Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Wearing something new and bright that fits me perfectly.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I notice a woman who is wearing her clothes with style and not a woman who's clothes are wearing her.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Grooming. Clothes that fit. Confidence. Something Unique.
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 a presenter of workshops for home based business and balancing work and family. It was important to feel good about myself. At some point I started to notice how I feel in different clothes. If something makes me feel fat or frumpy, I throw it out regardless of cost or anything else.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
If i buy something new it has to go with three things that I already have. When i put that new thing in my closet, the garment I consider to be the least worth saving gets thrown out.
I have a certain number of hangers. When they are full, I need to do some culling.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Fit, fit and fit. Clean and ironed (if ironing is required). Because of what I said in #5, it is easy to dress because my clothes are all friendly with each other.
Loose on top, fitted on the bottom. Fitted on the top, loose on the bottom.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
It wasn't a conversation. I was videod doing a mock job interview. When I saw the video, I did not recognize myself though everyone else said it was fantastic. I could not see what I think of as myself.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Yes, I have a very good eye for what would look good on someone. My gifts of clothing are always appreciated.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
The very high spike heels. And the slut clothes so many young women are wearing. I am not interested in attracting sexual attention from men.
I respect myself.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
I think it has. My mother was very pretty, and when she was going out she dressed beautifully, but never overtly sexy. She knew what suited her and I think whe was a bit of a prude. I never saw her in her underwear need I say more.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I love African "boo boo dresses". Much like the Hawaian moo moo, but beautiful ethnic fabrics. I once had a friend weave an alpaca shawl for me after seeing it in a movie. I have tried to dress like Issac Dinesen in Out of Africa, but it never worked for me.
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?
16. Please describe your body.
I have been a yo yo dieter since my teens and am now 68. I am overweight but I have accepted that all diets work until you stop doing them and then the weight comes back. I am comfortable in my clothes, am very good at camoflage, and people always comment that I look great. I am 5'6", 190 lbs. White hair worn long in a side braid. Fit and healthy.
17. Please describe your mind.
Interested in many things. Curious. I would say that i am a pop culture junkie.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I struggle with clinical depression sometimes. I have had three major periods where medication and therapy were necessary. Because of a lot of therapy and an interesting life experience, I now consider my emotions authentic, and uncontaminated by historical events.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am wearing a cotton top made of interesting fabric that I died myself. It was probably Mexican originally Navy pants (French Dressing). My hair is loose, curly from washing it yesterday and the top and sides are gathered at the back (about top of ear height) with a clip. I live on an island in British Columbia with a population of 1000. That seems relevant to how I am dressed.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I think clothes and fun! When I lived In a city, I did volunteer work (3 years) outfitting women living in poverty for job interviews. We had hair stylists and make-up artists too. You can look at this completely volunteer run free service wear2start.com
That work was so rewarding, fullfilling and appreciated!
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I have style. That means that my clothes are an expression of how I feel about myself. I have very expensive taste and not the budget for it but no one would know by looking at my clothing.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Yes, my home and craftwork.
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?
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 am good at discernment. I feel that I can read people well. The reason would be because I know myself. I know it is trite to say that but it really is true that we recognize what we know.
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 older sister always looked like she just stepped out of Vogue. I probably watched her though I did not copy her. I always tried to wear clothes that would not be considered competition.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
I'm so done with that. 68
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?
To me that would mean that there is no need to be any way other than how we are. Trustworthy, clear in speaking, interested and interesting. Or not.
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?
Enjoy your clothes.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
34. What do you consider very ugly?
negative or angry attitude
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?
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?
No, I don't do that. I may have when I was a teenager.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I live outside a lot. I consider comfort, warmth or light. As I said above, my clothes are easy to pair up
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I don't think about it. I dress for myself to feel comfortable and to look well put together.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up would have more flair, nice fabrics and accessories. Probably a skirt or dress and appropriate shoes.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
The African or Egyptian caftan.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Natural fibres. Colours playing against each other.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
Third generation Canadian. Some Scandinavian and Scottish heritage way back there.
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?
In my professional life I dressed professionally. I am retired now and live in a rural community. Still, my clothing is just as important to me as it always was.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Precision cut hair - kept up every 6 weeks. Basic make-up. Foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, blush. Clothing similar to what professional people around me are wearing but still with my unique flair.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
Because of the kind of work I did, workshops for professional women and/or the job interview, I would dress to demonstrate what would be appropriate for those I was teaching.
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?
A top with long sleeves rolled up a couple of turns. It's length would be to mid-thigh and it would be of beautiful ethnic fabric. Slim pants. Great shoes.
This way of dressing is always comfortable, appropriate for most situations and I do dress this way more than I don't.
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?
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
No. I am definitely not.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Unless it is a really skilled photographer I usually think it is a bad angle and then laugh at myself!
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Admired but not drawn from Princess Diana
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Yes, In my dreams I sometimes am in very fancy shops looking at the 50% off rack! I try things on and swan around.
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?
I have had thin years and big years. I tend to dress the same. The main difference has been that in my thin years I would get more sexual attention and I still preferred to dress in a way that is not about my body. I know occassionally I would wear a big belt in a thin year being proud of my waistline.
In honesty I have always wanted to be thinner. But at this age, while I wouldn't want to be any heavier, I am done with trying to be thinner. I believe that dieting is what made me fat in the first place.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
No. But I do take pride in how I dress.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
A tailor is a worth while investment. When I have had money years, I loved choosing fabric and having clothes made. There are a lot of little adjustments that can really improve how a garment fits.
Find out your best colours. Ignore fads, especially in shoes, they can change dramatically.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I don't wear it and I don't like to smell it. Especially on men, they wear too much.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Pants and skirts in basic colours like black and grey. A variety of sweaters and tops. Several jackets from casual with pants to office type. My tops might be knit or ethnic fabric or linen, cashmere sweaters. Several tops with unusual shapes at the hip or waist line. I have necklaces which i tend to not wear much. I have some great ear rings and enjoy wearing them.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
my cotton nighty!
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?
It is a wool cape from Scottland. Navy blue outside and burgundy inside. It has a hood and long scarf like pieces that can be wrapped around the neck. It is beautiful and I wore it a lot in the city but because it is open and overlapping down the front, it is not very warm when it is windy. Also, the wide sleeves end just below the elbow -again allowing cold wind to enter. But I keep it because I love it - I think it is my favorite garment ever. And on the rare occassion that I do wear it, it is perfect.
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 boots. Shoes for walking, city, beach or boating. Boots for walking or hiking, even in the rain!
This is in the five years that I have lived here.
Before that in Victoria, shoes, jackets, good quality coat. Purses!
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. A genuine leopard coat with a big high collar. Very Marilyn Monroe. I sold it to a friend when I needed some money for something and we agreed that someday I could buy it back from her. It looks fabulous on her, she is French and can carry it off. I would not have opportunity to wear it here. But I do have a vintage leopard muff that is persian lamb on the other side!
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
My cotton nighty
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I would start with beautiful underwear!
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
It would be the wool cape described above. I still own and wear it.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
That wool cape!
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
June 1, 1946. I was born in Vancouver BC and I now live on an island on the west coast.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
Like my thin years and fat years, money for me has been the same. Some years flush and some years budgeting. I am very spontanious and enjoy change.
What kind of work do you do?
Retired. Volunteer at the Museum and at our local Free Store.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Have been married twice, and divorced twice. I have one daughter who just had a baby boy. She is 41. She lives in Toronto and I visit once or twice a year.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I have always loved clothes and would consider my life artful. Money can be fun but the things I buy when I have it I still enjoy when I don't have it. That is how I shop.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I enjoyed it.