear any easily recognizable brands. Not for any reason other than it feels like a waste for me to use my body to show what companies I support, instead of using it to express my own aesthetic.
16. Please describe your body.
This question is like, my worst nightmare.
17. Please describe your mind.
This question is also my worst nightmare.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Oh my God...
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am wearing black leggings and a size XL men's green flannel pajama shirt that I borrowed from a boy I dated in high school and never gave back. I have no makeup on. My hair is in a bun on the top of my head. I am wearing 2 silver plain silver rings, one on my left ring finger and one on my right middle finger.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I wear the rings every day and have been for maybe 4 years because I like wearing a lot of jewelry and these rings are the only jewelry I have that is comfortable enough to wear when I sleep. The rest of the stuff is only important insofar as it is all comfortable.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My mom, mostly. Friends occasionally.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I try to not let them effect me at all but I'm sure they do anyways.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
For me, taste means having an aesthetic preference that you are certain of. Taste means knowing for sure when you see something you like and when you see something you dislike. Style means always adhering to those preferences, even if other people might disagree with you.
Given those definitions, I definitely have taste and I try to have style as much as I am able to.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Honestly, I can't remember the last time I paid more than $20 on an item of clothing, but I have regretted spending $20 or less on items of clothing countless times.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I invented this trick where I wear clothes that are way too big for me so that nobody can see the shape of my body and hopefully people will assume that I am thinner than I actually am.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I like interior design but I am not good at it.
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?
While I was going through the worst break up of my life I wore one enormous knit sweater almost every day. It was not flattering but it felt comforting during a time when I desperately wanted to be comforted. I liked the way it hid my body and made me feel small.
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 wouldn't in my wildest dreams say that I am 'generally good at discernment'. I feel the opposite most times. Like I am flailing my way through life without any concept of what will or will not be good for me. I can be extremely discerning and stubborn about certain things and extremely undiscerning in other ways.
I would say that fashion and clothing is one area that I am extremely discerning in. I tend to know what clothing I like and what I don't like and it's difficult to make me change my mind. Which is a rarity, for 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?
My dad didn't really teach me anything about clothing besides that I need to regularly do laundry. He is more about the functionality of clothes and less about being 'fashionable'. I learned almost everything I know about dressing and style from my mom and my grandma.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
I almost never feel sexy or alluring unless I am actually having sex with someone. If I want to feel confident and attractive, I wear certain clothes that I know to be flattering (usually a black dress), leave my hair down, possibly straighten it, wear a lot of jewelry and do my makeup how I always do my makeup. I think I am too hyper-aware that everyone has a different definition of 'sexy' for me to ever feel objectively sexy. I only feel sexy when I know for a fact that a person is sexually attracted to me, which usually entails me having some kind of relationship with that person that is based on things other than appearing 'sexy' to them.
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?
To me, being 'comfortable' means being entirely okay with yourself, despite any mistakes you have made or any negative opinions people may express about you. Confidence is the ability to make that comfortableness apparent to anyone you meet.
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 think I specifically try to avoid making fashion the main thing in my life because I have no idea how to answer this question. I should never be considered a fashion expert. I would do something terrible like try to make 'not showering' into a fashion trend.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Plants are beautiful. Relationships are beautiful.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
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?
No. I am terrible at shopping. Or, I guess I am a good judge of knowing whether or not something I buy will be worn. I just get so panicked and confused when I'm shopping that I never end up listening to my inner monologue telling me that I will never wear something and a lot of times I end up buying the thing anyway.
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?
For the vast majority of my life the 'outer eye' was my mother. A good rule of thumb for me was that, if my mom probably wouldn't like what I was wearing, then even if I liked what I was wearing at that moment, I probably would not like it as soon as I left the house.
Now it seems more complicated though. I guess the way I dress depends heavily on the situation I am going into. My 'outer eye' now is whoever I want to impress, and if there is nobody I want to impress then I just wear whatever is most comfortable.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Again, it depends on where I'm going. I am such a wreck in the mornings that I usually try to not go anywhere for at least an hour after waking up. So my process immediately after waking up is to put on whatever is easiest and go make coffee. After coffee, the clothes I put on depends on the situation I am going into.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
The main thing I am trying to achieve is covering up my naked body.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing comes out of necessity. We get dressed every day because being naked in public is socially unacceptable and illegal. Dressing up involves putting thought and effort into your choice of clothing because you are going into a specific situation where you want to appear [something].
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
A short black cotton dress, comfortable black flats, and a lot of jewelry. Maybe black tights on cold days.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I am Mexican and Jewish, but I don't necessarily feel like either of those has influenced how I dress. I am 4th generation Los Angeles on my mom's side and 3rd generation on my dad's. The warm weather in Los Angeles has probably influenced how I dressed.