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Kate Murphy

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

At my lowest weight

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

Yes, women who took the time to dress attractively.

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

Women who dress in "classics" with no fussy, trendy items.

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?

Yes, about 50 yrs old, stopped fighting my natural hair. Fianally old enough to please myself.

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

I wear basics and only real jewelry. Dislike lots of clunky fake bangles, necklaces, earrings etc.

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

Can't remember one.

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

Yes, I have several sweaters in multiple colors; good fit, comfortable, good value.
Same with some shoes.

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

Yes. My sister and I trade cloting and gift jewelry.

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

Stirrup pants...too ugly for anyone.

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

I have the same shape, so dress similarly. Classis, unfussy clothes.

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

Yes, new friend is more casual about simple combinations.

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

Lost a lot of weight; no longer necessary to camoflage big parts.

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

Not really though I avoid anything made in China.

16. Please describe your body.

5"6', strong, size 12

17. Please describe your mind.

Strong, smart, curious, quick uptake, find many pretensions humorous.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Quick to laugh, short fuse to anger, strong control when needed.

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

Flannel pajamas (Sunday afternoon at home), nothing on face but Berts Bees lip stuff, hair in messy loose waves.

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

Only important to enhance how I feel about myself.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Friends, sister, lover.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Was an investment advisor for many years; conservative business attire always. I believe a woman should dress so that she looks good, but clothes unmemorable.

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

Taste is essential; style comes and goes and is often ridiculous.

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

Nope. I buy carefully.

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


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

Yes, home decorating, entertaining.

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, very conservatively when trying to sell an idea.

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 always know what I like in people and surroundings and how I spend my time. Came from my mother and grandmother and possibly some nuns.

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?

Yes, buy good quality and take care of your clothing. Keep it clean and properly stored.

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

Much more casual hair style now and usually wear a favorite perfume.

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 often means "sloppy" ( i.e.sweats as clothing). Confident is knowing I look good and can take care of myself in most situations.

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?

Use attractive colors and natural fabrics.

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


34. What do you consider very ugly?

Trying too hard to look young.
Messy young girls dressing like hookers.

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?

Yes, I try everything on and am often now replacing/updating things I've had before that I like.

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 look at myself through my very critical mother's eyes. When I pass "her" inspection, I'm ready to go.

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

Where am I going? How many different places and are my clothes appropriate for all.

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

Well put-together.

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

Dressing up is more jewelry and more dramatic make-up.

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

Jeans and boots.

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

Conservative straight line clothes. Not me is anything fussy or trendy.

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

Irish-Italian, mid-western US. Don't draw attention to myself.

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?


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

I buy timeless clothes.
I have my hair professionally colored and cut regularly.
My make-up is lightly done.

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

Retired now but did not rebel, no need in my profession. Generally wore a good suit, heels, earrings, etc.

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?

No. Last uniform was a navy blue suit, white blouse combo for 4 years of Catholic girls' High School. Never bought another navy suit.

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


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?

Sweater, jeans, boots for me. Comfort and I really like boots.

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?

No, except on payday.

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

Now, or Roman days in togas and gowns.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

Looking good for 64.

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

Katharine Hepburn.

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

Only taking them off.

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

Ultra glamorous.

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?

Prettier underwear.

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

Attract smart men; repel anyone who is boring.

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

Look like you made an effort to dress for whatever the occasion is.

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

Yes, light floral scents. Favorite is a hard to find Shiseido scent, Hanatsubaki made only as an anniversary favor.

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

Body and clothes must be clean and unwrikled.

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

5 minute face with light eye make-up, some eyeliner, lip glass, mascara,

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?

Post face-lift look is always fake. Hate it.

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

Simple, good quality basics.

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

Emerald pendant.

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?

Border print challis skirt from 1986; reminds me of former lover.

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 suits, coats, shoes, blouses for professional look.

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?

White silk suit I wore in Hawaii. Washed and ruined jacket. It was beautiful.

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

Red silk blouse.

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

Fewer items, better quality.

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

Balck pinstripe suit. Still wear it rarely.

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

Emerald pendant.

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

Attractive pajamas.

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

Neat, organized, colors together.

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

Yes. Birthstone ring.

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?

Yes, jewelry that appreciated X 6 in very few years.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

On-line, wheneve I need/want something.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Yes, clean, fresh.

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

My ambitions are always to be a beautiful woman. Feedback I get is that I'm there.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I spend what I like and think is reasonable. Not extravagant.

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

diamond stud earrings most days

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

Yes. First lover.

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?

Stupid High School uniform...ugly on all.

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

02/09/1950 California

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

Comfortable economically

What kind of work do you do?

Was an investment advisor

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

Married, no kids.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I wonder what you will do with this info since book is already written.

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