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

I can’t say I brought anything specific from my cultural background, but I can say that from my own family and background there, I have always learned that it is never polite to be sloppily dressed for your own self-worth and for others.

When I found out that the French side of the family thought the same way, I found it eerily similar.


The women in my family have always been strong role models for style, and my mother was always beautifully turned out.

My aunt always approved of very well dressed little girls and women, and really loved and appreciated being a woman and passed that on to me.


The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey


  • Marthe

    My family is of French extraction, although we are not French per se – I think that shaped everything I think and do about clothes. I buy little, I wear very little jewelry (for the last 2 months the only accessory I’ve worn was my watch, nothing else, no earings, rings, necklaces etc, it just feels good and free and draws all the attention to my person). I love that :)), I invest in shoes and I keep my closet neat.. I’m never interested in the latest fashion, only in its spirit, so I can make my overall look modern in spirit,

    I don’t give a damn about manicure, I just keep my nails neat, trimmed and sometimes I put on some colour, always understated. Never understood the “nail art”, never went to a professional for mani-pedi, I don’t trust their hygene and the idea to pay for a potential fungus is horrific so I do it all alone. I invest in hair, hair colour, shampoos & Co but I never keep my hair “done” in an obvious way. It has to look natural, no matter how much time I spend to make it look natural. Even a little messy is better than obvious. If it looks like it has been done in a salon, it’s a no no. It has to look like I was born with it. When I have a horrible hair day I just put it in a ballerina bun.
    The most important thing I’ve learned from my mother is how to buy things that flatter my body. All the things I own are based on that and no matter how much something is in fashion or how much I like it, I never buy things that don’t match with my silhouette and style. When my mother was very young and poor, right after WWII, she used to wear very simple but well fitted clothes. She had little clothes, like one dark blue dress, one black shirt , one black blouse and one pair of shoes. She was supposed to go to college wearing this for the whole year. Her solution was to wear a different scarf every day and since she couldn’t afford buying real scarves she went to the fabric store and bought 30 cm of silk in every colour and made herself many many scarves so she could wear them. No one around her payed any attention to her clothes, but everyone was mesmerized by her scarves. This was a fashion lesson I was told when I was 5 and I still remember it to the day.

    I was also thought from a very young age that being smart and witted is a woman’s best weapon of seduction. Men who are not interested in a smart, educated woman are of no use, no matter how good they look or how much money they have. It is not important how big or small are your nose, boobs, wardrobe or eyes, but it is very important to achieve what you want with what you already have. It is not very important how beautiful a woman is, but it is very important she has an attitude, a presence and a way to make an impression. My mother told me I would be surprised to find out how many men fall for a woman’s flows. It is all true. I have always considered my legs my weakness, but all my guys were crazy about them.

  • olga

    In my case, my mother was more interested in clothing and appearance than I was and am. She was also more feminine than me. I think this is a matter of personality, too.

    I always took care of my hygiene, but being fashionable was not so important to me.
    Fortunately, because my looks helped, I didn’t have a problem attracting the opposite sex or being liked by people in general, regardless of the quality and diversity of my clothes. If I look back at my life, from experience, it’s the women who scrutinized my clothes, hairstyle etc. more than men did (and I guess they found me boring in this respect. 🙂 ) Women often scrutinize everything in other women: clothes, shoes, bags, nails, hair, jewellery, complexion, etc. It’s like they have certain standards that every woman must live up to. (“Why don’t you arrange your hair like that?” “Why don’t you wear jewelry?” etc.) For some of us, that can be annoying. Even among women, personalities can be very different.

    All in all, I believe it’s a good thing to take care of one’s appearance as appearances matter in society. However, I would note that fashion and cosmetics are multi billion dollar industries that, although they create some nice things, can also feed and prey upon women’s weaknesses, like vanity, insecurity, greed etc. Thus, there are women who spend a lot or everything on clothes and cosmetics while neglecting to save anything or save too little. It’s dangerous to compromise one’s financial situation for the sake of appearance. In addition, there are the compulsive hoarders, rich or less rich, who collect hundreds of pairs of shoes, items of clothing, bags etc. I also can’t understand those, but at least the very rich don’t have to worry about retirement.

    Various thoughts here, but there you go. 🙂

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