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1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I am feeling upbeat which enables me to choose clothes that make be feel good

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

Women with their own style and walking proud

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

They look comfortable in what they wear and they make the clothes look good rather than the other way round

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?

Having had three sons, probably when their girls came on the scene and commented on things I wore and having someone within the family to talk "looks" with.

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

When shopping for something specific, don't try too hard to find it as it never works. Get a second opinion. Buy only what you love.

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

Sorry, nothing here

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

Two work colleagues who said that my wardrobe was the only one of our work colleagues that they would like to steal. Said I reminded them of Diane Keaton's style - massive, massive effect on me. Made me feel so good and much more confident about choices.

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

Not really. I tend to throw myself into each area at full speed, often too impulsive, but figure that at least this way I get started and mostly make things better than they were before.

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

Black shoes, black tops of all lengths, sizes. Buy them because I can change the look of outfits with them by wearing them in different combinations.

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

Lots of times

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

Psychidelic anything - not for me.

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

We are very similar and both make (made) efforts to look our best despite the value of the items we had to make use of.

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

Have often discarded ideas from friends and families after I raalised how bad they looked on them. Often take pieces of other people's styles and combine them with my own "inventions"

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

Probably when my professional life became successful I in turn became more confident to try and establish my own style.

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

Absolutely not.

16. Please describe your body.

168cm, 70kg, column shape, good lower legs.

17. Please describe your mind.

Active, intelligent, resourceful

18. Please describe your emotions.

Intense, fiery, too quick to react

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

Blue, black and white trousers, black sleeveless top with a black chiffon overshirt, longer at the back with self lacing up the back, black patent wedges, chunky pewter short necklace, sparkly studs, Jane Iredale foundation, mascara, eyebrow gel and MAC lipstick. I have a blonde (varying shades of ash blonde) layered bob, short at the back and long at the sides that is smooth today but often wear in a scrunched curly style.

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

It all goes together, makes me feel good and is appropriate for the situation I am in.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Friends, daughters-in-law, assistants in retail stores if I think they are worth consulting - most aren't, they just want to sell the goods. I do have a couple of favs though :-)

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Not sure of the question

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

I think I have both. Taste because you need it to have style. Taste means deciding what is good and what is not and style is putting the good taste items together in the right way.

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

Yes, it was the outfit I wore to the wedding of my first son to get married. I allowed myself to be influenced by what the bride preferred and what her mother chose. The bride's mother was initially going for a particular colour and ended up buying something in the colour I had already said I wanted. I lacked any confidence to find an alternative and really hated the outfit (very, very expensive to have made) I ended up with.

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

I disguise my lack of waistline with tops that give some definition in that area or wearing belts to elongate my torso. Well chosen less fitting clothes (provided they are not too baggy) can make you look much slimmer than tight ones.

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

I think I style my home well and love walking into the rooms in the house and feeling good about the way they look.

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?

Interviews, interviews, interviews................

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 do and it has come through learning from mistakes.

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?

Not directly but the most distinct memories of my mother and grandmother involve the style they portrayed and the way in which they carried themselves.

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

Too hard to answer

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?

I think it means you want to wear your clothes, shoes, hair, makeup etc well and dress for yourself rather than other people

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?

Quality materials in items that can interchange well and which you will feel confident in when in a challenging situation.

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

Nature, people's smiles, peaceful surroundings

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Traffic, ugly buildings, bad taste dressing, miserable people.

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?

Still can't get this right as often as I would like so probably only about 65%

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 like to think that people who see me will think that I have dressed stylishly appropriate for a situation and my appearance will not be a distraction from the purpose of the meeting/encounter.

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

What I have to do, who I will be seeing and how I can dress appropriately and be comfortable.

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


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


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

Neutral colours, feminine, comfortable. Love Meryl Streep's style in the movie "It's Complicated"

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

Not too much pattern and lots of pattern!

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

I am a NZ European and it has not influenced how I dress.

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?

I used to throw things together without knowing what suited me. While most of the items were fine on their own, I was not great at an overall look.

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

Make sure everything I wear is in excellent condition. Wear age appropriate makeup every day and always style my hair.

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

I don't really but I do try and blur the lines a little bit by introducing some edgy items to a professional look.

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?

Black pants and a white shirt because there are so many ways this can be changed depending on the shape of each item and they can be dressed up or down.

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?

UK - London in particular - as there is complete freedom to dress as you want without people staring in a negative way. Love that the city is big enough to accept all styles.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


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

Okay about 30% of the time

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

My grandmother.

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

Lots of dreams about shopping.

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

Any outfit for a special occasion - too much pressure

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?

Age appropriate fitting tops.

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


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

Make yourself happy with your look first.

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

Yes, but only one fragrance - has been my signature for many years and appreciated by those who love me.

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

Stand tall, disguise the faults

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

Essential, subtle and enhancing.

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?

Lots of separates (way too many) as far as clothes go. Jewellery, mixture of precious, semi-precious and costume - probably love the latter the most as I can make an outfit trendy very quickly and it is not expensive to update.

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

A pewter leaf pendant on a long chain

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 sequin top, not sure what to pair it with and because I hope that one day I will find a way of making it look good.

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 quality trousers and layering tops.

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?

It was a black and white tweed jacket with a black velvet collar, buttons and pocket flaps. Thought I would never wear it again and if I had it now it would be one of my favourite items.

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

A black boyfriend jacket that I updated a few years ago by adding a cream and black lining to the sleeves which looks amazing when I turn them back.

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

Co-ordinate, co-ordinate and not be so haphazard about purchases.

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

Black jacket mentioned above - have had for 25 years and it still looks great. Excellent fabric and I have looked after it well.

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?

Nothing I can think of

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


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

Yes, often. Lots of different jewellery items.

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?

The black jacket mentioned above. It was from a chain store and was not expensive.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

Efficiently and only ever when I am in the mood to do so, never because I have to.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Yes, as mentioned above.

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

If I feel good, look good, good things will happen

80. How does money fit into all this?

It controls it

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

Use my Jane Iredale pressed foundation every day and always have it with me.

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


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?

About 7 years old at a family event. I had a beautiful little light green dress with minimal frills. Still love photos of me in that dress.

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

2 May 1951, Wellington New Zealand and Auckland New Zealand

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

NZ European

What kind of work do you do?


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

Married with three grown up sons and four grandchildren

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

At another stage in my life (empty nest) and almost need to find myself the style that will last me till the end of my days.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Clearer in my thoughts


I am a 63 year old grandmother who has been married for 40 years. I have had a successful professional life, not saved as much as I should but have enjoyed being generous with friends and family. I hope I have had a positive effect on people around me and that I can continue to do so in the future.

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