Read Surveys (By Author)

Mary Handel

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I am going out on a Saturday night

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

I always notice the woman who looks sophisticated, casual or not and doesn't look like she spent an inordinate amount of time doing it.

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

I admire a woman who dresses for herself and is not intimidated by what others think. Even if a particular friend does not dress that well, it impresses me if she wears what she wants!

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?

When I was young I had one of the first crop of Barbie dolls. Barbie's clothes were so fine. She had sweater sets, lined camel coats, jeans and dresses with zippers. Each article of clothing was tailored beautifully. It was then that I realized that this is what I want when I grow up.

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

Buy items you like, off season and stock up. My taste rarely changes, except for some trendy pieces, so these clothes end up being an investment in a future season.

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

I need my clothing to emphasize the waist, because that is the smallest part of my body.

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

Listening to Stacey and Clinton on What Not to Wear was transformative and helped me to try new things. I have not had a conversation with anyone that specifically transformed my style.

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

I always do the best I can, in any venue of my life. I am a bit of a perfectionist and won't buy something unless I love it. It's either perfect or wrong to me.

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

Black boots and shoes. I need a variety of heels, heights, toes, materials and won't wear an article of clothing if the footwear isn't right

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

Any gift I buy is something that I really think is perfect for that person, but of course, I know that it still may be returned. I feel good about a suede jacket I once gave my friend, because she wore it all the time.

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

Stiletto heels. I'll kill my self and I'm not so thrilled with the look any way.

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

Yes. My mother and I were built very similarly. Like my mother, I am not great at putting make up on when I go about errands, etc. However, when going to an event or night out, we are always dressed from head to toe with matching accessories, etc.

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

Not really.

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

When I was in my twenties and thirties I was intimidated about my outfits. I tended to dress up more than my friends, who wear jeans only! As I approached my forties I decided to wear what I like and don't allow anyone to tell me I look too "dressed up".

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


16. Please describe your body.

Smaller on top, wide hips and small waist. I am only 5 feet tall.

17. Please describe your mind.

I only know one way of doing things, the right way (as I perceive things). Whether it's grocery shopping, decorating my house or in my work world.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I am an emotional person. I generally see things more negatively.

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

I am wearing pajama pants, tee shirt from the day, no make up and hair make up.

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

It's important that I am comfortable in my home. It's important to look neat (ironed t-shirts, jeans) and matching when out in the world.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My friends and my son, who needs help.

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

I think I have taste and a style of my own. I think style is more important. It means that someone can have good taste and buy good pieces, but are unable to put an outfit together.

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

I bought a costly silver bracelet (very dressy) but haven't worn it yet (3 years or more since I bought it)

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

Dark bottoms, empire waist or wearing a belt slightly above the waist.

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

Decorating. My house is coordinated from one room to the next, except for the bedrooms.

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 have gone to a party with a family member and her stuck up friends went to. I bought the same uniform that they all wore at the time, which was a black pant suit and black booties with a heel.

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 am discriminating. Even picking out a dog collar is something I think of. It they don't have one that I like or if it's too expensive, I will just wait.

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?

My mother taught me more by example than discussions. She had beautiful handbags which could still be worn 40 years later. She had beautiful jewelry and always looked put together when she went out.

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

I will wear a dress to make myself look more alluring.

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?

That these people don't need to be praised every time they buy or wear something. They are confident enough to make their own decisions.

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?

Fit is more important than fabric. The whole look is more important than the individual pieces. Wear good handbags. Cheap ones never look the same.

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

The sunset, the beach, some people and pets that I know.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Cheap, slutty clothing never looks good to me. When a woman tries too hard to look sexy, it always backfires on them.

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 will keep receipts and if an item has not been worn in 2 months, it goes back to the store.

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?

The other "person" is a collection of the person I will be seeing that day. However, I try to look appropriate for different occasions.

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

Spend too much time putting outfits together and not enough time on my face and hair.

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

Too look polished and not showing more skin than necessary for that occasion. For example, I am more exposed at an affair than for work.

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

Dressing is putting on jeans, a sweater and boots. Dressing up is getting my hair blown out, getting a manicure and wearing something I wouldn't wear to work.

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

Jeans, turtle neck and boots.

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

Something that is "me" is something that is tailored, Ralph Lauren, J Crew or Banana Republic-ish. What is not me is clothes form the junior department or anything too flowey.

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

i live on long island and

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

1114/51. born in bklyn, ny and now live on long island

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

Jewish women seem to spend a decent amount of money on their appearances. I think that this is a good thing, unless you are spending more than you should or more time than you should.

What kind of work do you do?

teacher working with infants with developmental delays

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

married, two grown sons

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

I like that I am thorough on pursuit of the "right" coat, etc, but glad that I can make a decision, which was difficult for me years ago.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I wish i could answer the rest of the questions, but this survey is too long.


I am from a family with two parents and two daughters. I feel that i am girly, in that i love shopping, etc, but don't like clothing that is too ruffly or have too much in the way of decoration

Share This Page

Read more surveys (By Author) Read more surveys (By Question)