Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
After I've had a shower, styled my hair, put on make-up and had the time to choose an outfit that I consider flattering. Basically time and fit are key elements here!
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Women that are well put together, but also women who seem to be comfortable in their own skin; women who have a sense of style and who know what looks good on them, women with good posture, women who don't try to dress like someone younger or skinnier than they are
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Confidence, polish, good grooming, well-chosen outfits, clothing and shoes that are well-cared for, hair and nails that are appropriately styled, interesting jewellery, a good level of fitness or, if the woman is overweight, other signs of self-care.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
All one-colour dressing with a different colour accessory can look very sharp on me (eg: all navy or all black, with a red scarf or with a large gold chain)
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
A unified way of approaching my life? I tend to break down as much of it as possible into modules that I can manage, in all of these categories. So yes, I compartmentalize. At the same time, where people are concerned I have no problem bringing friends and family together in the same place.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Black tights; boots (I have black and brown boots; also flat shoes - I don't wear a lot of heels anymore because my job varies from either working from home or travelling to another city and it is just easier to dress in either boots in winter or flats in Spring/ Summer.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
All the time. I have a friend that I often buy statement necklaces for. I have told her to tell me if these are inappropriate, or if she would prefer books, or gift certificates or other items, but she insists that she really likes my taste in necklaces and asks me to continue buying these things for her.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Anything that doesn't flatter my body type. I am short-waisted so there are many trends that would fall into that category!
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother has struggled with weight issues for much of her life and so have I
16. Please describe your body.
Plus-sized, short-waisted, but I like my thighs and legs.
17. Please describe your mind.
A little bit of attention disorder, but also quite intellectual (I don't work as an academic, but I have a doctorate, and work in a setting that bridges both government and the non-profit world). I guess you could say that I have a very energetic, nimble, and broad mind.
18. Please describe your emotions.
When I was a child I was cheerful but level-headed, from puberty through my thirties, a bit subject to hormonal mood-swings, and now that I am in my late-forties I would say that I have returned back to cheerful but level-headed again.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Foundation and mascara with some blush. My hair is cut in layers but straight, was blow-dryed styled with a bit of mousse, and was highlighted in a hair salon a few months ago (I am overdue for a touch-up and trim).
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It is important to me- it helps me feel as though I am presenting my best face to the world. I feel more like myself this way, even though I know that these things are add-ons.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
A few close friends, and my mother.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
I dress appropriately for the position that I hold at work (I have a senior management position).
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I think so, although I also think that I have cultivated it by consulting external sources, so while I think I have some flair I have also educated myself a lot. Taste is about understanding what is appropriate, attractive, pleasing. Style moves more into the territory of beginning to make a statement, a signature look for yourself - ensuring that in presenting an attractive mien you are also doing so with flare and verve.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I can think of several examples - all of them involving attempts to get a bargain and/ or impulse buys.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
No tricks per se. Finding a designer whose clothes are cut to look good on your figure is an easy win (For me Jones of New York is a good one; in Canada there is a manufacturer called Simpli, which cuts clothing very well-designed for women in high quality, well-draped synthetic fabrics which make beautiful, but artistic looking business clothing. I also find that dressing head to toe in a single colour helps. But I don't think that always has to be in a dark colour. I also tend to have a lot of accessories so that depending on my weight fluctuations, I can still feel that I have an elegant look that I "understand" even if I have to vary my clothing size quickly. So I guess I always try to have some stock items in my life that are staples so that when uncertainty hits in other areas, I can deal with those fluctuations.
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?
Yes- sometimes in business meetings when I have to present difficult ideas, I take extra efforts to pull together a polished look. It does help.
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?
Getting better at it as I get older.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
For a start, trying not to offend. I look at myself and how I am going to appear in the landscape, and whether I will add to it or detract from it. But if truth be told I also have a bit of an ego and I try to also add a bit of flair too. I know that I'm getting older and I am overweight so I won't win any beauty contests - but I would like to not detract from the landscape and for people to at least say "she's not bad for a woman of her age and size"
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
No - I do not photograph well AT ALL!
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
I wish these were neat, but closet space is a constraint for me right now, so, no it is not.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
Yes, my husband and my mother each separately have given me gold heart necklaces.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
I used to love wearing perfume, but these days with so many people allergic to scents I don't wear it anymore. I am still conscious about odour though, and so I try to ensure that I am clean, and that after a shower, before I use deodorant I clean my underarm area with alcohol. Hardly the same impression from an olfactory sense (oh how the times change...)
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I am married without children
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
it feels as though I may have revealed too much in some ways.