Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
There are two moments in the day:
1. when i wake up after a great nights sleep.
2. when i am ready for a hot night out with friends or date (prep for which involves #1, possibly a brisk hike, and the execution of nail, hairs and wardrobe perfection)
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes! Confident women can evoke a head turn and a "wow". To clarify - the "wow" is not about body shape or size - its about how you wear what you feel like wearing.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Posture & Poise!
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 knew I was interested in fashion from an early age. Growing up in Alaska in the 80's and 90s pre internet had is challenges. It was all about catalogues and magazines. When a new catalogue or magazine arrived in the mail, I would disappear into a daydream world of fashion and culture. When my parents would go to the grocery store, I would stay in the magazine isle and read every issue that I hadn't already read.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I call it "fatalistic shopping": If I see something I love, but am on the fence about fit-wise or financially, I put it back and wait. If I am still thinking about it 1 day or week later, then I go back, and if its still there, I get it. If its gone, it “wasn’t meant to be”. However if I see something that fits me perfectly, and I feel absolutely fabulous in, I beg borrow and steal to get it. Once you find that awesome investment, its worth it. Then, after that I wear the item for about 2 weeks strait.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Start with a good base - if you do not love your underwear, you might as well go back to bed.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
It was more about style: An older wiser woman (who actually used to model in NYC the 70's) once told me that instead of down-playing compliments on my style or look, just say "thank you. You're so kind". I have done that ever since, and it has made for ease in conversation and changed my posture and outlook.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I generally keep things pretty tidy – but i always like to have a messy silverware drawer. Chaos in pretty.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Pretty much everything I absolutely fall in love with, I have to eventually get in every color.......... especially underwear, socks and pants. Pants are probably the most important because if they fit well I need as many pairs as I can possibly fit in my closet/budget.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Yes. So good in fact that I ask for to borrow them from time to time...........
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
God if I pass on a fashion trend its probably because its not right for my body. That being said, I've never been into logos or the gym clothes in public look.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
All the time, and them from me. Sometimes I get a little jealous about friends all of a sudden adapting to my style – but then I remind myself – oh I got that from someone else & made it my own, etc. we are all sharing and evolving together to find our styles.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I would say my style is always evolving – I used to wear keith haring shirts religiously – like, it was my “thing” in college. Now, you can't pay me to wear a t-shirt. The fit on my body simply is not flattering.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
The way I get political is trying to be very conscious of where & how my clothing is made. There are brands I trust, and brands I skirt around but might purchase sparingly. Thrifting and not purchasing anything full retail from brands or stores that I feel are abusive is sort of my way around that, but it's not a perfect system - but i try.
16. Please describe your body.
Constantly evolving curves & muscles on a tall sturdy frame
17. Please describe your mind.
open & curious
18. Please describe your emotions.
caring & present
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Black pants, black cardigan, penny loafers, and my hair is pulled back into a bun. Makeup is light eyes & heavy lips.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Clothing is how we adorn our bodies and give our bodies a voice or personality. Its our inward expression outward. dress how you feel / feel how you dress - i'd say that's pretty important for emotional wellbeing.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
friends - i've got a handful of fashionistas that i bounce things off. they are scattered around the country, and represent different styles and ages.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Taste would be Chanel picking out the 7 neckalaces that were all amazing, and style would be saying “ok now take one off”. (referencing that chanel quote about taking 1 item of jewelry off before leaving the house.)
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
whenever i try to go "corporate" and spend the money on a nice pair of "work pants" i end up never wearing them, because the corporate look just isn't my thing. and those work pants are not cheap!
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
for some reason i feel like i'm getting away with something when i find an item on ebay or through thrifting, and i get it tailored to perfection. even though at that point i've dropped some cash on the item, i still feel like its a deal.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
home, art, photography, cars
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 use scarves and jackets if I’m feeling anxiety – so I can still look classic and put together without trying. The scarf covers any weight issue I may be feeling that day, and the jacket gives it that tailored look.
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 grandmother taught me that even if it is 20 below in your small town in alaska, and all the other women are wearing snow boots........... its OK to wear high heels.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Fit. Get things tailored. Put the extra cash to making your clothes actually work for you. Find a good seamstress/tailor. Make friends with them. Put them on payroll. Bring them into your inner circle.
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 and Confident means that you are taking care of yourself physically and spiritually and it shows. You care about yourself - you give a damn.
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 Fit Fit. see above answer about finding a good tailor.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
A confident generous woman who takes care of herself in order to better help others.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
having no opinions or original thoughts - this usually makes itself present through slouching and frowning.
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?
generally yes. wiggle around in the dressing room - envision yourself wearing it to different places. take a hot lap around the block - if you are still thinking about it - get 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?
my outer eye is a stylish older man who probably went to burning man once in 1999, has spent a year in india, goes to tokyo on the fly and has a slightly darker/goth edge but you can't really see that until you get up close & personal.... i'm dressing for that man who will notice the details and appreciate.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
How I feel. I go with what I feel like that day – nothing is too planned. If an outfit hasn’t meshed with me by the time I walk out the door, I run back to my room and change.
