Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
I feel most attractive when I am speaking well about something I know, when I am around friends and when I am having a good hair and makeup day.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes! I always watch women on the street. I like looking at what they are wearing and their body shape. Women have such varied body shapes but I like looking at women who have curves! I also notice what a woman is doing on the street - is she walking with her head up or down? Is she on her phone? Does she make eye contact with me? Does she smile or say hello to me or respond when I say hello to her? I admire women who look like they are confident yet humble, head held high but still acknowledge me when I pass.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I admire women who appear to be confident AND kind and compassionate. And I admire women who are smart but not politically smart where they know how to weasel into and out of a room. I like smart, confident, authentic women. And of course, I always look to see a woman's style and usually if she has a stylish look I think to myself, "maybe we could be friends." Is that shallow? I don't know, maybe but oh well.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I don't have any shopping rules that I wouldn't share with other women - well, I take that back, usually people think I shop at fancy places but "The JCP" aka JC Penny is my new hidden find. I don't like sharing with women where I buy my clothes.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Tight clothes always make my curves look better. But sometimes just because I can pull it off doesn't mean I should wear it. That is my style rule - just because you can wear it doesn't mean you should. The older I get some clothes I used to wear still fit but they make me look trashy and I am all about sexy classy.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Yes, you can wear white pants year round. You don't need fashion "rules" - just wear what you like and make sure it is comfortable!
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Organized, well put together, and well thought out. No impulsive decisions - even with my fashion. This has come with age as I have learned how to pull back my spending.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Blazers and scarfs! You can always change up a look with a nice blazer and scarf. Oh and stylish winter boots, I live in New England it is a no-brainer to have a gazzilion pairs of boots!
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Sure. I like being thoughtful. I wish people were more thoughtful with the gifts they give me.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Belly shirts. Why?
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
Curves and always looking on point. Although she is a shopaholic and that is one thing she hasn't passed down to me. I rather travel or go out to dinner - but still look fabulous!
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Sure, I have a friend who I admit I have purchased certain boots because she has a similar cut/style. But usually no, I don't adapt of steal fashion ideas. I set them!
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Yeah. When I turned 30. I think I grew up and realized that I wanted a more sophisticated look and could start affording it. I started shopping less at Charlottee Rouse and more at Calvin Klein. I also realized at this time that my body was changing and I couldn't fit into the cheap clothes like I used to - and that was okay! I could afford and upgrade.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Sometimes if I feel like I look like I am going to the Republican National Convention I throw on something edgy. I would HATE too look conservative.
16. Please describe your body.
Big butt, small waist and small boobs but it all works out. I guess that is an "apple" but I hate those fruit metaphors.
17. Please describe your mind.
Smart, fast, witty and progressive. Could use some extra work in the memory department.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Always there. From sad to angry to excited, I am always feeling something and always keenly aware of my emotions. Sometimes they are hard to deal with but then I remember they are trying to teach me something or get me to pay attention to something.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Hair freshly washed with Wen and blow dried sexy shoulder length and banging bangs! And always powder, concealer, mascara, blush and lately a little eye liner on top to define my eyes. I am having a pretty good fashion day.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Primping is a way I take care of myself and nurture my body. When I am primping it is all about me, I get to focus on my body, my hair and my face. I give myself self-love and I use the rituals as a time to be mindful and quiet, to focus on what the task is at hand. If I am having a "bad" hair, makeup or fashion day I have learned to let it go and move on. There is always tomorrow. And each day brings a different challenge or accomplishment. Primping is my meditation.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
Friends, mother, boss, co-workers, people at the gym, and my boyfriend and step-daughter.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
Knowing where I am going I will dress to the institution - going to work it is casual, going to the theater it's artsy, going to a football game it's sporty. Going to a fundraiser its conservative. I am always thinking is this appropriate for where I am going?
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Hm, taste or style. Is there a difference? It's not an either or. My taste helps define my style and they both represent who I am. I have both and they are both equally important.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Boots. I bought pair of boots online and didn't like them but tried so hard to like them. Saved them two seasons before I finally tried to sell them on eBay. Lesson learned, if you don't love it return it.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Fitted clothes always make me feel sexier and more in shape.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Yes, my flower gardens are very well thought out just as is my fashion and my interior decorating is also a reflection of who I am.
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?
I was going to therapy with my partner and I would often sit with my winter coat on my lap like a blanket. It made me feel safe and protected. It was like my own personal cape.
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 know what I like and what I don't like. That comes from learning to be myself, trust myself and stop silencing my inner voice that gives me guidance. I may listen to what other people say I should do but I take it under advisement and then decide on my own if it is in my best interest. This comes from resilience learned growing up and I think as I get older and gain more experience in life and start to settle into who I am. The "cracks" begin to settle in my life as they do in my house and they are okay.
