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Dawn Freeman

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I am wearing amazing fabrics, classic styles and beautiful shoes - casual or dressy.

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

Women who carry themselves with confidence and who have a certain grace and elegance about them.

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

Their presence, self-confidence. No matter what they are wearing, they are present and comfortable in their own skin.

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?

I've always loved fine fabrics and well-made clothing, even as a child. But, it wasn't until I was in high school and I cut my waist-long hair very short. It was at that moment that I found my own style.

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

i don't purchase anything unless it goes with three other items in my closet. Shoes, no matter how incredible, if they don't fit, they stay at the store.

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

My style is clean and crisp. I opt for simple styles, not too busy or overwhelming. Dressing should be easy, not a chore.

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

Learning that everyone has a style and a personality. And, no matter what your body type, you can look beautiful with minimal effort. But, it does take some effort.

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

The most important activities are always done first. I'm practical and prepared. I do my utmost to keep life as simple as possible.

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

Blazers, jackets and coats. No matter where I go or how warm it might be, I always have one of these items with me. It changes up the way an outfit looks, and you never know when you might need an extra layer.

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

I gave my sister a necklace made of diamonds from my wedding ring given to me by my first husband for her 30th birthday. She loves it and wears it often.

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

Uggs and Grunge. Uggs don't have much style. Grunge just looks like someone rolled out of bed and forgot to get dressed.

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

Our body types are very different. What works on her, doesn't work on me. I can wear many styles and prefer menswear and tailored looks. She likes florals and prints.

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

I've learned how to incorporate jewelry into my wardrobe. Simple, smart pieces can really add elegance to an outfit.

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

Moving out and living on my own, I began to cultivate how I wanted to show up - casual or dressy. I found what worked for me and what I could be completely comfortable in.

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

Nothing political. I don't wear anything that has a logo -- they're tacky.

16. Please describe your body.

Athletic and lean. I have broad shoulders, long legs, a narrow torso. I'm fairly proportionate and tall.

17. Please describe your mind.

Creative and analytical, open and thoughtful.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Steady, calm. Not given to drama.

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

I'm wearing a striped tan and blue sweater with a pair of knee-length denim shorts. I have navy suede flats and simple jewelry. My hair is styled and I have light, neutral make-up.

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

For me, it's important to show up authentically. Some days it's dressed to the nines, other days it's casual and comfy. How I show up says a lot about how I"m feeling.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My best friend, some colleagues at work, my guy friends.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I've worked in many industries, usually in the corporate offices. There's a level of sophistication that is usually required. That has carried with me throughout my working life -- even in offices that are extremely casual. Dress down for me is business casual at best.

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

You can have great taste, but if you can't put it together -- there's no style. Style is personal and reflective of who you are.

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

I bought a gorgeous pair of shoes, wore them once, and ditched them because they were so uncomfortable.

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

The art of camouflage - scarves, shoes, belts - they all distract. When I'm not feeling great and wonderful, I have my favorite "go to" pieces.

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

I think my style is reflected in my home, workspace.

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?

When I'm presenting to large groups, my clothing is comfortable but tailored. I dress to exude confidence and credibility.

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 know what I like in fashion and clothing. I'm very discerning in my life, my friends and my choices. Part of my discernment is instinctual, and I've learned to trust my instincts.

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?

We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so I was taught to take care of what I had. My mom and grandmother were great seamstresses and made beautiful clothes. I learned about fabrics from them.

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

Fabulous undergarments, a mani/pedi, and a nice facial will do the trick.

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?

Authenticity. Being who you are and showing up that way.

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?

Style is personal. It is a reflection of who I am, where I'm going. It's not a face I put on or hide behind.

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

A quiet day spent in the garden cultivating, watching the birds and animals, feeling a sense of wonder about the balance of nature.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

People treating others with disrespect or disdain because of how they look or dress.

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'm pretty good. There's been a few mistakes, but overall, I wear what I've purchased. If I don't love it when I try it on, it stays at the store.

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?

Most people see me as put together, a bit reserved, even intimidating at times. I'm usually open and friendly, but can have a certain aloofness.

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

I dress based on my schedule for the next day, weather and then in the morning, lay in bed sorting through my options. I wear what "speaks" to me.

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

Casual elegance.

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

Dressing up is finding my favorite evening dress, just the right shoes, daring make-up and a lovely wrap.

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

A great jacket, crisp blouse, tailored slacks or skirt, and low-heeled pumps.

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

Tailored clothing. No ruffles thank you.

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

Scandinavian. Practical, simple, pragmatic. There is little in my closet that does not mix and match. My wardrobe choices are limitless.

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