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Anneli Saari

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

??? I scarsely think how I look... Maybe wearing clothes that I feel comfortable in.

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

Women that have an unique style. Women that have dressed carefully even if it was cold, raining and just another day.

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

See previous question. I often wear clothes that are suitable for weather but not necessarily nice looking. So I admire people that look stylish every day, no matter the weather or situation.

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?

No, or I can't remember.

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

I buy almost all clothes second-hand. It would be nice and necessary to support some new businesses that focus on sustainable clothing.
So, don't buy everything second-hand.

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

I don't wear bright colours. But it would be very dull, if everybody followed this rule.

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

Not a conversation... But I respect women who wear anything they like and don't bother to think too much if the clothes actually look good on them.

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

I try to concentrate on things that I like, and not to stress too much about those others.

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

Black t-shirts! Dark jeans. Because I wear them a lot.

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

I knitted socks for my friend and she used them until they were trash.

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

Many. I don't want to buy any item that will later look like "I was very fasnionable. About three years ago".

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

It has, they say. I am tall, for eaxmple.

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

I borrowed mom's clothes when I was teen. I must have also adapted things, just can't remember now any.

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

Not dramatically... A few years ago I decided to abandon everything (from my wardrobe) that wasn't easy to combine with everything else.

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

Maybe. I don't want to look too feminine, or feminine at all. I want people to concentrate to how I think, not how I look.

16. Please describe your body.

Tall, normal weight.

17. Please describe your mind.

??? No idea how to do that.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Very difficult, I don't know what to say.

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

Hair is short and it is not done in any way, apart the cut. I don't wear make-up (never). I have a gray wool sweater, black t-shirt, dark jeans and black pair of boots.

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

I knit the sweater myself. I like a lot of these jeans (dark colour, good fit) and I often wear a pair of black boots, these or some other pair.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My friends at the stable. We're all trying to stay warm and dry in all weathers so we keep discussing what to wear in different conditions.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Institutions? We have casual style at work, so I suppose there aren't any institutions.

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

I have a taste, not perhaps a style. The difference between is perhaps that I want to look "invisible", a stylish person wants to look good.

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

Not biggest. But I have bought clothes that I haven't use almost at all :-(

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

I'm not sure if I understand right... But I recommend to wear right-size clothes, otherwise you end up looking weird.

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

Not really. I'm picky about my stuff, so sometimes it is a bit difficult to find something (for example, it took me ages to decide which blanket to buy to my horse).

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. Job interviews, for exmple.

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'm developing or even rather good at this. I think it comes from experience.

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 mom taught me to sew and knit. She also taught me to repair clothes. Both my parents wear clothes until trash, I'm not able to do that. Yet?

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

Black. Boots. Messy hair. A bit too small shirt.

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'm not a native speaker of English... Well, I those words make me think of people that look good no matter what they are wearing. They feel good about themselves and it shows.

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?

I want to able to combine almost everything in my wardrobe. I don't want buy or have clothes that I don't wear often. Accessorizing is the key. And choosing just a few colours.

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

Something that is working, fitting to its place. Harmony.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Too many colours or patterns combined. Visual noise.

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?

Maybe today. I'm trying to think what kind of clothes I usually wear, in what kind of situations. And will I be able to combine this new piece with those at home. Or does it solve a problem ("I can't go riding if it rains, because I don't have a proper raincoat." So I bought one.)

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?


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

Weather. And if I'm going to stay indoors or outdoors.

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

To feel comfortable through the day. Not too hot or cold, no too weird clothes.

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

Dressing up=I want people too see me, to look at me (and think "wow").

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

But I do wear a uniform. Black t-shirt, grey sweater, dark jeans, a pair of black boots. A pair of white tennis shoes at summer.

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

See previous question. Subtle colours, well-fitting clothes, natural materials, not fasnionable.

Not me: fashion, bright colours, shopping

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

??? Working class, country side. People didn't/don't buy often new clothes, and certainly they don't buy fasnionable clothes. People value what you do or who you are, not how you look like. From where I come from.

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 tried to follow fashion back then. It made me very unhappy, because I felt constantly "so-last-season". So after a few years I came into my senses snd stopped completely.

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

Visit hair dresser. Clean/polish shoes. Wear something dark and well-fitting.

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

There are no expectations, really. Sometimes I "rebel" by dressing neatly.

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?

If I had one... Maybe comforting, if it suitable for me and for the task.

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 t-shirt, grey sweater, dark jeans, a pair of black boots. A pair of white tennis shoes at summer.

I like these clothes. Suitable for 98% of my time outside home (and at home, too), except sports. Suitable for many weathers depending on coat and thickness/material of sweater.

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?

Yes there was. I few kilos back men's trousers were better for me than womens. There are often too short sleeves in womens clothes, still.

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?

Oh dear :-(

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

Katharine Hepburn.

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

At least I don't remember one.

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

Classy and stylish, like Grace of Monaco, or petit and slim, like Audrey Hepburn.

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?

??? Wouldn't change a thing.

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?

Wear clothes that you like, that make you feel comfortable. A smile is a most important accessory.

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

No. I'm a bit allergic to (strong) perfumes. Some of them are nice.

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

Visit hair dresser. Clean/polish shoes. Wear something dark and well-fitting. Iron that jacket and trousers.

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

It doesn't.

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?

I don't want to wear dresses or skirts.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

Natural fibre basic clothes in subtle colours. Clothes (and shoes) for every weather between rain, shine and far below zero. No jewelry.

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

Dark grey wool cardigan.

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 skirt, that I sew for me. I thought I would need a black pencil skirt. No I don't, but I keep it because I made it (fool).

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?

Valuable meaning expensive? Riding clothes, I suppose. I have lots of them, I wear them a lot, and I have to buy some of them new (there simply are not second hand items in my size).

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?

Winter shoes with spikes. I thought I had too much shoes and I gave them away. Silly me! It gets cold and slippery every year.

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

Black long sweater with polo collar.

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

Think about where and when I usually wear my clothes. Buy only clothes that "click" when I see them. And natural fibres only!

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

Haven't bought it (yet?).

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?

Leather jacket. Biker style, black, long-enough sleeves.

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

Not really. I'm quite precise on my shoes, I wash and wax them after winter.

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

??? Noo-oo.

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?

A black cotton cardigan, mens. I bought it second-hand, without much a thought. It became one of my favourites and I have bought a similar one later.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

If I don't own anything suitable for the weather. If some of my basics is too worn out to be used anymore.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Fresh. Clean.

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

Ambitions? Don't have.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I try to save money. I can't understand how much clothes people give away or sell second-hand. It suits me well, because I can save, but I feel bad about environment. And workers rights in Bandgladesh.

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

A scarf. It is easy to add/remove according to the temperature.

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

Someone told me once that I've got a body lika a model. I had never thought so myself.

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?

I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old. My schoolmate notified, not nicely, that I am always wearing the same clothes. Maybe I was, but I remember how I was surprised of her notion.

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

I was born in 1970s in rural Finland. Now I live in a small town in Finland.

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

Work and achievement concentrated. Usefulness highly valued.

What kind of work do you do?


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

Single, no kids, one horse :-)

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

I wanted to answer this because I think I'm not a typical woman in this area of life.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

It was sooo long...



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