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Stephanie Dinkmeyer

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Clean hair, clean face, clean clothes, sitting next to someone who loves me when I’m dirty.

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

Women in their heads.

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

I will always admire confidence, warmth, and presence.

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

Buy the same thing in 5 colors. Become a caricature of yourself.

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

Wear black.

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

I’ve never had a single transformative conversation; it’s a process. But I do remember the first weeks of getting to know my now best friend Sarah. She’s a damn sharp dresser with a lot of confidence. Hair hats, velvet, out of production colors. She dresses like a fantastic couch. But she’s generally a thoughtful, quiet introvert. She once said, “Everyone assumes if you dress ostentatiously, you’ll have a personality to match.” It really made me reflect on what we are expressing with our outward appearance. How accurate are these book covers?

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

My life is a constant flow between creating and allowing. Performance and non-doing. Presenting and hiding.

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

My friends have called me Doug Funny for years because I have multiples of everything. I will buy something in all the colors if it fits me well because there is no better feeling (or look) than wearing something that fits like it was made just for your body. Even if it’s a t-shirt. Also, I’m lazy.

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


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

Sometimes I feel like I'm making a political statement with my Crocs.

16. Please describe your body.

A vessel

17. Please describe your mind.

It is a hundred hoarders emptying their homes onto a field every night at dusk.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Wavy blessings of humanity.

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

There is a looooooooong list of things that are more important than this stuff, but those of us with the sense of sight are visual creatures. The way we see and are seen is hugely important and evocative, for better or worse.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Joani, Sarah, Haley, Melissa, Kelly.

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

Taste is a thoughtful, curated, cohesive judgment about how things should be.
Style comes from within and is completely out of our control.
Everyone has style, not everyone has taste.

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

Anything that I have ever washed. I need to read labels.

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

Dry shampoo makes me feel so goddamn sneaky.

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

Everything I do has a style! Everything you do has a style! A style is an unavoidable way, an avenue, a purposeful action. Everyone has a way of taking out the trash because they’re doing it. There’s no way around it.

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 would say that I know how I like to feel.

At any given moment what will play a part in making me feel that way is different. From clothes, haircuts, interior design, food, exercise, my spiritual rituals, and the people I surround myself with. Some change more frequently than others.

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 mother wasn't defined by her style, but her personality, and my father essentially wears two outfits. So...yeah. Big 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?

Comfortable = the external attainment of safety

Confident = the internal attainment of safety

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

Vulnerability, honesty, true kindness, alpacas

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Selfishness, cruelty, lack of presence

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

Peace of mind

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

Head to toe, lots of straight lines.

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?

A leotard. It fulfills my love for one-piece items, enhances body confidence, and makes me feel like the most flexible kid on the block.

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've wondered what it would be like, just like I've wondered what it would be like to be any other body. But I would never want it in place of being a woman. Never, ever. I can can grow another person in this thing!

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

The 1920s. I don't think women's clothing has been so politically powerful before or since.

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

“That’s what I look like?” It is always a surprise, positive or negative. The person I see in the mirror and the person I see in pictures are cousins, at best.

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

Stephanie Zinoni and Sharon Cooper, Jung's Red Book, Audrey Hepburn, Jean Seberg, Be Here Now, Marimekko everything, second-wave feminists, Matilda, Falling Water

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

I'm sure somewhere in my unconscious I'm trying to attract like-minded souls. In my conscious mind, I think I'm just trying to look interesting to babies.

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

I love it cautiously. I am hyper aware that whatever perfume I’m wearing will be forever inextricably tied to whatever happens to me that day. I could tell my whole life story with a trail of perfumes. I’ve gladly abandoned many scents throughout the years.

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

Wash em

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

I wear enough makeup to look more awake than I feel without morphing me so much as to dislike my natural state.

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?

High quality denim and perfume I loved

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 mother’s onyx and gold college ring.

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?

On Hat Day, in second grade, I wore an Anne of Green Gables straw hat with braided red yarn pigtails attached. A girl snidely told me, “That’s not a hat.” That was the first time I remember being aware that there were rules about clothing. There were hats and then there were costumes. I wanted to wear costumes.

What kind of work do you do?

I am earning my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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

In love.

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

Ultimately, we are all large children playing dress-up.


I live in Pittsburgh with my tiny black cat, Moondancer, and a lot of my things. I pot, I weave, I write, and I study.

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