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Adina Siperman

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Wearing red lipstick and not having smoked, drunken or eaten anything since application.

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

Of course. I notice the well dressed ones or the ones who exude so much confidence, you can't stop staring at them. Pretty ones also.

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

I most admire the women who show you that they know who they are and they are comfortable being that person, regardless of beauty, height, weight, car keys or clothing labels.

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?

Madonna's Erotica period. I was a kid, but I found out exactly the woman who I wanted to be.

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

I buy clothes according to the size, not according to how well they fit me. If it's a size 10 but fits me like a glove, it's staying on the hanger.

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

I belt almost everything. Not everyone looks good in belts. Or wants to.

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

I don't know about conversation, but I just recently returned from living in Israel for the past five years. Women there have a different thing about fashion. They're into it, they follow it, but they don't worship it. It's just something they put on. I really liked that I morphed into that mentality. Now, having returned to Toronto 9 months ago, I find that I'm back to allowing my clothes, style, presentability dictate how I feel about myself on any given day. Also, in Israel they don't wear heels. That was much better for me.

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

Not at all.

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

I have one entire drawer dedicated to white tank tops.

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

NO. I buy people wicked jewelry and they don't seem to like it.

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

Ugh. Uggs.

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

My mom and I don't necessarily have the same taste, but when someone looks really good, we both agree.
My grandmother had fantastic style and I look at old pictures, even from ones before I was born, and try to emulate something that she did there.

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

Of course. My best friend is still waiting for me to return a pair of jeans that I stole from her in high school. They don't fit me anymore, but they will one day.

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

I turned 30 and realized that my boobs had to stop being the focus. Since that birthday, I've tried to dress more ladylike.

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

Not particularly political, but I want someone who's looking at me to know that I'm serious.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm proportionate.

17. Please describe your mind.

I'm both a fast and slow thinker.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I'm disproportionate.

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

As usual, I'm wearing black. This evening I'm going to get a haircut, so I did my hair really nicely so that the new hairdresser would get excited when I walked in.

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

It is. Style is art. And fashion bleeds into culture, history, economics, anthropology, etc. But it's not as important as it's become. A cotton t-shirt is not worth $100 and a woman is not worthy just because of the colour on the bottom of her high heels.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My mom, my sister, my aunt, the ladies of my life. Not my gays, though.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I don't know, but I'm sure they do.

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 more than style. Style is a knack. It's something that you either have or don't. I wish I had it, but I don't. There are just some girls and guys who know how to work every piece of clothing. And you put on the same white t-shirt and jeans, but it doesn't do the same thing for you. That's style.

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

I'm pretty cheap when it comes to clothes. Maybe 10 years ago I bought a cardigan for $100 and though it's too small, I still wear it.

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

No, but I'd like to learn some.

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

I'm a writer. And once I read a piece of my writing out loud to an audience and someone said that I should be a designer. I didn't see the connection.

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?

If I'm having an ugly day, I put on a lot of eye makeup. It makes me feel better.

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 know what I like. I'm a discerner. For things that only affect me. When it involves other people, I become ambivalent.

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 dad used to design jewelry and he taught me that less is more. So I try and use that philosophy for clothing and make up as well.

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

Red lipstick, even though my husband hates it, it makes me feel good. And doing my hair all big and wild. Guys like that.

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?

It means that the person doesn't get swayed by others' opinions. I like that a lot in people. They will act, do, say the same thing tomorrow that they did or said yesterday.

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?

Just do it.

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

Confidence. That's a newer thing that I find beautiful. It used to be the standard standards of beauty and I realized that beautiful people are as lame, boring, ugly as anyone else. Confidence is the only thing that's going to be sexy at 70.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Scowls. And the colour orange.

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 know I'll wear it if it's plain, cotton and can be mixed with other things in my closet.

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

How long I have to wear this for. If it's all day, it's got to be comfortable and situation appropriate.

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

I want to be taken seriously and respected. People do that most when you're dressed elegantly.

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

Dressing is every day, dressing up is the weekends.

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

Black cotton everything.

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

Me = black, cotton, silver jewelry
Not Me = Uggs, clothing with logos, orange

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

I lived in Mexico for awhile and I want to bring more colour into my wardrobe and I try, but I can't.

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?

I wear some of the same pieces that I wore in high school.

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

Pearl earrings are professional and crisp button up shirts.

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

I conform, but I work in a pretty cool, young building, so it's pretty rebellious.

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 think I would like it. I went to a private school without a uniform, but I always secretly wished that we had one.

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?

When I see Ryan Gosling in a t-shirt, I wish that I was him.

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

Argentina during Evita.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

I should not tilt my head like that.

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

Evita, Madonna and I really like how Nicole Richie dresses.

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

I'm sure.

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

High heels and PVC

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

1982. I was born in Winnipeg, I live in Toronto.

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

I'm Jewish. Latina. Canadian. Financially comfortable, but I only shop at H&M.

What kind of work do you do?

I work in event management.

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

Married, no kids.

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

90210 was a great influencer of what I think is chic.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Good. I love surveys. I love style. I appreciate clothes. And I love giving my opinion.

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