1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

SJ Kurtz

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I feel in control of my life

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

I really look for older women and women of size who have swagger.

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

I'm always looking for role models for the next phase, and powerful people who don't worry about how the world perceive them are key to my future.

When I wore a costume in a play and no one recognized it was me. That character got a lot of positive notice I never did

Shopping isn't buying. I sew most of my own clothes, and alter the rest. So shopping is browsing. You can always come back to it if necessary.

All black shades go together. All prints go together.

Onlne with women of size



I developed a metal allergy and had to give away all (ALL) of my handmade jewelry. It was made by me, for me, picked out by me; a very personal collection and very idiosyncratic. I gave it all to my sister and my niece; it's nice to see it on them.

When I was a kid, I had a swim teacher whose feet had formed into Barbie foot shapes - the toes at a permanent angle to the arch. Scared the crap out of me.

My mother was very thin (skeletal thin) all her life, and was the slacks/turtleneck lady all year long.

I have always had extra weight and a booty, so this has never been a look for me.
I do love turtlenecks.

I had the favorite plaid men's shirt I stole from college boyfriend for many years. I wore it out.
What cracks me up now is watching my teen son wear my high school friend's cross country t shirt, that I stole from him, 40 years later, to his cross country meets.

I had a shoulder injury about two years ago. I had to stop lifting weights, I couldn't pull things on over my head, my arms got bigger, and I was just through with menopause. That confluence of events cleared out my closet pretty dramatically, even more than having babies and leaving my office job did.

I decided I wasn't going to save anything I couldn't put on right now (no saving stuff I might be able to wear - that's just humiliating) or wear if I suddenly broke into a streaming sweat. I discovered home made dress shields. I had to get rid of my 'someday' wardrobe of cute little vintage dresses and shoes. And the handbags to go with them, because they hurt to look at.
About the same time, I stumbled into the internet land of I Will Wear What I Like. Not as designer driven as the NYC crones. Much clashing color.

I have never looked back

Probably. I do dress to please myself, which can get pretty outlandish some days. And I do cosplay, which has it's political aspects to it.

I do know how to dress to fit in. And I always feel like I'm in drag when I do.

Box like. Sturdy. My father once made a sad comment "It's too bad about your legs" (I have always had joint issues, hip dysplasia from birth) and I took that to heart for a decade or two. He meant well. I got over it; they work well enough.
I have been gifted with a booty of staying power. I dress it up more than I did as a kid.

Sharp. Partitioned. I can think my way out of this.


I am wearing my glasses. I spent a lot of money on them and I love them.
My hair is about two inches long in some places. I use a pomade on it to keep it off those nice glasses.
My acne cleared up when I turned ...no wait. Still hasn't happened.
Oily skin is a great wrinkle preventative.

How we present ourselves and how we perceive ourselves is a part of who we are. The more we talk about this stuff, the better perspective we can have on it.
Presentation is a form of power.

A couple of other old ladies on the internet. And the people I sew for.

I dress appropriately to the situation, except when I don't (and that is appropriate for me when I am making an exception I think needs making)

I have no taste. My style is a matter of taste.

I bought a designer dress I thought I would get a lot of use out of. And then I lost that job.

It was $150, but that was in 1984, so it was a big hunk of a paycheck for me.

Getting married. I was...uncertain about the family situation that was happening with my future inlaws (and it's just gotten weirder over the years) so instead of the white dress I had, I wore the navy blue strapless dress. I did look like a million bucks, but I wore it to piss them off.
It certainly did. I felt much better.

I am less and less certain about what should be as I grow older. At 58, I honestly feel like I really know everything and nothing, more the latter than the former. At 38, I knew a lot. At 18 - damn, I had it all figured out.

My mother taught me to sew, and taught me to buy the best I could afford and not buy a lot. So I feel like I've spent my clothing selection life searching for one really nice suit I can never find. There's always an unfinished seam or a cheap zipper between me and almost all the clothes in the world, and I can hear my mother (who died over 30 years ago) tell me: do you really want to fix that? Is it worth it? What else is wrong with it?

At some point in the last few years, the words sexy and alluring started sounding stupid to me. Am I sexy to myself? Alluring to whom?

If I want to feel good, I put on something really comfortable.

People who don't take any crap from anyone and wear sensible shoes they can kick ass in.

i guess that would be sexy and alluring.

You shouldn't waste your time worrying about what other people think.

It's a goal, it's a journey. I didn't say I was there yet.

The smell of wintersweet in February; it just reminds you that life is full of gifts and is worth living.


I am stuck with my father's judgement in my self-observation. He paid me about $2000 to wear high heels on my wedding day. It was worth the sell out.

Weather. Not clashing. Do I get to wear the new favorite shirt/pants/shoes today? What works with them.
(I walk/bus)

Power. And weather appropriate clothing. Temperature related comfort.

Dressing up is wearing clothing that is appropriate in a formal setting.
Dressing up is also cosplay and dressing for fun.
I distinguish one as "adult cosplay" and the other as "everyday wear"

In the past, I have made myself 'uniform' outfits for jobs with a lot of customer interaction. I had a set of machine washable dresses I could wear with flats for the arts jobs; they were monochromatic and stylish without being flashy. They almost always had jackets (with interior pockets) that went with. I sewed them all.
My adult version of this resembles a Chico's store. Pants, jacket. I miss the big jewelry.

'Not you' is girly.
Everything else is 'you'

White middle class, working with white upper class bosses or clients.
I either dress to camouflage or to stick out like a sore thumb, depending on the situation.

