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Kat R.

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

As a plus size woman, I feel attractive when I find wearing a designer who designs for the plus size woman and doesn't just make larger baggier versions of his/her normal line.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

Those who appear confident and sleek, but without looking like they're trying to hard.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I am envious of women who seem effortless.

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?

I always thought fashion and make-up were silly things for people who needed others to approve of them. Now I see it's about how I feel when I wear something particularly delightful.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Get in. Get out. (There aren't a lot of options for us plus size gals.)

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Comfort trumps fashion.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

Conversation? Hmmmm. I don't think I've ever spoken to anyone about fashion. I will say watching that documentary about Vogue (The September Issue, I think) was transformative in the way I thought about people who run fashion magazines.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

100% every day or I'm just cheating myself.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

Lots of yoga pants and hoodies. They are comfortable.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?


11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

I think the wedge tennis shoe looks ridiculous. Also, color blocking was not my favorite period.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mother was significantly obese and never discusses fashion. All of her clothes were mail order. We were also very poor, so buying clothes was more about what was on sale rather than what was fashionable.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

I don't think so.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

When I moved to New York from Seattle. I can't wear pajamas to the market anymore.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

No leather. No fur. When I reach a place financially that I can shop higher end, I will also favor stores that do not employ underpaid factory workers.

16. Please describe your body.

Obese. A big round pear. Meaty thighs, small torso.

17. Please describe your mind.

Always dreaming, always scheming.

18. Please describe your emotions.


19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Workout shorts, tank (both Old Navy), No makeup, messy bun. Bill Cunningham would NOT even notice me, except maybe to gag.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

If a woman feels better by wearing fashionable clothes then she should! If she doesn't really care, then the fashion world should leave her alone. Fashion, just like any other art, is important to those who find it important.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

No one.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

If I don't love it on the rack, and I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE it, I don't buy it.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I don't believe I have either when it comes to fashion.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

My prom dress.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

Hmmmm. No.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I am a playwright so I hope so!

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?

Hoodies and pajama pants when I get home or when I am writing are a MUST. Especially if I've been somewhere where I needed to dress nicely, I just don't have those options in plus size, so no matter how hard I try I still look like i'm off the rack at Macy's (which I am). So I leave those events thinking, "screw you and your fancy clothes that make you look like you have your life together!" Then I put on Pjs and a hoodie and call it a night.

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?

If Project Runway likes it, I usually hate it. My favorite designer usually comes in 3rd or 4th, and I'm okay with that.

I have no idea where my discernment comes from.

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?


30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

The number one thing that makes me feel unattractive is when my grays are showing. So hair upkeep is a must for me.

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?

Comfortable means, I'm not thinking about how I have to sit in something, and no spanks needed.
Confident means, I know what I'm wearing fits in and I don't won't be outed as an impostor.

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?

Comfort meets, blending in.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Confidence. Peacefulness.

34. What do you consider very ugly?


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 don't have a lot of extra money so everything I purchase is worn.

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?

I look at myself and assess how fat I look or if the clothes hide some of that.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

Will I be seen by people?
If so, are these people who I need to impress?
If so, I hope I have something to wear.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

Blending in.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing is every day. Dressing up is for special occasions.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

Dark wash jeans, ballet flats, a cute blouse, a cropped jacket.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

Casual is me.
High maintenance is not me.

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

I have no idea.

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?

High school/college was all pajamas and sweatshirts. I knew I didn't have the money or style to fit in so I went the other direction entirely.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

I work from home so I don't really need to look professional.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?


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?

I would love to have a uniform. I wouldn't have to think about it.

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?

Dark wash jeans, ballet flats, a cute blouse, a cropped jacket.

Easy. Don't have to think about it.

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?

Only at fancy events. Suits are so much easier than dresses.

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

I like the 50's into the early 60's.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?


54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?


55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?


56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

Everything Anna Wintour wears.

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 would dress like Lily Rabe.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

People with judgey stares.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?


60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?


61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

A good bra.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?


What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

5.30.78 Born in LA, Raised in Seattle, Live in NYC for 5 years

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

White. 50k annually

What kind of work do you do?


Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

Single. Never married. No kids.

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I can't believe I just spent 45 minutes filling out a fashion survey.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I've thought more about fashion in the last 45 minutes than I have in my life.

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