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Virginia Andrews

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I feel most attractive when my clothes feel comfortable to wear, when I know they are a little stylish and appropriate for the setting, and when they show off the features I like the most. Also, when my partner compliments how I look.

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

Always! I admire women who look unstudied, natural and well put together.

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

I admire women who take risks in their clothes. I am way to afraid to do something bold, like wear all one color.

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?

For a long time I believed my mother was the most stylish person around. We lived in a small town but she used to live in LA (and had money), so she seemed really fashionable, especially compared to the church-moms. She bought all my clothes and I felt good about it. It wasn't a click moment, but I slowly started to realize that my mom wasn't wearing clothes that looked good on her and she wasn't picking clothes for me that made me feel good or comfortable. This was probably sometime in high school or college. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that we had moved to a bigger city and I was exposed to younger people who had spending money. Also, I watched the Gilmore Girls and loved Lorelai Girlmore's style.

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

I struggle to follow any good shopping rules. I am trying to only buy basic, high quality clothing to build my wardrobe around. But usually I just ask myself if it meets my upcoming needs and if it will look good with at least one pair of my shoes.

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

Dress conservatively. I work at a high school and am really self-conscious of looking sexy to the teenage boys. I like wearing a few different colors from the same palette (like a merlot skirt, navy sweater and gray scarf) and I want to make sure my outfit fits the situation I am going to be in. Also, I try to ensure my outfit will be flexible in case the situation changes.

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

A college roommate spent years trying to help me understand that wearing cheap clothing wouldn't look that good on me. But then she made me try on a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans and explained how they made my butt look amazing. It blew me away.

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

I try to be organized, sensible and prepared for everything. I keep a first aid kit with me at all times, I have a very exacting budget for my household, I menu plan and keep lists and I try to make my partner talk through all contingencies. I have a lot of anxiety, so sometimes I feel like my method of approaching life is just a way of dealing with anxiety.

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

I have 5 No. 2 Pencil skirts from J. Crew in different colors and materials. I like that I can wear them to work and feel professional, covered up and fashionable, but that I can also wear them on a date and feel attractive. Also, the cut hasn't changed in the last few years, so I can buy them on eBay for a lot less than in the store.

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

I basically only give my sister clothes for gifts and usually do a good job getting her stuff that she likes and that looks good on her. She never buys clothes for herself but I want her to feel good. Also, I bought my toddler niece a super cute navy blue sweater with a shawl collar and a toggle close. It was from the boys department and looked so freaking cute on her. She mostly only has pink clothes so I really like buying her gender neutral stuff.

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

Any time tops aren't form fitted. I have a small waist and like showing it off.

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

I inherited my body from my dad's side of the family and don't really look like my mom at all. She and I both like cashmere sweaters but otherwise have pretty different tastes.

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

All the time! My brother's Communist Party t-shirt is the only item I stole and still have. But my friend Susan is the most stylish person I know and I always want to wear what she is wearing. My college roommate had a huge influence on my clothing choices for like 7 years after we lived together.

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

No- it has been a slow evolution over time.

16. Please describe your body.

A little taller than average, with long arms and legs and a little bit of an hour-glass shape (although that is softening as I have gained weight over time).

17. Please describe your mind.

Active, sharp, flexible.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Strong, fluid, caring.

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

A lot of current favorites! Skinny jeans, tan ankle boots, a black sweater and a grey cowl I knit for myself. My hair is tied up in a sloppy bun. For makeup I am wearing some tinted moisturizer, loose powder and dark brown eyeliner. I am also wearing my glasses.

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

Looking right in my clothes helps me feel more comfortable, especially going into situations where my anxiety is elevated. I feel like I need to look right to trick people into believing I belong.

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

05/07/1983, Born Los Angeles, Live in Seattle, WA

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

White, middle class, raised in a mix of rural and suburban settings.

What kind of work do you do?

Education- I am a school counselor in a diverse, low-income public high school is a suburb of Seattle.

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

I am married with no kids, although we are thinking about having a kid pretty soon.

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

Clothing is something I think about a lot and spend a little too much money on. My mood can be affected by a positive or negative experience with clothes and shopping.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Really reflexive. This is interesting!

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