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Jennifer Bowles

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I have taken the time to wear something I feel pretty or cool in. I will be wearing a favorite or new item and will hopefully be able to get my hair to look good. I feel best when I have make up on though I often go without it during the day.

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

Women who are confident no matter what they wearing. Even if I don't particularly like their outfit I notice they project self assuredness.

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

Nice hair and the ability to put on make especially eye liner as I cannot seem to ever get that right. When a woman appears happy and at ease with herself and those around her. When she is smiling and is kind with staff or wait persons/sales people.

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?

At some point I realized that having great quality in clothing that is classic in style was worth far more in the long run than a lot of trendy, cheaper clothing. I think I may have had that happen as I became more professional in my clothing for work and had more money to spend, though I often shopped before that in consignment or thrift stores. I really loved finding the treasure in the piles of junk and got where I could pick them out usually by fabric alone.

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

I recently have changed some of my shopping rules if that's what it is. I usually buy what I fall in love with. I'm much better at knowing my own personal style now and will get items that can go with those I already own. I go thru and glean out what no longer works every season and either pack it away if I think I may want to wear it again or consign, donate or give away pieces that I don't feel are representative of my style any longer .

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

I focus on comfort at home and often on weekends when I'm just hanging around the house. I wouldn't wear something I need to have dry cleaned to sit around the house or do crafting in.

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

Honestly, I had a wonderful sales person who told me that wearing a push up bra was more attractive on someone with a larger chest (me) than wearing a minimizer bra.

That and when I had a sales person say "there will always be more" that I love. So if I can't afford something now something else will come along later that I will love.

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

I am organized in some areas but really have to work at it. I have to work at letting go of things , people who are not good for me (negative),
And I can be a real procrastinator.

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

Yes. I have a lot of boots but they are of different styles that have a different feel or look. I can never have too many (!!!)

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

Yes. I love giving clothing or jewelry that my friend or family member loves.

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

Birkinstocks. Large sun glasses.

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

She passed down the love of clothing as well as finding a good deal on an item. She taught me how to sew and from that I know whether something is well made or not.

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

No. I tend to have my own sense of style.

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

Probably after grad school and starting to work in my chosen field.

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

Not that I'm aware of.

16. Please describe your body.

5'6". Good legs. Curvy though getting in shape for last 2 months. Weak on posture. Pale skin, freckles, blonde hair shoulder length.

17. Please describe your mind.

Tired from work. Wanting to have more time to be creative. Working on keeping stress to a minimum. Good at problem solving. Compassionate but easily saddened by the pain in the world. A tendency toward depression and anxiety. Grieving the loss of my parents (a year ago) and missing my children who are adults living out of the area where I live. In love with my partner who I've known for over 30 years and love his family who I've known as well.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Happy more than I would think especially with so much grief in my work and life right now. Enjoy laughing and cry easily. Trying to stop so much worry and fear. Relaxed much of the time as I tend to be a homebody.

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

Face cream from trip to Paris. Skirt and tshirt from gap (weekend comfort wear and it's hot outside). Barefoot. Hair pulled up in a clip. No makeup.

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

It can really help to provide more confidence, self love (taking care if myself), armor when needed and coverage re skin cancer or warmth in the cold.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My daughter. People in stores I shop in.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Dress codes. No open toed shoes is the worst.

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

Taste seems more innate to me whereas style can be learned. Style seems more fashion related whereas taste can be fashion, home, gift giving, etc

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


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

No but that sounds interesting! Maybe my thrift finds I continue to wear with my expensive things.

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

Home decor. Artistic eye in art or craft.

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?

Absolutely. Clothing can make you feel powerful. It can make you feel confident and amazing.

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 have discernment. I know what I'm drawn to and while I think it's always been that way for many things I have grown a wider appreciation for things.

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. Mom taught me to see and care for clothing.

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

Hair clean, down and natural. Sexy without being overt. Makeup to play up my own features not overpower them.

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 means clothing that isn't tight or restricting.
Confident is looking people in the eye and being comfortable in your own skin. Liking and trusting yourself.

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?

Good quality for classic pieces. Spend more on those. Less on the basics. Timeless clothing rather than trendy. Wear what you love and what makes you feel bad or frumpy get rid of it. It no longer serves you.

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

Texture, old well worn classic jeans, leather boots, well patinaed and well loved books, utensils (pens, journals, cameras) and well designed things.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Poor quality, mass produced, something worn once.

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?

Buy what you love and what looks good on you. Know your body and what looks good on it.

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?

Natural, not fussy, not plastic or too overdone. Not trendy or following someone else's idea of who I am or should be. Dress code rebel!

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

Weather and what I will be doing.

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

Coherent choices considering the activities and how I'm feeling or want to feel.

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

Dressing up takes a bit longer. But not being high maintainance it doesn't take that much longer. When you have clothes you bought because you love them they are like friends you put on.

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

Jeans well fitting, tshirt a that are good quality. Boots, jewelry (a silver cuff or statement necklace), a leather jacket. Mascara, face cream, bow pencil, lip stain. Hair up most days due to hot flashes!

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

Classic, minimalism, a bit of rock. Not me is frilly, fussy, stilettos or tons of face paint.

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

Caucasian. Love to southwest where we vacationed as a kid. Love jeans and leather and silver due to this.

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?

At heavier weight I wore Baggie clothing trying to hide my form.

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

Neat, polished, ironed. Nothing obviously sexy or low cut (I've got boobs!) or showing a lot of skin.

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

By wearing a bit of leather with dressier things. By wearing boots a lot. By dressing well for my body type.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


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, leather jacket, boots

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?


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

The 60's in London

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

I'm getting more forgiving of my flaws.

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

Jane birkin's, Kate moss,

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

Yes. I was helping my self out of a lake: I was an older and more evolved self trying to tell the self of that time it would all work out. To hold on.

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

Frilly, southern belle. Really high heels with platforms.

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?

The same I'm wearing. Maybe more pants.

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?

Experiment till you find your own style. Keep a style journal.

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

I love it but can only wear it when not working.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

Iron. Wear the right under garments.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

I look better with ascaris and brow pencil.

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?


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

A silver cuff. A leather vest. Isabel marant boots. Hermes scarf. Concho belt.

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?

An amazing over dress (?) transparent, that is from the company lost and found. It's very dressy and it just feels very fancy. But it is extremely beautiful and well made and I got it for a song.

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?

Shoes and jackets/coats.

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?


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

My Chanel cape.

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

Nothing different

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

An yohji Yamamoto top

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

Perhaps the top in last question

73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?

The perfect white blouse

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

Need more room

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

Anything my children got for me.

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?

Often. In person and on line

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Clean or light scent of perfume. Natural smell not overly floral.

79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?

Gives me self confidence

80. How does money fit into all this?

Shopping and curating closet is a big hobby.

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

Tom ford glasses

82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?

You like uniqueness (in a good way)

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?


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

Born in Southern California
Still live in same county

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

Middle class Caucasian female who appreciates all cultures, music and art.

What kind of work do you do?

Hospice social worker

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

Living with my boyfriend; two adult children; he has three adult daughters

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

I love clothing and creative pursuits.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

It was enjoyable.

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