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Andrea Peters

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

About 20 years ago, when I was at my thinnest. :)
After I work out and I've had a shower.

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

Not really. But when I do, it's because they are thin, young, or wearing something way too short to be out in public.
I admire women who can put together a creative outfit, especially outfits that utilize accessories.

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

I admire women who wear clothes that fit. They aren't too tight or too revealing. Finding the right style that is perfect for their body type.

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?

New job and a new "dress code". I was trying to make what I had in my closet work. (It didn't.) But having to pay careful attention to what I wore with a limited budget encouraged me to be more creative with what I have. (And deepened my interest in accessories.)

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

Try on everything. I, often, fall in love with a piece and I, automatically, buy it. But when I get home, it doesn't fit the way I pictured it would fit on me. I, now, rarely buy clothes without first trying them on. (Including accessories.)

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

I dress in "large" clothes. I'm not comfortable in my own body, so I tend to try and hide it.

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

15 different ways to wear a black dress suit. :D We wear suits frequently and we are always trying to find ways to dress it up differently, so it doesn't look like we are wearing the same thing everyday.

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

God's will. It's all about doing God's will and seeing God's will in everything that happens. I don't have to understand it, just know that it is all part of a bigger plan.

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

Black. Black shoes, black dresses, black pants. I am one with black.
I choose black because I feel it hides my figure.

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

My daughter's clothes. I pick out clothes that are modest, but trendy. I don't feel I was a very trendy dresser as a child.

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

Thongs. They look uncomfortable.

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

:/ We are round. She hides behind loud prints. I hide behind my black.

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

Yes. The black dress suit. I was in the elevator with a younger woman who was wearing a 3/4 sleeve cotton tee under a black dress suit. I waited several days before I tried it myself.

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

My boyfriend died. I stopped dressing up and resorted to sweats and t-shirts.

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

Yes. Depending on what is planned that day and who I'm going to encounter, it sets the tone for how I am going to dress that day.

16. Please describe your body.

Short and stout.

17. Please describe your mind.


18. Please describe your emotions.


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

Old make-up from earlier today, shorts and a tee, and my hair is in a bun. Forgive me, it's 10 p.m. on a Thursday night before another work day. I am most certainly not at my best.

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

I like to shop and dress up. I like the creativity that comes from putting together a new and stylish outfit.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Co-workers. Those who want to "dress-up" old outfits and those who love accessories.

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?

A little of both. I think taste is more important; dressing appropriate for what you will be doing or where you will be at is incredibly important. Style means to be creative and trendy with the way you dress. Taste means to be aware of how your style will be perceived.

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

Stupid black dresses...I have like 10 of them. I think costumes are a waste of money too. (Even though they look so cute!)

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

Sweaters. They hide big butts, arms, and tummies.

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

Writing. :)

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?

Interviews. Adding accessories to a suit to make it more trendy when I know I'm going into a meeting with young up-and-comings.

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. Yes. I am confident to a detriment. I know what's good and not good for me. (And if you ask me (which I don't recommend) for others.) I was born with confidence. I'm learning to be humble.

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?

Nope. I picked things up from friends. (A horrible way to learn mind you.) As time went by, I relied less on friends and more on fashion articles suited for my body type and lifestyle.

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

Corsets. (Not for viewing, but to appear slimmer.) I like smokey eyes too.

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 loose clothing. Confident is a way of thinking. It is close to determination.

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?

Black is a girls' best friend and accessorize with color.

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

Eyes. They tell you a lot about a person.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Too tight or too short clothes. A person is trying too hard if they are dressing like this. And it shows EVERYTHING. And for the most part, it's not showing it in a positive light.

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 am now. It only took several trips to the Salvation Army to realize I was wasting money.
Try everything on in advance and know what you are going to wear it with (and to where) when you get home.

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?

Confident, stands straight and tall. Direct. I suppose it's how I see myself or how I want others to perceive me.

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

Am I on my period? What meetings do I have that day and with who? Am I tired and achy? Will I be spending an entire day in front of the computer doing research? Will I be outside with the kids subject to the elements? Will someone be taking pictures? Do I really care what this people think?

