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Jenna Nicely

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm clean with a good haircut, good eyebrows, jewelry, casual but stylish clothes & shoes. Not gym shoes.

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

Neatly groomed hair, good posture, well-fitting (not baggy) stylish (not old) clothes.

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

Neatness, color, grooming, posture, smiling*** and friendly.

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?

Darn - no. I still feel that I struggle. I seldom feel that I look as good as other women.

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

Don't worry about whether something is on sale. Shop and buy at the beginning of a season, not the end.

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

No sleeveless or short sleeves (unless with a sweater) - no upper arm flab
Don't show straps or undergarments

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

I wish!

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

Organization and intentionality in all areas. That means make decisions in advance, spend the most time/money on my highest priorities. Be balanced.

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

I have multiple knit tops in a variety of colors and sleeve lengths. I think I keep buying these so I can put together more colorful outfits. I don't buy "an outfit." I put outfits together out of my closet. I buy neutral pants, so I need more color on top.

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

Darn. I don't think so.

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

Showing straps or undergarments. I'm too old.

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

Oh my. She was not especially fashionable; she wore neutral, functional clothing, plain fabrics without prints. She did not buy outfits. She did not dress "up" but was always a little more casual than others at "formal" events. She was not really happy with her body. This all applies to me.

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

From sister - black sweaters, straight skirts.

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

It's about to now, because of thinking about these questions.

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


16. Please describe your body.

I am short and sturdy, not thin but not fat. In recent years my abdomen is bigger than I would like, yet I also feel better about the way I look than I ever have.

17. Please describe your mind.

I am very intelligent and quick-witted. I think fast and make connections easily. I'm a good reader and writer. I love words.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I am happy almost all the time and don't get my feelings hurt easily. I am sensitive to the needs of others, very empathetic and sympathetic.

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

Pj's and a zip-up sweatshirt. Nothing on my face, bed hair.

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

All of this is SO important because I want to have a unified (maybe trademark) look in the same way that I have a consistent way of living my life. I want my body and clothes to make my joyful - to add to my "statement."

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

One sister, one daughter-in-law.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

At school everyone dresses pretty casually, actually not very professionally sometimes, but I dress pretty much like everyone else most of the time.

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 good taste but not a sense of style. I guess taste is more important, but I love looking at women with a sense of style. I'm going to work on that.

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

I have bought several items that I never wore: tops, pants, a skirt recently.

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

I love to wear jean jackets or jackets of different fabrics cut like jean jackets. When they're short, they are flattering to my height.

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

My home has style, but I have always consulted a decorator.

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?

Yes, definitely. Wearing flattering jeans and a stylish top calms me.

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 have discernment in all areas of life. I guess it comes from thinking carefully, being proactive, wanting control.

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?

I picked things up about caring for clothing - laundry, hanging and folding clothes - but not about dressing or style.

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

Wear clothes that are more fitted, not baggy, even if I'm not crazy about my body.

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 kind of sloppy.
Confident means good posture with style.

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

A smile and sparkling, cheerful eyes.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Frowning, grumpiness.

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

I consider how I want to feel that day, what will make me feel confident but comfortable.

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

Attractiveness with comfort.

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

Dressing up is wearing "fancier" clothes, being more dressy.

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

April 1949. Born and now live in southwest Ohio.

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

Middle class, educated.

What kind of work do you do?


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

Married with adult children and grandchildren.

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

I listen to NPR! That's where I heard about your book, website, and survey!

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I'm excited to pay more attention to how I purchase clothes and how I present myself

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