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Lynn O'Liam

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm happy.

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

Yes; women who look put together---not necessarily because of the the style they are wearing, but how they are wearing their style. Women who seem happy, confident, and comfortable with themselves.

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

That no two women are the same--they can be wearing the same exact outfit but each will be holding themselves differently.

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?

Working in retail. I've never been "big" on fashion and, quite honestly, I'm still not super into it, but when I see how some women hold themselves in public---as if they are worthless or too fat or too arrogant--it just makes me take notice, and I stand a bit straighter and be a bit nicer. The right attitude and posture can completely change an article of clothing.

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

Always go with what attracts your eye.

Mix shit up.

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

Ignore that spot, those wrinkles, and that whiff of being worn.

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

Mothers know it all, but also have no clue about anything.

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

I do what I like.

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

Flannel shirts. Because they are awesome and I have loved plaid since I was a child.

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


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

Yes. Because I thought they were silly and primarily for much younger girls.

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

My mother was very thin when she was my age--I have a more athletic build, though am still rather thin around. I have that long torso also.

My mom seems to look her best when dressed "down to earth." Not sloppy to do gardening or housework, not put together for church---but jeans, a nice shirt, maybe a sweatshirt that fits nicely. It suits her personality, I think.

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

I have an old flannel shirt of my moms. Other than that, I wear what I like.

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

Not dramatically, but I dress nicer now that I work than when I was at university, or in high school.

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

I wouldn't say so, but I've been told I dress a bit art-school--whatever that means.

16. Please describe your body.

Athletic legs (cyclist); thin, but broad shoulders/hips; narrow waist; flat stomach, bit bony when at peak riding season (cyclist)

17. Please describe your mind.

Imaginative; questioning; problem-solving

18. Please describe your emotions.

Generally, quite calm and easy-going; can have high "highs" and, if annoyed to a certain degree, a scalding temper.

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

Lotion--riding in cold weather can dry out your face very badly.

Air drying, as usual.

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

Only to yourself.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Colleagues, I guess. (Work in womens apparel)

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Maybe more professional or sharper if something "important." (Interview, court, etc.)

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

I would say so. People say they like items that I own, so I suppose I have good taste. I've been told things look good on me, so I guess I have something going for me re style.

Taste is what you like, style is how you wear something.

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

Eh, not really unless you count dry cleaning things which is a pain.

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

No. Why would I want to get away with something?

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

I keep my bike pristine. A mechanic's wet dream.

Oh, and I like decorating and art and stuff like that.

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?

My power suit for interviews.

Bits of bike clothing for reassurance.

My old pair of boots, RIP.

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 am good at discerning.

Because I trust myself--sense of color, sense of balance, sense of shape.

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?

I was always taught to take care of things---clothing, electronics, books, whatever.

Most of my ideas of fashion, come back to how I saw the world as a child--who or what I thought looked cool.

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

Be myself.

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?

Confidence comes from being comfortable with yourself--that is, you can accept the best of you and the worst of you. A person is not static unless they are dead, and than the body itself is in a process of decomposition. Playing to your strengths is part of it too---if you can't do your makeup well, you should A) practice B) take time to do it right C) not wear it--because maybe your face isn't meant to be caked in a color it isn't. One of these courses of action, will be you best bet and it isn't the same for everyone.

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?

Do what you like, but wear it well.

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

A really long bike ride that tests you.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

People with no sense of who they are.

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. If I don't like it, I won't wear it, so I don't buy it.

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 think that way.

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

Weather and how I feel.

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

To clothe myself with some semblance of skill.

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

Material, styles of clothing (embellishment, long gowns vs short, ruffles, whatever), colors.

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

Jeans and a shirt and maybe a sweater, and boots.

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

I know it when I see it.

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

Diverse. Not much. Apart from appreciation for looking sharp.

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?

Well, I was in middle school, and parachute pants were very popular. And sweatshirts made me feel cozy.

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

Dress a little nicer.

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

I wear patterns. And dresses.

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?


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?

Flannel shirt, jeans (or shorts depending on season).

It's comfortable.

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?


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


52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Can be. Not when I'm paying attention to the camera anyways.

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

If it's a good picture, I think I look good and analyze it deeply.

If it's a not so good picture, I think I look not so good and analyze it deeply.

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

I am a child of the late 80s and the 90s. I like flannel, I like boots, and babydoll dresses, and jean jackets.

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

I work in women's apparel. When I dream about work, it's not because I want to.

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

Thigh high boots.

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?

The same things I wear now.

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

I guess, it's nice if people think I look cute or pretty, but that's not a conscious desire.

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

Dress for what you like. And stand up straight.

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

It can be good. It can be bad.


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

Brush my hair.

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

It doesn't.

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?


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

Stuff I like.

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

A striped shirt.

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?

A dress I got for 99 cents. I could wear it to a wedding or something if I need it, and it was only 99 cents.

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?

Shoes. Coats. Tights.

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?

A pair of boots. Fell apart too many times. Because they were awesome.

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

A dress. Why wear pants without a shirt? Or a top without bottoms?

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

Vary materials.

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

Interview suit. Yes. Or just the pants for work.

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

No. Maybe the $300 leather jacket I got for less than $10.

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

The best bike shorts EVAR.

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

Generally neat,

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


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?


77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I need something or have an idea of something I want.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Preferably clean.

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

I guess I aim for a nice job someday.

80. How does money fit into all this?

If I can afford it, I can spend it; it I can't, I don't. Pretty simple.

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


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

I was told a dress I own made me look really hot, from a complete stranger who then wanted to buy the dress for his girlfriend. It was quite exciting to know I had that effect on someone without realizing it.

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?


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

Jan. 1985,
East Coast USA.

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

Middle class. Suburban.

What kind of work do you do?


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 have an interest in these things.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Kinda tired actually .


Do what you like. Because no one else can do it for you.

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