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Debra Mandeville

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I get up.

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

Those that care about how they look.

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

Those that are strong and take a stand.

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?

I was diagnosed with cancer last year. Since I am unable to work I decided to get up and look nice and wear nice outfits and jewelry.

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

Buy what you like and don't try to look like others.

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

I like western but every woman must choose what she likes and what looks nice.

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

My friends confronted me and helped me see that I need to be strong and look nice

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

Take one day and a time and enjoy life and do what I can every day.

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

Not at this time.

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

Yes but after losing 100 pounds I am glad that I can pass along what I had and enjoy seeing others enjoying the clothes.

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

The clothes that have holes in them

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

My mother always liked to look nice and I got that from her. I liked a lot of the things she wore and our tastes in fashion were the same.

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


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

Yes last year when I found out about the cancer and I was unable to work any more. I decided to just get the western clothes I like and not worry about work attire any longer.

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


16. Please describe your body.

I am a size 18 now and hope to loose more weight. I am 5'4" and glad I have lost a lot of weight. It feels good and I hope to loose more.

17. Please describe your mind.

At this time I am trying do my best to have a good outlook and keep fighting.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Great at this time.

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

I have my hair done in a short style and have jewelry and a western top on with jeans.

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

It makes me feel good about myself.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My sisters and family.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

They do not.

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

I live in a western town and I love the look and style and I enjoy wearing it.

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

About $50.00 for a dress.

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

None at this time.

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


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 I have many times that what I was wearing helped me to feel more confident and assured.

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?

Yes I know what I look and am changing my look to the way I feel. My mother taught me well.

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?

Yes my mother and grandmother was always teaching me to take of my clothes and to appreciate what I had.

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

Just try to look nice.

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?

To me my clothing can help me to be more confident and I also like to feel comfortable in my clothes because that also helps my state of mind.

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 dress in what I like and make it look nice.

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

What you feel inside.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

People who don't care about how they look.

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?

Yes I try on the clothes to make sure I like the way it looks for my age.

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 hope that it looks nice and not overdone.

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

Picking out something that I like and feeling great.

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

To look nice.

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

I can dress for everyday and then for special occasions I can put on a dress and hoping that I look good in it.

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

Western style.

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

Me - I am western
Not Me - Trying to lot like a teenager at my age.

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

My family all enjoys western and they all taught me well.

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?

For work I dressed more upbeat and tried to always look nice.

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

All three

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

We had great dress codes for a office and we all tried to look nice.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


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?

Looking western.

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 to all questions

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

The old west

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I looked nice.

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?

The teenager look.

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?

The same thing I am wearing now. I love the cowgirl look.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

No - just try and make myself feel good for the day.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Be yourself.

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

Yes and I like the way it makes me feel.

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


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

I like the natural look.

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?

Nothing at this time.

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

Western jewelry and attire.

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

Turquoise jewelry.

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?

Something that my mother made for me before she passed. It is a western coat and I do not want to ruin 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?

Clothes to make me look good at work and now clothes that are my style in life

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?


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

The coat my mother made.

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

Pick what makes me feel good and also makes me look nice.

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


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?


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

Yes I like to keep organized.

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

Yes my Grandmother gave me some jewelry that is special to me.

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?

When I can afford and feel like it. I don't shop when I don't feel like it.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Yes - that is why I like cologne.

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

At this time it is for special occasions.

80. How does money fit into all this?

When I have some to spend I will purchase something that I like.

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


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

Some days my neuropathy and cancer get me down and I have to wear winter boots and gloves.

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?


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

4/29/1956 in Longview, Texas. I now live in Dodge City, Kansas.

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

My upbringing taught me a lot about people and I like visiting with people.

What kind of work do you do?


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

Divorced and have 2 children and 6 grandchildren

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

Sorry can't think of anything.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?




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