The NEW (if not Improved) Opening Questionnaire with context here.
1. Thinking primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) about looks, who's your favorite performer of your own gender and species? Why? Hmm. How about Cate Blanchett for her chameleon-like actressin' qualities and her striking personal style. Of course it helps that she's gorgeous but she is also interesting.
And perhaps Neko Case for similar, if more musical reasons. And my god, that hair. (Note, I totally wrote this before Cookbook posted her answers, I swear I didn't copy it!)
2. If you could live in any historic era with a really good clothing budget (as well as soap, toothpaste, and delicing as needed), when would you choose? I am thinking the 40's would work for me - but total Hollywood in the 40's with strong colors and prints. Nice nipped-in waists and dramatic details.
from here. I would wear that tomorrow. Also, the respective Hollywood "eras" of Pushing Daisies, Amelie, The Aviator and Chocolat. Cheating again? Maybe.
But you see my point in all of those examples? 40's inspired, cute blouses with cardigans and flippy skirts, adorable shoes and everything in vivid color and pattern.
3. What's your favorite painting or other form of visual art? Why?
from here. I like me a nice Michelangelo in general. I guess that's cheating because it covers painting (mostly fresco) and sculpture. But it's so strong on so many levels - he had such a distinct style, I love his use of color (somewhere I have a fantastic book on the Sistine Chapel pre-and post-cleaning, it is AMAZING). His women may look a little manly sometimes but they never look weak. In his world everyone is striking and powerful and I'm ok with that (I'm not talking about the Last Judgment in this context, yes I am cheating again already). But seriously, look at the Delphic sibyl up there - gorgeous color, strong, imposing frame, and those eyes! That is one positive image right there.
4. What is your first memory in which clothes are important? My 8th grade graduation - I got my first "grown-up" dress. It was a purple sheath in some sort of silky material from Ann Taylor and I got to wear my grandmother's silver necklace that all my sister and I fought over (now it rotates between sisters to forestall strife). I felt so adult. That was when I started realizing that skirts and dresses are ok to wear, I don't lose my tomboy cred by not wearing jeans every day.
5. What is your favorite garment ever? Why? Ever is a tough one. Right now, I have an adorable 3/4 sleeve black jacket with big round buttons that I ADORE. I seriously lack reasons to wear it though because it is dressy but not very warm. It is freakishly flattering though, it looks boxy on the hanger but makes me look absolutely sleek when wearing it just because it is cut so well.
6. What is your favorite garment in your wardrobe right now? I have a couple of awesome dresses that I desperately need excuses to wear. One is a fitted black sheath that seriously makes me look like Audrey Hepburn (and that is not easy as I am not remotely gamine or generally Audrey-like at all) and the other is a flippy leaf-print dress that is the easiest-to-wear piece of clothing I may have ever owned. It is cut like it was MADE for me, no Spanx necessary, no sneaky funny bulges in the back, no nothing. Is it that I am willing to hunt for dress-up clothes but not everyday ones? Because the only clothes I seem to be able to rave about are the ones I can wear only a few times a year (I get all excited when I hear somebody's getting married so I can get dressed up).
7. What is the worst clothing purchase you can remember making? Wide-legged, cream-colored pants with a drawstring waist. Made out of corduroy (very thin corduroy, but still, WTF was I thinking?). There was nothing good about those pants. I think I wore them twice. I was desperate but in the end, not desperate enough to wear them.
8. What's your most embarrassing clothing-related memory other than a bad purchase? I went through a phase in grade school where I wore the same green sweatpants and matching sweatshirt, possibly until they wore out. My nickname at one point was Green Giant (I was bigger than all the boys back then too). Suffice to say I am no longer a sweatpants person. At All.
9. What body part (no more than three!) are you proud of and expect compliments on? My hair is looking pretty awesome now that I am growing it out and not dyeing it, my legs are looong and my lips are nice and pillowy (I could keep going, I guess that's a good sign).
10. What body part (again, no more than three!) seems to require management, if not coaxing, cajoling, and sometimes outright begging if it's to please you? That darn hair. It's never been this long before and I am not totally sure what to do with it. Freshly-washed it is nice and bouncy but after that I run out of ideas.
11. If you could dress however you wanted all the time, what might you include? Knee-length cotton skirts and flat sandals. A lot. Right now they are slightly impractical for both work and the weather. Sigh. In the winter I can do heavier skirts with tights and heels but that's also not terribly practical for every day. I Do Not Do heels as everyday wear. V-neck tees and zip-up cardigans in bright colors and patterns (that don't fade upon washing, thankyouverymuch BR Outlet). Large chunky jewelry (small stuff just disappears). Generally more color, not bubble-gum candy pastels but saturated jewel tones. Are those in this season? Make the colors more rich and the shoes less ugly and I'm in.
12. If you could shop at any store (or from any designer), which would you choose? I assume this is ignoring both sizing and budget issues. Banana Republic and J. Crew, full price instead of haunting the sale rack. Lots of Anthropologie. Lucky and Jane Marvel for cute bags, Hobo International for seriously gorgeous bags, Pink Studio for awesome shoes, and Michael Kors, Roland Mouret and DVF for fab dress-up clothes.
13. Where do you ordinarily shop now? Gap/Banana Republic Outlet/J. Crew sales. Also random hippie stores and tiny local boutiques for accessories. Etsy for jewelry as I have found some AMAZING ladies making stuff I love (it's trouble).
14. What clothing, accessory, or prettifying need (if any) do you enjoy shopping for? Jewelry, bags and scarves. Stuff that always fits and can make any outfit more interesting. I hunt for a lot of stuff online but rarely go out and shop now. I just don't feel like hunting right now.
15. Which one do you most loathe shopping for? Shoes. It kills me. In my soul.
16. Do you consider yourself low-, medium-, or high-maintenance? Medium. Low for work and high-ish for a nice night out so medium on average.
17. What are the two most frequent occasions that you dress for and how would you describe them? Work right now is pretty mellow so I have started to wear slightly cuter clothes there since they are less likely to get ruined. But still, I am either in the lab or the greenhouse right now so everything has to stay pretty practical. Also the lab is freezing and the greenhouse is overheated, so layers. Other than that, maybe date night? Or working in the yard? Or yoga. I don't dress much for other specific things. I mean, I do wear clothes, just not activity-specific ones.
18. What was your favorite Hallowe'en costume ever? A couple of years ago I was a 1940's style Lois Lane-type girl reporter. I got to wear a mildly sexy blouse with a pencil skirt, my awesome suit coat that I never get to wear, and a fedora with a press pass stuck in the hatband. Vaguely professional-sexy but not full-on ho as is so very common at H'ween. This past year's was a close second. I have decided a good hat is an absolute necessity for a good H'ween costume.
19. What do you see as the current problem(s) with your wardrobe and/or look? Lack of consistency. I have started to find things that work for me but they are still part of a very random mix. And it is so much easier to find lovely things for dressing up than it is for everyday wear. To use a slightly strained sports analogy Ive got a few flashy starters but I need some more depth on the bench.
20. At the end of WT, what lovely compliments do you want onlookers to give you? "She looks so put-together". I want everyone in the closet to play together nicely. As a team, one might say (if one were to beat the reader over the head with the metaphor).