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Patricia Miller

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Happy and confident

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 flair who put together unusual combinations that work. I poach these ideas and use them with my own wardrobe.

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

Good grooming. Use of color. How disparate pieces of clothing can work together to create a great look.

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. The moment I moved out of my childhood home and was earning my own money.
Lack of money and parental rules stifle fashion independence.

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

Shop alone
Ask yourself, does this do anything for me
Is it made with quality?

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

Do I like it?
Is it comfortable?
I don't care if you like it.

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

I've never had a transformative conversation about fashion.

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

Make thoughtful decisions.
Analyze, don't emote.

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

I like to buy the same shoe style in black and nude.

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

Yes. The key is to know that person well. The item should reflect the recipient, NOT the giver's taste.
"This is so YOU"

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

Not interested in the designer bag d'jour
Do not like platform pumps
Do not like obvious logo clothing

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

Both naturally slim people. She had a waist, I'm more straight up and down. She preferred separates and belted looks. I prefer straight lines.

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

Yes always get inspiration from magazines, friends and street sightings.
"Never a borrower or lender be" - inspiration only

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

When I was old enough to buy my own clothes.

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

No. I'm not keen on message t-shirts. I'm not interested.

16. Please describe your body.

Medium height, lean boyish body type.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I'm not an emotional person, although I am a caring and thoughtful. I objective, not subjective.
I take an analytical approach to life.

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

Toe to head - moccasins, jeans, and a striped, long sleeved shirt. Straight hair, bob cut. Lipstick only.

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

What you wear on the outside should project your inner self. Your style is a statement about who you are as a person.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My husband, daughter, son, friends

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

If there is a dress code. If the environment or occasion dictates -- ex. outdoor wedding on the grass/wedge shoe, wrap etc. If the event is somber or a celebration.
Therefore only incidental influence.

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

Style is how you present yourself. Good taste is the balance of your creative self and the occasion you are dressing for.

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

Once made the mistake of buying shoes first thing in the morning on a trip to Europe. Realized they were actually little small upon my return home.
I am not an impulse buyer.

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 mix less expensive pieces with expensive

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

I am particular about design in my home.
I only buy products that are aesthetically pleasing
I happy in a neat, orderly environment

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?


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 know my own mind. I don't need to get another opinion to make my own decision. That said, I enjoy the opinions of others, and especially how they came to that opinion.

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?

My parents both had nice taste in clothes for themselves.
My mother purchased "sensible" clothes for me as a child that didn't really reflect my taste, but were certainly acceptable. Once I became an adult, she saw and liked how I put things together and then asked for my advice on her wardrobe.

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

I always take a little time ahead to think about what I'm going to wear and how I'm going to accessorize it. Never wait til the last minute.

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 doesn't mean sweats and sloppy over-sized clothes. Comfortable Does mean wearing things that fit properly.
Confident means being prepared, making the right choices in your wardrobe for the occasion so you can focus on your life, not your outfit.

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?

Classic, but with flair. As Tim Gunn always says, be mindful of silhouette, proportion and fit. I use color and accessories to express my personality and style.
I look for inspiration and then tweak it to suit my look. I'm known for using antique jewelry (fine & faux).

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

I love to see a well groomed lady who has obviously taken some time to be thoughtful about her clothing choice. Yesterday in San Francisco I saw a cross-dressing "lady" who was decked out in dress, swing coat, nylons, pumps and flawless make-up - BEAUTIFUL.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Lack of person hygiene

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 only shop for specific item - I have stuff for years that I wear regularly.

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 don't understand this question. There is only one me.

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

Looking polished and well put together

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

Dressing is for daily life. Dressing up is for an occasion.

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

Skinny jeans, button down shirt, loafers.

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

ME Classic with edge
NOT ME - full skirts, cleavage baring tops, embellished clothing, message clothing, sweat outfits, elastic pants, puff sleeves etc

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

Irrelevant - dress how you want - who cares.
If I want to wear a sari, fine. If I want to wear a kimono top, fine. Have fun.

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?

Only as child, which was totally conservative, but not embarrassing. Just not me. I had very few things, my mom didn't believe in spending money on kid's clothing, although we had plenty of money.

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

Two piece suit tends to command respect.

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?

Add your individual touch, but respect the company guidelines.

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

I wish we had a school uniform. Tough when you live in a town where most parents spend a great deal of money on their kid's clothes and you are trying to figure out how to wear 3 things differently each week.
School uniform allows the creative kids to shine because they won't be pre-judged and automatically discounted because of outfits or hairstyles they may have chosen for themselves.

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?

Same as before -- jeans, button-down shirt, loafers

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?

Men aren't held accountable for repeats the way women are because suits are an acceptable uniform.

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

Glad to live in today's world -- we have choices.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

That's me, I look nice
That's me, wish I'd taken a better pic!

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

I like Miranda Kerr's style and Kate Hudson.

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


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

Sweet, frilly, flouncy

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

Trying to look attractive

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

Tear sheets from magazines of looks you like and then adapt a look from your existing wardrobe or buy a piece of clothing to complete that look.

Wear clothes that fit

Wear clothes that flatter your body

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

I like it -- especially citrus scents
Annick Goutal -- Hadrian
Jo Malone -- Grapefruit and also Orange Blossom

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

Good grooming!

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

Make-up is good to present a smooth complexion.
I keep it all LIGHT make-up, mascara, eye pencil,
blush and lip stain

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?

Trendy expensive items I am not interested in.

I am interested in a few classic expensive items and I keep them FOREVER.

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

I don't damage, tear, stain or ruin clothing.

I believe in tailoring and dry cleaning and I IRON almost everything

I love both faux and fine jewelry. Love to accessorize with a piece of jewelry. I only wear a few pieces at a time. Keep it simple

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

I love the costume jewelry that belonged to my mom. It's not designer stuff, but its excellent quality.

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 keep some evening wear that belonged to my grandmother. Not my size. Saving for my daughter.

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?

Tods shoes that last forever
Max Mara coat
Jewelry from my husband

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 remember a cool dress from my college days which was a favorite.

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

A purse that belonged to my grandmother

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

My problem is clothes in my closet that I don't wear often enough. So the answer would be edit and wear everything in my closet.

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

My first designer suit for work. I don't own it anymore, styles have changed. It was very 80s

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


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


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

Neat, all organized.

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

Gifts from my husband

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?

Can't think of anything

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

I only shop when I have specific item(s) in mind.
I go alone. I like to go early afternoon.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Not really -- clean!

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


80. How does money fit into all this?

Decide what you really want and save for it.
Don't throw money away on impulse purchases.
Buy stuff that will stay in style and LAST.

EX I bought a Burberry trench 15 years ago.
It looks great and I wear it all the time. You only need ONE trench.

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

Wedding rings, lipstick

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

Its nice when you get a compliment or your friends ask you where you bought an item. I'm fine if they want to buy the same/similar item.
I like it, if a friend likes it too, why not?

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?

When I starting earning money and buying my own clothes.

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

1956 born in northern California, live in Northern CA

What kind of work do you do?

No longer working - was in legal field

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


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

I know what I like, but I love being inspired by others. I'm open to trying something new.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

This survey has provoked some thought about my clothing choices, how I present myself, and whether I feel good about my personal image. I hope the survey empowers women to feel good about the image they portray through their clothing choices.

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