Read Surveys (By Author)

Rose Vanderwerf

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Two days after putting coconut oil in my hair, when it's not greasy but at its peak of fully moisturized.

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

I do. I notice women with interesting hair (asymmetrical, dyed brightly, etc.), cool shoes (boots), and who walk in general with confidence.

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

I admire clashing patterns, vintage clothes, strange combinations, long skirts and short dresses.

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've always worn whatever I want (dog shirts, ties as belts, skirts over pants, etc.) In middle-high school, some of the kids were gossiping about my sex life, and for whatever reason I decided to dress to scare them off. So I started doing exaggerated eye makeup, wearing lots of black skirts and brightly coloured tights, and dying my hair purple. It sort of set me free to not only dress to express myself, but to put thought into what I wore.

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

I mostly shop at thrift stores or wear things I make, so the only rule I have is to make sure the clothes feel good, not just physically. This works for me because I'm very sensitive, but lots of people don't buy second-hand, so it doesn't apply to everyone.

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

I always try to have one part of my outfit- a pattern, colour, or texture- that doesn't fit with the rest of my outfit.

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

If I think too much about anything, I get easily overwhelmed. So if I plan too far ahead, I get crushed by existential dread and overall apathy, and if I don't make any plans, I will bore myself, so mostly I take things a minute at a time, and as soon as I'm bored or overwhelmed, I stop.

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

I have a lot of huge boots and a lot of hats. The hats are plentiful because I knit, but not very well, so I make a lot of hats but I don't give them away because they're kind of ugly. The boots I collect because they help me own my tallness. I'm 6'1 and I used to slouch and shrink myself physically and emotionally, and the boots remind me to take up space and stand tall. I usually get them a few sizes too big to emphasize this.

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

I went to a store downtown called Wishes which is sort of an occult store to buy my sister a birthday present, and I found this metal charm that was a moon with stars. I bought similar ones for her twin and our brother, too, but for some reason she's the only one who put the charm on a chain, and she wears it every day. It's nice to see that it meant a lot to her, too.

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

I'm not super aware of trends aside from what I see on the street, but I live in a small town so I don't see much.

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

I've never had a body like my mother's- I tried on her wedding dress and it didn't fit over my shoulders. She was short and slender, and I outgrew her at age 9. She wears lots of stone jewelry, long skirts, shawls, and wrap dresses. I'm definitely influenced by her- I've been borrowing clothes from her closet my whole life- and she makes me stone jewelry, too. Her style is more natural than mine, but I definitely have a lot of skirts that match hers.

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

My entire life I've borrowed clothes from all of my siblings' closets and accidentally never returned them. When I was in elementary school, I was a tomboy and took clothes from my brother's closet, and I added hand-me-downs from friends and neighbours to my wardrobe. Now, I ask all my friends to lend me their sweaters and I tell them I am going to keep them so when I get lonely I can wear them and pretend I'm hugging them.

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

My style has changed a lot! I used to wear tutus and gumboots and pretty dresses with tights, then I was a tomboy and wore baggy pants and flannel shirts over tee-shirts, then I started playing around with my appearance more, as I said. The changes came from disrupts or upheavals in my life- when I felt attacked by whoever in a big way, I'd start to dress like what I thought they wouldn't be able to hurt again. So, first, a boy, and then sort of a punk.

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

It depends on the day. Mostly my political statement is that this is my body, and I do with it what I want. Sometimes if I keep that in mind, I walk with extra confidence because I feel untouchable.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm 6'1 and slender, but strong. I don't have much extra weight so I'm cold a lot. I have a big butt, strong legs, and small breasts. I'm very bony.

17. Please describe your mind.

My mind and emotions are closely connected. But a lot of things interest me and I can sit at my desk studying them for 12 hours straight. I like to think about new theories and concepts about the world, and I like to think about space and time and eternity and intricacy and patterns. I'm analytic and observant.

