Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I'm cleaned up and energetic.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Admire unselfconsciously beautiful women; brave women; fun women
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Confidence, genuine smiling faces, open attitude, fun clothing, interesting adornment/jewellery, very little make-up
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?
Pretty early on (Junior High School?) I wanted to feel good on my terms; wear what I was comfortable in or thought was fun not what was fashionable.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I hate clothes shopping (I have an unusual, hard-to-fit body.), so have no tips other than "if it fits okay and feels good--and you can afford it-- buy it!" Also, most of my clothes are second hand. I hate paying full price for anything and like the idea of reusing some else's stuff.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Again, second hand and fun. Nothing too tight. Very little make-up. And NO dying my grey!
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Never been transformed by a style/fashion conversation.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I'm pretty scattered so not unified per se, but I try to approach things with heart and love. I have some anxiety issues so I'm often talking myself down from a run-away imagination. I sometimes don't use sound logic when making decisions--just go with the solution that 'feels right'.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Hair clips, pins, bands, ties. I'm convinced that I will one day do wonderful things with them in my hair, but it has yet to happen. I do a lot of cooking/baking so I do like to have my hair pulled back, but when I go out for a dressy occasion I always leave my hair as is. Go figure.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
Yes. Most recently a pendant with special meaning that elated both of us.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Most trends turn me off. Wear what you like and what is most comfortable. Learn to feel good and sexy in that!
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
She was big-breasted too. But she favoured those industrial, opera-singing Viking bras. I hate being hemmed in.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
When I was a teen I looked to my older sister for style. She was always able to pull it together with a minimum of fuss and make-up. Casual but sharp.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Maybe not so dramatic, but I can't get away with some of the crazy outfits I threw together when I was younger. I'm not stifled by age, just a little more aware of what I would be able to 'carry off'. Sounds horrible writing it, but I'm trying not to edit my thoughts...
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Probably. I'm a socialist who reuses and recycles clothing and believes we all have too much of everything. I own only the shoes and boots I need for the season changes. I keep clothes for a very long time (any style that may have existed is able to cycle through going in and out of fashion over and over again...)and try to buy new clothes only when I need to.
16. Please describe your body.
High waist, very little hip curve, thin straight legs, large pendulous breasts, rounded saggy belly. (Four children later.)
17. Please describe your mind.
Over-active. Prone to day-dreaming. (I live there most days.)
18. Please describe your emotions.
Overly sensitive, empathetic, prone to sadness and extreme happiness. Full of big love.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Jeans and blue, v-neck sweater (both second-hand), fuzzy blue socks and Birkenstock clogs. Hair is down and drying. No make up. May put a little cover-stick on before I head out.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
Stuff? What I'm currently wearing? Hmm...
Keeping me warm, but I'b be lying if I didn't say I feel like I look okay in it. Presentable. Not important really. Just is what it is.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
One of my daughters-in-law mostly. She's a second-hander like me. We like finding treasures in cast-offs.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I allow them to make me feel under-dressed sometimes. Or not dressed 'properly' My issue.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
My style works for me. It encompasses my taste for casual comfort.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I have no ass, so I often wear a long top with pants to hide the extra un-filled seat material. I can 'get away with' tucking in tops with a skirt.) Not a trick, and not even necessary, but I feel better doing it because I've always felt crappy about my lack of a round heinie.
Best trick: Smile! Be happy and calm and you'll will feel and look better.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
I have an eye for nice decor and placing things just so. Minimalist but attractive pairings.
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?
Fuzzy loungers and sweaters, thick socks, and maybe even a shoulder-wrap to hug. It's comforting.
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 definitely know what I like with most areas of life. This is personal discernment. I think I have a good eye and ear--good taste--but others would beg to differ I'm sure. Two way street. I don't understand the fashion sense of some people as much as they are perplexed by mine.
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?
Washing and ironing and taking care of your clothes is what they taught. With time they became less interested in what they wore to the point of not caring at all. I've learned by observing them never to stop caring completely.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
Feeling sexy just is or isn't with me. I think it has to do more with feeling happy and confident than anything else. If I'm there in my head I'm a sexy beast--watch out!
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?
