Women in Clothes- my answers to the survey

This year I have been dipping in and out of the book “Women in Clothes” which I wrote briefly about in this post. Unfortunately it now has to go back to the library but I fancied answering some of the questions the book posed to over 600 women about clothes and their relationship with them, myself before I return it.

Why don’t you have a go at answering them too and see if you can find out anything revealing about yourself by the medium of the clothes you wear?

You can officially fill out a survey for the writer of the book at the website here.

  1. When Do you feel at your most attractive? I feel at my most attractive when I am in a body confident frame of mind. I was going to say that I feel most attractive when I put effort in and get dressed up for example to attend a wedding,
    Me at my dad's wedding- dressed up to the nines!
    Me at my dad’s wedding- dressed up to the nines!

    but actually that isn’t true because at those times I am hyper aware of how I look and quite self critical. So I suppose it’s when I’m comfortable, with people I love and in clothes that reflect my personality or that are uber comfy- so much so that I don’t have to think about my appearance. 

  2. Do you notice women on the street? If so what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?  Yes, I always people watch and notice other women. I tend to notice women who are dressed very “put together” and manicured- I admire that as I always feel like I look a bit like I’ve rolled through a charity shop and I’ve never really taken the time or been able to afford the maintenance of getting my hair done professionally or my nails done regularly (I cut and dye my own hair and very rarely wear nail varnish) and it would be nice to have the time and care enough about my appearance to invest in these little luxuries. But I also notice women with a flare for dressing differently- women who look a bit quirky and full of personality, who are brave enough to go against the rules of fashion but make it look good. 
  3. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style? This isn’t a conversation per-se like a one on one convo with a friend, but a constant conversation that is happening mainly through social media, particularly blogs and Instagram. It is the realisation that you do not have to fit into society’s ideals to be or feel beautiful and that you can love your body the way it is now, wear clothes you want to wear now- not at an imagined time in the future when you’ve lost weight, grown your hair or had a face lift (fill in your own insecurities here).                  This is the conversation I still follow most days via social media and it has transformed the way I see myself and compare my body to others- it has allowed me to wear things I never thought I could (like shorts, leggings, pretty dresses, short sleeves) and do things I never thought I could (like run a 5K) and has improved my relationship with my husband. There are obviously days I still struggle with body positivity, but this ongoing conversation definitely helps.
  4. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you or not?  People say I look very similar to my mom, and often when I look at myself in the mirror I can see my mom looking back at me which is comforting yet weird at the same time! My mom is beautiful- gorgeous dark eyes, lovely clear skin, high cheek bones. She does not have a very good body image and has struggled with self esteem relating to body image for as long as I can remember. Her insecurities were naturally passed down to me and I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hating the way I looked and wanting to be different. Now, as an adult I have taken steps to change my perception of myself and to have confidence in the way I look, but it is very hard to do when everyone around you talks about wanting to lose weight and change their appearance. I wish my mom could see how beautiful she is and gain some of the changed perspective that I have. I know she can see beauty in me, but she does not realise that the beauty she sees when she looks at her daughter’s face is her own self reflected.  I have inherited my moms doomed love of shoes- we both love high, highly impractical shoes and neither of us can wear them!
  5. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened? I think late teens was a time when my style changed dramatically- the way I dressed became a reflection of my dark moods and general teenage self pity! I lost a lot of weight very quickly and unhealthily, dyed my hair black, wore a lot of dark, grungy clothes, but also dressed a lot more provocatively than I do, or ever would now. It wasn’t through a love of my body that I dressed provocatively, but a way to get attention and acceptance that I couldn’t give myself. Luckily this stage was short lived and when I left high school and attended University I started trying to find out who I am rather than change myself.
  6. In what way is this stuff important if at all? I think that the way you dress can be an important and useful tool in expressing yourself, finding commonality with others but equally as a way of separating your self from the standards of society you don’t want to be part of. I mainly dress to be comfortable and you will most likely find me wearing jeans and a t-shirt- not exactly breaking any style boundaries! But I do like to change my hair a lot and have had quite a few radical styles in my time- these hair styles allow me to project a part of my personality whilst also allowing me to be comfortable in practical clothes that I wear because I am looking after a child all day and need to be able to move about freely without worrying too much about getting dirty. It’s my little bit of rebellion in a very mainstream life!

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