18. Please describe your emotions.

My emotions are always changing, and it can be overwhelming. I have very high highs and very low lows, but I'm learning to just move with them, and let them move me. My emotions are how I see the world and how I relate to things. I'm sensitive to stimulus and to other peoples' emotions.

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

It's cold today, so I'm wearing animal socks, think purple leggings, a shin-length, high-waisted thick grey skirt, a burgundy long-sleeved t, and a tight black sweater. I have a bracelet with stones on my wrist, and a knitted green tuque on my head. My hair is kind of greasy from the coconut oil treatment I did yesterday, and I'm not wearing makeup, except for a little bit of winged eyeliner and what's left of the lipstick I had on this morning.

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

My hat and socks are from my sister, my jewelry from my other sister, and everything else is for comfort.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Nobody, really, except to give advice to my mom and sisters about their outfits.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

My dad's a preacher, and when I attended church, I wore less clothes with holes, and I eventually had to start wearing shoes (because a man yelled at me for wearing improper shoes to church).
In my elementary school, the principle almost enforced a uniform, but waited until I had graduated because she liked the way I dressed.
So, basically, they don't effect me at all. I feel better in them if I'm wearing an outfit I'm confident in, regardless of how clean-cut it is.

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

I think I have... hmm... Style? Because I wear weird, perhaps tasteless stuff, but I wear it well. I think style is more important. Taste dictates whether you like the look of those bright plaid tights, style is how you work them into an outfit.

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

When I was 14, my family moved across the country and my mom treated me and my siblings to a new back to school outfit. After trying on tons of pants, she bought me a pair of dark blue jeans for 90$ (ugh!). Once we left the town, I couldn't ignore anymore that they were too short. I ended up cutting them into shorts.

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

Well, it's probably not a huge deal, but being from an uptight, Christian community where modesty was more important than any other quality a female had, it was a big deal when I figured out that I can wear short skirts without shorts under them (!!). It sucks if you want to climb a tree or a fence or sit cross-legged, but when I'm going to be going to an event I dread, I tend to do this because it makes me feeling like I'm getting away with something BAD, which gives me the confidence to deal with my nerves.

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

Yes, I'm very good at arranging things. I decorate my room and my house very stylishly and I have an eye for interior design. Also, I express my style in the way I tell stories, the way I make tea, the way I garden, and the way I walk down the street.

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?

Yes! Many times. But I've already mentioned the big ones, so I won't repeat.

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 would say so. I definitely have good discernment, but in my teenage years, I definitely fought against it. It's a lot easier to go with what other people want than to be assertive, even just about know what you want. I'm only 20 now, so it's kind of pretentious of me to say I was not assertive as a teenager since it was like, three seconds ago, but anyways. It's come with a lot of hard work, and learning how to say yes and no.

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 parents let me dress however I wanted. My mom taught me how to find things at thrift stores by buying all our clothes from them. Mostly I learned what my style was by thrift shopping, sorting through hand-me-downs, and cutting things up.

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

Usually meditation does it for me. When I meditate, I focus on my chakras, especially my sacral chakra, which deals with creativity and sexuality. Meditation helps me remember who I am and where my power comes from. It doesn't have much to do with my clothes, it's more of a mindset.

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?

Well, I value comfort above everything else, which is why I wear combat boots and high-waisted skirts and a lot of tights, but if someone stops me to comment on my style, they will often say they wish they were more confident. So confident and comfortable are like, entirely different things, but they can exist side-by-side.

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?

My style philosophy is comfort. I do what feels right. Some days that's a purple overall-skirt with a crop top and thigh high socks, other days it's a silk party dress, and other days it's cut up, drawn on green pants with a big sweater. But no matter what, it's comfort, emotionally or physically.

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

Nature, and truly confident people.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

A bad attitude or cruelty. Or really bad smells.

