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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?

There's always at least one navy or gray hoodie in my closet. When I fuzz it out I buy another.

No, although I think my style acts as a bit of a costume, it allows me to feel more confident. It's similar to wearing a mask I would think where it grants me a certain amount of artistic freedom. And the fact that my style typically makes people smile helps, it cheers you up when people are always smiling at you.

If I’m feeling down I put on vintage long underwear, a little cardigan and cashmere socks and light some candles. Works every time.

I usually “dress up” (pull out the big guns) when I am feeling sick or nervous.

Definitely. Break-ups. Dressing in a way that makes me feel good and confident is crucial to gaining a sense of control over my day-to-day life. It's a decision I get to make every morning. Or afternoon or evening, whatever.

That Audrey Hepburn quote that everyone shares all the time, about pulling yourself together and putting on lipstick, or something? I think there's some truth to that. Lipstick, clothes, they can make you feel powerful. Obviously there are many cons to your feelings being tied up in your appearance…but putting on an awesome dress and feeling instantly better is a perk.

Many times. Appearing in public. I have a red leather jacket with zippers that gives me confidence at such occasions. Wear that with slim black pants, black boots, a silk blouse, and I feel put together and reliably myself. But with a bit of zip. This is my public costume for way too long.

As I’ve gotten older, I get really bothered by the natural ways women are put down by society, especially in the work place. That’s why I like to dress professionally and confidently – I think that it helps create the persona that I am a force to be reckoned with.

In high school I had a pair of “test-taking” shoes. They were Oxfords made of gray flannel, and I liked to look at them while I studied. Then in the morning, I’d ceremonially put them on, tying the laces tightly. I wore them with black clam diggers. I looked like a pilgrim, and the puritanical severity made me feel ready to face the test. The look also got me teased, but honestly I probably loved the attention. I embraced my catch phrase in high school, “I don’t get out much.”

Yes, many times. Most recently I wore a Maria Cornejo jumpsuit and all was well.

I use scarves and jackets if I’m feeling anxiety – so I can still look classic and put together without trying. The scarf covers any weight issue I may be feeling that day, and the jacket gives it that tailored look.

When I was a child, every year before going back to school I would carefully plan how I'd be dressed for the first day. I still do that, even though I don't go to school anymore.

When I have a big meeting or one with someone I know is difficult, I will wear something that I know I feel comfortable (no fidgeting) and powerful in. Usually that’s my version of a suit, but not always.

I was part of a court case. The opposing attorney worn very dated shoes with an open back and a lot of studs. They didn't even look appropriate for court. My shoes became my weapon, at least in my head.

Oh yes ! I used to be terrified of flying and I'd try to intuitively feel what I should wear. If I wore the right thing, the flight would be ok, and I'd get to wherever I was going. If I didn't, disaster would strike. I don't do that any more. It's a very dangerous place to be.

I had to go to court after an ex-boyfriend pushed me. The thought of seeing him terrified me. I remember putting on a pencil skirt, blouse and leather bomber jacket that made me look put together, like I was doing fine. It made me feel powerful.

I have one really expensive item in my wardrobe. It was a gift, and is a really sexy blazer with these huuuuge power-pockets. If I’m going somewhere I’m scared of, or where I feel like I don’t really belong, I’ll wear that blazer for a hit of courage. I sometimes feel like I’m fooling people when I wear it- it’s very “sexy exec-y”, which is not exactly how I would ever classify myself. Like, it would be a “definitely-wear"” if I’m ever attending something in Yorkville.
Heels too, although they sometimes make me feel like I’m trying too hard to be sexy. I like when I can be a little more creative, if that makes any sense?

If I want to feel powerful, I wear black. It's not the goth black of my teenage years but a black like the black of a killer whale. I need to dress this way 5 - 10 times a year, depending on what's going on.

The first time I went to a sex party" I wore fishnets, with underwear OVER them so that my vagina was completely inaccessible to random people. It made me feel safer. I also wore motorcycle boots instead of heels. I needed to feel comfortable and powerful. Not too femme-y for me.

I love this question. In general, I try to buy clothes that make me feel comfortable and at ease. I do not like fussy or ill-fitting clothes. I seek out items that can be worn thoughtlessly. I wore a particular sweatshirt nearly every day for two years after I moved back to Portland from New York. I think it was part of my recovery process from a traumatic year. It felt like home.

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