Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I'm thin and have clean hair
When I don't see myself on still or video images
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I notice both women and men.
I admire anyone who who looks confident
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Erect posture; warm eye contract; humour
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?
No never; or to be honest, yes often, but each time a photograph told me I was wrong about the 'aha' moment
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
On clothes: choose fast; if it doesn't feel good, you'll never wear it
On food: how will your digestive tract feel in an hour's time?
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Tee shirt bras only (no hooks and eyes, no under wires)
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Socks and tights. Because I like them. Because I wear them. And, to be honest, because you really can't go without them.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Only when I get them to choose it and then I pay. Except for a glorious and very expensive silk scarf I gave my mother.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Capri pants (silly). Muffin top pants (unflattering). Peplum tops (silly and unflattering). High cut swim suits (because I am more than my pubis)
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
We are both little; we are both inclined to nicely cut but not fashionable clothes.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
For a while, lengths of fabric draped around the body.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Not really, no
16. Please describe your body.
Short, relatively slight, narrow hips, small breasts
17. Please describe your mind.
Highly educated, inclined to despair
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?
My hair - brushed only (it's Sunday night); wearing bare feet, yoga pants, a loose sweater, a silver chain, mascara
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I like a fine chain around my throat; it's late winter so I need a sweater; I always prefer to be barefoot; yoga pants are incredibly comfortable
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I get more formal if it's a formal institution
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Taste, I think - I understand shapes and colours and their relation, and how they are generally perceived in the world
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
200 pounds in the UK for ordinary black linen pants.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Short skirts with tights. Hardly my invention, but my adoption
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I'm a fine poet and select good wines
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?
Constantly - usually a soothing and elegant black something that hangs well, and has just a bit of colour. And good shoes.
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 think I know what I like, but suspect I just keep choosing what I'm used to. I am I think good at discernment, and this comes from experience and a highly reflexive attitude
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?
No, just picked things up
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Perfume. Product in my hair. A blingy ring.
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 and confident seem like dyne yams in this context. Seems to me it's about people who are at home in their own skin, quite like people in principle, and don't internalise the negative or positive opinions of others.
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?
Not quite smart - a touch awry. Cut and colour a little bit unexpected. Stay slightly off balance, and see what happens next. Your skin matters more than your clothes.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
A big sky.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Business men who are slick
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'm getting better
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?
No, I don't think clothes have that much effect on my judgment
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Do I gave to meet anyone important who needs me to fe really smart in order to feel properly acknowledged?
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
A blend of comfort, attractiveness, and the right social register
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing is everyday; dressing up is a party
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Black skirt, bright tights, flat shoes, probably a black top, silver jewellry
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me: comfort and ease; not me: tight skirts, stiletto heels, big hair, lots of make up
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
Anglo African. No influence at all
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?
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Sharper, more fitted clothes. Less colour, more smart black. Boots or covered shoes. Use the hair straightener.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
There are no dress expectations
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?
If it were ugly, inelegant or uncomfortable, or if it were closely policed
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?
Comfortable jeans and a fabulous top. What's not to like?
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?
Not since I was prepubescent.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Jesus, how did I get so fat and ugly?
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?
59s housewife; MadMen woman; Sex and the City chick; country and western singer
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?
Nothing different, really
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Tights aren't trousers; muffin tops do no one any favours
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Love it and wear it daily
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Brush my hair, put on mascara
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Eye liner and mascara only
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?
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Quite expensive but very comfortable clothes, casual enough to wear daily, smart enough to zuzz up for important functions. Art house quite fine necklaces and bracelets; really trashy but comic rings
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
Bottle green jeans
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?
A designer silk dress that's half a size too small, fantasizing that one day it'll fit me perfectly.
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?
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?
A long button up shirt in burgundy silk. I loved it
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
Amazingly expensive shoes, and a very posh black dress, that I wore just once, to lunch with the French ambassador
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
No, but I sort them out every two or three months
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
Just stuff from my kids
76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
When there's an event and I really need something; when I go out with my daughter
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
Not at all
80. How does money fit into all this?
You need enough money to dress well
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
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?
A green velvet cape with hood, when I was 4. I felt glamorous
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
1958; born Cape Town; live in Canberra
What kind of work do you do?
I'm an academic
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
De facto, 3 adult kids from previous marriage
How do you feel after filling out this survey?