Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
In a certain light, in a funny mood, when my outfit brings me joy.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
I do. I pay compliments to strangers and I love tall, voluptuous, dark-oriental ladies.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
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?
A few years ago, I decided to stop dying my hair. At first, nothing clicked, I just felt awful. Grey! Old! Urgh! Then, slowly, I got it. The cool cut, the make up to go with it. Right now: grey hair, almost white, very short, pink sneakers. Love it!
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Expensive brands, excellent quality, second hand, always. To buy cheap is morally wrong and depressing.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I love to feel attractive and I like to look like someone who cares. I care, and I want to surprise, like I'm having fun with my looks. Never, never trying too hard.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Never had one.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
My best girlfriend and I go back almost 40 years. Recently, I bought her a fun, colourful, red and pink nightie.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Lots! I don't believe in fashion trends. And those stupid skinny pants that are cut so low.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mom still is a funky old broad at 88. She used to believe in stilettos, they were religion to her. But I was never that convinced.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Not that I can recall.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
After my children were borne, I had gained 20 kg, was almost insane with exhaustion and kind of lost my sense of style, of being me, of caring.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
Not about the way I dress, more about the way I shop. I boycott retailers who sell cheap junk.
16. Please describe your body.
Petit, big boobs, hourglass figure.
17. Please describe your mind.
Quick, witty, sharp.
18. Please describe your emotions.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I'm at home, wearing a short striped dress. No panties. No makeup.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
To me, clothes, style and a certain elegance in dressing, thinking and speaking is essential.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
There is a certain lady in a tea shop I frequent who's interested in these kind of conversations. My female friends don't seem to care that much. I believe they regard talking about clothes as beneath themselves as intellectuals, or feminists.
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I don't want to go there.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
Good quality, second hand.
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Elegantly expressing what I think. Laying the table just so. Decluttering the mind. Making a beautiful home.
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. Whenever I have to speak at a conference, I make sure my outfit is exactly right. I hate it when I'm out of my comfort zone AND my outfit seem off to me.
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?
Very much so. I was alone for most of my childhood and adolescence, and I guess that gave me a very clear feel of what I want. I don't dither, I don't fret, I don't believe in wasting time feeling uncertain in millions of different ways. Also, I
am prepared to live with the consequences of my choices.
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?
My mum did not believe in flat shoes.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
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 find the whole concept of "comfort" weird when applied to style. My bed, hot chicken soup, or an embrace can be comfort to me. Style, elegance or fashion bring energy, fun and surprise to my life. And confidence!
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?
Mmmmmmh. This is hard. Style is almost an art, it requires the eye, the brain and the instinct.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Many, many things. And my children.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
UGGs and Crocs. Grunge. Most tattoos, nose rings and piercings in general, beards. Unkempt, malodorous people. Neon colours. Cheap.
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?
I try it on, and if I love it it ends up being worn. Otherwise, I don't buy it.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Occasion: where will I be going? Generally, I do not leave the house unless I feel I really nailed it.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
A sense of style that says: I know what I'm doing here.
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
If anything, my make up is more visible when I "dress-up", more red lipstick, more cleavage, higher heels.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
I'd rather not.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
Me: second hand, vintage clothing, sharp hair-cut. Special jewellery. Cool colours.
Not me: frumpy, hippy, girly, slutty, pastel.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
German-Italian. In Italy, intellectual and stylish is no contradiction. In Germany, it's more complicated.
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 was punk-artistic as a teenager.I loved the way that it expresses wild, raw confidence and it spelled out: I don't want to be nicey, girly, pretty.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I don't think I do anything different.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I'm much more fun!
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 tight trousers, white dress shirt, big earrings, flats.
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?
No, but I'd like to have the physical strength of a man.
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?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
Who is this woman?
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
No, but I'd like to go down the Iris Apfel path.
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
I dream of leaving the house topless.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
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?
Halterless tops. Big hats, big bags, bit patterns.
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?
I don't believe in conveying rules, not even to myself. If anything, I'd like to encourage anyone to try having a little more fun!
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
Love it! Fresh, lemony, green. Verveine, lavender, grapefruit, lime. A long time ago, I would take the bus up to Harrod's in London only to have a free spray of "Obsession". I was absolutely crazy about it but couldn't afford it.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
I just need to be me, and clean.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
Very important. I love the Bobbi Brown approach and her products.
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?
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
In terms of clothes, I don't have favourites. Jewellery: my chunky big charms bracelet.
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 vintage leopard hat. Everyone seems to hate it and I feel a bit ashamed about it.
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 shoes, second hand.
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?
I instantly forget former items of clothing once discarded.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
A black parka with fur lining.
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
A navy Max Mara coat, I bought it 24 years ago and still wear it.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
Maybe Bobbi Brown makeup products?
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Black shiny Roger Vivier shoes with silver buckle.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
Fairly neat, winter and summer clothes separately.
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
My husband once gave me a very beautiful piece of jewellery with no particular reason other than yet another "all clear" breast cancer check up.
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?
Only second hand and very sporadically.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
No idea. Maybe: I dress according to my ambition not to look dull, sad, old or boring.
80. How does money fit into all this?
Nice to have.
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
Makeup: almost every day.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
A few weeks ago an older man on a train told me he thought my hair style looked "sexy". Made my day!
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?
As a little girl, I was very conscious of the colours and styles of my clothes. I still remember dresses I wore when I was five or six. For example, a beautiful smocked dress, dark red with tiny flowers in yellow and green given to me by my auntie in Rome.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
1960, I was born and I live in Berlin.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
What kind of work do you do?
I'm a psychologist.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Married, two kids.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Great. Thank you. Do more of this stuff!