Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I am fit and dressed well and wearing makeup.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Yes. Women who look individual and confident in their appearance, and well put-together.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Being willing to wear something bold and unusual. Good posture.
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?
When I was in my early fifties I became unembarrassed about caring about clothes and makeup etc., and willing to dress for myself.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
No shopping when I don't feel OK about myself.
No shopping with my mother or friends who think buying clothes is frivolous.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
No boring shoes. No shiny clothes.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Get up and do what needs to be done.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Yes, the first time I succeeded in buying clothes for my young adult daughter that she actually liked.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
80's recap: it was bad enough the first time around and I deeply resent the waste of my youth on this decade of fashion.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My body is very similar to my mother's though larger in both dimensions. She wears simple clothes in natural fibers only, no dry-clean-ables or high heels, etc.. I didn't inherit that but I try to emulate her sense of simplicity and elegance in colors and shapes.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Three times: (1) When I started working in a conservative field (engineering) after college and felt I needed to blend in. (2) When I became a mother and didn't want to model too much focus on appearance. (3) When my daughter became and addict and I realized I had no idea what my life was about.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
16. Please describe your body.
5'5", 130 lb, white, 53 years old, athletic with relatively narrow hips, short waist, and large-ish droopy breasts.
17. Please describe your mind.
Analytical, skeptical, thoughtful.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Managed, but present.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Olive Keds, olive khakis, white shirt, watch, jade earrings, makeup for work, loose greying bob with blond/brown/red highlights,
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
We judge ourselves and each other so much by appearance.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My daughter and step-daughter, my husband, my friends.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
Yes, I bought an incredibly expensive dress for my first date after my divorce.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
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?
Every day for work.
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, but I don't know where it comes from.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Eye shadow and mascara. High heels.
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?
Not worried about making a negative impression, and not worried about ability to succeed.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
34. What do you consider very ugly?
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?
Yes, at this point in my life I know what I will wear, from experience.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Consider weather and who I will be seeing; if work, meeting schedule. Put on makeup, then choose clothing and shoes, and appropriate underwear for the outfit.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
I want to look coordinated and collected, appropriate and attractive.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing up involves sexier or more formal clothes.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
As the child of college professors in a small midwestern town, I grew up in an environment where fashion and style were mostly invisible and/or considered frivolous.
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?
Yes, as a college student I dressed to stand out, in things nobody else would ever wear. I'm not sure I can articulate why that was. I like to think I dress as an individual now, but I have no interest in standing out for its own sake.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Wear something that covers my tattoos and is age-appropriate.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
It's been very interesting to see how much how women in engineering dress has changed in the last 30 years. From being careful to blend in to corporate style in the 80s, to being intentionally careless and sort of masculine about appearance in the 90's, and now with more women in the field women dressing like women. It's a welcome development.
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 white shirt. It's not actually a great look for my body type, but I like how it appears cool and crisp.
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 fabulous forties.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
It depends. If they're from decades ago I think, gosh, I was beautiful and didn't know it. If they're current my reaction is less positive.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
I frequently dream of finding an enormous closet holding all the clothes I have ever had in my life.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
I like to attract my husband.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
To young women: you are so beautiful and sexy in your natural state, don't tarnish it by over-selling.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Yes, I love perfume.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I didn't wear any for a long time, but now that I have learned how to do it I prefer to wear it. It's a bit of a nuisance though.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
A sleeveless apricot knit dress that I bought in Venice on my honeymoon.
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?
Well, there's my wedding dress... and a pair of denim overalls that my mother embroidered for me when I was 17. Probably why I keep them but don't wear them is self-evident.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
No impulse purchases.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
Almost exclusively on-line now, evenings or weekends.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
10/25/1961... Boston... Portland, OR
What kind of work do you do?
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
married with grown children