Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
I feel most attractive right after I've taken off a party dress and put on a huge t shirt but haven't taken off my makeup, because I think there's something so cool and glamorous about that- being the woman who can wear an old t and no pants with red lipstick
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I definitely notice anyone who has a sort of swagger, I guess, or a confidence that has to do with what they're wearing. Like a women wearing the most beautiful heels and just rocking them- I notice her. Or a waitress I saw about a week ago with full on Joan smalls at the met gala purple lipstick- I totally noticed
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I think a good walk is everything- a women walking to the subway entrance who just clearly knows what's up and isn't afraid to be noticed- I totally wish I had that quality.
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?
High school, and specifically 10th grade, was a big moment for me as far as dressing for myself and not everyone else. I've gone to the same school since 4th grade and some part of me was really scared that if I wore something somewhat edgy or a lot of makeup, someone would call me out on it because that's so different then how I dressed in 4th grade. But during 10th grade I kind of started to let that go.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I ony shop sale sections, which if you're seriously trying to curate your closet might be bad, but I don't have a ton of money to spend on clothes. Also, I always shop with a friend, which some people say is bad, but it definitely speeds up the editing process for me.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I think I try to dress older than I am, so more like a 20 something than a teenager, because I always used to look younger than I am and didn't like it. I also am convinced I "can't pull off" some things that I love, like snapbacks, which is obviously stupid.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I don't know, I think I'm still waiting on that one. But I've definitely had some good talks with friends about dressing to fit my reputation.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Oh god no. I wish I did. I just try an get everything done in a way that makes me happy I guess.
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 madewell jeans, because that's all I wear in the winter. I also have two crewcuts boys button downs because I like the way they fit and I like that masculine feel, especially with a full skirt. I also have a bunch of purple sweaters and I have no idea why.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
For her birthday my sisters and I got my mom a link bracelet which she wears all the time, which makes me really happy because she's super picky about jewelry. I wish I'd given more though, because thoughtful clothes or jewelry gifts that people have given me are some of my favorite pieces.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I haven't really gotten on board with the crop top thing, mostly because again, I don't really like dressing like a full on teenager, and unless you have a lot of money to spend I think the grown up crop top is kind of hat to find.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mom's very chill about style, but she definitely knows what suits her and what she likes, which I admire a lot. But I think her lack of interest in shopping is part of what makes it seems so glamorous to me.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I've been given some jewelry and shoes by my aunts, who have absolutely helped form my ideas about style. They both dress very classically, and have a solid uniform of khakis, cashmere cardigan and ballet flats, which I've always thought is so elegant and simple.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Middle school to high school was a big one as far as trying to dress much more like an adult.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Not in the way I dress, but whenever I talk about fashion I always try and address feminism because I think there are a lot of misconceptions about their relationship.
16. Please describe your body.
I have broad shoulders, smalls boobs, a pretty skinny waist, hips, a butt, and muscular legs from dancing and running. Overall I'm pretty proud of it because it's definitely a manifestation of all the dancing and running I've done, which both really helped define me.
17. Please describe your mind.
I'm a complete introvert, and I remember random stuff really well so long as it catches my attention in some way. I'm also really drawn to stories and arcs, whether that be people, characters, or historical events.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I'm a pretty emotional person, and things people say to me really matter to me. But I can also get kind of cynical if I'm not in the mood.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I'm wearing a huge t shirt, sleep shorts and zit cream to go to sleep, and my hair's in a braid so it's wavy tomorrow.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
My first day of junior year is tomorrow, so some of this is definitely prep for that, but honestly this is kind of my regular nighttime look.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
I talk with my friends about clothes, often because they aren't as interested in them as I am and that creates an interesting conversation,
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I mean I go to school every day, which means there's a dress code, so yeah, they do.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I don't think I have taste yet, because taste to me is the ability to cultivate everything in ones life around your broad asthetic, and I don't know myself well enough to be able to do that. But I'd like to think I have style, but I'm not quite sure how to describe it.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I bought a bunch of j crew t shirts when I was in 6th grade because I thought they were really sophisticated, but they didn't fit me and I had to tuck them into my bra straps which wasnt a good look. And now they fit but I've had them for so long they've started to get little holes in them.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I've started to ignore both size and department when I'm shopping, so I'll buy petite clothes if I want something tight, or boys shirts to fit my shoudlers, or size 8 if I want it oversized, which feels like I'm cheating some system.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Makeup maybe, but I feel like those two are very connected.
