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Barbara Gainer

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I am dressed in clothes that not only fit well but are comfortable.

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

Yes I notice women on the street, both dressed well and not dressed appropriately.
I like the classic look, not frilly or loud but well made.

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

Their clothes express their inner self and their confidence. You walk taller when you dress well.

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 was watching "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor and the colours she wore.
I sewed my own clothes as a teenager and for many years afterward and the colours I chose were a result of watching the movie...all that gold.

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

Find something you like, try it on, then look at the price tag.
Unfortunately I'm influenced by the cost. I wish I wasn't.

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

Things that match.
Wear the same combination of shirt and pant because you think it looks good.
I should not be afraid to mix it up but I am.

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

A lot of routine and doing chores and managing life the same way all the time.

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

It's an extension of you and shows others your personality and inner self.

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

If I have made the item of clothing or put special thought into a jewelry purchase it is rewarding to see the person wear the item frequently and receive complements about it.

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

I have my mothers limbs...hands and legs but not her breasts. I slept a lot on my stomach so maybe that's why.

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

My girlfriend gave me a scarf as part of a birthday present. I wouldn't have bought it myself because it has a lacy fringe but I receive complements on the scarf every time I wear it.
I love the scarf and the way it makes me feel well dressed when I wear it.

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

No, I don't think so.

16. Please describe your body.

5'4" tall, smallish breasts (though they functioned perfectly when I was breast feeding my 2 children),shorter than average length arms, long torso, a little hipish, larger than I would like butt, shorter than average legs.
I say shorter than average for legs and arms because I always have to shorten sleeves and pant legs unless I buy petite.

17. Please describe your mind.

Orderly, compartmentalized, neat, a holder of knowledge and memories of life experiences.

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?

No makeup on face; underarm deodorant; cologne (D&G Light Blue); short haircut that curls naturally; clothing-Ralph Lauren paisley shirt with 3/4 sleeve, Ralph Lauren black corduroy pants.

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

It reveals a little of who you are for everyone to see whether you know them or just pass them on the street.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My girlfriends and female relatives.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

When I was in the workforce it helped to dress appropriately. It showed you cared about yourself.

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

I'm sure I do. But I purchase things because I like them not because they are in style.

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

I paid 450$ for a formal dress I wore once. It's still hanging in my closet. I hope to have an occasion to wear it again.

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

I wear colour close to my face as it gives my face colour.

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

In my home furnishing and recent kitchen renovation.
I like Stickley (mission style) furniture and earthy, nature colours.
My grandparents who lived next door to me when I was a child had Mission style furniture that I liked even then. I have my grandfathers chest of drawers that my husband uses. I love the smell of the wood when I open the drawers.

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. It probably came from my mother who was very particular about what she bought when she bought which wasn't often.

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 helped me find clothes. I often wore handled owns from my Aunt.

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

Add sparkle to whatever I wear. Use face and eye makeup.

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?

Exactly that.

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?

Don't overdress as your inner self will come out on it's own. You don't have to reveal everything.

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

1947 born in Toronto currently living in Thunder Bay

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

English, working to middle class economic background.

What kind of work do you do?

Secretary, human resources payroll clerk, bookkeeper.

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

Married, 2 boys

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

Average, normal upbringing and lifestyle. Not showy or spend to impress. Meat and potatoes with veggies not surf and turf.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Aware of myself and why I wear what I do.


Born in Toronto in 1947. Lived in Peterborough, Sudbury, Wawa, Marathon and currently in Thunder Bay.
Worked in retail, car rental agency, business for self and public sector before retiring in 2010.

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