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

To be in control of the situation. And comfort is nice too.

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

They type of clothes I wear, the accessories I wear, how much make-up I will wear, what type of shoes I'm willing to bear, and whether or not I'm going to use product in my hair.

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

My choice would be comfortable clothes (like athletic wear; hello yoga pants!)
But, for work, it would be black dress suit.

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

Me - comfortable clothes
Not Me - dressing up

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

Catholic, Hispanic.
I'm not sure it has. Perhaps I'm a little more conservative in dress when I'm out. And I don't mind big clothes.

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?

Dressed for comfort. Jeans, t-shirts, leggings. Most people dressed like this for work. It was a production shop. You dress comfortably so you can move.

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

Suits. Neutral colors on make-up. Hair in bun or french braid. Glasses.

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

Conform. I knew that going into the job though. I am a representative for my company. I want those I work with to be confident in my abilities and part of that is dressing the part.

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

When I work fundraising events; a white button down and black pants with black heels.

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

I add accessories. The purpose is to blend in, but I can't help but add a little something to make me feel pretty.

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

Well, right now, constraining because the white button down feels tight. But, normally, it's nice to know what I'm going to wear so I can focus on the task at hand.

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 comfortable, well-worn pair of jeans. Jeans can be dressed up or dressed down.

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?

20's or 40's. I, also, love the colors and lines of Mexican fashion during those times too.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Once upon a time...

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


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

Audrey Hepburn

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

I'm sure I have, but can't recall one.

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

Something without sleeves. My arms could use some work.

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?


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

Stay away from the tight or too short. Dress for your body type. And you're not 15 anymore.

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

I like scents, but I've found that, more often then not, people have a sensitivity to scents and it's not worth the drama.

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

Wear black. And have a sweater.

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

If I'm dressing up, I use color to play up what I'm wearing.

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?

Strapless. I'm too chubby for that.

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

Jeans, leggings, capris, dress pants, dress suits, dresses, blouses, long chains, short chains, earrings, scarves. LOTS of black and gray. Some purple and pink at the influence of my daughter.

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

My wedding ring. It never comes off.

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?

Black dresses. It feels like I have 100 black dresses in many different styles. I LOVE the way they look, but some are the kind that you wear when you go out to a really nice restaurant with a play or opera after. We don't go out. We have kids. But I like to dream.

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?

Dresses that fit my frame. They gave me confidence to wear dresses again.

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?

A t-shirt from an old boyfriend. He passed away. It would be nice to have that to remember him by...

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

My jeans.

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

Go with classic, timeless styles. No prints.

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

My pant suit. Yes, on interviews.

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

Our home.

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

Blouses to go under my black dress suit.

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

Very organized. I like knowing what I have. It helps me create my style for the day.

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

A purple blouse from a friend. I know she was trying to get me away from my jeans and t-shirt phase.

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?

A red dress. I bought it for one event and ended up wearing it to several events, because it worked well with my figure. It was the dress that gave me confidence to buy other dresses.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

Right after pay day at Ross. Or on holiday weekends where everything is, at least, 50% off.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Clean is nice.

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

It projects an image of confidence and capability.

80. How does money fit into all this?

Most certainly don't have enough to feed my habits...

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. If I'm working with my hands and they are going to get dirty, stained, etc.; I wear my rings on a chain around my neck.

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

In high school I came to school in a dress instead of my sweats and tees. One of the ladies in the office made the remark, "Oh look! She does have a figure!" Until then, I didn't really consider myself having one.

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?

Kris Kros when we work everything backwards.

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

Sacramento; West Sacramento (California)

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

Lower middle class

What kind of work do you do?


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

Married with two children.

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

This is all tongue in cheek. It's late and my husband thought it would be a good idea to take this survey. (He heard about it on NPR.) I meant everything I said, there just may be a little more sarcasm than usual.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Chubby. :/


Hispanic American Female in early 30s with two school age children and a husband. Works full-time with a shopping and foodie addiction.

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