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?
Whenever I have a big test or project at school I wear my banana republic blazer because it makes me feel like a professional working women who has her act together.
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 can definitely tell if I like most clothes or not, but I'm not sure what separates my likes from dislikes. It's the same thing with music. But I can tell why or why not I like a book.
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 mom was big on us not spilling on our clothes, which seems kind of duh, but I freak out when I get something on my clothes. Stain remover and I are very close. She also never wanted us to be the kids who wore pjs or sweats as an outfit, which has definitely stuck with me.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Clothing wise, anything that shows off anything, whether it be boobs, butt, waist or legs, makes me feel sexy. Makeup wise, whenever I step it up a notch from my everyday look by adding ful eyeshadow or, of course, red lipstick, I insanely feel a lot sexier.
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 think they're totally connected style wise. I mean obviously something that is too tight isn't comfortable, but also something you don't feel confident in that you don't think you can pull off is going to make you feel uncomfortable.
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 guess I'd say that I wear clothes that make me happy, because I like the color, or the fabric, or the way it shows off my legs, or the mood it puts me in. I mean, you have to wear clothes, so you might as well get some enjoyment out of wearing them, right?
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Someone who knows themselves well enough to be truly kind to others.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Someone being a jerk just to piss others off for attention, because there are so many beautiful ways to get attention.
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've gotten a lot better, and part of that is knowing the rest of my closet well. I know that if a shirt isn't going to be cute with jeans, or if bottoms aren't going to go with a button down, then it won't become a regular purchase. I also know that if I spend more money than I usually do on something, I often "save" the item an it doesn't really get worn, so I try not to splurge that often on non basics.
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?
Part of it is my mom- I can't leave the house if I'm in an outfit she doesn't like. Also, if I'm wearing something different than what I normally wear, I subconsciously think about whether or not my friends will like it or react badly towards it.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Usually, I pick one piece I want to wear that I haven't worn in a while, and them plan the rest of the outfit around that. But it also depends in what I'm doing that day obviously.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I'm always trying to look put together and sophisticated, mostly because that look gives me confidence for the the rest of the day.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
For me, dressing up implies an occasion, like a dance or party, especially one in which the outfit may have been planned weeks, rather than minutes in advance.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
I'd probably say a chunky sweater, skinny jeans and riding boots in the fall/winter and a button down with rolled up sleeves and colorful shorts in the spring/summer.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Something "me" is usually pretty classic and preppy, whereas "not me" is something really trendy.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I'm a straight up WASP and as a result I sometimes feel like I shouldn't wear anything semi exotic or related to another culture because I don't want to be a part of any cultural appropriation.
43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?
In middle school I definitely wanted to be more trendy but wasnt quite sure how- I don't think I really got it.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Clothing wise, I feel like a blaze pulls it all together, as cliche as that is. Also, anything black or navy that's fitted. Makeup and hair wise, to me looking professional goes hand in hand with looking older, so I'd probably say eyeliner and a berry lip and then hair in a high ponytail.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
At my school most girls kind of give up midway through the year and just start wearing yoga pants every day, so for me, putting on a "real outfit" every day is kind of like a personal challenge and a reminder that I haven't given up yet.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
I have running clothes I have to wear to xc practice.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
Because my team is coed, I definitely feel more comfortable in an old t shirt and shorts like the guys wear than a head to toe high tech lululemon outfit.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
I mean it kind of takes the pressure off.
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?
I'd say my topshop button down and skinny jeans, because I think it's classic, a little bit sexy but not revealing at all, and I could wear it for 20 plus years to come.
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?
Oh I totally wish I could wear guys clothes all the time, because they're so soft and comfortable, so I've started shopping in the men's departments of some stores.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Probably London in the sixties, with tiny dresses and false lashes all day every day.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
I'm right in the middle- I rarely look god awful in photos, but I rarely look great.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Most of the time I'm like "okay that'll work". There's almost always something a little off that I don't like, but I don't have to keep that photo, right?