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 very good at knowing! When I shop, I carry everything that appeals to me around with me and try to convince myself not to buy them. Slowly I'll put the things back, until I have only a few items. Then I'll try and make outfits in my head using clothes I already own. If I can't make more than 2 outfits, I won't 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?

In this situation, I see myself as myself, because I'm really my worst critic. The voice in my head might be the voice of someone who has commented snidely on my style before, but the words are mine. Mainly the judgements are based around "Who does she think she is?" "She's wearing that?" and so on. So your basic insecurity.

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

It takes a while for me to figure out what I'm in the mood for wearing, so I usually put on 3 or 4 outfits before I find the right one. I'm only ever considering what I think about what I'm wearing, because usually I don't even leave the house. I focus on comfort (does it make my stomach uncomfortable? is the fabric too hard?) and then style (what sweater goes with this? hat? socks? jewelry?). Sometimes I'll put a whole outfit together and then decide against it and start all over again.

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

Comfort, and something a little different. I don't want to blend in. I don't want to make other people comfortable. I don't want to be what anyone expects.

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

There's not much of a difference, except if I'm dressing up, I might comb my hair or think about shaving my legs. I figure if I'm not dressing up, I might as well just wear a bathrobe all day.

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

I used to say pink, floral, or skirts were not me, but that changed. I guess neon is not me. (Not anymore, anyways.) And jeans are not really me, either. It's hard to find a pair that fits.

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

I'm a third generation dutch immigrant, so I'm basically just Canadian. I don't think about my cultural background much at all.

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

When I was a waitress, the dress code was black and tidy, and I rebelled by wearing mostly black things, colourful tights, big boots, and dying my hair.

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?

For years, my favourite outfit has been my purple over-all dress. I can wear it with anything, and it's so comfortable. It cinches around my waist so it's always flattering and it has pockets! I can wear it with tights, shorts, thigh highs, boots, long sleeves, short sleeves, under sweaters, or anything at all. It's so cool.

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

Damn, I look great.

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

I definitely still dress to keep certain people away- the way I dress is sort of a test, and if someone doesn't like it, or even comments on it at all, they sort of failed the test.

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

I get overwhelmed by strong scents, so I'm not a fan of it. But I do use essential oils like lavender and champa on my neck and wrists occasionally.

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

I used to feel the need to shave, but I'm getting over that due to an aversion to razors. I tend to put on a tiny tiny bit of eyeliner and wear my floral boots, and then I feel great whatever I wear.

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

My favourite piece of jewelry is a chain with a rock on it: a family friend found the rock on the beach, and it had a hole in it naturally. That's good luck, and I wear it all the time!

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 lot of sewing projects in my closet- both from my attempts, and gifts from my sister. The clothes don't quite fit into my style, but I keep them because we made them, and that's pretty cool.

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?

When I was 5, I had a pink denim vest and matching skirt. I'd wear it with turquoise tights. I'd give anything to have a matching set like that that would fit me today.

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

Those purple overalls.

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

Buy more purple things, more black things, and more tights.

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

I keep things neat as in: each drawer has a purpose. But I'm not very good at sticking to those labels.

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

In highschool, a girl I hardly knew bought me fake leather black leggings for my birthday. At the time I wasn't totally into them and cut them up, but looking back, it was such a cool gift idea, and I'd totally be wearing them today.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

I shop not very regularly and at thrift stores.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I like to smell nice. I make my own deodorant, and the essential oils I put in it change regularly. I like it to be a spicy, floral scent.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I don't have very much money, so that makes shopping more fun. It's more difficult to put together outfits with less money, and I have to think longer and harder about what I'll buy. I've always loved the extra challenge this presents.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

June 26, 1994. I was born in Alberta, raised in Ontario, and I live in British Columbia today.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

My family's always struggled with money, and I don't have a lot of family roots, but we are close.

What kind of work do you do?

I'm not working right now.

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

I'm single.

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I'm an artist?

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Like starting a style blog!

Share This Page

Read more surveys (By Author) Read more surveys (By Question)