“We are always asking for something when we get dressed. Asking to be loved, . . . to be admired, to be left alone, to make people laugh, to scare people, to look wealthy, to say I’m poor, I love myself.”–interviewee.
* What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had with someone on the subject of fashion or style?
* Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
* Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
* Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
* 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? What would you say you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? If you’re not so sure about your clothing choices, would you say you’re better in other areas, or the same? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it (or where the lack comes from, if you don’t have it), and why?
* Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style have been passed down to you or not?
* What is your cultural background, and how has that influenced how you dress?
* Did your parents teach you about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing, or style? What lessons do you remember? Did they tell you things directly, or did you just pick things up?
* What sorts of things do you do, clothing-or make-up or hair-wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
* What are some of the things you admire about how other women present themselves?
* Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?
* Do you care about lingerie?
* Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice? What sort do you tend to admire? If not admiration, what is the feeling that a compelling woman on the street gives you?
* 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?
* What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
* What do you consider very ugly?
* 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?
* When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, what is this “other person” like? What does she like, dislike, what sorts of judgments does she have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or knew once?
* What’s your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
* What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
* What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
* If you had to wear a “uniform,” what would it look like?
* What would you say is “you,” and what would you say is “not you”?
* 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?
* What sorts of things do you do, clothing-, make-up, or hair-wise, to feel professional?
* How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
* How do institutions affect the way you dress?
* Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
* Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
* Is it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
* Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or makeup or hair? What was it? Why did it happen then, do you think?
* Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
* What are some dressing rules that you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but that you follow?
* Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
* 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?
* 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?
* If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
* Do you consider yourself photogenic?
* When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
* Send a photograph of your mother from the time before she had children, and tell us what you see.
* Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
* Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
* What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try to achieve?
* Have you stolen, borrowed, or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
* Have you ever successfully given someone a present or jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
* Were you ever given a present or clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
* If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body were a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?
* When do you feel at your most attractive?
* Is there anyone you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
* Do you like to smell a certain way?
* What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
* What’s the situation with your hair?
* Please describe your body.
* Please describe your mind.
* Please describe your emotions.
* What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
* How does makeup fit into all this for you?
* What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
* 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?
* What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc.?
* Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing- and jewelry-wise?
* What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
* 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?
* Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in, and if so, why?
* Looking back at your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?
* Is there an item of clothing that you once owned but no longer own and still think about or wish you had? What was it and what happened to it and why do you want it back?
* If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
* If you were building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
* What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
* Was there ever an important or paradigm shifting purchase in your life?
* What item or clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
* Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
* Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
* Do you address anything political in the way you dress?
* 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?
* Did you ever buy an item of clothing or jewelry certain that it would be meaningful to you, but it wasn’t at all? What was it, and what happened?
* How and when do you shop for clothes?
* Do you have any shopping rules you follow?
* How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
* How does money fit into all this?
* Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
* Is there an article of clothing, some makeup, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
* 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?
* Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?
* Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
* In what way is this stuff important, if at all?