Office job. My boss got to tell me if what I was wearing was wrong. Or to send me to buy a bra on my lunch break. Or to shove a pair of nylons in my in-box.
Now I get to make those choices.

If it's office, to be inconspicuous.
If I'm doing costuming, I wear the best sewn thing I have. If that involves sequins or a feathered hat, that too.
I don't wear make up; I never look good in it.

It's about the when/where. If there are clients, I dress to make them think I'm what they expect (and that varies WILDLY).
If I'm just out and about, it depends on the day. I'm more outlandish in the summer.
What I really need is a over the top winter coat.

Not anymore

I used to (lots of rhinestone pins on the lab coat)

If we don't get a uniform from our bosses, we tend to create one for ourselves

White turtleneck / black velvet overalls. A nod to my mom, something black, and velvet overalls, which are ridiculous and wonderful all at once.

I've never wished to be a man, but I've worn menswear ever since I was a little vintage shopper. I have a very nice tuxedo cutaway jacket and a couple cummerbunds. I am most partial to wingtips.

I would like to go to the 40s in America to shoe shop.

No, but I blog, so I've learned to cope

Too many cookies. Either live with it or change it.

Because of digital and camera phones, there are a lot more photographs around. There are about five photos of me from age 0 to 8. (1959 to 1967). We just didn't own a camera; that was a hobbyist's activity. There are about a billion photos of my son't first month.

Louise Doktor, from NYC, from the 60s to now. She's my muse, and I'm sad that Bill Cunningham is no longer alive to take her photograph.

Shoes. I go to the Trippen store in Berlin and buy shoes.

Why would I?

I do wish I was taller. I think I've adjusted to that reality however.
If my feet weren't so damn wide, I'd buy more Converse high tops.

Attract: smart people, people who want me to make them clothes.
Repel: trolls and wild animals.

You make your own rules. That's the rule.

I can't wear it anymore. I can't deal with smelling it anymore either.
This is pretty sad.

Keep them clean and mended. And ironed.

I enjoy ironing. It's soothing.

It doesn't. Youthful acne prevented me from experimenting, and now it just seems like a fakeout.

Jeans. Shirts. Too many tshirts. Dresses for summer. Almost all self-made, or made for me.

No more jewelry beyond pins. My wedding ring gives me a chemical burn; you can see where I used to wear my watch. This is sadder than the perfume issue.

My blue polka dot dress. It was the toile for a pattern, and it turned out so well, I've worn it to pieces. I'm making another before that one falls off me in a public place.
In that dress, I am invincible. And twirly.

I have hung onto a Issey Miyake suit from the 80s. It's a piece of sculpture more than anything. I barely fit it thirty years ago, I surely do not now. I don't intend to alter it. It's just so lovely.
I also have a pair of leather Nike basketball hightops I got from a friend who was an Olympic marathoner. They are too small now, but they are so well made, I just like to look at them. He signed them in the back, an unreadable signature from a totally different part of my life.

That is, having value? The ones I made and made well. The ones that cost the most money: shoes. Trippens.

I did get it back. It was a dress I made in the 80s, out of some pretty expensive fabric, and loaned it to a friend. Who forgot all about it for about thirty years. And she gave it back to me, totally out of the blue. It does not fit me, it's a mess, and now maybe I should just burn it as a sacrifice to vanity. Or the 80s. Or it's gonna be a hanky.
I think there were mice involved.

Besides the Miyake and the hightops, I'd keep the most recent pair of jeans I made. I'm getting really good at them, man.

I would buy fewer tshirts. People are going to give me a lot of them over the years, no need to buy them.

I no longer fit it, but it was a suit, and it's gone.
I also donated my wedding dress to a prom dress charity for teens.
I'd still have those wingtips if my feet hadn't grown with pregnancies. Nobody warns you about that. Don't get too attached to those shoes.

The wedding rings. Damn. That was unexpected.

That and my first pair of knit stretch pull on pants. I don't think anything was as demoralizing as those.

The perfect suit. At this point, the perfect jacket. I can wear it with pants.

I wish. I go through it and clean and toss a couple times a year. I don't have enough space not to. I come to bed late, so I tend to open closet door, toss in item, and shut closet door. I tidy up once a week.
It's sad in there.

As cliche as this sounds, I am ridiculously proud of the boy scout 'Life" rank pins from my sons. They are red enameled hearts, and I value my straight son's work and my gay son's work to get them. They have taken different roads to get to different places, but what they did in that process was amazing.

That polka dot dress.
What is stunning is that I still fit it, 20 years and 40 pounds later, and it still kills.
I don't know that I have shoes I can say that about.

I don't shop. There's nothing for me out there anymore.
I do thrift shop and alter; I go with my sons. It's a great adventure in recent history, and a good lesson in looking for quality in an item.
Now ask me about buying fabric.....


I do cosplay. It's about as calculated as I get in clothes. I am trying to expand my business, so I will dress more outrageously in certain situations. Like at burlesque shows. Or at conventions. Show off what I can make.
And more and more... just in daily life.

It is less of an issue now that I'm over 55. I'm not saving for a house or a vacation, and I have no debts except a mortgage payment and day to day expenses.

I do drop money on really nice fabric.

A notebook. And a really nice mechanical pencil. Like $50 nice.

My father's comment about my legs certainly kept me out of skirts for a decade or two.
I have received enough compliments on the shape and size of my ass that I pay attention.

Costume. High school. See #4

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