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Jamie Boulton

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

In a dress or a skirt/jacket combo that I made so it fits perfectly.

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

Yes, I am always looking at what other people wear. I love clothes that look stylish without being trendy. Comfortable but never frumpy. Honestly, how can some people leave the house wearing the things they do??

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

I am always on the lookout for older women who dress attractively without looking "trussed up" or uncomfortable.

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

I shop sewing pattern catalogs and make most of my own clothes. I also sometimes remake items from thrift stores.

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

I am really small, so I have to stay away from oversized garments, wide legged pants or great big prints that overwhelm my little body. I don't wear "talking clothes" or anything with words on it. I like to look good in an understated way.

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

I don't think I've ever had that kind of conversation with anybody. Most people I know don't talk about fashion other than to make fun of it.

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

I don't think so. I am always struggling to be more organized and efficient, but it continues to elude me!

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

Jeans and T-shirts. So boring! I'm trying to get over this.

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

I've given shirts to my husband and my son, made skirts for my daughter up until she graduated from college, but giving clothing to women seems very difficult to me. The skirts I made for my daughter required lots of input from her.

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

Plenty! I am in my 50's and there are more every day! I never ever wore super high heals even though I am barely 5' tall. I think they make women look cheap. Sneakers and sweat pants never looked good on anybody.

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

My Mother is keen on women's rights rarely wears anything very feminine. I love clothes only women can wear.

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

My sisters have given me clothes they tired of over the years, mostly because they no longer fit them and I am small.

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

I went to work at a bank and I LOVED being able to wear dresses and nice clothes. I still do, even though I am currently out of work. I am looking for a job that allows or requires nice clothes.

16. Please describe your body.

Petite boyish figure. Hard to find anything that fits and is appropriate for my age. That is why I why I sew.

17. Please describe your mind.

Aiming for peace and tranquility, oh and confidence. So far this only happens when I'm sleeping. But everyone needs a goal!

18. Please describe your emotions.

A moving target. Very hard to pin down.

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

No make-up. I rarely wear any. Jeans and a t-shirt. Sigh.

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

Not at home, where I am now. Out in the world, what I wear is very important. Mostly it is about how it makes me feel about myself.

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

I am an avid gardener, so even though I rarely wear floral prints, my garden is full of flowers. I guess you could say I like to dress up my outdoor spaces.

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?

Job interviews. Wearing well fitting classically styled clothing helps tremendously.

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?

Oh yes. I think it comes from life experience. You learn what works and what doesn't. The trick as you get older is to not become rigid.

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 mom always said "Stay away from trends. Expensive clothes should be classic so they don't go out out style."

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 usually means sneakers or old lady shoes. Confident dressing conjures up images of business casual.

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

Simple, well made classic clothing. Usually natural fibers. Silk and wool.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Tight clothes on overweight people.

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

What will I be doing today? What is the weather going to be? Sometimes I try on several items before making up my mind.

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

Dressing is what you wear around the house. Dressing up means going someplace special, or even to work if I get to wear a dress.

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

Something like what flight attendants wear.

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

Me: Classic style, a little bit boho, a little bit arty, just a little.

Not me: Hats.

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?

When I was a teen, it was all about wearing what all my friends wore.

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

Hairspray, panty hose, low healed shoes.

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


48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?


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?

Maybe the 40's.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

She looks old!

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

Caroline Kennedy, Nancy Reagen, Michelle Obama

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


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

Think Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. Everything I am not, but oh how I loved her costumes!
Hats. I don't know what it is, but hats never look good on me.

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?

Long flowing dresses. They don't work so well when you are under 5' tall.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

Not really. I dress to please myself. Granted, I think I have pretty conventional taste.

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

I really like it, but so many people these days are sensitive to it, I am kind of afraid to wear it. So sad.

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

They need to fit well. Classic styles are always best.

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

What makeup?

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?

Sleeveless clothes in Winter. Why is this fashionable? I am always cold in Winter. Winter wear should be warm!

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

An asymmetrical jacket. A perfect combination of color, fabric and fit.

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?

These are always items I have made for myself and I have a hard time getting rid of them because of my investment of time & energy.

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

Probably something warm. Winter is coming!

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

Buy better shoes.

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

I once bought a pair of sandals for $90, and LOVED them. It was a lot for me. Maybe I should spend more on quality shoes!

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

Neat, but I really have a hard time getting rid of obsolete items.

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?

I wish!

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

In the fabric store with a sewing pattern in hand.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Clean. I like perfume that smells clean and light.

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

At work, I always like to look professional, even if it is a low wage job.

80. How does money fit into all this?

Always! I am reluctant to spend money on myself.

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

My wedding ring.

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

"Wow, you are so tiny!!" It happens all the time. This always gets me because I forget that I am small. Doesn't everybody assume they look like everyone else?

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?

Jr high school. We used to peruse the Sears catalog for school clothes. The idea that you could co-ordinate your wardrobe to be interchangeable and make a lot of outfits impressed me. Did I do that? No. Do I do that now? Sort of.

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

1959. Born in rural New York State. I live in Oregon now.

What kind of work do you do?

Looking for work.

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

Married, empty-nester.

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

Married white female, 55 yrs old, early years on a dairy farm, college degree in horticulture (don't do this if you want to be rich), later a stay at home mom.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

It's been fun!

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