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
I love Diane Kruger, because she looks so totally effortless in everything she wears even when it's crazy. I also love Caroline herrera's button down and full skirt look- I feel like it's just this perfect masculine and feminine blend.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Oh yeah. If I ever dream about when I'm older it usually involves a lot of expensive and glamorous outfits.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
I wish I could wear leather pants and a SnapBack and an oversize t but I just feel like people would laugh.
57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?
I might wear more low cut shirts, but other than that not a lot would change.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
I definitely want to look good to me friends, and yeah, guys. I don't think I'm consciously trying to turn anyone off.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
You should love every outfit you wear. What's the point otherwise? You have to wear something, so it might as well make you happy.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I love the idea of perfume as that final step, and I love the idea of a signature scent. I think I'm kind of too young though.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Putting on makeup for me totally makes me feel presentable and ready to face the world- it's the ritual specifically that makes me feel ready.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
See above- makeup is my own private getting ready ritual. I also like the idea that makeup is an extra step- someone wearing makeup is clearly making an effort.
63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?
I feel like I'm definitely suppose to embrace the retro high waisted anything with a crop top look, but to me it just looks kind of silly and I don't think it's going to age well- I don't want to have serious wardrobe regrets when I look through high school photos.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Most of what I own is pretty simple, classic, feminine, slightly preppy- definitely not super trendy. I don't have that many statement pieces- it's mostly slightly elevated basics.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Clothing wise I think it's my j crew chunky grey sweater with elbow patches- I just love the way it fits and goes with everything.
Jewelry wise it's my saint Christopher necklace. It's really simple but it brings out my eyes and always gets a ton of compliments.
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 white lace sweater that has a terrible lipstick stain but I keep it because I'm always kind of hoping it'll go away...
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?
Things like jeans, button downs, and riding boots were instantly good purchases because of how long they last and how versatile they are.
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?
I had this fabulous green faux fur shrug that I wore to costume parties that my mom threw out because she thought it took up too much room in my closet. I'd love to see if I could rock it with jeans and a t shirt.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
Probably my chambray shirt, because it's perfectly worn in, goes with literally everything, and can be worn year round.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I'd make sure everything fit the way I want it to- there's a lot of things I don't wear that often because I don't like the fit, or they're weird in terms of which bra to wear etc. I'd also shy away from buying expensive t shirts, because they still wear through easily.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
My banana republic blazer was a big one, and I still own and wear it a lot.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
Oh man, not yet. I feel like a leather jacket, a great pair of heels or a grown up purse could be one though.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
A perfect leather jacket. Firstly it has to fit right. It also has to be worn in well and not blow the bank, so that could take a while.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
My drawers can get kind of messy, but overall my closest's reall neat. I like having it organized because it makes it much easier for me to find things and put outfits together.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
I love this necklace a friend have me that had two interlocking circles and says, in tiny letters, "I'm thankful that your path crossed mine". What was really sweet was that this gift was from someone who's totally not sentimental so it really meant a lot.
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?
The grey chunky sweater, definently. It was kind of an impulse purchase but I love it so much.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
I don't go shopping all that often, and I almost always go with someone, rarely with something specific in mine because that makes it really stressful. I never shop online because I think it makes it way too easy to spend money.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
I like to smell clean and freshly showered. Anything else is kind of an afterthought.
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
I often dress like a young precessional, which I think is an ambition of mine.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I don't dress like a total socialite because I don't have the money. If I could I'd wear head to toe Dior but that's not really in the cards.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
Maybelline the rocket mascara is an everyday occurance. But I wish I had a signature accessory- I think that's so cool.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
When people started telling me I looked older, rather than younger, than I am, it was kind of a big moment for me as far as fashion goals paying off.
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?
In kindergarten I wore this brand new dress I was really exited about to a friend's birthday party, and then it got paint all over it. I was distraught.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
1998, Washington, D.C.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
Economically very comfortable, but not with a full on gossip girl closet.
What kind of work do you do?
High school student
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?