Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
Dressed for action, after the gym, a shower, and out for the day
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
People whose wardrobes suit their bodies and age. People with good posture
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Comfortable elegance, confidence, welcoming demeanor, inner glow
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?
After being raised in Carmichael, CA, then living in the Haight Ashbury in the early 60's, I spent 6 months living and working in NYC and returned to California with the knowledge that I could be unique and self-defined, and dress to please myself. NYC opened my head to possibilities.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Buy expensive or buy super cheap.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Don't wear underwear if you don't have to
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
My designer friend Linda Gravenitis said "Take your time," in designing, sewing, and dressing. Get it right or start over
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I don't say no to anything. I like being open to try new things and new ways.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
You can't have too many black dresses, shoes, bottoms or tops.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Yes. My daughter enjoys the offbeat items I force on her.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Jumpsuits, with the exception of Betsey Johnson's jerseys in the 70's, do not suit my body time, usually cut me in the crotch.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
Short heavy legs, long torso -- damn! I'd kill for my Dad's legs
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I am open to anything that makes me look and feel gorgeous
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
My second husband loved short hair, and he is a conservative person. I didn't realize how boring my appearance was til we split, then I became myself again.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Sure. I'm openly supportive of freedom of expression for myself and others. I'm from San Francisco and emerged in the 60's
16. Please describe your body.
67 years old! Decent posture, medium bone structure, short heavy legs, long torso, fit, 20 lbs too heavy.
17. Please describe your mind.
Bright, witty, modestly creative, inquiring, slowing down
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?
Sunday morning long print Jennifer Lopez jersey nightgown, Nike sandals, no makeup, good quality face cream, two silver rings, toe nails painted, reading glasses, loose bun.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I'm an apartment manager, live in earthquake country, and looking good to myself makes me happy
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My daughter Savoy Peacock Cisko Hallinan
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I wear dresses almost every day.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
Good taste dictates personal style. Money doesn't dictate good taste or style
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
A totally cool dress I loved looking at, spent $350 (sale) on, and never wore. I finally moved it out if my closet but haven't donated it yet
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I've moved about 100 times, from homes to apts, to rooms, shared spaces, etc., and I can create a pretty living space
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?
I started using lavender candles, lotions, and soaps after my second divorce, and I wear flowing scarves in the wind to feel romantic and free when I'm sad
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?
Trial and error, and as I grow older it's still a work in progress. I'd love to dress myself in my youth knowing what I know now about my body and spirit
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?
Mom, Nana, and Auntie Ev taught me to sew, knit, crochet, and I learned to visualize how fabrics and fibers would work together. I taught myself how to care for my clothing
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Keep things softer as you age. No severe clothing or haircuts. Have a makeup consult often, since your hair, skin, and coloring changes all the time.
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?
California girls believe in comfort first, and beauty second. A comfortable and beautiful dress, comfortable and stylish shoes, well fitting and fun jacket--these evoke confidence. Colorless is sad.
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?
Watch a couple episodes if What Not To Wear on tv--good advice.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Healthy, inner glow of happiness, a bright light from within trumps everything.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
The dull, the mean, the angry
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?
Pretty much, but the dressing room mirrors don't lie
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?
I dress to look as good as I can so I feel happy
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
The ever changing weather of San Francisco, where I'm going, what I'm going to be doing, and for how long. Stretch, dance around, go to the gym, shower, hair, makeup, dump yesterday's bag out and repack or change it, lay out clothes and the day, get it together, start over if it's not working
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Comfort and beauty
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
What I have to do dictates dressing or dressing up. I'd love to dress up all the time. Wear hats, more jewelry, accessories. Dressing down can be prudent
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Dress, earrings, rings, jacket, good walking shoes
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Sensuous is me. Gray is not me
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
First world -- English, Dutch, Hungarian, born in Northern California. California is my first influence, European attitude and ambition is my second influence, creativity and freedom of the 60's my third influence. Lucky me
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?
Trying to please my critical second husband compromised my choices and I'm happier now, which shows
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Think appropriate--the day, the occasion, the goal, the impression, plan
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I think I surprise people and they smile when they see me
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
I wear sportier attire to my grand kids' games. And more underwear.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
I don't wear pants
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
I've never worn a uniform any wear at any time
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?
I wish I could've worn velvet and lace every day of my life
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 love the economy of a trim man in jeans and a well fitting shirt. My dad was 6'4" long legged, trim, a dressed clean even though he was a truck driver. So handsome all the time. I admired his look
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
I'd like to dress like Stevie Nicks in the 70's, and like my aunts in the 40's. I used to buy beautiful dresses from the 40's in thrift stores
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Usually think I look great
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
Design ideas but not clothing per se
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
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?
More close fitting attire
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
I like to wear clothes that don't have to be dry cleaned so I can play with the kids, pick up a dog, sit in the grass or on a bench
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
Gardening clothes belong in the garden, workout clothes in the gym. You're more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I like subtle scent. If I wear perfume it's below the waist. I prefer scented lotions
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Keep moving, dancing, walking, stretching, and reach for more water to keep my body strong and energetic. Weed out the stained, faded, and old no matter how much you love them--wear them to bed if you can't part with them. Polish your shoes
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Minimal looks better in me, but I wear it every day, especially eye 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?
I don't want to wear office attire, never did, but it was useful when I was an executive assistant.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
Expensive or cheap--not much in between
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
My Shugalite ring and my Peridot ring
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 3 fake fur coats that are too heavy for San Francisco weather, but they're fun
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?
Once I figured out what kind of dresses suit my body type, buying and dressing became easier for me
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 a cool Casharelle (sp?) coat that was vertically striped in azure and blue, and I miss it
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
The black coat with Pom Poms I knit. It's cozy and fun, makes me feel like a part, and my Nana helped me buy the yarn
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I'd purchase complete outfits instead of pieces
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
A black cashmere coat, and yes
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
The dress after my divorce--it's silk paisley
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Silk velvet jackets from the 40's--very rare
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I have a coat closet, an every day wear closet, and a closet for winter/summer clothes that gets moved back and forth. The vintage, the special and the oddballs are in there too--it's the big closet
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
My first husband spontaneously bought me a $1,000 hand-made evening coat at a clothing fair and I was so surprised and delighted
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 bought a black straight skirt and become so attached to it and the way it makes me look and feel that I'm on the lookout for more all the time. It fits well and is comfortable
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
On vacation, on occasion, or when invited. Shopping is not a past time for me
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
Clean and warm, like amber
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
Clothes that people like to touch invites hugs. I want all the hugs I can get
80. How does money fit into all this?
I watch it closely now. It doesn't flow like it used to
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
Mascara and lip treatments--lipstick, Chapstick, gloss
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
I like people to notice I'm fit
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?
My cousins teased me when I wore one of my own creations, which were sometimes weird because I was trying new things
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
July 16, 1947
San Francisco, CA
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
My parents were undereducated and they didn't take advantage of economic opportunities, which would've been advantageous to our family educationally, culturally, and physically
What kind of work do you do?
I'm an apartment manager now, but I've owned three businesses in SF, and was an executive assistant in London and SF for 12 years
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Divorced twice, two chuldren, three grandchildren
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I read about your survey in the SF Chronicle, and find it really interesting
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Thanks for the opportunity. It made me think differently