Its all feeling based first, and then activity based. So if I feel artistic but have a meeting, I’ll go corporate but with a twist. The toughest days are when I’m feeling shy, but have a bunch of social things planned. If my outfit isn’t right, I’m useless socially.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
that changes with what i am trying to achieve. if i am trying to achieve a man......... i dress the part. if i am trying to achieve a job or win a client - i dress for that desired outcome.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
dressing is every day. dressing up "gettin' fancy"
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
I can’t buy enough black stretchy skinny jeans & black ballet tops
I call it my “margo tenenbaum” when I wear the same thing every day – which I do often. If I could have it my way, I’d wear a ballet top with skinny jeans every day. It makes me feel sexy, artistic, and I love wearing my hair up and feeling like a dancer.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
i know that "not me" is logos & cheaply made clothing.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
white from a white town with visions of jcrew dancing in my head. i ended up pretty preppy with a sinister weird side.
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 used to roll hard in birkenstocks and keith haring t-shirts.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
button down shirts that are tailored.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
i bleached my hair - but i don't have the courage to paint it seafoam green just yet.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
no. but my mother used to make me wear a dress to school once a week in high school. i think it was her way of keeping me modest and proper.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
yes - i would pack an extra outfit in my backpack, and change on the bus. i hated the fact that i was required to wear a dress. it felt very anne of green gables at a time in my life when i was not feeling that at all.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
comforting. i enjoy the uniform on public figures, and myself. sort of like a definition. when i am in a current "phase" it gives me the freedom to work on other projects like my photography and life goals.
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?
black black black.
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?
my current answer is my interest in Edwardian era things are being used in the Goth culture. I like the all black "austere" look. I am currently rocking that.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
not at all. i'm the one taking the pictures.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
both extremes of either "ugh" or "nailed it".
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Lana Turner, Annie Hall, Maude Lebowski, Egyptian Queens, Insecure Goths, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman,
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
boxy clothing is difficult for my frame.
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?
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
i'd like to say i'm trying to attract confident creative upstanding citizens who want to suck the marrow out of life!
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
fit style personal
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
i need to walk or hike every day in combo with a good nights sleep - if i don't do that i feel "off"
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
makeup has played a more important role as i get older. i want to look a certain way, and sometimes it takes makeup to get there. also, great make up can help you feel like your best self (sometimes)
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
a lot of basics / blacks / with attention to details and accent pieces.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
always changing. but currently: it is a pair of classic leather penny loafers.
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?
countless items that don't quite fit, but i can not part with because they are fashion finds - super fun stylish stuff that i might use in a photo shoot or something like that.
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?
i sound like a broken record here: buy things that fit well!
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 - i had a pair of black high waisted shorts that zippered on the side. i wore them every summer. they were so flattering. i STILL go through my mind on where i could have possibly left them. it breaks my heart that i lost them.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
black awesome fitted pants
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
i would not spend money on cheap jewelry & shoes. learn this now: they do not last.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
My first investment item was a pair of 280 dollar sandals. It was the first thing I bought when I moved to new York – the weather was terribly hot, and they were Italian dark leather with a button for the ankle strap. I loved them and wore them religiously – I even got them re-soled. However – I lost them in my move to California.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
these italian ballet flats that i noticed in someone's closet in east hampton one summer. i haven't been able to remember the brand and no matter how much i google - nothing rings a bell. i think they start with a b.......
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
neat to a point - every drawer has its theme, but once every couple of months i edit/organize.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
hand made sterling silver pinky ring with my name soldered on it - by my east coast family's/friends father.
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?
Burberry Wool Trench Coat - Its timeless and I wear it at least a few times every winter. I thought I would wear it one season, but its paid for itself a few times over at this point.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
In my 20’s I shopped in my spare time – whenever I could. I had a monthly routine in manhattan – hitting up all of my favorite stores, looking for the best deals. I was more a deal/bargain hunter. Now, in my 30’s I am more of a quality hunter. I know all of the good shops, know the owners, know the hours, etc. I save shopping for the wekends, when I have more of an open schedule, and can really take my time, and find pieces that will actually fit with my wardrobe.
Lastly, ebay: same goes for this. I have a weekly, sometimes nightly ritual where I check all of my saved searches, and “watch” the items I want to buy. Ebay has added so many awesome quality pieces to my wardrobe – simply from saved searches and watching.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
yes. insense-y woodsy sexy but subtle
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
i dress for what i want.
80. How does money fit into all this?
yikes. money is a game changer. money is actually the annoying part of some fashion - i die for the gorgeous hand tailored stuff, but i am too frugal to pay thousands for an item of clothing. having more money would definitely change the way i dress.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
red lipstick / mascara
silver pinky ring
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
all the time - even last night - i caught myself in the mirror, and i looked like a totally different person. I thought "what if this is how everyone sees me?" I liked it, so now i am trying to keep that vision and run with it.
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?
I remember my saltwater sandals, and loving them.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
i was born in the 70s in alaska. spent my 20s in new york, and am now living in the bay area.
What kind of work do you do?
photography / creative
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
a little self absorbed