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Alissa Kramer

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I've been eating healthy and working out and I'm at home, content in my sweatpants.

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

Sometimes. I mostly notice how young women are dressed and how they really are bad dressers.

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

I would like to pay more attention to fashion and how clothes can actually flatter my body. Fit clothes to my body rather than my body to clothes.

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

Yes, lots. I think most people do. I think it's easy, I know they fit and I know how they look. I'm pretty picky and have a hard time finding things that look good, so if I do I want to stick with it.

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? 

Yes, many. I have essentially had the same style for my whole life and rarely go into any fashions. I like to look like and feel like myself, and as for anyone, clothes are an expression of that. Since I feel like I've known who I was for a long time, I've never felt the need to join in any trends, whether it was "hippy" or "goth" in high school, or sorority looks in college, I have never gotten into trends. I just don't feel comfortable wearing something if it's not "me".

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

My mother passed me her thinner legs and larger stomach area with no real hips, and big boobs. Her style is also fairly simple and laid back, but slightly feminine style, and dresses in lots of the same styles she always had.

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

Yes, definitely have a few friends that have influenced my style (and wardrobe) over the years, but not many.

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?

No not especially or on purpose, anyway.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm thick- an "apple" almost, but also fairly proportional.

17. Please describe your mind.

My mind is a sharp and dangerous place.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Sometimes, in my natural state, I feel things so acutely that I ache. For that reason, I also can become completely numb and fairly flat.

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

I am wearing maternity jeans (I'm not pregnant, they're just comfortable!), a black shirt and gold sandals. My hair is in a pony tail with a few wisps pulled to the side around my face. I'm not wearing any make up. A small pair of earrings.

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

It's fairly non-descript and I can fit into most social situations in this look.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My sister, mother, female family. Sometimes friends.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Lots. The way I dress will completely change when I'm in a professional institution, or have a meeting somewhere else outside my office.

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

Yes, I think I have both. Even though I dress somewhat conservatively, if I see something that I think is amazing and unique, or that juxtaposes two unexpected things, like a pearl necktie or my kitson hoodie, I will buy it and I get TONS compliments on it. I think if you have style, you can get away with wearing many things, even if you might miss one outfit, because it's all part of an overall look that you're cultivating. If you have a vision for a piece, you can pull it off in a way that someone with less style can. I also believe I have good taste and will often give advice to others, even though I don't care or have enough resources to wear something myself.

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

Interior design, graphic design (social media presence is stylized)

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 live by the phrase "a hood up situation"

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?

Yes I think so- I've never been one who had a tolerance for things I didn't like (for better or worse)- low tolerance for stupidity, inefficiency, and wasteful people. the same goes for clothes. I know what I like and what I don't.

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?

Yes, a bit. While clothes have never been a huge focus of my family, my mothers has taught some "rules" (though not always followed): the basics, not wearing white after Labor Day, or not mixing black/brown gold/silver (those this is changing). My mom was a huge fan of Coach and spending money on something if it was high quality. She also is big on taking care of clothes; not drying everything, also dry cleaning.

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

Not much.

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?

For me, comfort is sweat pants. Loose fitting, cotton clothes, that aren't too high on my neck. People who seem confident isn't necessarily a type of clothes, but the way you carry yourself in them.

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?

dress to impress...yourself.

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

Laughter and kindness

34. What do you consider very ugly?

greed, jealousy, arrogance

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

My process is laying in bed and thinking about what to wear until I finally get up and see what fits and how I feel.

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

To look passable for work

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

dressing is wearing what the day calls for. dressing up is for a fancier occasion, like a dress and heels.

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

Jeans and a black or white shirt

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

Me: Jeans, sweatpants, adidas, hoodies, camisoles, layering, flip flops

Not me: Skirts, running shoes, suits,

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

I'm Jewish but I don't think that's influenced the way I dress

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

do hair, put on mascara and liner, wear heels and fitted clothes

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

wearing jeans, flip flops and sneakers on casual (or not) days

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?

jeans and a hoodie- so comfortable, feel so myself.

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 really, no...

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

not especially

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

that I look fat in certain angles

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

kate beckinsale

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?

so much more diversity than I do now- more dresses, heels and tank tops, shorts, bikinis...

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

no it gives me allergies

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

rings, earrings mostly- but I only wear the same ones over and over again. I have a huge collection of earrings that I used to wear, but can't bear to part with even though I don't wear them. I hardly wear bracelets or necklaces

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

long gold earrings (shoulder length), small chanel studs, rings

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?

so much that I hope to "fit into" one day again...

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?

yes, there is a t-shirt that my grandmother gave me of all these naked figures in a big chaotic ball, and I think it was stolen from me when I lived in Germany 10 years ago. I want it back because I like it, it's unique and one of a kind, and it was given to me by my grandmother, so also sentimental. There are other clothes as well, but that one stands out the most. They also gave me a Munich skiing hoodie, which is sentimental. A pair of black and white pinstripe books which fell apart after years of wear, an adidas raincoat, and much, much more.

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

I can't keep just one thing!!

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?

Get more classic, fitted, professional pieces

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

Probably a suit. Or the aforementioned pinstripe books.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

try to keep them neat, but they get so messy...

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?


77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

when the seasons change. at marshalls, tj's and nordstrom rack.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

like myself, but clean.

80. How does money fit into all this?

It's hard to afford the nicer pieces that I want and I know would fit well, so I always put it off in favor of cheaper things I know I like in the short run. Probably doing myself a disservice.

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

June 3. I was born in Boston and live in Boston now (again)

What kind of work do you do?

I work in international higher ed

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


How do you feel after filling out this survey?

it was more interesting than I thought, but long and I'm not sure what the point will be..

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