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Gwenn Lyons

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When my hair is looking good and I have a cute dress and tights and got all my accessories to match and my makeup looks great.

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

I do notice them, but only if they stand out. People with unique style or who are doing something really bold. I like people who play with color or have a interesting haircut.

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

Confidence- when they wear something and they own it.

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?

Yeah, I had long hair all growing up. When I first got a pixie, it really clicked with my personality and fashion sense. It was right when I was graduating high school and starting college, getting out of a messy break-up, and my haircut was a big confidence builder. I loved it then and I still love it a lot.

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

Try things on. Don't be embarrassed about needing a different size. Buy it regardless if it's on sale if you really love it- don't wait!

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

Keep it balanced. Too much color is painful, but monochrome is boring. Jewlery is very fun to play with but make sure it matches well enough. Belts are amazing.

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

I don't really talk about clothes that much with others... I'm easily the most fashion conscious person in my group.

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


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

I can't stop buying dresses. They're so fun and make me super confident.

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

Sure, it's really great finding an item that matches a person perfectly and seeing thier face when you can tell they really like it.

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

Cropped shirts! They're tacky and dated. No one looks good in them!

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

It's not at all been. She's very self conscious and doesn't take any risks with clothes. I try to have fun where she is beyond conservative.

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

Sure, I borrow ideas! Never items though.

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

Yeah, several! In middle and high school I went goth and then punk and then sort of average. When I got to college I adopted a more retro and indie style. I think it's just a part of growing up and finding your identity. I'm still pretty young, though!

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

Not really. I don't actively buy fur but I also don't generally seek out organic clothes!

16. Please describe your body.

Tallish, curvey. Pear shaped with small chest and large hips and butt.

17. Please describe your mind.

Creative, busy, full of anxiety, efficient, lazy.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Generally upbeat but with a lot of worry.

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

Yoga pants and a sports bra, no makeup and my hair is normal. It's a pixie, you don't really "do" it.

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

It's not in itself important, but it's what I wear to do yoga, which is pretty important.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Online friends.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I have to dress somewhat conservatively for work, but it's an engineering firm with very lax dress code.

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

I think I have more style than taste. Taste is being able to tell is something is unambiguously good or quality. Style is more unique, about your individualness. Neither is really more important.

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

Sure! I buy things and never wear them. When I was younger my mother would take me clothes shopping and she would get very frustrated that I didn't like anything she picked. In order to placate her I'd pick up clothes I really didn't like but to avoid drama and never wore them.

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

Not really? I have such short hair it requires little maintenance, so that's nice.

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

My car, my apartment, my office!

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?

Yeah, sometimes when I'm feeling down I make an extra effort to dress up. It almost always cheers me up.

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 know what I like. I know what I like in most things in my life. I think it just comes from within!

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 a bit. I mostly got things from the internet and friends, though.

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

I like loud makeup! And when my hair is extra messy and spikey.

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 they want to feel "right" in what they are wearing. It means not wearing something you're forced to or that itches or makes you feel conspicuous in a bad way. Confidence is knowing who you are and feeling like you own whatever it is you're wearing.

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?

Comfortable, cute, girly but with an edge.

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

Confidence and uniqueness. If you feel beautiful, you're beautiful.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Strict adhesure to trends without developing your own identity. Bad personal hygiene. Crop tops and crocs.

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?

I'm better now- but it needs to be something I really love in the dressing room. If i'm feeling half hearted it won't be worn.

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?


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

I wake up last minute, jump in the shower, brush my teeth and put on moisturizer and makeup. Rush around getting dressed. Running late. I am usually thinking about the day ahead and what to wear.

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

I'm trying to show the world who I am.

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

Dressing is just normal. Dressing up is when I want to make an impression.

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

dress and tights!

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

Vintage, indie style is "me," business suits are not "me"

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

White American from the Suburbs. It's not influenced me much at all, really.

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?

Sure, when I was 13-15 I was all-black, heavy Victorian influences with straight long brown hair. It was a way to express myself and how I felt then while trying to stand out and be unique.

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

I like to make sure I have good but simple makeup. My hair is less messy, and clothing is generally pencil skirts, peplums, ect. I like a nice pair of flats and tights as well!

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

I do a little of both. I'm a female engineer so by wearing dresses and feminine things I'm rebelling a little against the very male-dominated culture there. However, the other girls in the office dress similarly, so I'm not making big waves.

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


47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?


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

Constraining sometimes and comforting othertimes.

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, Keds, and a nerdy t-shirt. It's very comfortable, casual, but it's still very "me"

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?

I was toimboyish as a kid and hated frills and dresses. I'm happy to dress as a girl though. I really like dresses now!

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

Berlin 1923. I love the Weimar Era in Germany, I love the Roaring 20's. It's easily my favorite clothing era. Other time periods I like are 1790s England and I'm a big fan of Mod, Edie Sedgwick, and the 1960s too.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Not really! I don't ever seem to be at a good angle.

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

I'm embarrassed. Usually I look frumpier and awkward.

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

Edie Sedgwick in particular, but many of the stars of the 1950s-60s as well.

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

I can't ever remember my dreams!

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

I am very very hippy, so I can't do androgynous things very well at all.

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?

1960s minidresses. I'm too hippy for that though!

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

Not really! I guess I like to meet people so I try to dress friendly!

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Dress for your size. Wear it with confidence. Be yourself.

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

I like it, but not too heavy! I wear body spray.

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

clean body, clean clothes, washed face at the very least!

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

I love makeup but it's time consuming. I feel more confident in it.

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?


64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

A lot of dresses and jeans and shirts. Costume jewlery.

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

I have a piece of vintage costume jewelry from my great Aunt that I love!

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?

I have my prom dress! It's a 1920s inspired short evening gown. I have no occasion to wear it but it's so beautiful!

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?

Good quality jeans, good quality outerwear, my leather satchel, good quality boots.

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?

Several. Usually given away or simply worn out.

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

My favorite dress- I could wear it at least!

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

Invest in fewer higher quality things.

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

My leather satchel. It was $150 from england, authentic school satchel and it's been all over the world with me. It's amazing.

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

It's happened slowly, no single purchase.

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

The perfect boot! I am not sure what it is though!

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

Organized by clothing type. Things are pretty neat.

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

Jewelry, yes. i was gifted a Sapphire ring for my 16th birthday.

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?

When I need something or when I feel like it. I usually go online, or to a few brick and mortar places. I like to browse!

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Yes! I like to smell nice!

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


80. How does money fit into all this?

I try to stay under $100 per piece unless it's a true investment item (quality handbag, suit).

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

Probably my leather satchel!

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

When I started getting a lot of compliments on my hair. People said I was very brave for getting a short cut and that i really rocked it! It was a big confidence boost.

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?

No, I don't.

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

3/20/1991. I was born in NJ, raised in FL, studied in SC, and I live in TX.

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

Upper middle class white suburban family.

What kind of work do you do?


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

Single but in a long term relationship. No desire for kids.

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


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