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Jennifer Stopper

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

In clothes that fit my body well and flatter me, but leave something to the imagination. Also hair and make up done.

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

Yes, I notice women with timeless style that suits them. I love 'character pieces' that are unique and stand out, but aren't overt or flashy.

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

It's always about toeing the line between being done up but feeling comfortable and not losing your essence of frivolity. Fashion should be fun but not constricting.

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 younger, I remember buying the latest trends that were on sale at stores like Forever 21, and then first coming to the realization soon after that they weren't 'cool' any more. I decided that I would rather spend my money on things that were timeless and could be used over and over again.

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

I tend to shop a little older than my age. It's a habit I'm trying to break.

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

I try to think long term. Something may be appealing in the moment, and we're all allowed a little impulse here and there, but ultimately you want to surround yourself with things that will last and mean more than a moment's joy.

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

Cardigans. There's something about having a light delicate outer layer, plus working in an office environment you always need one. Also flats. I wear them out so quickly.

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

I bought my mom a sexy but classic looking peacoat. It was something she would have never picked for herself but she looks so lovely when she wears it. I try not to buy clothes for other people because it's so closely linked to identity, but sometimes it's a wonderful opportunity to allow them to see themselves as you see them. Usually we are too critical of ourselves and put ourselves in boxes. It can be a great way to break free of those.

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

Those little jumpers. I'm all butt, it is simply not flattering.

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

I was raised mostly by my dad. I think I have a little bit of my mom's flair for color, but I am definitely of a different mind for style- I tend to go more of the vintage route.

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

Belting dresses. I would have never started doing that if not for my cousin.

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

There was a point in high school when I started developing my own style. Previously it was just the flavor of the week, but then it became less about everyone else.

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

Not terribly, no.

16. Please describe your body.

Tall, curvy, smallish waist but C cup and a pretty big butt.

17. Please describe your mind.

Eccentric but comfortable. I enjoy many pursuits, especially creatively. Life is about laughing and being present, so I try to do both as much as I can.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Widely varied. I'm at a point in my life where I have the luxury of being in love with my best friend and we have a great circle of people in our lives. The wonderful thing is that with that support system we can pursue and enjoy all of the other aspects of our life. So I guess it's safe to say I'm happy, but the human condition always strives for more, so I'm hungry to create things.

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

Polka dot dress (form fitting, mid calf length, not low cut but v-neck) tan flats, white scarf, hair up in a clip, light eyeliner and neutral shade eyeshadow.

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

It's an expression of self, but also at its base a protection of self. We choose how we are seen or not seen and how we are going to be guarded against the world. Also it's fun, and it should feel fun. Like painting on a canvas.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My girl friends. Occasionally I will ask my boyfriend his opinion. Sometimes my mother too.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I am definitely more conservative because of work. Also I have to keep my hair natural looking... otherwise I would probably have a purple streak or some kind of color.

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 both. To me taste is how you interpret fashion- ie: what you like or don't like, and style is how you use that. For instance you can have great taste but still not dress like it.

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

Bridesmaid dresses. Pretty much every one of them.

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

My house. I live with a man child so finding ways to decorate that let him still feel like his interests are being represented is tricky.

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?

In college I used to dress up before every big exam. Just gave me a little more of a 'put together' feeling.

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?

I think that I was asked to make decisions from a young age, and was exposed to a lot of art and culture early on. I think that shaped my tastes and preferences.

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 was raised by a single dad so I had to pick things up as I went. Lots of advice from friends and aunts.

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

Scent is huge, also making sure that whatever it is, it's flattering. A dress can be adorable on a hanger but if it doesn't look good on, it's useless.

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?

To me it's being completely at home in your skin. Taking ownership and not apologizing for who you are.

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?

It all boils down to being pulled together. You don't want a cacophony of styles vying for attention. Every piece needs to be working towards a common look or theme but not cluttered.

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

Simplicity, nature, spectacle. I think anything with 'presence' has the capacity for beauty. It's a command.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

A lack of purpose and a clash of intentions. Dressing in a way that doesn't suit your body- clothes should be worn, not the other way around.

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?

Typically yes. Everyone is prone to the occasional impulse buy but I always try to visualize walking away from the item- or sometimes I actually do. If I'm walking away and still thinking about it, it means I really want it and will use it.

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?

They have a strong stance, typically a mix of old and new world. Overall there's a femininity, but then peppers of rebelliousness or quirkiness thrown in.

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

Considering what my day is going to be like, the weather, how I'm feeling in my body- also how much time I have to get things together.

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

Comfort and presence.

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

Dressing up is being meticulous, and there is an event or an occasion in mind to be appropriate for. Dressing is more routine.

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

Flats, skirts, and fitted tops.

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

Me: Vintage, quirky, green.

Not me: Trendy, brand name, orange.

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

I was raised by a single father so I definitely have masculine elements but I like putting them next to very feminine items- so leather jackets over lace dresses and so on.

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

Hair up and pulled back. Blazers, muted makeup. Pencil skirts & 2 inch heels.

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

My workplace is fairly lax, I tend to be more 'dressed up' than most here.

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

Uniforms for Improv Comedy

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

It's a fairly standard uniform, so no.

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

It takes some of the guess work out. It also makes it more special when I'm off the clock because I wear my own clothes. It's a more strict delineation.

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?

Black dress. They're timeless and can be worn pretty much anywhere.

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?

Yes. My boyfriend wears t-shirts and jeans all day, with shirts from his favorite movies. It'd be nice to have less time used in the mornings for getting ready.

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


52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

I sometimes forget what I look like. I have a great smile. I also need to lose a little weight, but I'm working on that.

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?

Not really

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

The waify type look. Also I don't think I can pull off big hair.

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?

Pencil skirts, skinny jeans and long shirts.

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

Not really.

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

You don't have to show EVERYTHING. Imagination is a very powerful thing- it gives you control.

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

Love it- but in small doses.

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?

It's very important.

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

Skinny jeans, leggings, dresses, skirts, tops, flats, pearls, long earrings, studs, pendants.

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

My scarf collection. I love scarfs.

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 a few dresses that are just a little snug. I keep thinking maybe I'll get back down to that weight.

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?

Peacoats, good fitting jeans, button down shirts, good bras, comfortable flats & 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?

I had these brown boots. So perfect, but they fell apart after years of use. I miss them.

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

A black cotton dress.

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

Less items of higher quality. More basics, less 'fluff'.

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

Steve Madden black pumps. I don't own them anymore but I got years of use out of them.

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

The perfect flats.

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

Fairly messy, but decently organized.

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

A cashmere scarf. It was pink so I hardly wear it, but I love the feel of it and there's something about owning cashmere.

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 have a tan purse that I use all the time that was an impulse buy.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

Whenever I have free time and money.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Fresh and light.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I buy what I can afford.

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 blue and tan satchel. It's darling.

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

06/23/1987. Born in San Diego, living there currently.

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

White middle class, daughter of a self employed business owner.

What kind of work do you do?


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

Single but in a committed relationship- living together. No kids.

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

I work for an international language school and perform both musically and theatrically regularly.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel more aware of my clothing and appearance.


Born & raised by a single father, fashion was a slow build as I became increasingly aware that clothes consisted of more than jeans and flannel. I work full time and perform improv comedy regularly. My clothes sometimes border on theatrical but are typically worn more for comfort than anything else.

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