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?
We were poor, I was taught at an early age to appreciate what I have. I always appreciate my ability to dress they way I want.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Fitted clothes, nice smooth makesup that accentuates my eyes and lips and a nice pair of tight pants and blazer with heels. Done.
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 want to feel comfortable in the skin I am in. I don't want to feel like I am trapped inside my body. And i want to feel confident in who I am in mind, body spirit. Comfort and confidence go together. Sometimes I have both and other times I don't. When something is off kilter I take a moment, reflect and see what needs to be adjusted.
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?
Thoughtful, sexy clean lines.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Things that appear natural.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
When things look too over the top. Bring it down a notch.
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?
Yes, this has taken time but I always think about the item and where I will wear it. If I will wear it to dinner and work it is a done deal. If I will wear it to the Opera usually it's not a done deal. I never go to the Opera, wish I could but know I won't be going anytime soon. And if it costs more than my rent I always say no thanks. That is silly to spend that kind of money on one piece.
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?
We always see ourselves based on how we want others to see us. sometimes we see ourselves based on what we think others will see. When I look at myself, of course I am thinking will others find me attractive? As women how can we not think like this? Our culture teaches us as women that we are to dress for others or our younger self - that is especially true as I get older. I often think, does this make me look too old? But then again, I don't want to look too young. I want to be appropriate for my age...whatever that means.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
What's the weather? What will I be doing? Will I be doing public speaking? Am I on my period?
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Comfort and style.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing is just putting clothes on to start the day. Dressing up is paying attention to details from head to toe and wanting to feel good.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Blue jeans, blazer and loose shirt.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Not Me - Ralph Lauren and preppy - who the hell needs to wear clothes with huge polo players on the breast?
Me - Anything not Ralph Lauren. Accessories, good shoes, fitted pants and a comfortable yet stylish shirt.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
White and poor. I appreciate what I have.
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?
yes! high school I was all about big hair. I don't have time for all that hair styling anymore.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Comb my hair and usually wear it down and neat.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I conform by dressing appropriate - not too sexy and not too slouchy.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
some days it would be nice but then again fashion gives people a sneak peak into who you are.
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?
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Paris - isn't that what all the fashion magazines say? I've never thought of this and am kinda glad I have no idea how to answer it. If I am thinking of this I think I have way too much time on my hands.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
Yes until I turned 35 now I usually dislike photos of myself.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
A big smile.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Yes, dreamed of going on huge shopping sprees.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Too high of heels. I need to be able to walk.
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?
A bikini all the time.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
Myself, my boyfriend, other women and men.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Just because you can wear it doesn't mean you should. And if you are going to wear over the knee boots, splurge on real leather.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Yes but not too much. I like natural mild scents.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Iron and sometimes shave.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Makeup is essential. I can't be fashionable unless my face is painted! I love makeup sometimes I think more than clothes.
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?
Boat shoes - why? They are in style but I refuse.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Practical good quality clothes and jewels without credit card debt.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
I got a new heart chakra necklace from Wanderlust that I love, it is earthy with a balance of flash and reminds me to be thoughtful and mindful of my emotions.
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?
Old jeans from when I was in my 20s. They made my ass look fabulous but today, I am not even sure they would fit over my hips. But I had a lot of good memories in those jeans so I am keeping them.
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?
Shoes and purses.
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 don't think so, everything happens for a reason, right?
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
My navy blue blazer.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
Pay more attention to quality timeless pieces that can be dressed up or down.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
Boots - yes still own and yes still wear.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
Probably an expensive quality pair of boots and handbag, I realized the excitement of having good pieces that would last a lifetime (If I wanted them too).
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Always a good winter wool coat and a diamond ring that isn't too flashy and doesn't break the bank.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
Messy and sometimes clean.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Change of seasons and but always in the fall. I have started loving to shop online.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
Dress for success, cliche but it works. I always dress for what I want.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I don't want to be in debt from fashion.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
A simple gold bracelet given to me by my grandmother. Haven't taken it off in 10 years.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
When I was a teen I had my makeup done at the mall and the lady showed me how to properly put on eyeliner. She also told me I had great full lips, that was the only time someone said something positive to me about my looks that didn't feel inappropriate and was kind. It has stuck with me since. I love my lips.
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?
I was wearing a wrap around skirt in elementary school and was running to catch the bus when the the skirt came untied. Needless to say, I never wore the skirt again and from that day always made sure everything was in place and I felt comfortable in what I was wearing.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
May 22 1977, born in Denver Colorado and live in New Hampshire.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
White, working class growing up but now middle to upper class.
What kind of work do you do?
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Cohabitating with partner who has a 13 yo daughter
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Good, thoughful, nice way to spend my lunch break. I like thinking and writing about myself.
Progressive and stylish cat lover.