Acceptance. Love for people. Trust.
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?
Always wear clothes that make you happy. Have fun with colour, fabrics, and combinations. Never dress to satisfy someone else.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Honesty and a genuine smile. Hokie but that's what does it for me. I will stare at another woman if she is serene, smiling, kind-looking--and having fun.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Harshness in mood, attitude, make-up. Mean-spiritedness.
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?
Money is tight so I have to be sure. Although buying second-hand makes it easier to just take a stab.
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 am hyper-critical about myself when judging how I look. This banshee is mean to me only. She exists to chip away at my flagging self-esteem. She doesn't believe in herself so I try to ignore her. Not always easy.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Weather. Activity. Schedule. Comfort. No real process.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
Comfort. satisfaction Feeling like what I'm wearing 'works' in my head.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
When I 'dress up' I really feel like I'm dressing for someone else. Weird.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
Long skirt. Colourful blouse. No-heel, comfy shoes or sandals. Maybe a bright scarf. Silver jewellery, if any. Hair down.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
I'm all about being comfortable (if I haven't already beat that idea to death)and feeling good inside. Wearing something that doesn't feel right is a no-go.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
Canadian-Italian. No-nonsense meets classic and colourful??
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?
A few years in the late seventies, early eighties when it was all about the dark eye liner and leather jacket. Smoking in clubs and dancing to Elvis Costello. Still love his music, but the jacket's too snug now...
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
Leave the 'baggy' at home. Maybe add a jacket.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
Not currently applicable. I work from home. When I've worked in an office I've managed to keep my casual preferences by just upping things slightly.
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?
Constraining. Restraining. Big time.
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?
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?
Men seem to have an easier time 'exposing' chub. I envy them this societal acceptance.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
I love the long skirts and comfy shirts worn by my Nonna in her Italian farming village. Made for working in but pretty.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Slick corporate pant-suit.
Leopard-skin-look, tight-fitting ensemble with stilettos.
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?
More pants--with shirts tucked in! Tighter-fitting tops.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
I suppose, other than trying to make myself happy and hoping my husband likes my look, I am 'speaking' to other women. 'Hey, this is me.'
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
No. Just be happy and comfy.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
I like certain essential oils. I occasional dot one on if I think no one will be offended by scent.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Put on a bra. (Ugh.)
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Under-eye cover-stick is my most used make-up. I wear eye liner some days. That's it.
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?
Never liked lipstick. Am I less of a woman??
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
As already repeated, casual but fun. Silver jewellery. Colourful scarves.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
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?
Funky orange jacket-blouse. I have nothing that goes with it, and it's a bit snug, BUT it's such fun!
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. Boring, but it lasts.
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?
Beautiful, black & floral palazzo pants! Comfortable. Dressy and casual. Wore them lots.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
Buy maternity underpants. Recently discovered them. Not binding and soooooo comfortable.
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
Not sure I ever did...
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
Chinese slippers. High school.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
A good-fitting pair of pants!
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
Messy drawers. Hanging items are neater. Hang things inside-out to keep dust off outer sides and to minimize the hanger-pokes in the shoulders.
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?
Whenever. I frequent second-hand clothing shops and if something works I pick it up.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
Clean. Sometimes I add a drop of essential oil to my hair.
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
??? Never really considered this. But I am not ambition-driven, so it makes sense that I dress for comfort and to make myself feel good in my head and heart.
80. How does money fit into all this?
Big time. Can't spend much on clothes. Probably wouldn't even if I could, though.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
Under eye cover stick most days. (I carry a smooth stone in my wallet because I like how it feels...)
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
I've been teased about not being fashionable. Only strengthens my resolve to dress for my happiness and comfort.
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?
Spilling breakfast milk on my grey skirt on picture day when I was a kid. Knew I'd messed up because mom had chosen my outfit carefully.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Born in Toronto, Canada on a spring day over fifty years ago.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
Canadian. Italian heritage. Working class. Low 'snack' bracket.
What kind of work do you do?
Currently not being paid for the work I do.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Married common-law. Four grown children. Three living grandchildren (two were lost before their time).
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
A great mind-mining session. I feel like I know myself a bit better. Or am at least remembering who I really am.