My parent J. gave me this amazing book that is a collection of interviews with women about clothing. 1) I can’t stop reading it 2) I want to be a part of it. It is fascinating in an anthropological sense but it has also helped me understand my own clothes anxieties/joys in a kind of self-help way. I wish I was friends with the authors.
Here are my answers to their questions (their website has all the questions, but I have only answered the ones that interest me):
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
At my exercise classes when I am all spandexed out in my Nux leggings, colorful sports bra, a drapey tank, and my bright pink running shoes. I think I actually have a great body but in normal clothes I feel like I am always fighting with my shoulders, butt, and thighs. In workout clothes I feel most like myself and really confident because I am proud of the push ups I am doing. I also think that I look fierce when I sweat intentionally.
2. Do you notice women on the street?
I notice women in my neighborhood because that is when I am less likely to be tuning out the world. I notice lots of women of an ambiguous age in high heeled clogs, wrecked jeans and impressively soft sweaters. But to be totally honest I am noticing how skinny they are and feeling envious of how great disheveled clothes look on skinny women.
3. What are some other things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I really really admire sleek looking ladies in sack-like clothes. I think there is nothing more chic than an artfully draped sack. I also admire the way these women offset their sacks with delicate and giant jewelry.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others?
I only wear 2 and 1/2 heels on my shoes, I never wear true flats with no heels because my legs just loose any shape and my feet hurt.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Very recently I had a really good clothes therapy session with my husband. We talk about clothes all the time and he gets tired of hearing me spin out about my body, my lack of interesting clothes, my latest solution (silver bullet). So he really sat me down and helped me figure out that I like dressing boyishly with a kind of Garence Dore’ french girl spin. This helped me understand that my love of makeup is about the way I want the femininity of my face to play off my short hair and boyish clothes.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
Last year at my professional conference all my lady friends and I were getting ready to hit the conference center and I realized how amazing and similar all their outfits were. Black blazer, black jeans, silky tops, jewelry for days, flats for day, heels for the party at night. This look was so great that I have totally adopted it as my professional outfit. And we all look awesome as a matching crew.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
Thermal socks, harem Lululemon sweatpants, a ratty J. crew t-shirt, and my Patagonia fleece from 2002. My hair is just washed so it is still calming down from the trauma of shampoo and I am wearing cat eye glasses and no makeup.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
So important!! Why do I think about it all so often and yet look good so rarely. This is a true conundrum.